God’s Plan for the Future -vsMan’s Plan for the Future God’s Plan for the Future “As truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the Glory of the Lord” (Numbers 14:21) “For thus saith the Lord…God himself that formed the earth…he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited” (Isaiah 45:18) God’s Plan for the Future “The heaven, even the heaven’s are the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men”. Psalm 115:16 God’s Plan for the Future Elpis Israel “Revolving upon its own axis, and describing an ample circuit through the boundless fields of space, is a planet of the solar system bearing upon its surface a population of over a thousand millions subject to sin, disease and death. This orb of the starry heavens shines with a glory similar to that of its kindred spheres. Viewed from them, it is seen sparkling “like a diamond in the sky”; and with the rest of the heavens, declares the glory of God, and shows forth the handiwork of Him that did create it. God’s Plan for the Future Elpis Israel This celestial orb, which is a world or system of itself, is styled THE EARTH. It is the habitation of races of animals which graze its fields, lurk in its forests, soar through its atmosphere, and pass through the paths of its seas. At the head of all these is a creature like themselves, animal, sensual and mortal. He is called MAN. He has replenished the earth and subdued it, and filled it with his own renown. His crimes, however, rather than his virtues have illustrated and distinguished him with an unhappy pre-eminence above all other created God’s Plan for the Future Elpis Israel things. His heart is evil; and, left to its uncontrolled impulses, he becomes licentious, merciless, and more cruel than the fiercest beast of prey. Such is the being that claims the independent sovereignty of the globe. He has founded dominions, principalities and powers; he has built great cities, and vaunted himself in the works of his hands, saying “Are not these by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?” He repudiates all lordship over him, and claims the inalienable right of self-government, and of God’s Plan for the Future Elpis Israel establishing whatever civil and ecclesiastical institutions are best suited to his sensuality and caprice. Hence, at successive periods, the earth has become the arena of fierce and pandemoniac conflicts; its tragedies have baptised its soil in blood, and the mingled cries of the oppressor and the victim have ascended to the throne of the Most High. Skilled in the wisdom which comes from beneath, he is by nature ignorant of that which is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be God’s Plan for the Future Elpis Israel entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” This is a disposition to which the animal man under the guidance of his fleshly mind has no affinity. His propensity is to obey the lust of his nature; and to do its evil works, “which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, sects, envying, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like”. All these make up the character of the world, “the lust of the flesh, the lust God’s Plan for the Future Elpis Israel the eye, and the pride of life”, upon which is enstamped the seal of God’s eternal reprobation. “They who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God,” but “they shall die”. Such is the world of human kind! The great and impious enemy of God upon the earth. Its mind is not subject to His law, neither indeed can it be. What shall we say to these things? Is the world as we behold it a finality? To the Bible, then, all must come at last if they would be truly wise in Spiritual things! God’s Plan for the Future Man’s Plan for the Future 1. More of the same – he revels in darkness 2. War and famine have characterised the last 6,000 years – hostility between nations based on man-made religion 3. No matter how advanced man has become, he has not altered even the basic laws of nature – through advances in medicine, life expectancy may have increased a little, but man is still subject to disease and death. Man has no control over the basic elements, rain, wind etc God’s Plan for the Future Man’s Plan for the Future The Scriptures tell us: “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps”. (Jeremiah 10:23) “…the whole world lieth in wickedness…” (1 John 5:19) God’s Plan for the Future Man’s Plan for the Future Basic Statistics: Between a third and one half of the world’s population today is starving (those starving are mainly in Africa and India) 90 million children are suffering from a chronic lack of food and are on the brink of starving to death. One out of three lives in India. 270 million children have no one to take care of their basic or complex medical needs. In India, 2.2 million die every year to preventable childhood disease. God’s Plan for the Future Man’s Plan for the Future Basic Statistics: 640 million homeless children will go to bed tonight sleeping against walls and in the streets. 500 million children do not have access to proper sanitation while another 400 million have no safe water. 440 million children do not have access to education while 190 million women in India remain illiterate 143 million orphans fend for themselves without care or supervision, whilst 211 million children work in labour markets where they are exploited, they suffer and are abused God’s Plan for the Future God’s Plan for the Future “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And he looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. (Genesis 6:11-12) “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people …” (Isaiah 60:2) God’s Plan for the Future Hope of a Brighter Future around the Hope of Israel Israel God’s Plan for the Future ISRAEL “Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. For thus saith the Lord of hosts; after the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye”. Zechariah 2:7-8 Israel’s Restoration “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the Kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6) God’s Plan for the Future The Promises to Abraham o Abraham was asked to leave his country and enter a country which God would shew him (Genesis 12:1) o He would be made a great nation, he would be blessed, and his name would be made great (Genesis 12:2) o All families are to be blessed in Abraham and in his seed (Christ Jesus) (Genesis 12:3) o The Land of Israel was to be given to him as an everlasting possession (Genesis 12:7) God’s Plan for the Future The Promises to Abraham o He would become a father of many nations, kings shall come out of him (Genesis 17:4,6) o World was promised to him and his seed for ever (Romans 