God’s Eternal Plan (Chapter 2 Excerpts)

Please enjoy some excerpts from chapter two of jerry’s book, His Eternal Plan:

Having a broad look at the Bible is very important to understanding God’s overall message. Throughout His Word, God continues to tell about His love and patience. Look at the table of contents in your Bible. You will find that the Bible is divided into two major sections, Old Testament and New Testament. Have you ever thought about what it means to have a testament from God?

A testament is very similar to the idea of a promise or a covenant. A covenant is a promise between two parties with conditions to be met. In the Bible we read about an old promise and a new promise. God has made a promise to us. The fulfillment of that promise is Jesus. He is what this lesson is all about. We will use an illustration in this lesson, a diagram to help us understand how all the stories of the Bible fit together to tell the story of Jesus.

Let the line on the left side of the paper represent the beginning of time and life as we know it.  The Bible refers to that as creation.  The Bible also tells us that time will end one day.  The line on the right side of the page represents the day we will stand before God, and life on this earth will be over.  That day in the Bible is called Judgment.  Not only is that day going to be the end of time as we know it, but it will also be the beginning of a timeless existence that will continue for eternity, either with God in Heaven or separated from Him in a godless Hell.  We will talk more about this later.

Someplace in between creation and judgment (as illustrated by the cross), God sent His Son Jesus in order to buy us back from sin and  separation from Him. Think about this: God purposed to send Jesus even before He created the world.

1 Peter 1:18-21
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver and gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from our forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.  He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.  Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

Isn’t it amazing that God knew we would need to be saved from our sin even before he created the world?  He still loved us enough to create us with free will and the power to decide whether to trust Him or not.  Jesus Christ was a part of God’s plan before creation.  He was chosen or destined before the world was made to become the sin payment for us.  Jesus was the Lamb, sacrificed for our redemption.  He came to reveal God’s will and through Him we can have relationship with God.

The New Testament tells us that the Messiah did come to earth in fulfillment of God’s plan.  He was born in the nation God told Abraham he would be.  God foretold what tribe (Judah) and what family (David) in that tribe the Christ would be born.  The prophets foretold that he would be born in the city of David (Bethlehem), born of a virgin (Mary).  Jesus fulfilled prophecies and predictions made hundreds of years in advance.  In fact, Jesus fulfilled 60 major prophecies in the Old Testament and 270 ramifications of those prophecies.  The Old Testament gives us plenty of evidence to prove that He is the Messiah.

In the first four books of the New Testament, the Gospels, we find the history of Jesus’ life.   Jesus did not come just to be a messenger of God like the prophets.  Instead He came to be God’s message; literally, God became flesh and lived among us (John 1:1-18).  Jesus was tempted and yet was without sin (Hebrews 4:14-16), and then He offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins according to God’s perfect eternal plan.  Jesus was crucified, a painful humiliating death, just like the prophets said (Isaiah 53).  Jesus went willingly to the cross to pay a price for our sin that we could not pay.  He did this so we could spend eternity with Him if we put our faith and trust in Him.

Three days after His crucifixion, God raised Jesus from the dead.  Jesus appeared to the apostles for a period of forty days speaking about the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:1-3).  Then they watched Him as he ascended to heaven where He has gone to prepare a place for us (John 14:1-4).

About ten days later, Jesus sent the promised Holy Spirit from God to empower the apostles and inspire them to preach the message of salvation to the whole world.  This brought about the birth of the church, the Kingdom of God (Acts 2).