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What Will Man Be Like for Countless Future Ages? - John Piper

Updated: Jun 24, 2023


Video from Desiring God


What Will Man Be Like for Countless Future Ages?

"What I have in mind in this message is not primarily what our human nature is now, nor the process by which we become what we will be, nor the events of death or the intermediate state between death and resurrection, nor the event of resurrection or judgment — but the final condition or nature of redeemed humanity when history as we know it is completely past, and the resurrection is past, and the judgment is past, and the new heavens and the new earth have come, and the final condition of what we will be like for future ages has come.

Why Does This Future Reality Matter Now?

Why is this question — and this reality of our final condition, in which we will spend billions of ages — worthy of our attention? To answer that question, I quote with great approval J.I. Packer (who is citing Richard Baxter):


The importance of clarity about what lies at the end of the Christian pilgrimage seemed to [Richard] Baxter incalculable. . . . The more strongly one desires an end, the more carefully and diligently one will use the means to it. [Baxter:] “The Love of the end is the poise and spring, which setteth every Wheel a going.” But an unknown end will not be loved. “It is a known, and not merely an unknown God and happiness, that the soul doth joyfully desire.” Such desire will then give wings to the soul. “It is the heavenly Christian that is the lively Christian. It is strangeness to heaven that makes us so dull. It is the end that quickens to all the means; and the more frequently and clearly this end is beheld, the more vigorous will all our motion be. . . . We run so slowly, and strive so lazily, because we so little mind the prize.” (Honouring the People of God: Collected Shorter Writings of J.I. Packer on Christian Leaders and Theologians, 274, emphasis added)

Is that not the mindset of the apostle? “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13–14).

Baxter again: “The Love of the end is the . . . spring which setteth every Wheel a going. . . . It is the end that quickens to all the means. . . . We run so slowly, and strive so lazily, because we so little mind the prize.” That is a thoroughly biblical understanding of how Christians are to be energized during this vapor’s breath on earth. Consider a few texts.

1 JOHN 3:2–3

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure..." from Transcript


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