We don’t want to distract anyone from reading Thomas White’s inspiring and thoughtful post “One Hundred Billion Eternities” by pushing it down further on the front page, so click here to open it up in a separate tab and read it later!
However, a nice email from our Regional Director in the Australasia region, Mr. Rob Tyler, has reminded us that they do a great job putting articles for youth on their regional website. After checking it out, we thought the recent short article from Mr. Paul Kearns, “Three Questions That Can Change Your Life!” was worth passing along. So, check it out, then follow up with a read of Mr. White’s brief but excellent essay. (And, God willing, now that the Feast is past us, podcasts should resume this week!)
… And we’re back!
Whoever you are and wherever you’ve been, we hope you had an outstanding Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day this year. We hope you “caught the vision” and deepened your appreciation for the amazing plan that God will soon bring to fulfillment. The understanding of God’s Holy Days is a blessing that so very few in human history have been given, and the more we value it, the better we grasp the “big picture” of Christ’s return and the soon-coming eternal Kingdom of God.
But whoever you are, when you’re young, even the “small picture” seems enormous. Learning to drive a car is terrifying when you’ve previously only driven—and crashed—a Mario Kart. Getting married is mind-breakingly immense when the whole of your existence has been not married. Let’s be realistic here: Young adults doing their best to meaningfully visualize eternity will probably be about as successful as preschoolers trying to ponder the theory of relativity, and I say that as a young adult.
God reminds us to “seek first” His kingdom (Matthew 6:33), and He does that because, let’s face it, we’re going to forget. This might apply even more when you’re young, because as a teenager or young adult, it’s difficult to focus your life on the Kingdom of God while also… you know, managing all the really important earthly milestones young people naturally have to deal with. Because you have to finish school. You have to get a job. You’d really, really like to marry someone and have children, and then you have to make sure you don’t neglect that spouse or those children. And in the midst of all of this, you have to remember how temporary everything is—even though right now it’s legitimately important—so you have to keep talking to God. You have to keep pondering His ways and commands. You have to keep fasting, you have to keep spending time with the Bible, you have to keep examining yourself.
That really is a big picture, and it’s legitimately difficult to keep up with everything. But it’s also a tiny picture—because it’s only about you. While you’re trying really hard not to make a physical mess of your life, and doing your best not to make a spiritual mess of it either, it can be all too easy to miss the fact that you’re just one person. Yes, God cares so very deeply about you, and you should never, ever forget that—but even your eternity is just one eternity.
You know what’s bigger than an eternity? Read the title again.
According to that nifty little internet we’re all using these days, it’s estimated that around 100 billion people have lived on Earth up to this point. And hey, you’re one of them! Congratulations. That means the Kingdom of God is 0.000000001 percent about you. That’s how big a part of the picture your one eternity is.
As we’re annually reminded on the Last Great Day, the world needs God’s Kingdom. It’s about so much more than your personal salvation or mine, and it’s even about so much more than the collective saints of God being transformed in the first resurrection. It’s about rescuing everyone in the entire history of the world. It’s about redeeming not just our time, but the whole of time itself. It’s about one hundred billion eternities.
That’s a big picture. And if our first thought of God’s Kingdom is usually “Oh boy, I sure hope I make it there,” we’re forgetting 99.999999999 percent of that picture.
We should never stop striving to enter God’s Family, because that’s literally the entire point of human existence (Ecclesiastes 12:13), but when we’re trying to think of the big picture, let’s at least remind ourselves that the vast majority of that picture isn’t about us—and let’s thank God for the fact that, regardless of any one of us, His Kingdom will come, creating an unfathomably joyful universe of one hundred billion eternities.
On the podcast this week, we address a question from one of our young adult listeners. As the world turns increasingly twisted, there are growing pressures on Christians in the workforce to compromise their values. This listener asks us what choices a young person can make to help prepare for that. We take on the question, along with our special guest, Mr. Jonathan McNair, Director of Living Education for the Living Church of God.
The YouTube and Spotify Links are below.
(And not only will this be the last podcast until after the Feast of Tabernacles is over, but it may also be the last post of any sort here on the Living Youth website until after the Feast, as well. but we do have more in the works! We are looking forward to posting Christian Living classes from this past year’s teen camp, new videos, new essays from new writers, new podcasts, and other goodies we find here and there. So, until then, have a wonderful Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day!)
Note: For some reason, this Spotify episode is not embedding well. However, following this link should take you there just fine. If it doesn’t, let us know and we’ll try to fix it. If the embedding gets better, we’ll come back, refresh all of this, and you’ll never know there was any problem at all… 🙂
P.S. The built-in Spotify embed tool is still wonky, but this workaround seems to do the trick. Hopefully you see the embed below.