Past, Present, Future
By William King
June 23, 2013
Abbreviations! There are so many abbreviations that, except for the familiar ones, I often don’t know what they stand for. However, sometimes the context in which they appear reveals their use.
Since the sixth century A.D., the letters B.C. and A.D. have been used to designate two specific periods of time: B.C. (before Christ), from creation until the birth of Christ; and A.D. (anno Domini, Latin for “the year of our Lord,” for ensuing years. (Though secularism has made a major push to replace these with B.C.E. and C.E. — before the common era and the common era.)
Besides B.C. and A.D., Christians might wish to adopt one more abbreviation, which would point to the next era in God’s timetable — W.J. — with Jesus. In Ephesians 2:7 the apostle Paul speaks of the “ages to come” (KJV). At the present time Christ lives within a believer’s heart by the Holy Spirit. But the day is coming when God’s people are going to be with Jesus in their new glorified bodies.
First John 3:2 says, “When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). The Rapture, or return of Jesus Christ, will mark the beginning of this new era. This was in God’s plan from the beginning — B.C., A.D., W.J.
We don’t know when W.J. will begin; it’s not a matter of if, but only when Jesus will return to claim His bride. Believers already have been granted heavenly citizenship. As citizens, we have, by divine grace, been given a clear title to our heavenly home.
Hebrews 13:14 assures us, “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” And 1 Thessalonians 1:10 describes the believer’s life as a season when we “wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.”
No passport other than the salvation freely given to us through God’s grace will be needed as the righteous are escorted by Jesus himself to His Father’s house. It is with great anticipation that the Church awaits its rendezvous with our Redeemer. The tombs of believers will be evacuated, and the living saints will accompany them in this departure. With excitement, we look ahead to the unending joy of the “ages to come”! B.C. ... A.D. ... W.J.
WILLIAM KING, a retired Assemblies of God minister, lives in Princeton, Minn.
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