What God will be doing in 2016
The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets. (Psalm 50:1, NIV)
What will God be doing in 2016? We are right to ask the question, because from first to last, the Bible tells us that God is not the feeble thing of popular imagination, but mighty, living and active. So what will he be doing?
With the Bible in my hand here are three things I can think of.
First, He will be sustaining our world, as the verse above, from Psalm 50, says. This includes us: as Paul put it to the Athenians, he gives us life and breath and everything else (Acts 17:25). Our daily bread and our next breath, our next heart-beat, come from Him. He sustains us, and giving us so much, even if we do not acknowledge it (and what good it does us when we do).
Secondly, He will be showing the world that all is not well between us and Him.
In Romans 1, Paul explains that God is expressing His wrath against us by handing over men and women to the consequences of their sin. We rebel, ignoring God. And so He hands us over to taste in our own experience the bitter fruit of living in a world which is in rebellion against Him. There will be an ultimate day of reckoning (Romans 2:16), but right now, today, in this way, God is revealing His wrath to us in this way.
And don’t we see it all the time around us? Split families, alcohol abuse, violent crime, sexual chaos (and disease), fraud, debt, war, greedy materialism: these are the stuff of our daily headlines and sometimes also our own personal experience. All these are things God hands us over to, so that we need be in no doubt that His wrath is a reality. We need to know this, because…
Thirdly, at the same time, He will mercifully be calling people from death to life. Jesus came to seek and to save what was lost (Luke 19:10). On the cross, He absorbed God’s wrath, so that those who trust in Him will never face it. Risen from the dead, He sent His Holy Spirit to indwell us, turning us from death to life. His work on the cross was once-for-all-time; His work by His Spirit is ongoing, in our world today. This is not our work, but His. People are coming to know the true and living God through Christ; as a consequence, broken lives are being restored; people are coming into His family, the church.
Look around church on Sunday and you see evidence of that, in so many lives!
So here are three things God will do in 2016. At least, that’s what He has been doing every year since the coming of Jesus. This is what He will go on doing until Jesus returns… which could, of course, be in 2016.
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