Banking on the Future

Jerry Sittser

READ : 1 Corinthians 15:51-58

Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (v. 58)

Paul believed that Jesus had been raised from the dead. But it was more than a mere belief. It was a fact. As he mentions earlier in this chapter, there were more than 500 people who encountered Jesus after the crucifixion. These encounters were not the product of mass hallucinations or wishful thinking. Death did not have the final word because Jesus conquered death.

Jesus’ resurrection is the firstfruits of a future resurrection that will occur when Jesus returns to establish God’s kingdom on earth. This “second coming” will be as obvious as his first coming was subtle. No more stables and crosses this time! Jesus will come with a trumpet blast and the angels of heaven. It will be glorious.

But it has not occurred yet. In the meantime, Christians have more to do than simply to wait. We have work to do! Our work matters, too, not only in time but also for eternity. There is continuity between present action and future consequence. God will envelop what we do in the name of Jesus, making it serve his eternal purposes. As Paul says, in the Lord our work is not in vain.


Lord, thank you that you invite us to contribute to your kingdom work. In Jesus’ name, Amen.