Sunday, April 17, 2016 - God's Purpose Is Eternal!
Pastor Roger C. Marcos
Most people in this world have gone through life, without asking these BASIC QUESTIONS: FROM WHERE AND TO WHERE AM I GOING? What is the point of this short life which is filled with sickness, pain, calamities and then followed by DEATH?
These are very simple yet critical questions. The answers are found inside us yet many fail to remove the veil from their hearts and cheat themselves with excuses such as, “Our life is short and we live only once so let’s makes it perfect and enjoy our time.”
Yet, any attempt to make this life perfect and pain-free would fail! It may actually even result in the opposite. We find many examples of people who tried to make their life perfect by working hard to succeed in business and making money. However, at the end, they end up having a miserable life. When death comes, a moment that you can’t avoid, they will realize the truth that time has “consumed” them without giving them the space to look for the point of this life.
In the Bible, it is mentioned that HELL and HEAVEN are real. One of these two eternities will be a place to live by, after our life in this world. TWO PLACES FOR ETERNITY- Where Will We Be? Matthew 25:46
What Is Hell Like? A Place of Unending Torment.
- Wailing & gnashing of teeth. Mat. 8:12
- Everlasting fire. Mk. 9:44, 46, 48; 25:41-46
- Darkness. Mt. 25:30; cf. 2 Pet. 2:4
- Sorer punishment. Heb. 10:28, 29
TEXT: 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The eternal purpose of God, is fulfilled in Christ and in the church, which is simultaneously being manifested through individual members in the corporate Body of Christ. The church will do God’s WILL in order to accomplish THE ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD.
Now, as we look at ourselves, our lives will fit into God’s glorious eternal purpose and then help us to very practically deal with life’s difficult trials. He is saying, God’s eternal purpose is to make known His manifold wisdom through the church.
God’s Eternal Purpose: (9-11)
A. To Make Known His Manifold Wisdom through the Church. The church is established, then the Lord will do His work for the lives of the believers in order to understand His eternal purpose.
Everything which God has and will do is to one glorious end. This end is His "Eternal Purpose" Ephesians 3:11.
According to the Bible "He has made known to us the mystery of His will ... that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He will gather together in one, all things in Christ, which are in heaven and on earth" Ephesians 1:9-10
The dictionary definition of "dispensation,” when speaking about God, is "the Divine order or dealings with mankind.” If we look back through history we see that the Divine order of things has changed.
Very early, we see that God spoke with individuals such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Later we see that God expanded His dealings to include all the children of Israel as a specially favoured nation. As it is written "Hear this you children of Israel .... You alone of all the nations of the earth have I known" Amos 3:1-2
After Jesus ascended into heaven, we see that God again expanded His dealings with mankind by establishing a new order of things called the Church, which includes representatives from every nation on earth.
Now, in this passage of scripture we read of yet another "dispensation" in which God will expand His dealings to include "all things in heaven and on earth".
So What Does This Mean? ........
- The "dispensation of the fullness of times" obviously refers to the Millennial Kingdom which Christ will establish in the earth at the end of this Age.
This is the 1,000 year reign of Jesus and the Saints (the Body of Messiah - Jesus as the head and us as the rest of the body). During this time Satan will be bound totally.
The purpose of the Millennial Kingdom is to give every man and woman a personal opportunity to prove their loyalty to Jesus. In this present evil world we have only a limited choice.
Firstly we are all automatically condemned to death because of Adam's sin. Secondly not all come to a knowledge of "the only name under heaven by which we may be saved" (Acts 4:12) - Jesus. But during the Millennial Kingdom this will not be so. Every person will be on trial for their own life, and all will know Jesus Isaiah 11:9, Jeremiah 31:34
- We recognize this from the scripture in Revelation 10:6 where the angel of God declares that "there shall be time no more" just prior to the final demise of this world system and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom. This passage indicates that the "time dimension" of the universe has outlived its usefulness to God, so He will do away with it. Thus we can say this corresponds to the "fullness of time" spoken of in Ephesians 1:9-10
- The instrument of this glorious work will be "Christ," the Messiah. The word "Messiah" in Hebrew (or "Christ" in Greek) means "the anointed of God,” and was recognised as the promised "Seed of the woman who would bruise the serpents (Satan's) head"
(Genesis 3:15) and the Seed of Abraham "through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed" (Genesis 22:18).
Now "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with Power and He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" (Acts 10:38).
TWO GREAT HOUSES:
"God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son." (Hebrews 1:1).
According to this scripture, God's dealings with men have changed from "times past" to "these last days". During the past "dispensations," God spoke to His people through the prophets (a special group of people who had the gift of hearing or seeing God), while in this "dispensation" He is speaking to men through His Son, Jesus.
There is great purpose in this, for we must remember that the Eternal Purpose is to gather together all things "in heaven and on earth". To this end, God has prepared these two "houses":
- Israel - a house of servants to rule the earth.
- The Church - a house of sons to rule in the heavens
Both will be under the lordship of Jesus. It is for this reason that Jesus is both "King of the Jews" (John 19:19) and "Head of the Church" (Ephesians 1:22).
So, when the Kingdom of God is established, it will have both an "earthly" and a "heavenly" phase, and as Jesus said "The first (Israel) shall be last and the last (The Church) shall be first" (Matthew 20:16).
But this is not to say that all those who are numbered among Israel and the Church in these Ages will be reigning in the Age to come for "many are called but few are chosen" (Matthew 20:16).
We must realise that we are "on trial" in this Age to determine our fitness to reign with Jesus, "for judgment begins with the house of God" 1 Peter 4:17.
We are told: For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ -- if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. Romans 8:14-21.
HOW DOES GOD ACCOMPLISH HIS PURPOSE?
The answer is “a bit at a time.” From Age to Age, God has been working with a plan, preparing each part in turn until He is ready to assemble the final product.
Later we will look very briefly at God's plan to accomplish His Eternal Purpose.
In the Church God also works a "bit at a time.” He does this by "revelation.” First, he reveals to us a part of his plan and then we begin to implement it in our lives. Once we have that bit working, God will reveal more of his plan to us.
This is shown in the Bible. God entered into a number of "covenants" (contracts) with different people in ages past. God entered into a covenant with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and finally us. Each covenant was richer and more detailed in its promise than the one before it. Each extended the initial conditions until finally Christ came to establish an even richer covenant with us.
So we have a cycle of "revelation" and "implementation.” God is building us up into his eternal purpose brick by brick, principle by principle and power upon power.
God is working on all things toward one final purpose; the restoration of all creation through the Christ. This will find its fulfillment in the Millennial Kingdom. Until then God has been preparing two great groups who will play a vital part in this work:
- Israel - to rule the earthly kingdom
- The Church - to rule the heavenly kingdom.
All this is under the ultimate Kingship of Jesus, the only begotten Son of God.
A Good Offer: Rom.6:22-23
22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
“And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." - Matt. 25:46