(Israel Conference – Langensteinbacherhohe: “Eschatological Convictions”, Nov 20- 25, 2007)
Jn 1:10-14 He came, and His glory was beheld by only a few
Jn 16:8-11 And when He (the Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of Judgment: of sin, because they do not believe on Me (Jesus); of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
Rev 1:1a The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants – things which must shortly take place. . . .
Rom 7:21 – 8:25 this creation subjected by God to futility until the revelation of the glory of God in Messiah, the Son of God, and in the sons of God
I read in an Israeli newspaper recently about a survey taken amongst Israelis. The question was, “What would you want to do if you thought that the world would end next week?” (or something similar to that). Most of the answers were of the sort: more sex, more eating, and stealing and other crime. Some of those who took part in the survey live what would be considered normal lives now. But the results of the survey show that the nature of man is sinful. For many, there is no fear of God or of judgment; no faith or hope of resurrection to stand before the Holy God; no vision for godliness. People of this sort are very much like Esau who, thinking he would soon die (and he didn’t), demonstrated he had no real interest or belief in the living God, in His promises, or for his own children’s future. From this survey we get a little glimpse of what things will increasingly be like in these last days leading up to the return in great power and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. As the bride of Messiah, we are to sanctify ourselves for Him who is holy and pure.
As the Word of God says, we need a vision of God’s Kingdom if we as believers are going to overcome by faith the world and the circumstances we live in. The Apostle Paul gives us in this passage we read reason for hope to enable us to persevere because GOD HAS PUT INTO HIS CREATION THE LIVING HOPE OF REDEMPTION, OF LIFE VICTORIOUS OVER DEATH THAT IS AT WORK NOW IN US AND THROUGHOUT THIS CREATION.
Rom 8:20 The creation was subjected to vanity (futility, disappointment, misery), not of its own will. . .
God is presently – even before sin came into the Garden of Eden (Rev 13:8; Gen 2:15-17) – acting contrary to and against what the creation at every level wants. When YHVH God eventually has what He wants – when everything is according to and suited to His nature and character (that is, to His Name) – there will be glory! (taken from T. Austin-Sparks) Meanwhile, by God Himself subjecting His own creation to disappointment and vanity, it is impossible for us or for the rest of the universe to realize the GLORY OF GOD.
Paul, though, does say that there is a work going on in the creation now: v. 22 It is groaning and travailing. God the Father has put the seed of life into the creation so that in its anguish there is the expectancy of something to be brought forth. There is going to be a birth of something from God, and there is this war in the cosmos and in our own flesh against keeping faith and hope that it is coming…and will come! “The WHOLE creation groans and travails!” Birth pains, labor pains…tribulation, great tribulation…birth and joy!
v. 23 Not only that, but WE, WHO HAVE THE FIRST-FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT, WE OURSELVES GROAN WITHIN OURSELVES. . . EAGERLY WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION, THE RESURRECTION OF OUR BODY!
v. 18-19 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly awaits for the revealing of the sons of God.
v. 24-25 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
Philp 2:5-11 The Holy Spirit is working in the world till all will worship Jesus, the Son of God, to the glory of the Father. This includes those who believe, of course, but also those who will not.
1Cor 13:10; 2Pt 3:13; Rev 21:1-5 We look beyond the millennial reign of Messiah to the perfect new Creation (cp God’s own expression for this present creation Gen 1:31).
We are called to THAT EXPECTATION of our Father in Heaven!