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What to Expect in 2024

Nature will remain the same. When the waters of the flood subsided, God promised, "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease" (Gen. 8:22). Doomsday climate change fanatics will be wrong again.

Human nature will be the same. People will be born male or female because “God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:27). The LGBT community will lose again.

Human ways will be the same. “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which it may be said, ‘See, this is new’? It has already been in ancient times before us” (Ecc. 1:9-10).

Human experience will be the same. “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to gain, and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to throw away;

A time to tear, and a time to sew; A time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; A time of war, and a time of peace” (Ecc. 3:1-8).

No one knows when the Lord will come. “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matt. 24:36). As we speak, many are trying to predict when Jesus will return. But they will be wrong just like thousands of prognosticators before them.

Men don't know the future but they have always done everything they could think of to try to find out. And they will always fail. Oh, they may guess about it and at times coincidentally say what will happen before it does. But knowing the future belongs to God alone. “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth” (Prov. 27:1). “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’”

We don’t know specifically what will happen in 2024. But we do know what the One who knows the future has told us about it. We can expect the new year to bring us the same things that happened in 2023. And 2022. And 2021. Hopefully we won’t see another year like 2020, but even if we do it won’t be that different.

One thing we know for sure is that many will enter this world and many will leave. According to estimates and depending on your pace of reading, around 400 people on earth died since you began reading these words. It is estimated that about 150,000 people worldwide will leave this world today. “It is appointed for men to die once” (Heb. 9:27), and “man also does not know his time” (Ecc. 9:12).

We would be a lot better off remembering these facts instead of being anxious about what lies ahead in this world.

Kerry

West End church of Christ bulletin article for December 31, 2023

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