I met a man recently who was full of hope: he’d had a dream of a wonderful world where everything is perfect and this filled the man with hope. He shared his dream with us:
- He dreamt of a perfect world without war and terrorism and weapons of mass destruction; a world where people can travel safely on aeroplanes or on the London underground, and where people can go to work in tall skyscraper buildings without fear of something horrible happening to them or to their loved ones.
- He dreamt of a world where someone had actually made poverty history, where there was no more hunger or famine, or national debt, or squalor, or misery or austerity. It was world of plenty where there is no such thing as the homeless, the hungry or the destitute.
- He dreamt of a world where our streets are safe to walk, even for a woman and even at night; a world where our children, or grandchildren, are never picked on or bullied at school or college (nor grownups picked on in the work-place), and where Christians are not persecuted or ridiculed for their faith: a world where peace and love and harmony reign, a world where everyone gets on with their neighbour and where sin and wickedness simply do not exist.
- He dreamt of a world where there is no more sickness, or ageing, or pain. A world where diseases, such as AIDS and cancer and heart disease and arthritis and depression are all just things of the past and no one even remembers them. A world where there is no more loneliness, no more crying, no more pain.
- He dreamt of a perfect, paradise world, where people will live forever, where they will work, and eat and play and sing and worship God, and where they will live in an intimate face-to-face relationship with God forever… it’s a perfect world in which mankind will rule and reign with Christ over creation. Man and God together again just like it was in the beginning.
But friends, this is not a pipedream; it is not false hope or a denial of the truth. To a Christian this is not a dream at all: it’s a reality! A God-given promise of a new world that will, one-day be brought into existence. This is God’s plan – which the Bible tells us about from cover to cover, from Genesis to Revelation – a plan that is still today approaching fulfilment and is almost complete but for one thing… it is what Christians are waiting for; the return of Christ, and when God will bring about the fulfilment of his promise; to rid the world of everything that is wrong and bad and to bring about the renewal of all things (see Revelation chapter 21).
R. Ian Seymour