A Tale of Two Visions

There are two main visions of the future, but the one that will produce the best results is unknown to most. What is that vision, and how can you choose it?

Throughout the U.S. presidential election, we have heard numerous times from one side or the other that the election is not just about the office of the president, but it is more about two different directions the candidates want to take the country—two different visions. Each side claims their vision is best, of course.

Even more important

However, even more important than the difference between President Obama’s vision and Governor Romney’s vision is the difference between God’s vision for man and man’s vision of his own future.

Man’s vision, of course, is not a unified vision, but it has some common elements. It basically involves hope for greater material blessings in this life, but with no fool-proof way to guarantee that they will come. Some may say it is about having a family, owning a home, watching your grandchildren grow up, and retiring. Others may say it is accumulating wealth, doing what you want to, when you want to, and then feeling as if you lived life to the fullest before you die.

God’s vision for man also includes physical blessings, but it goes much deeper to living a wonderful way of life that guarantees the other blessings and is truly satisfying now and forever. God wants us to live life to the fullest by loving God and man, which is done by obeying His commandments. This can be summarized as choosing life—eternal life—over death.

Man’s vision generally ignores or misunderstands the spiritual laws that would produce life and blessings. Thus, inadvertently, men continually act in ways that prevent the accomplishment of their own visions—and eventually lead to death.

Two choices: life or death

These contrasting visions have been set forth throughout history, time and time again:

  • In the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve had to choose between the two trees.
  • When God gave Moses the law and told the Israelites there were two choices, life and death.
  • When Elijah was confronting the prophets of Baal and he asked Israel how long they would falter between two opinions.
  • And when Pilate asked the crowd whether they would rather release Christ or Barabbas, the thief.

Life and death were the two choices in each of these scenarios.

Choosing and catching God’s vision of the Kingdom

God put us on this earth to make choices. He sets before us life and death. He does not force us into one or the other. However, there are consequences that come with every choice we make, whether good or bad.

This life that we have on this earth is part of a greater vision that God has for everyone who has ever lived and is living now. It was not created just for some people.

There is so much more to life that God has in store, if we are willing to see and do His will and see that greater vision.

God’s vision is of His soon-coming Kingdom after Jesus Christ comes back to rule this earth. Under God’s rule there will be:

  • Perfect government.
  • Renewal of the earth.
  • Better health and better food.
  • And the promise of eternal life if one is willing to submit to God and be part of His family.

Life is not just about going to school, growing up and then getting a job and raising a family. Life’s greatest pleasures are not about going on vacation once a year or becoming famous or powerful. There is much more ahead if we are willing to choose wisely. That is, if we are willing to choose the godly path.

The competing vision

God’s vision is so wonderful, why doesn’t everyone accept it?

The prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), Satan the devil, has helped promote the competing worldly vision with all his might. He puts down, discredits and ridicules God’s vision. So people call it all sorts of names, such as legalistic and restrictive. The human vision they adhere to is supposedly more carefree, nonbinding and less judgmental.

Satan has successfully spread his vision throughout the earth. Thus we have war, greed, lying, selfishness and an anti-God vision entrenched all over the world. It could even look like his side is winning at this point.

Why does God allow another vision?

One may ask, why would God allow this countervision if He is in control? But there are three things that are for sure:

  • God is in control.
  • God allows us to choose.
  • And God will change the vision of the whole world when He is ready.

God is allowing Satan and mankind to follow their vision through to its endgame; and when worldwide destruction is in sight, He will step in. He is showing the whole world that the vision that is counter to His does not and will not work.

Choose life!

God promotes His vision every day through the pages of the Bible. It may not be as flashy, look as cool or play on all the physical lusts that Satan’s vision does. But the reward for following God’s vision is far greater.

Some see God’s vision now and have chosen to follow His way at this time. His vision is set before you, right now, just like with Adam and Eve. As Elijah asked, “How long will you falter between two opinions?” (1 Kings 18:21).

The choices are clear: the way of life and the way of death. God exhorts us to choose life! What will you choose?

For more about the meaning of life and God’s way of life, see our section on “What Is the Meaning of Life?”

About the Author

Adam Sanders

Adam Sanders is a member of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, and attends the Columbus/Cambridge, Ohio, congregation with his wife and four children.