A couple of years ago I was doing a question and answer session with a group of Pentecostal pastors in Bulgaria, who all believed Jesus was coming very soon. It felt like they believed He was certainly returning tomorrow. But due to this belief, it seemed like they did not want to build long term.
It is an attitude I have seen all over the world. And in an ex-communist country where you could be put in jail just for carrying a Bible, I understand where the constant looking to the heavens for Jesus to keep the promise He made 2000 years ago comes from. And in times of trouble I understand it.
But the truth is that we have to both live like Jesus is coming tomorrow, and live like He isn’t coming for about 200 years. We have to live in a way that means we leave a legacy.for our children and our children’s children. We have to build local churches that our grandchildren are happy to go to should the Lord tarry a while.
As a pastor I see a lot of very short term thinking on behalf of Christians. Here are some ways we can plan for the future and leave an inheritance for our grandchildren:
- Plug into a local church. I love para-church ministries – I run two Bible Schools and I am on TV and the internet. But they won’t dedicate your children, they won’t give you a place you can go as a family, and help you build family links. Only church can do that. So don’t delay – be in church next time the doors open.
- Save. If you are in debt, get out of debt. If not, save. Tithe your 10%, I am absolutely for that, but save 10% too – it’s an investment in the future.
- Get an education. Go to school, and take the time to get that education.
- Invest in another generation. Are you a teen? Go and join a ministry to an old people’s home. Are your children all leaving home and the nest is empty? Help run the youth group. Let’s cross some generations!
- Be salt and light in your community. Salt is about preserving – get involved in social action; light is about shining the love of God and the gospel – tell some people about Jesus. If a new mum gets saved and she eventually has 4 children and 9 grandchildren, you have influenced 14 people for Christ! Think generationally!