Most of us like a good motivational speaker. And a good motivational speaker will agree with my statement from last week: your past does not determine your future—your present determines your future.
Of course, the motivational speaker will say that the decision you make today is the one that really matters because it can change the future. Just because you were lazy or foolish or whatever in the past does not mean you have to continue that way. Make a decision today to change your future, they say.
But that’s not what I am saying. Because you have eternal life, your future is already in your present. In Christ, you already own what God will give you in the future. The “mansion on the hilltop,” if you like that image, is already yours.
So what? If I am not living in the mansion now, in this world, then what difference does it make to know that it is already mine? Well, it makes a lot of difference.
Living in eternal life is the difference between striving and resting. Eternal life is the difference between wishing and thanking. It is the difference between desire and assurance. You don’t have to strive to measure up, to win the love of God, to deserve Heaven. You don’t have to worry about what lies in store for you after you leave this world. You don’t have to be content with wishes and hopes because you already live there.
We are, according to Ephesians 2:6, already seated with Christ in “the heavenly places.” We are with Him forever. No one can snatch us out of His hand. The kingdom of God is already in us and we are already citizens of it.
Apart from the message of grace and the understanding of what we have received in Christ, many people struggle with assurance. They fear the future and worry whether they are good enough for the judgment. They long for the day this life will be over and they can enter into hope and promise.
But not you and me. We know that eternal life means we are secure in Christ. Because He has loved us, He has given us all things. Heaven is ours—we will never die. We do not fear the evil one and his lies, nor the eternal hell that is his. We do not strive to earn what is already ours.
And, best of all, we are beginning to see glimpses of eternity today. The Son is shining through!