By John Larkins
God’s overall plan for us human beings has been presented in earlier discussions but always seems new to some people. God created us to be His companions. It seems redundant to say that He loves us but, we cannot say it too often. This fact is at the core of any ideas we have about God. When we look at the arguably 6,000 years He has shown His interaction with us in biblical sources, it is incomprehensible to think that there are people who deny His existence, as well as His complete and inescapable authority over our lives and most particularly, our eventual fate in the eternal existence of our souls. The evidence in prehistoric cave drawings and making of various artifacts, our built-in and natural dreaming about the “unnatural” or “unworldly” imagination precipitated religious art and practices even before God revealed Himself to Abraham about 6,000 years ago.
The full details were not revealed, of course, but as we watch the historical God move people, we begin to see the outlines of how we were to be redeemed or saved from exclusion of God’s friendship – the price of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Dare I serve “real meat” so early in the column? Here goes – our only purpose in life is to prove by our actions that we sincerely desire to spend eternity in God’s presence. Adam and Eve acted to prevent that from happening. Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, agreed to sacrifice Himself as a human, born of a woman, to establish and endow His Church for eternity to give us the occasion to present our case, upon death, to be saved from Hell.
God’s first step was to show Abraham that He was God, and a “jealous” God, at that. Then, Abraham’s youngest son Joseph, through many miracles, was to set the stage in Egypt for the generation of a mighty nation to be formed. It would be the shining example of a religious entity, a model of how to behave with an almighty God. A man born in this nation but reared by a different society was chosen to lead the nation to a land promised by God for its unique development.
Reading how God convinced Moses to this majestic leadership responsibility is absolutely stunning. About 4,000 years ago, this (approximately) 80-year-old man was literally talked into the most serious and trying leadership position imaginable. The Israelites had grown to about a million people. There were so many people, with so much potential for rebellion, that the Egyptian Pharaoh was no longer friendly.
The Old Testament, as the first volume of the Bible is called, relates God’s word for important events covering 4,000 years. This accounts for why it is so long. By contrast, the New Testament covers only 100 years! We should note that this tremendous effort was necessary to prepare this nation for becoming God’s shining example before all nations and a model for worshipping Him, responding to God’s law, obeying a priesthood and presenting sacrifices through the priests to atone for their sins. From the beginning, they were promised a Savior, a Redeemer who would allow them to reach heaven. Salvation, the gateway to God’s presence was withheld until the Savior came. God was present near the people and constantly guiding them through Moses.
The Redeemer, God’s promised Savior, came to earth as prophesied about 2,000 years ago. We celebrate His birth in December during Christmas. If you wish to celebrate some other time, just remember the absolutely critical fact is that He DID come!
Jesus grew up like most Jewish children – religiously and lovingly but uniquely aware that He had a mission. Jesus also loved His Mother and stepfather. When He had caused them a little distress about separation on a trip, His explanation of “Do you not know I must be about My Father’s business?” caused them to think about their son. It was not news to Mary, however, for the Angel Gabriel had told her prior to the Immaculate Conception what she was volunteering to do.
Contact John Larkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Larkins’ formal education includes a BS certified for science teaching, an MBA from the University of Missouri and an MPA from Jacksonville State University in public administration and environmental management. For the past 15 years, John evangelized on the street, door-to-door, in tent revivals and in church situations. Contact John Larkins at email@example.com.