Could God trust you to rule a galaxy? Here is a fascinating glimpse of the future!
What and where will you be one billion centuries from now? Will you be dust and ashes, long since gone and forgotten? Or — ? Today, planet Earth is our home. It is a unique place. But it is not the only place. From here, we can view vast numbers of other places. We have all gazed at the stars — and in so doing, we have glimpsed our destiny!
An enormous universe
Most places in space are clustered into galaxies. Ours, the Milky Way, contains about 200 billion stars. The Word of God says that these places were not created in vain (Isa. 45:18). Our galaxy is not alone. Sprinkled throughout the universe are countless others. In our one corner of the cosmos, astronomers have already counted about one billion galaxies. Scientists can only guess at the number of galaxies — each galaxy containing billions of stars and planets — that float beyond the reach of their puny instruments. The number, in all probability, is unimaginably large. No wonder King David said, "The heavens declare the glory of God" (Ps. 19:1). Even so, most of space is empty (Job 26:7). This is because there are huge spaces between the stars and planets in each galaxy, and gigantic distances between the galaxies themselves. The galaxies are like a few specks of dust floating freely in an enormous room. Who knows what may be created in all the empty spaces? Who knows for sure what awaits us "out there"?
Humanity's incredible destiny
Notice an intriguing passage of Holy Scripture. The apostle Paul was inspired to look into the future. He wrote in Hebrews 2:6- 8: "But one testified in a certain place, saying, 'What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.' For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him." Did you catch the incredible significance of those words of God? Read them again carefully. Eventually — when we have qualified — God intends for us to rule over everything He created and will create. On this tiny little speck of a planet, He is training us for our vast future responsibilities. His desire is to give us eternal life and raise us to the level of the God Family itself (Matt. 19:29, Rom. 8:17-21, I John 3:1- 2)! All of this — the vastness of God's purpose for us — fills me with astonishment. Does it you? In his book The Incredible Human Potential, Pastor General Herbert W. Armstrong offers, from Scripture, many fascinating details of our awesome destiny. On page 32 in the softbound version (1978), Mr. Armstrong writes: "Our potential is to be born into the God Family, receiving total power! We are to be given jurisdiction over the entire universe! "What are we going to do then?... scriptures indicate we shall impart life to billions and billions of dead planets, as life has been imparted to this earth. We shall create, as God directs and instructs. We shall rule through all eternity! Revelation 21 and 22 show there will then be no pain, no suffering, no evil, because we shall have learned to choose God's way of good. It will be an eternal life of accomplishment, constantly looking forward in super-joyous anticipation to new creative projects, and still looking back also on accomplishments with happiness and joy over what shall have been already accomplished. "We shall never grow tired and weary. Always alive — full of joyous energy, vitality, exuberant life and strength and power! "What a potential!" Incredibly, God is inviting us to be His children and to rule space with Him. But we must first qualify for this honor.
Qualifying to rule
How do we qualify? How do we get from here to there? Primarily, our Creator evaluates us according to the principle given in Luke 16:10: "He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much." Note that. It is very important. It is the crux of everything. A person who can perform his responsibilities here and now on earth can be trusted to rule a galaxy later. Time is short. God now expects every person to do his duty, no matter how small that duty may seem. God instructs us not to despise "the day of small things" in the example in Zechariah 4:10. We must not shirk our responsibility. And what is our responsibility? To support God's Work in every way we can. We must all develop eyes to see. Are you doing your part to look for ways to help? Are you striving to live the way of life Jesus Christ taught, to love God with all your being and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:37-39)? Are you fulfilling the responsibilities of "pure religion" by showing concern for less fortunate people such as widows and orphans (Jas. 1:27)? Do you have a smile for everybody? They may seem to be only little things, but cheerfulness and neatness make very positive impressions on others. Always be neatly groomed and wear a smile. Of course, we must all be faithful with our tithes and offerings (Mal. 3:8-10) and, above all, be praying fervently for this Work. Don't think that the prayers of one person are unimportant. We must never forget that "the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (Jas. 5:16). Your responsibilities may seem twig-size to you, but they are important. Twigs, tightly bound together, make a strong broom to sweep with. The Maker has a plan. God intends to set this entire world back on the track. But what about you? Are you on the train? Or are you snoozing on the railway platform while the whistle blows? Be quick! Use your train ticket — the opportunity God has given you. Get on the express before it pulls away. You need to be on board, praying, studying, helping the Work in whatever ways you can and developing God's character in yourself. When God sets this world aright, He intends to use us to help end the misery and suffering of this present evil age (Rev. 5:10). How much would you be willing to sacrifice to heal only one crippled person or help one person learn the way to true happiness? If we are faithful now with our small tasks, we can be used to help millions find lasting happiness and fulfillment later.
Then — an eternity of accomplishment
At the end of the Millennium, God will begin to put the entire universe back on track. The planets are now pockmarked and broken as a result of Satan's rebellion (Isa. 14:12-14, Luke 10:18). (For more information about Satan's origin, read Mr. Armstrong's newest booklet, Did God Create a Devil?) But God will renew the face of the cosmos. Just think of all those billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars and planets, awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19). And what about all those empty spaces? God has not yet told us what will be done with them. But consider the possibilities! God's true people are heirs to all things (Rev. 21:7). It is our incredible and undeserved privilege that God is inviting us to join His Family. God has a tremendous desire to see each of us in His Kingdom. God is so concerned for us that even the hairs on our heads are numbered (Matt. 10:30). But He will not reduce the qualifying standards. God will not do for us the things we can do for ourselves. We have to be the ones to wield the tools that He gives us. For example, God will not lift us out of bed in the morning and cook breakfast for us. We have to be up and accomplishing with the tools, physical and spiritual, He gives us for the asking. We hold our destiny in our own hands. How we choose to passage this life will determine whether we passage the galaxies. If we are faithful now in our tiny tasks, we will be changed into spirit beings at the return of Jesus Christ and given rulership of this world (Rev. 2:26, 3:21). Not dependent on food and water, we will be equipped to eventually move across space, eternally expanding God's government. "Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end" (Isa. 9:7). Today, we must rule inner space — that difficult small space between our two ears. Outer space comes later. Remember this: Only a tiny proportion of our life span needs to be spent human. A few decades of toil, trouble and trial is a small price for an eternity of productive happiness ruling the cosmos. Qualify, and billions of years into the future we will look back on this life with a different perspective. We will recall that God was doing a Work here and we had the honor to be part of that work. Nothing else will matter — not even the most severe problem that troubles you now. In times yet future, when others ask how you qualified to be among the supreme, firstfruit members of God's Family, they won't want an exhaustive commentary of all the nitty-gritty of your life. It won't matter to them how much you owned or consumed. How big or small your bank account was will be of no significance then. Whether you lived in a palace or a thatched hut will be of no concern. It won't even matter, eons from now, whether you were an athlete bounding through this short life or were physically incapacitated and had to painfully grope your way to God's Kingdom (Rom. 8:18). In the ages to come, when they ask how you qualified to become a galaxy-ruling God, it will be enough — and more than enough — to turn to them and simply say: "I served with Herbert W. Armstrong and God's people during the Philadelphia era of God's Church on earth. I was on the team. I did whatever I could to help Christ's chosen apostle finish the great commission."