Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29).
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phpp 2:13).
God holds us in His Hand, always securely, and He works within us by giving us the desire to do His Will; and then He is the One Who works within us to bring about His Will in our lives. As He does so, He uses us to bring about His pleasure. Imagine that! We, His creatures, have the capacity under His direction to give the Creator of the Universe pleasure. In fact, that is why we were created in the first place, to bring Him Glory and to give Him pleasure.
“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9).
How does God, through us, bring about His glory and His pleasure?
Let’s start at the very beginning… a very good place to start. When you read, you begin with, “In the beginning, God!”
God… and God alone: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in perfect Oneness, perfect harmony, and perfect fellowship… God and God alone.
He did not need anything, and He did not want for anything; He has always been perfect and complete.
But… and a huge but it is… He chose to make a plan whereby He would create for Himself, and for His glory, a Universe and a people who would glorify and magnify His Name forever while at the same time, He would glorify and bless His chosen people forever.
How would He do such a thing? After all, when He began His plan, there was nothing!
Nothing existed at all!
So, the first thing He did was choose for Himself a group of people… not that He would create people for the next 6,000 years and then begin to choose out for Himself this person and that person… especially the very best persons. No, the reality is that He first, even before He created anything, chose a certain people to be His own precious possession whom He would create, to whom He would reveal Himself and then give each of them the gifts of repentance and faith to believe in Him and to trust the Savior which He Himself would eventually show Himself to be.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” Eph 1:3-7).
He began His creation by first creating the Universe and the Earth. He filled it with plants and animals and then created the first two people, Adam and Eve. But rather than being His willing instruments of worship and praise to Himself, they chose instead to rebel against Him and to sin. Sin entered the world, and the earth and everything in it were terribly marred and bent to evil.
Thankfully, that was all part of God’s plan; He would offer Himself up to be the One who would, Himself, pay the price of the punishment of Adam’s and all of our sins. But how do we know that Adam’s sin was all part of God’s plan? Well, first… what better way to bring glory and honor to Himself than to rescue and draw to Himself all of those people He had chosen for Himself? Also, He makes clear that He planned, at the same time that He chose those people for Himself, that He would also pay the price for all of their sins.
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (the Antichrist) whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8).
Oh… and also, I might add, at that same time, way back when… He also wrote the names of every person He chose to create for Himself in His Book of Life:
“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven…” (Heb 12:22-23).
Did you catch that? When Hebrews was written, all the Church of Jesus Christ was already written in Heaven.
“… and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world” (Rev 17:8).
I don’t need to belabor that, but it’s very important that we understand that each one of us who has trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ has always been planned and purposed to be His own special possession:
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9).
God planned each of us, and He offered Himself to pay for all our sins. He saved us with an everlasting Salvation, giving us Eternal Life in Him.
So… what’s next?
Coming soon… the culmination and consummation of our full, Eternal Salvation.
Next up will be the moment that the Lord Jesus Christ comes down as far as the clouds and calls us up to Himself in what’s known as the Rapture. He will receive us up to Himself, and then He will take us back to His Father’s house to the place He has prepared for each of us:
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3).
At that moment, in the twinkling of an eye, we will be changed; our sinful, mortal bodies will instantly become glorified, eternal bodies like that of the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1John 3:2).
Then, for the next 7 years, we will become fully acquainted with our Savior and begin to meet all those who’ve gone before us and those who went with us in the Rapture. We will also spend the time readying ourselves to be wed to the Lord Jesus Christ. God’s Word tells us that we were planned, before the foundation of the World was laid, to be the special ‘love gift’ from God, the Father, to His faithful Son:
“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2Cor 11:2).
At the end of that 7 years, we will be wed to Jesus Christ, we will enjoy the wedding feast, and then we will accompany Him back to Earth at Armageddon when He will destroy all those left alive at the end of the Tribulation who had rejected His free gift of Salvation. And He will set up His Glorious Kingdom on Earth for 1,000 years as we, the True Church, then rule and reign with Him:
“If we endure, We shall also reign with Him” (2Tim 2:12).
The extent of our individual areas of authority, as we rule and reign with the Lord Jesus Christ for 1,000 years, and then forever, will depend fully upon our faithfulness now, in this, our short time on Earth in these sinful, mortal bodies:
“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matt 25:21).
At the end of His Millennial Kingdom, He will destroy the present Heavens and Earth and create a New Heaven and New Earth, all of which will never again be touched by rebellion and sin:
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2Pet 3:10).
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea” (Rev 21:1).
But first, before He destroys and recreates the Heavens and the earth, He will sit upon a great White Throne to judge and condemn, to the Lake of Fire, every man throughout time who had rebelled and rejected God’s Salvation and every angel which had rebelled with Lucifer in the distant past:
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:11-15).
And, amazingly, we will be involved in God’s judgment:
“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? … Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” (1Cor 6:2-3).
Imagine you are required to sit in judgment of certain men and angels; imagine when you realize that they, the men, are condemned for doing things that you had done but you’d been freely forgiven!
This, then, is but a brief overview of our marvelous Salvation and the Love of God which He has freely given to us. This is why God planned and created us, that we would forever be in awe as we glorify, magnify and praise Him forever for His unfathomable Grace, Mercy, and Love for us. The reason, I believe, that He has planned for us to be involved in His Final Judgment of men and angels is that we would forever remember that we, because of our sin, deserve to have been among those condemned to the Lake of Fire forever. We should have been there too!
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1John 3:1).
He planned that each of us would be His instruments of worship, that we would sing His praise forever, that we would shout for joy forever, that we would be a people who would love, honor, and cherish Him forever for all He has done for us!
Let me be an instrument of worship
Let me be a vessel of Your praise
Let me be an instrument of worship
Always Lord, to lift Your Name.
Let us be a symphony of worship
Let us be a symphony of Praise
Always Lord, to bless You
Always Lord, to praise You
Always Lord, to lift Your Name!