God Put You Here on Purpose, Part One
When the Lord Jesus Christ died, the disciples were frightened. They thought that they themselves might be crucified. And as rapidly as possible, they took flight. Their refuge was an upper room in somebody's house, where they had gone up and closed the door, and were huddled there in fear. And suddenly the Lord Jesus Christ came through walls and was standing there in the midst of them. "When the doors were shut ... Jesus [came] and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when lie had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord" (John 20:19-20). And the Lord began to speak in a great way, giving the purpose which He had in His heart for these disciples. He said, "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you" (v. 21).
Now this is nothing less than the statement of the fact that God has bound us up with Jesus Christ in His purposes. "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." God had an eternal purpose for Jesus Christ, and we shall see from the Bible that that eternal purpose includes us. We read, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: that ... he might gather together in one all things in Christ" (Eph. 1:7-11). The center of God's purpose is to gather all things together in Christ.
God has no thought in His creation that is apart from Jesus Christ, and the love that He has towards His Son, and the glory that He purposes to show through Jesus Christ. Now, our union with Christ is within the framework of this eternal purpose. The Bible has a dozen references, perhaps, that give us details of what God purposes to do with us eternally, what He has already begun in us now, and what He wishes to be through us while we are living and working and waiting here.
In the first place, then, let us look at some of the things that God proposes to do with us in the future. We read in Titus 3:7, "That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." So one of God's purposes is that we might be made heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs of Jesus Christ. God intends to govern the universe by Christ, plus those who have believed in Him in this age. It is nothing more nor less than God's statement that you and I are to be the colonial administrators of the universe. God is not going to govern the universe through angels. And we are not going to be angels. The angels will be our domestic servants as we read in Hebrews 1:14, "Are they [the angels] not all ministering spirits [domestic servants], sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" We are the heirs of salvation. And God proposes to use us in the government and administration of the universe.
I believe that most people walking about the earth, most Christians, haven't the foggiest notion of the grandeur of their destiny in eternity. Many years ago, A.B. Simpson said, "As I see the Word of God, I do not put it beyond Him, that some day He shall say to some of us, go there to that place in space, create a world by the power that I give to thee. Develop it and govern it for Me."
The Bible does not teach that being in heaven means you are to sit on a cloud polishing your crown and strumming your harp. Those are figures of speech. The music of the harp is the symbol of eternal ecstasy and the crown is the symbol of government that all have to do with our association with the Lord Jesus Christ. You'll be working in heaven. You'll be at the height of all of your powers forever, with no thought of fatigue and with an infinite variety of work to do. It will call for everything that is within you in the perfection and happiness of your union with the Lord Jesus Christ. We are heirs, and we are joint heirs.
In Ephesians 2:7 we read, "That in the ages to come he might chew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus." God proposes to do things because He wants to show the exceeding riches of His grace. Anyone who has become a parent knows that in the heart of the parent is the desire to do something for the child. And if years pass and you become a grandparent, there comes the thought, "I would like to do something for my grandchildren." The Bible teaches that God is doing everything for Jesus Christ and that, through Jesus Christ, God proposes to do as much for us as He does for Jesus Christ. The Scripture can give us something no less than this, that we are "fellow heirs," and that we are "accepted in the beloved," indeed, according to Ephesians 1:23, we are "the fullness of him that filleth all in all." This is God's eternal purpose.
- Why do you think the disciples were frightened? Do you think they had a reason to be?
- If we are not angels sitting on clouds in heaven, what will eternity be like?
- What are some passages of scripture that develope your view of Heaven?
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