Last night, we talked to our youth group about planning for the future.  Of course, the problem with looking to the future is that there are so many uncertainties.  In fact, the next day or even the next hour is not guaranteed.  Only God knows what is going to happen next, and that it is important for us to remember as we look to our own futures. 

That also got me thinking about prophecy.  If we have prophecies about our future, then don’t we know at least a little bit about the future?  Aren’t some things guaranteed?  For example, the movie Back to the Future 2 tells us that there will be flying cars and hover boards available in 2015 in addition to the fact that the Chicago Cubs will be a World Series contender.  That’s all starting to take shape, right?

And what about Biblical prophecies?  First, let’s talk about the ones in the Old Testament.  There are so many that we are able to see come true throughout those passages.  There are also many prophecies about the coming of the Messiah.  But if you pay close attention to the stories about Jesus, it does not seem like many people were expecting the Christ to act as He did. 

It seems like they expected a warrior on a white horse coming to rescue them from the Romans.  They were not looking for a Savior that spent most of His time with sinners, teaching and loving on people.  They did not expect to see the Messiah die on a cross.  However, in retrospect, He was the perfect representation of what we all needed (and still need) and He satisfied every last one of the prophecies.

We also have prophecies in the New Testament.  Jesus talked about the coming of the Holy Spirit, which we were able to see come to fruition in the book of Acts.  We are also told that He is coming back.  And in the book of Revelation, we get many stories and details about how creation will transition from its current state to the new heaven and the new earth.

To us, these images often seem far-fetched and are hard for us to grasp.  Some of them, in fact, are fairly terrifying.  There are many, many interpretations of what these prophecies actually mean and how they will play out.  There are novels, movies, and various other representations of what we believe this transition will look like.

However, I can’t help but to think that we are all off-base.  If our first century religious scholars were so far off in what to look for in a Messiah, what makes us think we are any better at figuring out how to predict how the end of times will play out?  I have a feeling that, one day, we will all look around and say, “Oh…wait.  That is what John meant when he wrote the book of Revelation.  It all makes so much sense now.”

So how about this?  Let’s stop trying to decipher code and figure out these metaphorical puzzles.  It will do none of us any good.  After all, Jesus tells us not to worry about these things.

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.  (Matthew 6:34 NLT)

So let's all focus on today.  Get out there and love somebody.  I guarantee that it will be the best thing you can do with your time.

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