4:13) o His seed in number to be compared with the stars of heaven and the sand upon the sea shore (Genesis 22:17) o Abraham’s seed to possess the gate of his enemies (Genesis 22:18) God’s Plan for the Future The Promises to Abraham o Promises repeated to Isaac (Genesis 26:4) o We are told the reason why Abraham was to be blessed in this way: -Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes and my laws (Genesis 26:5) o The gospel message summed up in a sentence: “all nations to be blessed in Abraham and his seed (Christ Jesus)”. (Galatians 3:8) o Galatians tells us that we can become partakers of the promises through baptism into Christ (3:2629) God’s Plan for the Future The Promises to Abraham o Promises repeated to Jacob (Genesis 28:14) o Jesus Christ presently sits in the heavens at his Father’s right hand, but the promise is that he will return to establish the ancient Kingdom of Israel. o “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heavens must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began … God’s Plan for the Future The Promises to Abraham … Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, and in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3:20,21,25,26) God’s Plan for the Future Five Elements of a Kingdom 1. Land Israel (Capital: Jerusalem) 2. King Jesus Christ 3. Law God’s Law Re-introduced 4. Rulers The faithful of the ages 5. Subjects The Nation of Israel God’s Plan for the Future Land The land of Canaan (Israel) promised to Abraham and his seed for ever (Genesis 12 v 7) Zechariah tells us “And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again”. (2:12) Ezekiel says: “Thus saith the Lord GOD: In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And they shall say, this land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced and are inhabited”. (35:33-35) God’s Plan for the Future King = Jesus Christ Daniel tells us: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (7:13-14) John tells us in Revelation: “And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (19:16) God’s Plan for the Future Laws “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem”. (Isaiah 2:2-3) God’s Plan for the Future Rulers Daniel also supplies us with the rulers or the aristocracy of God’s Kingdom: “…the saints of the most High shall take the Kingdom, and possess the Kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” (7:18) “And the Kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” (7:27) God’s Plan for the Future Subjects = The Jews Who will be the King’s subjects? “For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:6) “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” (Zechariah 8:23) God’s Plan for the Future House of Prayer for All Nations “Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations?” (Mark 11:19) RV “The strangers that join themselves to the Lord…even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer…for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.” (Isaiah 56:6-8) God’s Plan for the Future “…they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” Isaiah 2:4 God’s Plan for the Future “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” Luke 2:13-14 “…they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” Isaiah 2:4 God’s Plan for the Future God’s plan is to bless all nations when they are righteous and respectful to God’s laws and ways. God will setup a Kingdom which shall not be left to other people and he will rule the nations with a rod of iron. All dominions shall serve and obey him. The impending changes to the constitution of the world is such that the new order is described as “new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness”. “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind”. (Isaiah 65:17) God’s Plan for the Future “But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy”. “And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying”. (Isaiah 65:18) “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9-13) “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1:7) God’s Plan for the Future The Book of Daniel shows the two constitutions: Kingdom of Men and Kingdom of God. The main elements are that the Most High Ruleth in the Kingdoms of men and is intent on destroying every dominion that will not bow the knee and submit to His son’s iron rule. In Daniel 2 we see five universal empires, the first four of which are crushed by succeeding powers, the final one to be victorious at the hands of the King of Kings! God’s Plan for the Future “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end”. (Luke 1:32-33) “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.” (Isaiah 60:18) “Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.” (Zechariah 8:3) God’s Plan for the Future “…Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” (Psalm 48:2) God’s Plan for the Future ALL NATIONS SHALL BE BLESSED 1. The nations will become righteous, knowing of God - if they stray, they will hear a voice behind them “this is the way walk ye in it”. Children will be taught the Law. 2. No more war – implements to become farming utensils 3. No more famine – plenty of food for all 4. Life expectancy will increase significantly 5. Israel to be exalted 6. People will not be afraid – doors will be left unlocked God’s Plan for the Future ALL NATIONS SHALL BE BLESSED 7. The commercial world as we know it will cease – no more plastic factories, no more sweat shops, no more child labour or unjust exploitation of the vulnerable 8. Desserts are to blossom and water will flow freely 9. Most of the world’s cities which are commonly characterised by sin will be cleansed and subsequently rebuilt, around the principles of righteousness and for the purpose of giving Glory to God 10. The kings and queens will lay their crowns before Christ – there will be no more tyrants. Human rights will be crushed as the nations serve God and not themselves God’s Plan for the Future SALVATION How do we become partakers of the promises of Salvation? God’s plan requires man “to put off the old man”, the man who serves sin, in the association of baptism, and God requires that we “put on Christ” and emulate Christ’s actions and thoughts in our lives. Paul points out that only in death is man free of sin (Romans 6:7). He shows symbolically that man dies in baptism and comes forth to a “newness of life” (Romans 6:9) in Christ Jesus. In this we have hope of everlasting life and being one of Christ’s brethren who will rule the nations for a thousand years. God’s Plan for the Future SALVATION Commitment Required “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. (Romans 8:38-39) God’s Plan for the Future SALVATION Seek REFUGE from the coming storm!