Is our hope only in the future?

A couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses dropped by to offer me a message of hope. It was based on Jesus bringing an end “very shortly” to all the frightening things going on in our world. I asked the leader how she knew it was going to happen “very shortly,” and she replied, “Prophecy.” The signs of the end of this godless age, she said, are all there in Bible prophecy and the conditions exist right now that prove we’re in “the last days.”

I asked her which Bible prophecy proves we’re in the last days, and she replied, “Matthew 24.” She hastily added that not all the events predicted in Matthew 24 happened in 70 AD. Jesus was also referring to “our age now,” she said, and the signs are all there for anyone to read and recognize that this age is near its end and the Kingdom of God is coming “very shortly.”

I asked her what Jesus meant in Matthew 24:34, when he said, “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened,”and in verse 36 when he said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” In the very chapter she mentioned, Jesus states that nobody actually knows when “the end of the age” is (verse 3), and secondly, that all the events he predicted in that chapter would happen in THAT generation then, not at some time in the future.

I also asked her why her hope was only in the end of the age happening at some time in the future, when Matthew 24 makes it clear that the end of the age happened in Jesus’ day, and the book of Acts then makes it clear that a new age has ALREADY begun in which Jesus has been establishing his Kingdom on the earth in his Church through the Holy Spirit.

My hope, therefore, is not in the Lord coming soon, but in the Lord already having come. He’s not here in person, but he is in the Church, which he calls his body. And the reason for him being here in the Church is to pass on the message of hope that “God raised us up with Christ and seated us in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,” Ephesians 2:6, where the Father “has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ,” Ephesians 1:3. Jesus is already in the process of healing all humanity. We don’t have to wait and hope until some time in the future – because it’s happening right now.

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