The Christian’s Expectation of the Future

Cornelius Venema writes about how Christians should anticiplate the future with hope:

This is the pattern of the believer’s expectation for the future: it is characterized by a hope nurtured by the Word. It is marked out by a lively expectation of the accomplishment of God’s purpose in Christ. The future does not loom darkly on the horizon as something to be feared. It is something eagerly expected and anticipated, something which the believer is convinced is bright with the promise of the completion and perfection of God’s saving work. It is true that many of the biblical exhortations relating to the future call God’s people to watchfulness and sobriety, warning them against being found unprepared at Christ’s coming (1 Pet. 4:7, 1 Thess. 5:6, Matt. 24:42-45). They often warn the church to remain faithful and steadfast in holding to the apostolic teachings and Word of God (2 Thess. 2:15, Heb. 10:23). In addition, the biblical descriptions of Christ’s coming starkly describe its frightening and terrible consequences for the wicked (2 Thess. 2:8, 2 Pet. 3:12, Rev. 18:10).

But the chief note sounded in God’s revelation regarding the future is one of hope. God’s people eagerly await Christ’s return because it promises the completion of God’s work of redemption for them and for the whole creation. The Christian’s approach to the future is always one of hope nurtured by the Word. The future is bright because it is full of promise, the promise of God’s Word.

(The Promise of the Future, Venema, p. 11)