Pessimistic or Optimistic?

Christians have every reason to be pessimistic about the future. Christians have every reason to be optimistic about the future.

We have reason to be pessimistic, because we know of the wickedness of the human heart. We know the selfishness of our own hearts. We have seen the selfishness of others. And when you put all of those things together, it’s no wonder then that our world is like it is. In 2 Timothy 3, Paul warns of the difficult days to come, “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-5). If we are looking into the human heart to turn our society around, we will be looking a long time. Christians have reason to be pessimistic. We have promises in the Bible of the bad times to come.

However, we also have reason to be optimistic. Not because of our own abilities; not because of our trust in mankind; but because of the power of God. Believers across the world have seen what God has done in our own hearts to turn us from sin and despair toward Christ and joy. And as God has power over the king’s heart–to turn it like channels of water, wherever he wishes (Proverbs 21:1)–so He has power in a larger scope in our society as well. Historically, when God has poured forth His Spirit upon a society, massive changes have resulted. Study revival and you will know what I’m talking about. On top of that, we have promises in the Bible of wide-spread revival, “‘But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ declares the LORD, ‘for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more'” (Jeremiah 31:33-34). Christians have reason to be optimistic. We have promises in the Bible of the good times to come.

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