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. Romans 8:18
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. One of the things Christians are often accused of is that their religion is just some “pie-in-the-sky” fantasy that they believe to try to escape from the bad things of this world. Instead, people ought to deal with the things of this life now.
The truth is, Christians DO have a hope of better things to come. We confess that the troubles and sufferings that we face now will fade away and that when Jesus comes again, He will make all things new and raise us up in our bodies to everlasting life. After all, He has died for our sins and He rose again, showing us what those who face death will have some day: resurrection to life!
So is that just pie in the sky? Just something to hope for so we can escape the real world here? Think about this: If you knew that death was it, that death is all there is, how would you live your life now? The truth is, we’ll always default to the position of “getting while the getting is good,” that is, selfishness that has to satisfy itself because you’ve only got so much time and then you’re gone.
But to have the hope of eternal life in Jesus actually means the opposite. It means you don’t have to live for yourself because you know that better things are coming. You can actually work to love and serve others, even more than yourself, since as far as you’re concerned, the Lord is going to work everything out in the end for good for all eternity.
What the unbelieving world doesn’t get is that having a hope for something better doesn’t disengage us from the world but rather makes you a better sort of servant as Christ lives in you. The hope and promise of things to come given in your Baptism and Christ’s supper is what teaches you to live now in this life for the good and benefit of others, knowing that, with your sins forgiven, there are far better things to come. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Yet even though I suffer The world’s unpleasantness, And though the days grow rougher And bring me great distress, That day of bliss divine, Which knows no end or measure, And Christ, who is my pleasure, Forever shall be mine. LSB 713:6