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So Whats Your View of the

Future and Does It Matter?

by Gary Demar
he future of government must be considered from a va-
riety of perspectives. It is not enough to consider only
the civil dimensions of government. In biblical terms, Gov-
ernment is multifaceted and multi-jurisdictional. Te future
of government must be considered in all of its dimensions,
beginning with the individual and including civil aairs.
If individuals abdicate responsibilities in the areas of self,
family, business, and church governments we can expect
an increase of power and the claim of absolute authority by
civil government. Tus, the denial of multiple governments
opens the door to the leveling of society by the State. Tere is no future under such
a system, only a god-like State imposing its will on everyone.
Moreover, the Christians view of the future determines how he lives and works
in the present. If he believes the future to be bleak, his pessimism will be reected
in a variety of ways, usually by capitulating to the endeavors of competing world-
views. Te family will not be trained to consider the wider aspects of dominion
as they relate to successive generations. Education will be present-oriented, with
students obtaining an education merely to secure the necessary credentials for a
job. While Christians might establish schooling for children in grades 1-12, very
little will be done to set up colleges, universities, and graduate schools to prepare
Gary Demar
5 Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 6 2010
So Whats Your View of the Future and Does It Matter?
generations of Christians to inuence
the world for Jesus Christ (Psalm 78).
One reason students nd it dicult to
apply themselves in school is their in-
ability to work for a purpose, which in
turn is largely due to many Christians
neglect of their divinely ordained duty
of dominion: to create a Christian civi-
A pessimistic view of the future,
with the State embracing all other gov-
ernments, fosters economic theory and
practice that incites a buy-now and-pay-
it-later philosophy. Why worry about
debt when there may not be a future,
and I may not have to repay my loan?
Moreover, why consider leaving an in-
heritance when there will be no earthly
future to inherit?
For too long Christians have be-
lieved the future should be considered
only in terms of heaven or the events
that lead to the second coming of Je-
sus Christ. Concern about the time in
between receives little consideration.
Because of this false idea, many Chris-
tians abdicate their responsibilities
toward economics, education, science,
and civil government. Tis conception
of the future has accelerated the debili-
tating doctrine that the end of all things
is near, leading to further inactivity on
the part of Gods people. God instruct-
ed His people to inuence the world:
Te apostle Paul had to rebuke
some of the Tessalonians for ceasing
to work simply because of the possi-
bility that the Lord might return im-
mediately (2 Tessalonians 3:10-12).
Christians since then have often been
notorious for embracing escapist atti-
tudes toward work due to their escha-
tologies [doctrine of the last things].
Rather than aggressively moving for-
ward to take dominion over the earth,
the Church has all too often lapsed into
an irresponsible passivity, approaching
her commission with the attitude: You
dont polish brass on a sinking ship. Je-
sus, however, instructed us to take the
opposite approach. In the parable of the
ten minas (Luke 19:11-27), the master
gave each of his servants money and
told them, Do business with this until
I come back. In this story, Jesus com-
mands us to take the oensive and do
business until He returns.
Te biblical view of the future pres-
ents the truth that history is moving
forward, and every Christian is respon-
sible before God to show himself a good
and faithful steward of his God-given
gifts. God requires an accounting.
Te pagan idea of time presents his-
tory as a series of never-ending cycles
with little, if any, purpose. King Nebu-
chadnezzar of Babylon dreamed vividly
about a future with purpose and devel-
opment, not a series of never-ending
cycles conning man to the impersonal
forces of nature. Te king understand-
Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 6 2010
So Whats Your View of the Future and Does It Matter?
ably was confused about his dream
because it did not t the pagan cyclical
view of the future. After the age of iron,
the age of gold should have reappeared.
At the dreams conclusion, however, a
new dimension was added to this pagan
rulers understanding.
Time is not governed by cycles, but
by God. Time is linear, with a purpose.
Time is governed not by forces of nature,
but by the sovereign decree of God. Ne-
buchadnezzar tried to adapt his pagan
view with the revealed view. He built a
golden statue, seeing himself as the one
who would change the pagan cyclical
history and avoid the inevitable judg-
ment through the accomplishments of
his power and authority.
