God’s Eternal Plan in Real Time

I have written about this many times before. However, getting an eternal view is always helpful and necessary so that we do not lose heart and think that God is simply passive in life and earthly events. Knowing that God, the God of the Bible, is in control, sovereign, and almighty, makes the very difficult realities of life not only bearable but very interesting when viewed from His eternal plan.

 

To say that life is self-sustaining, like a top that has been spun and let go in order to spin on its own, is to reveal an unbelieving heart. This is not active faith but passive acquiescence. I mean, even the world believes that in one form or another and the world does not believe in God, does it? Why, then, do we believe that this perspective is any more acceptable in the church?

 

Rather, God actively “holds all things together.” Paul wrote:

 

Colossians 1:15–17

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.

17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

 

Does this sound passive to you? Absolutely not! By Jesus Christ, Paul wrote, “all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible…” And, by Jesus Christ, all things “hold together.” That word is used in 2 Peter 3:5 in reference to creation. It means all things “stand together,” or are “held together.” The indication is that of a bond and order and sustenance that is only dissoluble when God, more specifically, Jesus Christ, releases it. By His sustaining power, which is constant and infinite, Jesus Christ is able to make the universe predictable. Even the so-called “natural laws” of the universe are only constant because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Therefore, He maintains every molecular bond, and every stellar relationship in the cosmos, in constancy and predictability.

 

But, why is this the case? I mean, why does Jesus Christ hold all things together? Was there a reason for creation? Does the Bible tell us why life even exists and where it is going? Of course it does! In fact, it gives explicit teaching so that we might have hope and encouragement in the Scriptures, and thus in God, and not hope in our circumstances:

 

Romans 15:4–6

4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,

6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

The reason goes all the way back before creation. The Bible teaches that the world was created in six days of active creation and a seventh day in which God stopped creating and enjoyed what He made. This was a week, the first week of creation. At the beginning of the week, we are told, the angels “sang together” at the laying of the foundations of the earth:

 

Job 38:5–7

5 Who set its measurements? Since you know.

Or who stretched the line on it?

6 “On what were its bases sunk?

Or who laid its cornerstone,

7 When the morning stars sang together

And all the sons of God shouted for joy?

 

We know that this was day one since the earth was summarily created, but not populated, at the beginning of day one:

 

Genesis 1:1–2

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

 

It was at this moment that the angels of God sang together at the display of God’s great power in His design and implementation of the foundational elements of creation. From here, Jesus would go on to create light, darkness, vegetation, animals, man and finally woman. And, since the angels sang together at the creation of these things, that would mean that the angels were created before Genesis 1:1. Therefore, all the angelic realm, with all of its incredible structure, hierarchy, and brilliance, was designed by Jesus Christ and created, with the aide of the Holy Spirit. All of this was from the decree of God to His Son for a specific reason.

 

What was that reason? Why would the Father give the decree to the Son to create the cosmos and populate it with so much variety and beauty? There are scores of passages that either hint at the reason or outright tell us. However, like creation, I am interested in the foundational elements at this point. From here we can build the building and see the glory of the house.

 

The best place to start as to motive and reason for this creation is found in the Apostle Paul’s writing to the Romans. He wrote:

 

Romans 8:28–30

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

 

Just like the sustaining work and power of Jesus Christ to order and preserve the predictable universe, God also sustains the lives of those who love Him, and (don’t miss this!) are called “according to His purpose.” What is the purpose? His purpose goes all the way back to the heart of God wherein He “predestined” something. What did He predestine? He predestined that created people would become an “icon” of His Son. The Greek word, “icon,” means a living picture or visible resemblance to something. In this case, God predestined that He would make men and women resemble His beloved Son, Jesus Christ! Incredible! This is it! The mystery is solved. The motive for all of creation is that God had a plan that was “hidden in God” and “carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:9-11). When you read the gospels, you are reading the active eternal plan of God being carried out, or accomplished, by God in impervious fashion. That is, nothing could, or can, withstand God’s purpose. Satan cannot outsmart Him. Men cannot but do His will. The whole created order is subject to this eternal plan without fail.

 

As Peter wrote, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps…” (1 Peter 2:21).