In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
(Ephesians 1:7-10 NIV)
Yesterday we learned that God has given His children – born-again believers [John 1:12] – insight into what He is doing with the universe. God has a goal and everything that is happening in our world is moving toward that goal. And that goal is to unite “all things in heaven and on earth under Christ”.
Someday everyone will be under the authority of Jesus Christ. The vast majority of people will experience Jesus as their judge and will be banished from His presence forever [Matthew 7:13-14, 21-23] in a place known as hell. The rest will experience Jesus as their savior and will spend eternity with Him in heaven.
But even before that, Jesus will rule on earth for 1,000 years. This is known as The Millenium. When Jesus returns to earth at some point in the future He will defeat the antichrist, bind Satan, and establish a global government over which He reigns supreme and with never-before-experienced benevolence [Revelation 19:19-20:3]. He will be the first, and last, fair and selfless ruler on earth.
Jesus first came to earth as a sacrificial lamb to be slain for the sins of mankind. But when He comes the second time He will come as a king. He will establish peace on earth for the first time since the early days of the Garden of Eden. This is pretty hard to imagine especially for those of us living today who are seeing our world become less and less peaceable seemingly every day. For those who are alive during this time it will be an incredible experience.
Its important to note that this passage clearly teaches that all this will happen at a certain point in the future – “when the times reach their fulfillment”. No one knows exactly when this will happen, not even Jesus or the angels [Mark 13:32]. Nevertheless, the world is moving closer to these events with every day that passes. At some point God will declare that “time is up” and will send Jesus back to earth.
Until that time life on earth will continue to be tough and will only get tougher. God tells us that all of creation – this includes animals, plants, and inanimate objects like rocks and the planets – are groaning and waiting with expectation for this day [Romans 8:18-22].
For on that day everything will be liberated from the bondage that man’s sin has placed it in. Isn’t it interesting that our sin has affected all of creation, not just the human experience. Our behavior affects more than people. Our sin has caused pain and suffering for everything – living or not – in the universe. That is pretty serious.
Believers are already free from the penalty of sin (we aren’t going to hell). But someday we will also be free from the presence and power of sin too. That is God’s purpose for us. And that will happen when Jesus is installed as ruler over all.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.