In case you haven’t noticed the numerous photos on Facebook highlighting the important date of October 21, 2015, let me fill you in. October 21, 2015 is the day Marty McFly traveled into the future in order to straighten things out with his family in the remarkable film Back To The Future Part 2. For the record, Back To The Future Part 2 is my favorite film in the trilogy and one of, if not the best, sequels in movie history.
All literature with a time travel theme will inevitably ask a series of philosophical questions. A handful of those questions that come up in the BTTF trilogy include the ability to force two people to fall in love, the ethical issues at stake when utilizing time travel to make a profit, and of course, traveling in time to correct a perceived wrong. And doesn’t that seem nice? I suppose if we had the ability to travel ahead in time and correct bad things from happening to our family and loved ones, most of us would be engaged in time travel on a regular basis.
But what I suspect most of us who are followers of Jesus Christ tend to forget is that God has allowed us to be time travelers already. Yes, God has given us something far greater than a souped-up Delorean. The reality that awaits us in our future should have a tremendous impact on the reality that is ours in this moment.
How has God enabled time travel for Christians? Read these verses again slowly:
“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:51-58
Yes, dear friends, we are time travelers every time we read the glorious truths of our future in Christ. Sin? Gone! Death? Gone! Decay? Gone! Pain? Gone! Perfection? Ours!
This isn’t a possible outcome. It isn’t a 70/30 chance. This is the future of those who are found in Christ. This is what awaits you. You have been given the gift of time travel, and there won’t be a single thing you will want to correct.
I love the conclusion Paul makes from his time travel: Get to work! Don’t fear! Don’t back down!
Why wouldn’t we? We have a front row seat in the Delorean, the car has already accelerated to 88 mph, and the future we have seen is a future of complete perfection in Christ, and nothing can change it. Nothing.
So the next time you are afraid to share your faith with a stranger, don’t forget your trip to the future. The next time you are concerned about being reviled, don’t forget your trip to the future. The next time you are concerned about past sins, don’t forget your trip to the future. The next time you think your life is being lived in vain, don’t forget your trip to the future.
What grace God has given us! We know how it ends! So,
Get to work.
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