July 31, 2020

What's Next?

The future we need to know is secure and guaranteed.

Lael Caesar

As I write, summer’s season is still new. Not that its predecessor ever surrendered. No, Season Previous has run raging on right into summer, even where there’s nothing called summer.

Labeling this unrepentant, unrelenting season has inspired vigorous dispute. Suggestions scientific, subjective, offensive, witty, insensitive, or other all claim their adherents: GPS—global personal shutdown? COVID-19? SARS-CoV-2? Awkwardly: Kung flu? Zoom season, given the redefinition of all things—loved fellow humans included—as square frames inside the reality of screens!

Still, campaigners and protestants the world over now rage at yet another imposition on our screens of reality and our labels for seasons: Is there such a thing as legal murder season? Who knows what’s next?

The future we need to know is secure and guaranteed.

Turns out we can, you and I. For all our faith in squares and science, our focus on screens, our concerns for cops and their victims or campaigners and their law-and-order causes, there is reliability more grounded than protestants and their placards, and truth more transcendent than science, predating and outlasting the creation of matter and energy, and inspiring me to offer two lines for the next zoomed PowerPoint:

Line 1: The only constant in the universe is God: not your job or my president, not Judah’s King David or 2020’s King COVID; not anything else social, emotional, political, physical. God, whom none of us can either see or comprehend;  God, who alone is immortal (1 Tim. 6:16), revealing Himself through His Son Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, forever (Heb. 13:8), and teaching us everything we need to know through His omniscient Spirit (1 Cor. 2:10; John 14:26; 16:13), God is reality.

Line 2: The future we need to know is secure and guaranteed. Omniscience created us with the knowledge that omniscience isn’t ideal for us. But what we do need to know about ourself or the world’s future is accessible: “The Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). You have questions: Zoom season, King COVID season, legal or illegal murder season? Go to adventistreview.org to see some we’ve addressed.

Keep listening to and learning from the prophets’ messages. The Spirit inspires the prophets (see John 14:26; Rev. 19:10), so we can know what needs to be known. Ask the prophets (the Word) the crucial, personal questions: about job, family, health, retirement, salvation—ask! This is not a platitude. God’s Word is no palliative. It is as secure as the One who utters it: we’re much more than lilies (Matt. 6:25-34); He’ll carry all our cares—emotional, spiritual; about our neighbors, our country, national/international health, loved ones on the front lines, loved ones on ventilators, loved ones struggling to breathe; and justice. He cares (1 Peter 5:7).

The Word/Jesus can tell us what Satan wants to do next; God knows what Satan means to do next (2 Peter 1:19). But Jesus has Satan’s neck. Jesus has our hearts. Come clean with Him, and He’ll clarify what He knows needs to be clear: if we want to know, we ask.


Lael Caesar is an associate editor at Adventist Review Ministries.

Lael Caesar
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