Heaven’s Victory Today
In movies that end on an upbeat note, the main character succeeds, love prevails, and goodness triumphs, but in order for the ending to truly satisfy, the stakes should have been high. The more deeply invested the viewer is in a character’s need for change, the greater appreciation for his or her final ascent.
As in life as in stories, need leads to change. The world is facing a long list of troubles that are leading at some point to the return of Christ from heaven and the rapture of believers into His presence. This is not, however, only a reality for sometime in the future. When we put our faith in Christ, God raised us up together with Him. Based on this fact, Christ calls us to walk in newness of life here on earth. By God’s grace, He speaks through His Son the word of resurrection and restoration of all things under the authority of Christ. Our deepest need for victory is fully met by the power of Jesus in our lives to prepare us for His return.
Not that we should preoccupy ourselves with problems, but in real life just as in a good story, meaningful change happens after realizing that the cost of remaining the same is far too great to pay compared to what life can be like if we do what God is calling us to do. To experience life in all its fullness, necessity for change must outweigh the impulse to remain the same.
This generation, possibly like no other before it, is witnessing the world undergoing increasing birth pangs before the return of Christ. Jesus said that the generation realizing the nearness of the reign of God sees a long list of terrible things beginning to occur. The deep darkness of what is expected to come upon the world, the shaking of the nations, the signs in earth and heaven, men fainting from fear, all these are happening today. All, however, is leading to the greatest change in history, the day when in the twinkling of eye, we shall all meet the Lord in the air.
No one knows when the rapture will occur, but we do not have to wait to experience the resurrection power of Jesus in our lives. In anticipation of the Day of the Lord, we already have been raised up from the dead with Christ and already have been seated in the heavenly places with Him. The prelude to our being called up to heaven is living in heaven’s victory on earth.
Living as raised ones contrasts with relying on the crumbling foundations of the world and being bound to the inescapable knowledge of our sinful state before God. Necessity for an all-encompassing answer beyond ourselves reveals our need for Christ to raise us up through His power that we may walk in the newness of life.
After ancient Israel’s idolatry in the desert, God crushed the golden calf into dust. Total destruction was the only solution to the worship of idols that enticed Israel away from God. He knew that the works of the enemy had to be destroyed. Jesus also came to live among us to destroy the works of the enemy. Today, we have just as much need for God to demonstrate His judgment and declare His victory on our behalf. Our total abandonment of our ability to save and purify ourselves paves the way for our deliverance from the accusations of the enemy by the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony, and not loving our lives unto death.
Jesus calls to us with the voice of a trumpet against a backdrop of desolation and sin. He knows our condition before the holiness of God. Our realization of it leads the deepest place of our being into unbreakable union with God through Christ. He alone provides full restoration of all that has been lost. He is the only way back to God, who remakes us and puts everything in our lives back into alignment with His perfect will. The only way to reach the goal in life God has for us is through Christ’s atoning sacrifice on our behalf.
No one is good enough to stand before God on his or her own merit. We have fallen too far. Romans 3:24 states, “By God’s grace, without earning it, all are granted the status of being considered righteous before him, through the act redeeming us from our enslavement to sin that was accomplished by the Messiah Yeshua…”
God uses the realization of our deepest need for Christ, as well as our awareness of atrocious evils in the world, to bring us to the point of abject humility to receive in the depths of our being all the mercy we need to stand and live.
Into our depths of despair, Jesus comes to us. He speaks life to raise us up into His heavenly realm. He speaks victory into our hearts in preparation for our final ascent into heaven.