Te kingdom of God has purpose
because God directs its every move-
ment. History is not bound by a nev-
er-ending series of cycles, with God
powerless to intervene and govern.
Te future, as Nebuchadnezzar came
to realize, is governed by God. Earthly
sovereigns who fail to recognize Gods
absolute sovereignty will be destroyed:
You [Nebuchadnezzar] continued
looking [at the statue] until a stone was
cut out without hands, and it struck
the statue on its feet of iron and clay,
and crushed them. Ten the iron, the
clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold
were crushed all at the same time, and
became like cha from the summer
threshing oors; and the wind carried
them away so that not a trace of them
was found. But the stone that struck the
statue became a great mountain and
lled the whole earth (Dan. 2:34-35).
Te pagan idea of the future is
a myth. Te future belongs to Gods
people and Christians are not trapped
in futile historical cycles.
Te Christians view of the future
determines how he lives, plans, and
works in the present for the future. Even
during Israels captivity under Babylo-
nian rule, the nations darkest hour, the
people were told to plan and build for
the future:
Build houses and live in them; and
plant gardens, and eat their produce.
Take wives and become the fathers of
sons and daughters, and take wives for
your sons and give your daughters to
husbands, that they may bear sons and
daughters; and multiply there and do not
decrease For I know the plans that I
have for you, declares the Lord, plans
for welfare and not for calamity to give
you a future and a hope (Jer. 29:5-6, 11).
Gods words seemed contrary to
what people saw all around them. De-
struction and captivity awaited the na-
tion, yet God commanded them to pre-
pare for the future. In spite of every pes-
simistic view, God wanted the peoples
desires and hopes to be future-directed.
Build for what will be. Te psychologi-
cal benet of such a mindset does much
to spur the church of Jesus Christ to
greater kingdom activity. A preoccu-
pation with defeat brings defeat by de-
7 Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 6 2010
So Whats Your View of the Future and Does It Matter?
fault. Why would anyone wish to build
for the future when there is no earthly
future hope? Who would invest in a los-
ing proposition? Why should anyone
work to establish a godly home, school,
business, or civil government when all
such institutions seem doomed despite
our eorts?
Christians must become condent
of their earthly future as well as their
heavenly future. We must take God
at His word as did Joshua and Caleb
(Num. 13-14). Tings looked bleak for
Israel (13:32-33), but Gods promise of
victory allowed Joshua and Caleb to
look beyond the apparently negative
circumstances. God, on numerous oc-
casions, promised Israel they would
possess the land: Send out for yourself
men so that they may spy out the land
of Canaan, which I am going to give to
the sons of Israel (13:2). Since the
majority refused to believe God, they
died in the wilderness, never seeing the
Promised Land. Like Joshua and Caleb,
we must trust Gods sovereignty and be
We must become optimists con-
cerning the victory that lies before
Christs people, in time and on earth.
We must be even more optimistic than
Joshua and Caleb, for they were only
asked to spy out the land of Canaan.
Tey were called to give their report
prior to Christs sacrice at Calvary.
Why should we be pessimistic, like
that rst generation of former slaves?
Why should we wander in the wilder-
ness, generation after generation? Why
should we despair? Why should we
adopt the mentality of slaves, or the
mentality of the beleaguered garrison
in the last outpost? It is Satans garri-
sons that are de fending the outposts.
And when Christians recognize their
responsibilities for building the king-
dom, master the law of God as a tool of
dominion, realize a vision of freedom
through self-government, and lead their
fellow believers into battle in every area
of life, Satans troops will nd them-
selves defending their last outpost. And
the gates of hell shall not prevail against
Gods church.
Te hope of the future is real be-
cause the Christian knows that God
governs the aairs of men and nations
(Psalm 22:28; 47:8; Daniel 4:35).
1. Joseph McAulie, Do Business Until
I Return, New Wine, (January, 1982), 29.
2. Gary North, Unconditional Surren-
der: Gods Program for Victory, 5th ed.
(Powder Springs, GA: American Vision,
[1988] 2010), 317.