From the beginning God has made a plan for humanity? In this series about learning what God is, who He is, and what His plans for the world are has to go way back to when He first jumped into history to do something big. In Genesis 1, God jumps into the universe He started and began the interaction with a beautiful creation. The belief in Genesis is that God made the earth good, one that was peaceful and full of good will. However, humanity to change the course of this world. We decided we could take control of the world and replace God, but we left the world a ragged place. Ever since there have been signs of violence, greed, oppression, etc. But God is still on the move to bring back that great plan that He wanted for us.
This is the beginning of the story of humanity. We started with so much promise. We were given a blank book and a pen to write out the story. God only gave us the plot line to work with. Our deviation from that plot led God to have to try to intervene. From Noah to Abraham, God began to seek out His people again. That phrase “His People” is actually a strange phrase that humanity has made a paradox with. Based on Judeo-Christian beliefs, God’s people have always been thought of as an ethnicity or a religion. When you think of Genesis, you begin to see how strange that phrase is. God created everyone. If God created all people, would not His people be all of humanity? Why would a creator single out a group of people and stop there? It would be inconsistent. God must have a plan for everyone. If you read Genesis alone, you see this God does have a dream for everyone. Not only is Abraham’s family being approached, but other people outside of that family are experiencing God in different ways. Moses interacted with the Moabites, the spies spared Rahab, King David joined other armies, Isaiah spoke of other nations coming to worship God, and many other things in the Old Testament revealed that God chose a people only as a channel to reach everyone else. In our fallen state we began to settle for exclusion. Others were kept out of the group and when someone in the group began to disagree or look different, they were chased out and became part of the other people. Our defiance of God led to a world absent of love for other people. God, however wants things to be different.
The New Testament is more adamant that ethnic/religious walls have been torn down. Jesus repeatedly affirms the pagans. He even spoke of a Centurion having the most faith out of any one in Israel. A centurion was a roman by the way, meaning He was not Jewish and was hated by most Jews. This was mind blowing inclusion because no one in any group was supposed to include someone in another group. Jesus in Matthew 5:45 that God sends the rain on the just and the unjust alike. This means God trying to reach our Mother Teresas’ and Adolph Hitlers’. He is reaching for the fighters of ISIS and the American soldiers. He wants the rich rulers of Syria and the refugees stuck in other countries. He wants them all to chase love and servant hood towards each other. Even Paul says in Galatians 3 that there is no Jew nor Gentile in the Kingodm of God. In the Kingdom of Heaven, the walls that have separated are no more or weak like wet paper at best.
I usually do not mention this, but I have to bring up Revelation at this point. As confusing and weird as the book sounds, one thing is for sure, God’s love for humanity and creation wins. Jesus in chapter 21 states that he is making everything new again. The language here is that’d resurrection and renewal. God is going to make everything new. He will do away with the evil in the world. When His kingdom comes down and overtakes the earth. In the end the world will be brought to the purpose it was meant for. And He is doing this by transforming us as mentioned in Romans 12. We are being transformed into beings of love so that we can exist in a world of love.
What does this mean for us now? We find the meaning in the person of Jesus. Jesus came as the Prince of the Kingdom that is fulfilling the purposes of God. Jesus lived out that purpose in His context perfectly. If we follow Jesus, we are in that same Kingdom. So we have to be the redeeming and ministering ambassadors for Him today. Anyone who does not choose to represent the Kingdom of peace, love, and compassion will not be able to stand the presence of the God who is love incarnate. The presence will be torture. The existence will be too much. People who live for hate could never survive a world based solely on love. That is God’s plan for humanity. Love is our purpose. When we enter heaven we will fully experience being love and sharing love. The Kingdom is one the opposes violence, greed, and oppression. The choices to be part of Heaven or Hell here on earth have ramifications for our existence for eternity. The question is will we join Him and His desires for us?
One last thing, if you have ever been excluded by a church or group of people claiming to represent Jesus or have even ran away from people treating you poorly because you disagreed with the leadership, you are not alone and you are not a sinner because you were kicked out. If anything, you have escaped a Church that is actually anti-Christ. People who support their convictions with violence or other forms of coercive persuasion are not followers of Jesus. They have wronged you and you deserve a community that will welcome you in peace and will let you Grow in love. Go find that community that you are safe in. It must be one that still challenges you, but make sure it is one you are safe in. A group that coerces people into being a certain thing that is not an essential to the Faith can draw you into Hell just as quickly as a negative worldly group can. God wants better things for all of us.