The other morning, there was a caterpillar crawling on the floor of the bathroom. Unless it hitched a ride on someone, I have no idea how it got there. It’s a long way to the front door for a caterpillar.
There was some cardboard nearby, so I put the creature on it and carried it outside to a luscious green plant. I put the thing down there and hoped the chickens wouldn’t get it.
Why didn’t I kill it, or just dispose of it? I don’t know; it never occurred to me. I guess I felt a kind of sympathy for a fellow creature, who was just in the wrong place.
Now we know that a caterpillar isn’t the final product, so to speak. Even though some of them are beautiful in themselves, they all turn into something beautiful, something not limited to crawling on the floor, but able to fly.
There’s a lesson here.
Too many of us are like that caterpillar, crawling around on the floor, with little idea of anything else beyond the immediate environment. And little or no thought for our future.
The New Testament actually has a great deal to say about the future. For the believer, it will be a far greater change than it could ever be for a caterpillar.
Romans 8:18 says, For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us, NKJV. Not just – “to us,” but, “in us.”
Here is just a sampling of other verses about the believer’s future, not necessarily in order:
Romans 8:29, For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
1 John 3:2, Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
2 Corinthians 5:4, For we who are in this tent [this body] groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
1 Corinthians 15:52-54, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
Then, of course, there are the descriptions of a future city with its street of gold, etc, Revelation 21:9-21.
The thing I look forward to, though – not the new body or the new environment – but what I long for, is that I will be able to serve and honor and glorify God as He deserves, without the distractions and difficulties of the sinful nature we all inherited from Adam. If I could just do that, I’d be content with this old body, minus the sin nature, even with its hearing aid and glasses and creaks and groans. Just to be able to serve Him.
But there’s also a future for the unbeliever. The devil has a lot of them convinced that death is the end, and there’s nothing else, or that everyone is on their way to “a better place” or that there are other ways and other names by which one may prepare for the future. Different futures, too. But Revelation 21 has a word for them, as well, But there shall by no means enter into [the New Jerusalem] anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie,…
No, no, their destination is described in Revelation 20:15 as the lake of fire.
I don’t know really what to say about that, except maybe to liken it to the lava of a volcano, and to be thrown into something like that….
Oh, listen, without the Lord Jesus, there is no future, only a past that will finally catch up.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,” Acts 16:31.