- 1 week from now, the big news of today will likely have given way to the next news cycle. Also, the weather forecast will be out of date, unless you live somewhere that it’s always nice (or always cloudy).
- 1 year from now, today’s fashions will be “uncool”. Countless outfits that were purchased to look like the popular kids at school or on TV will collect dust in closets or be given away.
- 10 years from now, many of the companies that influence the world will have changed. While the Internet is relatively young, many big names of the last decade have faded away as new start-ups take over. Retailers change or disappear as new ones enter the scene.
- 100 years from now, science will have new models. It’s easy to think that we’re sooooo smart, now. However, new discoveries are found every day, and there are plenty of ideas being evaluated right now. Of these, many will be disproven, but a few will take hold, and future generations will chuckle at our ignorance in adhering to scientific theorems that will later be discarded.
- 1000 years from now (if Jesus doesn’t return before then), His church will continue to influence the world, and His message will remain the same – even in other languages that don’t even exist, yet.
Sometimes, I think that we get too caught up in thinking that the world we live in is the “best ever”, and that things we hold to today as important in our culture will always be that way. History proves that this has never been the case, and it is only our pride that blinds us to the fact that our lifespans are no different.
If you don’t believe me that what seems really important today in popular culture will invariably give way to the “next big thing”, try a quick Internet search, looking for “today in history”, but backing up for some amount of time:
Having said that, there are certainly aspects of humanity that don’t change, regardless of our supposed level of knowledge, tolerance, or enlightenment. (Sci-fi movies, TV shows, and books that imagine humanity finally getting along – eventually realizing that conflict must give way to peace and harmony – sound like a nice idea, but millennia of civilization suggests that we’re unlikely to get there without help that transcends our own weaknesses.) If you see corruption, war, crime, and general hostility between fellow human beings today, you’ll probably still see their future equivalents – just in different forms – after the calendar winds forward for a while.
History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 NLT
If you are a follower of Jesus, do you perhaps worry that Christianity will not endure another century or another millennium? Read through the history of the church – and of the forces of religion, intellect, and politics that have been arrayed against it. Sure, modern “threats” like scientific theories, technology, and modern culture might seem to be different from what we read about in history. However, parallels to each of those concepts existed – in their own form – within each century since Jesus lived on earth. Followers of Jesus have endured, and actually flourished – in light of this persecution and opposition. They have spread not just His message to their friends and families, but also His example of love – in action – as they serve others in their church, their communities, and their countries.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 NLT
Going back further, to the original covenant between God and the Hebrew people (which Jesus fulfilled), we can trace the principles of right and wrong that He taught back more than a thousand years before His birth. In fact, we can trace elements of His message all the way back to the first recorded commands given to mankind.
To be clear: Christians may not look exactly the same in the future. They might be wearing augmented reality glasses and riding jetpacks (although I doubt it – jetpacks are one of the real disappointments of the future we expected from the Jetsons). Languages, country borders, and means of communication will continue to morph over time. However, the message of Jesus – because it is supported, reinforced, and propagated by the very person of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit – remains the same as it has been since He walked this earth.
If you’re interested in learning more about these teachings (those that have endured pointed persecution, marginalization, and misguided mockery over the centuries), read for yourself what Jesus taught. Of the four books in the Bible that record Jesus’ “in-person” teaching directly, pick one based on your interests, and have a look:
- If you like to study middle-eastern cultures, and appreciate the Semitic context of Jesus’ life, start with Matthew 1.
- If you like summaries, start with Mark 1 (the shortest of the four).
- If you are a “just the facts” kind of person, and like supporting details, start with Luke 1.
- If you are into relationships and feel more emotionally focused, start with John 1.
And, if you have questions, followers of Jesus abound for you to talk with. (Here, I’m talking about those who follow Him and His teachings – not those who subscribe to teachings of another person who thinks they know better than Jesus, nor a particular college’s point of view, nor a group that believes that they have “corrections” to make to Jesus’ message. Talk with those who have studied and love the original word from the original Savior.)
Of course, I’m also happy to field any questions, myself – although, in some cases, I reserve the right to call in “relief pitchers” from others in the Body of Christ!
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.