Come What May, Christians Should Make This Investment in 2021

The Western Church waffles between two opinions:

Evil in the world is gradually disappearing. We have arrived at a generally wholesome place, and with a few technological, medical, and educational advances, we will have evil snuffed out—the myth of progress.

Or on the other hand, Western Christians believe the world is going to Hell in a hand-basket. The end of all things is near. The world will inevitably become worse and worse.

Oddly enough, we seem capable of living as though both of these outlooks are correct at the same time. We often subconsciously assume the myth of progress while believing that the world has gone from bad to worse with the worst just around the corner. It seems to me that we are neither on the brink of Hell nor of Heaven. We are in the overlap of the ages. The Kingdom of God has come, but the Kingdom of darkness has not yet received its full banishment. It is defeated, but not finally vanquished altogether. Our Christian culture is so saturated with the narrative of the end times and the rapture; it will take time for what I am proposing to settle in and begin to change your worldview. But I am not making this up. The eschatological worldview that I offer is Biblical, though competing Biblical theories have crowded it out in modern times. This reclaimed Christian eschatology's exciting result is that we have meaningful work to do for the Kingdom at the end of the day because this planet, right now, matters. And since Jesus has already won the ultimate battle and has claimed His seat as Lord of Heaven and earth, we should expect victories in His name.

On the other hand, since evil isn't altogether banished, it also means that the power of darkness is real and is still with us and able to do us harm. Pain is not only a real possibility; it is a guarantee. Jesus said,

"In the world, you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33 NASB

Pain discourages and, at times, defeats us. It is pain or the fear of pain that sometimes causes Christians to throw up their hands and wish for the end of all things. While we do pray, "Come quickly, Lord!", we also need the fortitude to continue to pursue the Truth in a world that may not be at its end but which is often dominated by lies. We are not to sit by passively waiting for the escape. We should allow ourselves to be part of the solution. Jesus also said,

"So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you." John 20:21 NASB

As Christians, God calls us to live as Citizens of Heaven here on earth. That concept regularly gets twisted around. Being a "citizen of heaven" doesn't mean that we detach from earthly matters and irresponsibly say, "This world is not my home; I am only passing through. No, being a citizen of Heaven means that God calls us to act as though Heaven is in charge here on earth. That is the Gospel announcement: The Kingdom of God has arrived! In Jesus' name, we are to set up colonies of Heaven here on earth. We are advanced signposts of the coming consummation of the Kingdom of God.

Knowing that we may be in the middle of the story and not necessarily the end should provoke us to make a more profound commitment to the fight for justice and Truth now, and not surrender or wait for an escape.

When Jesus and His disciples were approaching Jerusalem, Luke tells us that the disciples anticipated the Kingdom of God's consummation "immediately" (Luke 19:11). In other words, they thought that they were on their way to Jerusalem to sweep all before them and establish Jesus as God's rightful King in Jerusalem. After Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons, and raised the dead, it was quite natural for the disciples to feel that nothing could stop them. They were correct, but, in a short while, it would feel and appear as though they were wrong.