I have no recollection of the year 1956. I wasn’t around. As a matter of fact, in 1956, my parents were still kids. However, many of you may have heard the song entitled “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” that Doris Day made famous that year. Composed for the remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much, the song became an instant hit.
In the lyrics, a girl ponders her future. She asks her mother, “Will I be pretty? Will I be rich?” Years later, she poses a similar question to her sweetheart. “Will we have rainbows day after day?”
As we listen to the song, our hearts beat fast with anticipation. Will we receive a definitive answer about the future? Is there some way we can know what awaits us? Unfortunately, we are to be let down. The mother and sweetheart have no answers. They can only advise the inquisitive lass to stop fretting. Que sera, sera. Whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see. Bummer. And I thought Hollywood knew all the answers.
As I listened to the sound track on YouTube (I bet Doris Day didn’t see that coming, either), some questions came to my mind. Sure, this made a good hit song, but is it a correct way to look at life?
Most people are interested in the future. That’s why movies about time travel are so popular (most in my generation probably are more familiar with Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future than Doris Day in The Man Who Knew Too Much). Many people pay visits to fortune-tellers. Most likely you have at some time considered what happens after death.
I think we can know the future. Even better, we can do something about it.
That is why in the back of our Bibles we find a book called “Revelation.” This is arguably one of the most fascinating and misunderstood books in the whole Bible. In it we discover bizarre creatures, horrifying prophecies, and unparalleled beauty. The most captivating of all, though, is that it describes the future. God has peeled back the veil of time and allowed us to see what is coming.
It seems inappropriate to read this captivating account, then close the Bible and declare, “Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be.” No, the future is ours to see. God made sure of that. But why? I think it is because while we cannot change the events that are to come, we can change the part we play in them.
This world is about to undergo trouble like it has never seen before. That is hard to imagine on days when the sun shines brightly and the birds sing in the treetops. However, we cannot be lulled into complacency. God’s vengeance toward sin is being held back only by His unrelenting mercy. One day (soon, I think) He will let it all out. For seven years He will pummel the earth with one disaster after another.
How do I know all this? It’s in the Bible. Most of it is in the book of Revelation. I don’t claim, however, to comprehend it all. What I do understand is that God’s judgment day is coming. The only way to escape it is to trust in Jesus Christ as the only way that God can forgive our sins. Jesus said, “I am coming quickly” (Revelation 22:20). Are you ready?
If you are interested in learning more about the book of Revelation, we are going to begin a study of it at First Baptist Church. We’ll kick it off the first Sunday in September, at 6:00 PM. You’re welcome to join us if you would like to see what you can do about your part in the future.
This article appeared in the Bremen Enquirer in my column Connections: Relating the Bible to Everyday Life on Thursday, August 6, 2015.