We can be people of the future. Here and now. We can both be fully present now and be people from the coming age. Wait…what?! That sounds a little too Sci Fi, you may think. How exactly are we to be futuristic? In what context? Well, let’s unpack a few things first. Let’s start in the beginning.
Many times when you hear the gospel presented, it starts with “We’ve made a mess of things; this is a broken world; we have a tendency to jack things up” some variation of that. And while those are all true enough (and we’d probably all admit to some level of jacked upness and adding to the chaos) that’s not the full story. That’s not how this whole thing got kicked off.
Rather, in the beginning, God was creating, ordering, naming, expanding, flourishing, this world–and he called it good. Sin, brokenness, pain, and the like enter the picture later on down the road. This wasn’t God’s intent or how he envisioned things playing out. (I know that may spark questions of free will, predestination, what God causes vs. allows; perhaps a post on that later)
So, after the surely frustrating moment of “and now here we are”, God’s creation which he called good and beautiful was fractured. So God’s reclamation project comes in the form of His son. While he was born so that he may die, he did do some living and teaching in the 33 or so years on earth. Jesus models an entirely new way of being human. With his “you’ve heard it said, but I say”, with his shocking and scandalous Sermon on the Mount, and when he finally says, “Love God with all you are and love your neighbor as yourself. The law and prophets hang on these”. (I don’t think we really fully grasp the gravity and weight of what Jesus was doing, and there really isn’t an adequate example that would be as revolutionary as he was.)
It’s interesting, people called him the last Adam, he’s mistaken for a gardener almost immediately after he resurrects, there are several hints and suggestions of “pay attention, this is what the future holds and how humanity will be!” So this is how we become people of the future. We continually become more Christlike and interact with our Father and others around us the way Jesus did. In a strange paradoxical way, the future is also the past. God is about reconciliation, restoration, and renewal–of people, of relationships, of the earth.
Ultimately, God’s judgement is coming. Think less wrath and fury, fire and brimstone, heaven and hell; and think more of God sorting and proclaiming. Ask yourself, what are the things will God say, “This is the world I’ve created and intended. These are the things that are good, blessed and of Me…” What things will God say, “This has no place in the new world. These things are anti-human…” Hang on to the things God will say stays and are being instituted. That, is how we are to live. We are to live as the new humanity. Those of the coming age. Those who are from the future. Those who are created and called to bear the image of God.