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By: Robert Berendt (published March 5, 2015)

Most people who aspire to something after this life has ended do not get very specific about what they will be doing. There are descriptions of love, beauty, peace, contentment and such - but one does not hear much about being involved in anything great, grand or interesting in the future. Perhaps that is due to the concept of a Creator God who is so magnificent and so much greater that we humans, that our greatest and most grand achievements and thoughts do not even come close to what He is (Isa. 55:8,9). What does God have prepared for those who love Him? There are a number of religions that do not believe in the Bible, but who have their own ideas and books. Some have developed an intricate thought pattern about their future. Some believe we are reincarnated as animals in an ongoing cycle of life. Some believe only they will be moved to a Paradise of their imaginations. Some believe we will drift off into some ethereal spiritual form of existence which is not really an existence at all. In order to make some sense of our potential future, it becomes imperative that we prove our source. There is only one book in the world that claims to be more than 4000 years old and that proves itself to be inspired and that is the Bible. No other "books" have been preserved like this and in no other books are literally dozens of prophecies written that have been fulfilled and are being fulfilled before our eyes today. Proving that the Bible is the word of God to mankind is the first necessary step to delve into what the future holds. Any idea that originates in the minds of men is just their idea.

The Holy Scriptures reveal the great truth that God has prepared something much more important and greater for the future of mankind than we now can see (I Cor. 2:9). Not only has our Creator designed a future for this universe which includes the world, but He states that plainly in the Scriptures (Rev. 21:1, Rev. 20:11, 2 Pet. 3:13). With all of our bumps, warts and shortcomings, God wants us to be involved with Him now in the present life and for the eternity to come. Involvement with this great Creator means much more than simply being a bystander - although that would be much more than we deserve or can handle. Jesus said more in a few words than our minds can dream of. He prayed that His followers, the believers, would be "one" as the Father and Son are one (John 17:21-24). He prayed that we would be involved with Him wherever He would be.

What we are today needs to be changed into what we may become and the change starts at the moment of repentance and turning to Him. We are to be partakers of His divine nature while we are still in the flesh (2 Pet. 1:4). We are to be new people in our conduct and our thoughts as we live our lives on earth (Rom. 6:4,19,22). The bumps, warts and shortcomings may be present with us when we first meet our Creator, but they cannot remain if we are to take part in the future He has planned. We need to change and be changed. That final destination is reached through the direct involvement of the Father and Son in our lives now, and it leads to unimaginable future changes into new bodies that live forever (I Cor. 15:48-54). He is the potter and we the willing clay (Rom. 9:21).

Involvement with what is being done here and now on earth is where we begin. We are not merely clay that is formed but not part of the process, God seeks "clay" that desires to change and be like Him. He seeks those who seek Him with all their heart, soul and mind (Matt. 22:37). God seeks those who recognize and love His commandments since they reflect His character and nature and who strive to change their lives to conform to Him and thus show that they love Him, because they know that loving God means we will keep His commandments ( I John 5:2-5). Our first act of a developing and growing involvement with God is repentance. We are to recognize and repent of sin and gratefully accept the washing and cleansing from sin that the blood of Jesus Christ gives at baptism (Acts 2:38) at which time God grants us "white robes" of righteousness to wear (Rev. 3:4,5). We then set out with His guidance in this life to fight against sin and overcome all that is contrary to holiness (Rom. 6:11-14). As time passes a person grows into the divine nature of God in his thoughts (2 Pet. 1:4) and learns to rightly divide the scriptures. They are now ambassadors for the Kingdom of God which has begun in their lives and which is the future (2 Cor. 5:20). In this life we are to become completely involved with the Father and Son as they dwell in each converted person. In every way we can, we are to be engaged in preaching the good news of the coming Kingdom of God with the return of Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19,20).

But what about the future of a thousand years from now? What about the time when we are resurrected? Is there room for involvement then? What will we be doing in the new earth and new heavens? Will we be bystanders? We can glimpse a little of how God works through the words of the Holy Scriptures that tell us a little about spirit beings who possess eternal life now. The Bible refers to them as angels and sons of God (Dan. 7:10, Matt. 26:53). There is no indication that they simply exist and move aimlessly about - every indication we see is one of full and complete involvement in the plans, works and concepts that God is doing. Throughout the Bible there are accounts of angels acting as messengers, warriors, and servants of God at all times in history and future involvement as stated in the book of Revelation. Armies of angels will accompany Christ on His return as King of kings. Angels serve at the throne of God in various capacities (Rev. 4:10,5:8,11). Angels have been, are and will be involved in all God does.

Man has been created a little lower than the angels, but he is to be raised into the family of God (Psalm 8:5,6). God's children will be much greater than the angels. Angels serve God now and are ready to serve those who will inherit salvation (Heb. 1:13,14). In God's plan, humans who are part of His family will come with Christ to work at setting up the Kingdom (Zech. 14:5). They will be clothed with the glory of Jesus Christ and be sent just as He was sent for the benefit of the human race (John 17:22). They will be given power over the nations (Rev. 2:26). They will be kings and priests (Rev. 5:10). They will be pillars in the temple of God (Rev. 3:12). They will sit down with Christ on His throne as He sits on the Father's throne. We cannot begin to imagine the involvement God will grant to His children in all of His future plans. They will reign forever. Scientists have gained much understanding of the universe and one truth is certain. Energy seeks the lowest level, so this universe is heading toward a time when it needs to be renewed just as our sun, in time, will be too cool to warm the earth. The Creator of this universe is God and He states that He loves His creation (Gen. 1:31). He also states that He makes all things new including the heavens and earth (Rev. 21:1,5). All of that and that which is not yet created belongs to God and His children are to be joint heirs of everything (Rom. 8:17). There is nothing that is designed and planned for the future that stretches into eternity that His children will not be part of. We will be involved in events that we do not grasp or understand now. God has not revealed all of His plans, but what is certain is that each phase of that plan will be better than the preceding phase and the next one better than the previous one. Being involved forever starts by being involved now. Money cannot buy this free gift God offers. God gives us freedom to think, but leaves a guide to direct us. We must want what He offers.

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