Most of us were raised with the idea that glory was some future place or time after we die. Think about the phrases in the songs we sing. “There’s a new name written down in glory….” “Oh that will be glory for me…when I shall see him face to face….” Our predisposition is toward an understanding of glory that is future.
But as I consider the impact of Holiness on the world historically and for the coming century, I begin to think otherwise. Glory is not some future condition we all await while tolerating the gruesomeness of our current plight. It’s not a place we aspire to go to when we have been liberated from the bonds of this evil world. It is not a condition only achievable after we discard the flesh and find our place on the streets of gold. Glory begins NOW!
Consider Colossians 1 – the mystery of God is “Christ in us the hope of glory.” Not just a future destination, but the fullness of God’s presence in us NOW. It is the possibility of this glory now that drove the Booths to minister to the street people of London and start the Salvation Army. It is this same possibility that we can experience glory now that drove BT Roberts to urge his people to speak out against American slavery. It is the real hope of glory now that drives people on the way of Holiness to engage in their world with life transforming influence.
Glory is the fullness of God’s presence. The hope of it is not limited to the next life. Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is here. The glory of God’s presence is available now. Our hope, therefore, is not only for a future place, but for a fullness of God that we may enjoy NOW!
When you buy a home you take out a mortgage, perhaps a 30 year payoff. Though it may be tough at times to make payments, and although you may not be free from the burden of hard work for many years, you still get to move in and start enjoying the home the moment you sign the papers. The hope of owning your home begins to be realized the moment you sign. It is not reserved for a future time when all is complete.
Holiness is about making a difference NOW; the fullness of God’s presence NOW; living in the Kingdom NOW. That is the mystery – Christ in you, the hope of glory, NOW!