OceanSide church of Christ
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WHAT DOES YOUR FUTURE HOLD?
Victor M. Eskew
A. We often hear statements like these about the future.
1. Nobody knows the future.
2. Who knows what the future holds?
3. If I only knew the future.
B. It is true that no one can know the certainty of the future.
1. In Luke 12:18-19, a rich man boasted about his future. He thought he had much goods laid up for many years. But, his future was not that certain (Luke 12:20).
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided.
2. James wrote about some men who boasted that they would go into a certain city, stay a year, buy and sell, and get gain. James, however, warns them (James 4:14-16).
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow: for what is your life: It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
C. This, however, is not to say that we cannot plan and work toward the future.
1. Youth go to college in order to secure a job in the future.
2. We save our money in order to provide for retirement in the future.
3. We eat right and exercise in order to have good health in the future.
D. With this in mind, we ask: “What Does Your Future Hold?”
I. FOR YOUR MARRIAGE?
A. Marriage is an institution that was established by God at the beginning of the Creation (Gen. 2:18-24).
1. It was given to solve man’s aloneness.
2. It was given to make man complete.
3. It was given to bring fulfillment and happiness to life.
B. Most single people desire to be married. As you contemplate marriage, what does your future hold?
1. What the future holds depends much upon the type of person selected to be one’s mate.
a. Mature or immature?
b. Financially stable or financially unstable?
c. A person of character or a creep?
d. Healthy or unhealthy? (physically and mentally)
e. A faithful Christian, non-Christian, or fake?
2. Who a person marries is important (ex., Solomon)
a. I Kings 11:1
But king Solomon loved many strange women…
b. The result (I King 11:4)
For it came to pass when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.
II. FOR YOUR CHILDREN?
A. Children are a precious gift given to a man and a woman who are married to each other (Ps. 127:3).
Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
B. Children can either grow, and cause their parent’s hearts to rejoice, or, they can cause their parent’s hearts to break.
C. The outcome is greatly dependent upon “how” parents teach and train their children.
1. The admonitions of Scripture:
a. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
And these words, which I command you this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
b. Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
c. Ephesians 6:4
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
2. What are the important things for parents to do?
a. Parents must be spiritual themselves.
b. Parents have to truly understand what is important.
c. Parents must be very “intentional” in their parenting.
d. Parents cannot be weak and passive.
e. Parents must be able to discipline effectively.
f. Parents cannot let life, work, the world, and busy-ness interfere with parenting.
D. Joshua did not know what the future would hold for others in the nation of Israel, but he knew exactly what he intended for the future to be for his family (Josh. 24:15).
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
III. FOR YOU AS A LEADER IN THE CHURCH?
A. God has placed many leadership positions in the body of Christ: teachers, preachers, deacons, and elders.
B. Leadership is a skill that can be developed by all.
1. First, it must be something one desires (I Tim. 3:1).
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
a. For some reason, this becomes an easy out for some. “I don’t desire it, so I don’t have to worry about becoming a leader.”
b. In a story found in the Old Testament, we learn this lesson: “If you don’t desire a leadership position, the evil bramble will take it” (Judg. 9:14-15).
Then said the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us. And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow…
2. Second, those who desire a leadership role need to prepare themselves to meet the qualifications.
a. God has definitely set the standards for elders and deacons (I Tim. 3:1-3; Tit. 1:5-9).
b. A person may not become a deacon untill the age of 35, but now is the time to prepare if you are 25. A man may not be an elder until he is 55, but he needs to start preparing even if he is the age of 18.
3. Third, a person should be a student of leadership.
a. The Bible is filled with examples of good and bad leaders.
b. Leadership has become a popular subject in the secular world and much is out there to study and learn.
c. Take small leadership roles. These will prepare you for bigger roles in the future.
C. When I think of leadership, Ezekiel 22:30 always comes to mind.
And I (God) sought for a man (leader) among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me in the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none (a sad reality).
IV. IN OLD AGE?
A. As you study old age, two things are certain.
1. Life becomes increasingly more difficult, especially due to health issues (Eccl. 12:1).
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.
2. Old age is a time of deep reflection on the past.
a. What have I done? What have I not done?
b. What did I do well? What did I fail to do well?
c. What do I rejoice in? What do I regret?
d. What makes me happy? What makes me sad?
e. NOTE: As one looks back, nothing can be changed that has come and gone.
B. There are several ways to come into your Golden Years.
1. Recklessly or responsibly
2. Unintentionally or intentionally
3. Without God or with God
4. With failures or with successes
5. With disgrace or with honor
6. With incompleteness or with integrity
A. We have tried to get each of us to look at the question: “What does your future hold?” Marriage? Children? As a leader? In old age?
B. Our final question is the most important. What does your future hold in the hereafter?
1. Either you will be blessed for cursed (Matt. 25:34, 41).
2. Either you will go away into everlasting punishment or you will go into life eternal (Matt. 25:46).
3. Either you will enter into the gates into the holy city (Rev. 22:14) or you will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (Rev. 20:15).
4. The key: Obedience to the precious Word of God (Matt. 7:21)
Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.