Rushing Toward The Millenium

John H. Stoll, Ph.D.

Because, "time marches on" we shall soon enter a new millenium. There is both anticipation as well as apprehension concerning what it will bring. People are fearful of the future, and that is coupled with guilt from the past, which produces the consternation with which people wrestle. How should Christians look at the coming year, the next Millenium, and the future in general?

With the basic assumption that God is sovereign, and that the Bible is the Word of God, the Christian has no need to fear, even though we do not know what the future holds. The Christian is able to safetly trust in God, to the extent that He cares for each of His children (I Peter 5:7). Furthermore, God never allows anything to come into His children's lives, but what it is for our good and His glory (I Thessalonians 5:18; I Peter 5:10). Therefore, we are able to look to a new year as well as a new millenium with confidence, regardless of what the future will bring. God's grace is sufficient for each day, as we trust Him (Hebrews 13:5,6).

Every Christian needs to follow the formula: commitment plus understanding equals behaviors. When one daily commits his life to God's keeping (See: Psalms 37:3-5; I Samuel 2:30), and has understanding of God's will for his life (See: Proverbs 3:5,6; 4:7; Mark 12:33; Psalm 119:169; James 1:5), his behaviors are brought into conformity to God's will for his life. This progressive conformity to God's will then produces spiritual maturation, which is the primary purpose of God in the life of the Christian (Note: I Peter 2:2; 5:10; II Peter 3:14,18; Titus 2:12). There is no more ultimate purpose that God has for His children than to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ".

Spiritual maturity produces an inward desire to want to serve the Lord. Service for the Lord is the product of the maturation process. We will desire to minister to others, which is our Godly behavior in letting our light shine for Him (See: Galatians 6:2,10; II Corinthians 5:14-20; Titus 3:8; I Peter 1:22; I John 4:11).

When the Lord Jesus Christ told His Disciples He was returning to Heaven, He said He would not leave them comfortless, but would send the Comforter, who would be the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,26), and He would abide with us forever. The work of the Holy Spirit is to guide us in all the truth (John 16:13). The word "comforter" means a "paraclete", i.e. "one called alongside to help". Thus the Holy Spirit comes alongside of every Christian by indwelling, to help us in our spiritual maturity. The result is that the Christian is then to be a "paraclete" to others, i.e. - 2 - we are given gifts by the power of the Holy Spirit to be used to minister to others (Romans 12:5-8; Ephesians 4:7,12-14). Just as the Holy Spirit ministers to our maturation, we are to be His servants to minister to others who are searching and in need. The maturation process produces a spiritual sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, that helps us to properly meet the needs of others, according to our individual gifts or abilities. Exercising our spiritual behaviors strengthen us, helps us to meets others needs, and glorifies God by our deeds.

When we daily commit our lives to the control of the Holy Spirit, desire to serve Him, and open ourselves to His walking us through each day, we then live with confidence every day of our lives (I Peter 3:14-17; I John 2:15-17; Romans 12:1-21). In this way we become Godly examples to others who are searching for peace, but are fearful of the future.

As we enter a new year, and in another year a new millenium, may we as God's children, live with a confident contentment and peace, knowing that God does all things well for His children, and we are able to safetly put our trust in Him (Psalm 37:5). There is no need to fear the future (II Timothy 1:7).