No, I’m not talking about abdomens! Though, in one sense, I suppose they might also be included. I’m talking about the well-known effects of sin upon the world—and every living and non-living thing within it. You patch up your car so long as it’s possible, but eventually, you have to push it the last mile to the junk yard. It’s only so long before it “goes to pot.” The same is true of your body. The doctor works you over again and again, doing all that’s humanly possible to keep you running. But, like your car, your body eventually gives out. You can get a new car, but unless you’re a Christian you’ll never get a new body that’s worth having!1 Paul tells us that, at the resurrection we will receive a body like Christ’s glorious body—one that passed through walls, rose from the earth—who knows what else. But, even if it only corresponds to His body in minimal ways, without doing those things, it will be wonderful. There will be no more pain, no more bodily suffering, no more death and decay. The new body that the believer will receive will be perfect, without flaw—and it will never go to pot!
Other things go to pot. Churches, like those mentioned in the book of Revelation, of which there are no direct descendents today, went to pot. Great movements have petered out, times of awakening and revival have long since disappeared, and places when people shouted in the streets for joy at the hearing of the good news on mission fields, have long since been overrun by sects, religions and cults foreign to the faith. And just look at the mainline denominations in this country—not a one of them has survived the onslaught of Liberalism, Barthianism, Existentialism and Postmodernism intact. They have all gone to pot. Your cherished charity will last the wearing of the world from without and the wanderings of leaders from within for just so long before it loses its distinctively biblical emphasis. Paul warned about the fact that this would happen in Acts 20; Jesus warned against wolves in sheep’s clothing; Peter wrote an entire book false teachers that would deteriorate the faith—a book that Jude indicates was not heeded. Movements, organizations, formerly “faithful” leaders—all go, or may soon go, to pot.
Is there anything in this world of sin that doesn’t go to pot? Your cherished house will eventually be torn down to make way for a new one. You may not see it happen, but others will. Your accomplishments, the world’s most outstanding inventions, will all be superseded by others that are newer, better, more efficient, or whatever. The old will be discarded—the new temporarily grasped. Where is your typewriter—even that old marvel, the IBM Selectric? There isn’t anything that will not go to pot. Indeed, if something is constructed that will last for generations, it too will go to pot. How so? Nothing—nothing, I repeat—will last the ultimate melting down of the universe prior to its remolding into the new heavens and the new earth. The totality of things will go to pot!
If so, as the Scriptures ask, “What manner of persons ought you to be, believer?” Surely, one who recognizes these facts, plans for the future, and operates day by day in the light of them. That’s true, whatever you choose to do. What should counselors think of their work? Like that of all other efforts made to honor the Lord, the efforts of counselors that have to do with getting along better with God and man in this world largely will be temporary. But Nouthetic counselors, who do not counsel principally for the short, but rather for the long term, know that they offer counsel about that which will never go to pot. Why? Because their counsel, when faithful, comes from the One Who is eternal, Who does not change, Who Himself is ever faithful to His everlasting Word. The Nouthetic counselor’s focus in counseling is on the land where neither rust, nor moth can destroy, but all is eternal in the heavens waiting to be given to his Christian counselees. He knows there is no continuing city here; but he also knows of an imperishable city foursquare. He seeks primarily to help counselees make decisions about things perishable that have eternal imperishable consequences, so that he always keeps in mind that which will never go to pot. Why not become involved in one of those activities that works for those things that last, those things that are not to be replaced, those things that will always satisfy—those things that don’t go to pot? Why not do so before the Nouthetic Counseling movement also goes to pot?