Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | October 31, 2016

The Mystery of God’s Creation, concluded

God’s Creation (a small example)

Last week’s essay featured a photo from the Hubble telescope displaying the Omega Nebula which is definitely large. God’s creation is a wondrous display of His creative extravagance from the largest to the smallest. This week I feature another amazing part of God’s creation that is small but equally wonderful in her own way! This tiny kitten, which was found on a used car lot sleeping under one of the cars, has become a beloved member of our family and continues to bring joy to our household.

Abby in Her New Bunk Bed

Abby, as a kitten

God’s Plan for Cleaning up the Mess

Previously I mentioned my wonder at God’s patience with His creation and His reluctance to simply vaporize it all and start over. I also wondered at the old creation that had been subjected to the curse because of Adam’s sin yet appears to have been given hope, a promise of restoration along with God’s children in Romans chapter 8.

The focus of God’s plan for cleaning up the mess is the person and the work of the Lord Jesus Christ; the gospel is the good news of salvation and redemption in Jesus Christ as Savior resulting in the new birth. In Jesus we have the Second Adam from above and the promise of the indwelling Holy Spirit who has indwelt believers since the creation of the church at Pentecost, AD 33.

While the soul has been redeemed and the spirit awakened to life, our mortal bodies still labor under the curse of Adam’s sin. Our mortal bodies cannot join us in eternity, they must be replaced with a heavenly body which will be progressively given to believers; the church will receive their resurrection bodies at the rapture of the church as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 while the Old Testament saints will receive their resurrection bodies at the Second Advent. Daniel 12:2; Isaiah 26:19

The Process of Purification

We looked at God’s unbelievable patience with His creation and His amazing willingness to take dramatic steps to save it; examined the seeming conflict between the destruction of creation and creations hope for a glorious future with God’s children and started looking at certain facts revealed in the Bible that could help in resolving this apparent contradiction.

Think about those Christians who will still be alive at the rapture of the church; we are told they will be transformed and their mortal bodies of dust will be changed over to heavenly bodies that will last forever and be free of the virus of sin.

Another point to consider is the way our works are dealt with by the Lord. In 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 where it is written:

12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”

This is referred to as the “Judgment Seat of Christ” which I see as a process of purification for the Christian’s works. While the Christian is completely free of all condemnation the works of the Christian over the course of their lives may include works that were done in the power of the flesh and not in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Those works done in the power of the flesh are burned up and leave the Christian with only those works done in the power of the Holy Spirit. I see this as a refining process that is intended to purify the Christian’s works just as the Christian was purified by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians enter heaven with no trace of sin remaining.

Now the Creation

Could it be that God will apply the same process of purification to the creation of Romans 8:19-22? I have begun to think this could really happen; I can see our Lord preserving His creation by purifying it by fire; I can imagine the fiery destruction of 2 Peter 3: 5-13 as a refining process. When we consider our mortal bodies we know they can appear to be totally destroyed yet we can also know with Job who writes in Job 19:25-27

25 “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and he will stand upon the earth at last.
26 And after my body has decayed,
    yet in my body I will see God!
27 I will see him for myself.
    Yes, I will see him with my own eyes.
    I am overwhelmed at the thought!”

I freely admit this is speculation but I enjoy thinking on such things and encourage you to think on it too. It would be nice to know what your thoughts may be on this matter if you feel inclined to share them.

In the meantime, “I am overwhelmed at the thought!”


Responses

  1. I too, am overwhelmed. And possibly a bit anxious. But then patience has never been one of my strengths. Thank you, David!!

    Like

    • Phil,
      How good to hear from you; I hope all is well with you and Sharon. I find myself rather strange when it come to patience; in some areas I am the soul of patience but in others I can be rather impatient, go figure.
      My warm best wishes to both of you!
      David

      Like

  2. I agree with your conclusion that God’s creation will be purified by fire. I find it comforting to think that God loves his creation so much that he chooses to restore it and not destroy it (and that includes us). Praise God for his goodness and love for his creation.

    Like

    • Karen,
      Thank you for your comment and the privilege of having you as my daughter. God’s plan for redemption through Jesus Christ is so gracious and loving it is easy for me to see the application of that love, mercy and grace being applied to His creation.
      Love,
      Dad

      Like

  3. Your thoughts on Creations purification are mimicked by N.T. Wright in his book “Surprised by Hope.” I think you and N.T. Wright are on to something!

    Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: