Predicting the future has been a favorite pastime for millennia. People's desire to know the future is what makes horoscopes, psychics, and weathermen still popular today. But Scripture forbids all of those things (except perhaps weathermen), because they don't work. Only God knows and can predict the future.

But while you can't predict your future circumstances, did you know you can predict your future responses?

The future was uncertain for Paul the apostle. Sitting in prison, he didn't know which way the winds of Roman justice would blow for him. Yet he could rejoice because there was life in either equation. In Philippians 1, he wrote, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (v. 21).

Take that verse and make it your own: for you, to live is _____, thus, to die is _____. Let's say for you, to live is wealth. Then you'd have to say to die is a total loss, because you can't take your wealth with you. If you said to live is notoriety and status, then you'd also have to say to die is loss, because you lose it all when you die. If you said to live is having a perfect physical body, you're going to have to put loss there, too, because when you die you get really ugly really quickly. The only thing you can put in that first blank that makes death a gain is Christ.

That's why this verse was the pinnacle statement of Paul's life. Paul really believed Jesus' words in John 11: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die" (vv. 25-26).

Paul didn't know if he was going to live or die, but he wasn't afraid. "If I live, I'll preach Christ. If I die, I'll be with Him. Either way, I win. Either way, I'm delivered. Either way, I have confidence and hope, and I'm going to rejoice."

I mentioned that you can't predict your future circumstances, but there actually is one circumstance you can predict: Will you spend eternity in heaven or in hell? I can predict that accurately not because I believe in my own good works, but because I believe and trust in Jesus Christ and His finished work: unequivocally, I'm going to heaven. I have no doubts. What about you?

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