The Bible teaches us very clearly that the past, the present, and the future must be held together if we are to live a balanced Christian life. From the past we learn from mistakes and grow through them. In the present we walk with God today. And we joyfully anticipate our hope in Christ in the future. All of these must be together.

The Bible teaches us that many aspects of Christian life are past, present, and future:

Salvation—We were saved in the past. The moment you said “yes” to Jesus, you were saved. We are being saved every day. And we will be eternally saved.

Transformation—When we received the gift of salvation, God also poured into our hearts the Holy Spirit, and we became new creations—a past event. But we must also grow in Christlikeness in the present. In the future we also will be changed, and this is the most glorious change of all because we will become perfect like Christ.

Kingdom of God—The Kingdom of God came with Jesus. In Mark 1:15 Jesus said the Kingdom of God had come—the rule of God in lives and hearts. This happened in the past, but the Kingdom of God is also now as God reigns and rules in our hearts every single day. And the Kingdom of God is yet to come: At the end times, we will see Jesus reigning and ruling with our very own eyes.

The End Times—In the book of Revelation, we see that prophecy has been fulfilled, is being fulfilled, and will be fulfilled meticulously.

We must have this complete picture of the Christian faith—past, present, and future—to fully grasp the awe-inspiring hope that we have in Jesus, our Savior.

Prayer: Lord, give me wisdom and understanding as I look into Your Word to see Your sovereignty at work and grant me joy, love, and thankfulness as I remember the past, follow You in the present, and anticipate my future with You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon series Revelation for Today: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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