God has a desire to create a special place, for His special people, to enjoy His special privilege. Don’t believe me? Check out how the Bible begins . . . and ends:
- In the beginning of time, God created a special place (Garden of Eden), where a special people (Adam and Eve – created in the image of God), could enjoy a special privilege (being blessed by God as He perfectly met all their spiritual and physical needs.) All this is seen in Genesis 1.
- God reiterated this desire in His covenant with Abraham. To Abraham God promised to give a new place (the land God would show him – Palestine), make of him a mighty people (a new nation – we would learn later this was the nation of Israel), and give this people an awesome privilege (all the people of the earth would be blessed through them – a promise that would take shape through Abraham’s ultimate descendent, Jesus Christ). This promise was given by God in Genesis 12:1-3.
- Ultimately, God promises to make good on His promises to Abraham in the end times when His special people (not only the Jews but also all who profess faith in Christ) will inhabit the promised place (the full nation of Israel, but also a worldwide reign), experiencing a tremendous privilege (reigning on the earth with a resurrected and returned Jesus on the earth, sitting on David’s throne for 1,000 years). This future reality is prophesied in Revelation 20.
- Finally, God promises to create a new place (a new heaven and a new earth), for His special people (all those redeemed through Christ), to live in His privilege (eternal life in His presence). This is the triumphant conclusion of Revelation 21-22.
While much happens in between Genesis – Revelation, where the Bible begins and ends helps us understand the heart of God to live in relationship with us. What a tremendous encouragement this should be to our hearts!
But, as this story plays out, another force is actively at work trying to tear apart the fellowship God desires with His people. From the very beginning, Satan is trying to separate God from His people. Satan’s strategy to separate people from their God is to entice them to sin or disobey God. Sin carries with it the consequence of separating people from God . . . but it also separates people from each other.
This week at Wildwood, we will be in part 2 of our 3 part sermon series “In the Beginning.” This week we will be looking deeper at Genesis 3 to see the effects sin has on our relationships with God and others. Sin desires to tear us apart, but in Christ, God desires to knit us back together. We will be looking at that this week. I hope you can join us in either our 9:30 or 10:50 worship services at Wildwood Community Church.