My name is Tom; this is Simple Church Minute. Milt Rodriguez, in his blog entry for July 6, 2011, told an extremely short story, of which I quote:
A friend recently told me that the eternal purpose of God was so vast that it was difficult to grasp and even more difficult to explain. I told him that I agreed. He also said that it’s very difficult to put into one sentence. I also agreed with that, however, after thinking about this later, I decided to take on the challenge. So here is my contribution of consolidating the eternal purpose into one sentence:
“God’s eternal purpose is that the fullness of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, would be displayed and expressed visibly through a vessel that would be a Family/House for the Father, a Bride/Body for the Son, and a
for the Holy Spirit.” Temple
What in the world does that mean? Most believers have never heard anyone overtly speak on this subject—God’s eternal purpose. Implicitly, most of us who have been part of evangelical or fundamentalist or Bible-believing (choose you favorite phrase) church understand that the thing to do that is most emphasized is wishing other persons to come to faith in Jesus, that is, evangelism. If I point it out, it is obvious, that in that part of time previous to Genesis 3, the story of the fall, there was no place for evangelism in the whole universe. At the other end, beginning at Revelation 21, the final judgment, there will once again be a time where there will be no place for evangelism.
Now, just for a moment, glance at what things would look like from a liberal progressive church position. There, doing good is the emphasis. Once again, before Genesis 3, there is no place for that, as sin had not entered the human race, and some period of time before that, the fall of Lucifer that is told us in Ezekiel 28. On the other end, after the judgment in Revelation 21, there once again will be no room for doing good, because sin will have been banished. Therefore, neither of those things can possibly God’s eternal purpose.
Let me go over those items in the Rodriguez quote. God wants the fullness of Jesus displayed. That was the plan before the creation of the universe. How do we know this? Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not a man that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.” If we follow Jesus, then we have to take God’s word that what he has told us in the Bible was what he meant to tell us. He tells us that he wants a family. The chosen people of the Old Covenant, were a physical, and imperfect, type of a New Covenant chosen people that are a new creation by faith, a people that deep in our hearts want to be his chosen people. We also are God’s house. John, in Revelation 21 verse 3 tells us, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.” On this idea, Frank Viola, in his book, “From Eternity to Here”, wrote,
“John’s climatic vision in Revelation 21 and 22 gives us an intriguing window into the ultimacy of God’s house. Therein we discover that the house is a city. As we read further, we discover that the city is also a bride, and that the bride is also a dwelling place, and that the dwelling place is also a wife, and that the wife is also a temple, and that the temple is also a garden. All are graphic, mind-grabbing images of the same reality. All speak of God’s ultimate purpose.”*
Milt Rodriguez quote from his blog, miltrodriguez.wordpress.com, from 7/6/2011. Frank Viola quote from his book, From Eternity to Here (
: David C. Cook, 2009) p.
213-214. This book is an excellent,
thorough examination of this subject.
Frank has additional resources at his website www.ptmin.org, and his blog is www.frankviola.org. Colorado Springs,