LIVE IN THE MOMENT?
“An inheritance gained hurriedly at the beginning will not be blessed in the end” (Proverbs 20:21).
One of the great humanist gospel messages that has swept our culture is that we should “live in the moment.” We are told to “have no regrets” and “to not apologize for our past actions.” It teaches us to live for our own transitory happiness and gratifications in our present circumstances, throwing off self-control, responsibility, and self-sacrifice. It causes blindness in its adherents, for they will not learn from past mistakes and they refuse to see beyond their immediate situation, so that they might see the future cost and consequences of their current self-centered actions.
And so, it is no surprise that the outcome has been the complete degradation of our culture with growing immorality, crime, self-centered behavior, abortion, etc. The disciples of this gospel become unproductive, unfeeling, unloving—a burden to all and treacherous to everyone—faithful only to themselves.
In contrast to the world’s gospel, the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to face the past and repent of our sins while living this present life for the inheritance that is coming to those who entrust their lives to Him. The Gospel is about delayed gratification for a future glory that is unseen now. It teaches us that the purpose of life is a long-term goal of a permanent inheritance, not fleeting temporal gratifications of living in the moment.
The Jews were supposed to live their lives for their inheritance—the nation of Israel and its future good. “For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments” (Ps. 78:5-7). Unfortunately, as is happening in these last days, Israel became a people with “no understanding in them. Would that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would discern their future!” (Deut. 32:28b-29), and not be blind to consequences.
Even the Cherokee Indians considered the effects down to the seventh generation that their present actions were having. “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Prov. 13:22a). This is the kind of outlook that our culture desperately needs—one that does not see an unborn child “in the moment,” but as she is: a young girl playing in grass; a young woman learning about God and His creation; a faithful mother to children; a grandmother to grandchildren that she will watch over in prayer. A Christian sees the world timelessly. And no wonder, for we know from God’s Word the beginning and end of this present world and its dissipating fads.
The Christian is not a creature of the moments they are living in—they are timeless in their outlook, emulating their Heavenly Father Who is eternal and unchanging—the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end. Believers value the past to learn from mistakes while valuing the present for opportunities to please God and store up for the distant future of “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pt. 1:4-5).
And those opportunities to please our Heavenly Father are found in honoring Him in our thoughts and actions and doing good to all mankind. This has inestimable practical value to society—that we live out the First and Second Commandment in our communities for the future of all children, preparing an inheritance of a Godly society for them to be nurtured in and to inherit as their own when they come of age—doing good to everyone and building everyone up in love and faithfulness. Amen.