He Will Show You Things To Come
By Carter Conlon
"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you" (John 16:12–15).
Here we see Jesus telling His disciples, "I am going to win a victory for you. The Father will give me a tremendous inheritance when He raises Me from the dead. I will return to sit at His right hand, and everything that He gives me will belong to My people. The Spirit of God that I am sending to you will show you some of these things to come."
Of course, you and I cannot see all these things right now, for there is no way we could fully understand them. According to the Bible, the moment we leave this earth and appear in the presence of God, we will know as we are known. Mysteries will be resolved and questions will be answered. We will finally realize how small our thinking has been in comparison to what God is going to reveal to us, in us, and through us. What a day that is going to be!
But in the meantime, God has left us His Holy Spirit. As Jesus said, He guides us into all truth. When the Spirit of God comes into a person's life, He starts to tell us that old things will pass away, and all things will become new. He begins to unlock the Scriptures to us. He shows us a plan and a purpose that God has for our life and the abundant supply God has already given us in Christ Jesus to fully achieve everything He has called us to do.
BEYOND THIS WORLD
As we saw in our opening scripture, the Spirit of God will also tell us about things to come that are beyond this present world. Paul said in Second Corinthians 4:18, "We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
Consider Abraham, the father of faith, who was given an incredible promise of God. "I am going to bless you; I am going to multiply you; I am going to do something so profound in your life that you will be a blessing to the whole world" (see Genesis 12:1–3). God then took him outside one night and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them...So shall your descendants be" (Genesis 15:5). The Holy Spirit was showing him things to come, not of this world but beyond. And now you and I know that because of Christ, through his lineage, we are the fulfillment of that promise.
So Abraham left home to journey to this place of promise, accompanied by his nephew, Lot. As part of the family, Lot would have been told of the profound blessing that was promised to come upon them— one that would touch the whole known world. They eventually came to a point where they had so many flocks and herds that they could not dwell in one place, for there was an insufficient supply of grass. And so Abraham said to Lot, "Look and choose where you want to go" (see Genesis 13:9).
Lot lifted up his eyes, but only so far. He had this doctrinal perspective that all the blessing of his life would be found in this world, and so he chose his city. He went to a place called Sodom and Gomorrah and raised his family there. However, one day an enemy came in, captured that place, and took him and his family away (see Genesis 14:8–12).
IN A MOMENT OF TIME
If we lift our eyes only so high— if this world becomes our source of supply and provision—we may be shocked to find that one day, it can all be taken away. If your happiness is because you have a car or a house, or money in the bank and a retirement plan, be warned that a day might come when it is all gone. What do you think mattered to the people on the upper floors of the towers in the World Trade Center on 9/11 who had about an hour left to live? How high they had gotten on the financial chain? How many colleges their kids were accepted in? How many cars they had? How many countries they could visit?
The Bible declares that a day is coming when everything that can be shaken will be shaken, and only that which cannot be shaken might remain (see Hebrews 12:27). It also warns, "Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle toward heaven" (Proverbs 23:5). In another place we read, "The fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is" (1 Corinthians 3:13).
I remember being in full-time ministry and coming home from preaching in Eastern Canada, only to find that our house had burned down to the ground. We had renovated this old farmhouse, added on to it, and modified it. It took twelve years to finally finish it and yet everything we had worked for was gone in one moment of time.
I have seen the Lord take away, and I have seen Him give back. In our case, we later lost our second house to toxic mold. Then we moved across the river to Hoboken, New Jersey, and were finally settled, but Hurricane Sandy came and wiped out the whole first floor. Now we live on a lake, and the bottom of our house is about five feet above the water level. I said to Pastor Teresa one day, "What possibly could go wrong now?"
Through these experiences, I have seen something beyond what this world has to offer. We still have a nice house, but I know it can be gone in an instant. In this lifetime, relationships end, loved ones die, jobs are lost. If our security is in any of these things, even though many of them do come from God, our confidence can be shaken. We must lift our eyes higher and see something beyond this life.
WHAT PAUL SAW
The Apostle Paul had such vision. He saw something coming in the future and that is why he could say, "I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).
Paul knew that this earthly body would eventually give way to a heavenly body. He testified that he was lifted to the third heaven where he saw things that were not lawful to speak about (see 2 Corinthians 12:2). There are no words in the human vocabulary to describe them. God in His mercy gave Paul an eternal vision so that he could endure the sufferings he was appointed to endure in this life.
Paul was stoned, beaten, and shipwrecked, and he finished the end of his life imprisoned with only a pen and parchment. Yet while in captivity, he wrote words to encourage others. For example, he wrote these words to the Thessalonian church, who he knew was entering into persecution: "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:16–18). Paul knew they were going to suffer, but he was reminding them that suffering is only temporary. A day is coming when God is going to look down and say, "That's enough! Son, go get Your Bride!"
WHAT JOHN SAW
Consider also the apostle John— the one who leaned on Jesus' chest at the Last Supper. He described himself as the apostle whom Jesus loved. He served God all his life, and when he was about eighty years old, he was exiled to a prison on an isle called Patmos. From what I read about that prison, it was vile, cold, damp, dark, and despairing. John easily could have said, "God, is this how You treat those who love You? I serve You all my life, and this is where I end up?"
But the scripture says that on the Lord's Day, John was in the Spirit. Remember that when the Holy Spirit comes, He will show you things to come. Therefore John, though he was in prison, could write these words in Revelation 21: "I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea" (verse 1). In other words, "There is nothing more that separates us from God and from the freedom that He has for us for eternity."
"I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away'" (Revelation 21:2–4). That is what is in store for us—no more death, sorrow, crying or pain!
THE GLORY TO COME
Perhaps you find yourself in a long season of suffering. Perhaps you live with varying degrees of pain— whether internal or physical—but, remember, it is all temporary. Come what may in this life—famine or disease, darkness or war, social disorder—none of it is worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us. Heaven is our home and an eternity with God is our future. We are going to praise Him day and night with the angels, and we will rule and reign with Christ forever!
If you need hope today, I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to show you things to come. Ask Him for a vision beyond your present circumstances. He will help you to see that your life is but a little vapor on the scale of eternity. He will speak comfort to your heart, and you will be able to go to bed at night saying, "Oh, what a future awaits me! Lord, what an eternity You have prepared for me!" You will truly understand that though weeping may endure for a night, there is a guarantee that joy will come in the morning!
This newsletter is an edited version of "He Will Show You Things to Come," a sermon given on April 7, 2019 in the sanctuary of Times Square Church in New York City. Other sermons are available by visiting our website at tsc.nyc. You are welcome to make additional copies of this sermon for free distribution to friends. However, for all other forms of reproduction or electronic transmission existing copyright laws apply. This sermon cannot be posted on any website or webpage without permission from Times Square Church. Unless otherwise noted, all scripture references are from the New King James Version.