Not All Promises in Scripture Will Be Fulfilled On Earth - 1 Corinthians 15:24-29

We won't experience full healing here on earth
When people say God promises Christians health, wealth, and comfort here on earth, they ignore passages like Romans 8:18-25:

"We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies... we hope for what we do not yet have..."

Hebrews 2:5-9 and 1 Corinthians 15:24-29 also tell us that Christ's work is completed in the spiritual realm but not yet in the earthly realm.(1)

We are healed by Christ's stripes, physically, emotionally, and spiritually,(2) and that healing begins here on earth. But it won't be complete until heaven when Jesus wipes away every tear, ending death and pain forever (Revelation 21:4).

There are some popular misunderstandings based on applying future promises to our present lives. But the Scriptures linked above can help us avoid that confusion.

(1) See also John 16:33
(2) Isaiah 53:5


Errors Some Christians Believe: 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a Promise

God doesn't promise to heal our land
2 Chronicles 7:14 is not a promise for all times...

Someone recently corrected me for applying the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 to America. They were right. I was wrong.

"If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land."(1)

The Old Testament is God's Word, but not all of its commands and promises apply today. God promised to heal Israel at a specific point in history, not all countries throughout history.(2)

We can't make God's promises everlasting when God makes them specific. Other examples: we no longer collect manna, build Old Testament tabernacles, or follow cleansing laws.

We also know that 2 Chronicles 7:14 isn't a perpetual promise because God always keeps His promises. Yet many evil countries throughout history have had faithful Christian communities.(3) 

The principles in 2 Chronicles 7:14 are timeless: humble prayer for our country and repentance. The promise is not.
(1) The universal principles in 2 Chronicles 7:14 are found in 1 Timothy 2:1-3. But God did not give every Christian the promise that He would heal their land if they pray, seek Him, and turn from wickedness. 
(2)  For a New Testament example of a Scripture that applied to a specific group at a specific time read Matthew 10:5.
(3) North Korea is one of many examples throughout history where Christianity thrives amidst evil governmental rule. North Korean Christians who put most of us to shame for their purity and fervor, have lived under intense persecution for over 60 years.

More on this Scripture from other sources:
About American Politics 
Commonly Misused
Got Questions


Hard Things Can Be Good Things When They Produce Growth - Hebrews 12:5-7

God works things for good, God disciplines His children
God trains us and strengthens our faith through hardships...

Sometimes God blesses us with things the world calls "good," sometimes with things the world calls "bad." But we know that everything God does is good.

He may punish(1) wayward Christians to bring them back to the fold, but most of our hardships in life are due to our fallen world and our need for growth. 

We messed up God's perfect world (Genesis 3), but He, in His Romans 8:28 fashion, uses our mess to stregnthen our faith (Hebrews 12:5-7).

When parents insist their
children clean their rooms, do their homework, or sit still in church, the children are usually unaware that they're developing self-control so they can grow into responsible adults.

But with God's help we can get past this childish attitude and appreciate difficult lessons. We can "greatly rejoice" in difficulty, knowing it strengthens our faith and results "in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."  1 Peter 1:3-9

(1) See God Punishes and Discipline, Punishment, and Condemnation


Let's Use the Word "Awesome" for God, Not Ourselves

self-esteem, Biblical self-esteem, Romans 12:3, Roy F. Baumeister
We need to esteem God, not ourselves...

In an interview last year, a 350-pound actor called herself “awesome” and said she loves how she looks despite the fact that her weight is dangerously unhealthy.

Whether listening to celebrities praise themselves, watching untalented performers boast at “American Idol” auditions, or just dealing with everyday people, we see the results of America’s self-esteem obsession. We are a nation of selfish people dazzled by ourselves.

Roy F. Baumeister, psychologist, professor and author, was once a self-esteem proponent. But years of professional experience convinced him that self-control is a better indicator of character than self-esteem.

The Bible teaches the same. God opposes pride.(1) He commands that we die to self, consider others better than ourselves, and not think too highly of ourselves.(2) Scripture says self-centeredness and high self-esteem are destructive behaviors.(3)

So let's quit thinking so much about our self-esteem and start aiming for more self-control. And let's reserve the word Awesome for someone who truly is....God!(4) 
copyright Gail Burton Purath, 2012
(1) James 4:6
(2) Luke 9:23-25; Philippians 2:3-7; Romans 12:3
(3) 2 Timothy 3:1-3
(4) It's fine to use awesome for some things other than God. But let's be careful to remain humble and avoid using it for ourselves (Proverbs 27:2; 2 Corinthians 10:17-18).

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All Scripture references NIV unless otherwise noted.