Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Friday, May 16, 2014

All In God

For by [that is, by means of or in] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether  thrones or  dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created  through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. -- Colossians 1:16-17

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.  After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high -- Hebrews 1:3 (emphasis added)

I don’t know if we can fully grasp how much different the world is now from how things were before the Cross.  Teachers and preachers and Christianity in general have latched onto some statements in the New Testament that point to degeneration.  People are going to get worse.  The world is going downhill.  Evil is becoming more powerful.  God is going to have to come back and rapture us out before cleansing the earth as He did in the days of Noah. 

That is all true on one side.  I think those who choose to reject God and willingly sell themselves to the spirit of antichrist will get worse.  The division between the righteous and the rebellious will be greater as time goes on.  Evil will become ever more desperate and extreme its manifestations.  That’s because it is cornered and has its back to wall.  Evil is not exalting in triumph but thrashing and flailing in panic.  The battle can go on for a long, long time, yet both sides know, or could know how it is going to end.   

The coin has another side, however.  God is working in His children.  His kingdom is growing and expanding like dough rising as the effects of the leaven permeate it.  The Body is maturing into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.  It may not be a linear process.  There is growth followed by pruning.  I believe we are entering or have entered the stage where there is going to be some cutting back.  We may not like this phase very well, but as far wiser people than me have said, the Church is strengthened and renewed by persecution. 

God is working in His creation.  Panentheism, the concept that “all is in God”, is reflected in the statements highlighted above.  He is immanent as well as transcendent, His life percolating and permeating through all of the Cosmos and especially through us, seeing through our eyes, hearing through our ears, and, perhaps, at times, whether we know it or not, speaking with our lips.  This is the difference from the old world, the world that existed before the Cross – that which has passed away. 

This is that, Peter said at Pentecost, prophesied by Joel.  The Spirit is poured out upon all flesh, sons and daughters prophesying, seeing visions, dreaming dreams, even among those thought too lowly and too distant, there may be an anointing.  We are fully accessible to God because Christ has made “purification for sins”.  In Christ, we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him (Ephesians 3:12).  Our Father knows and understands our fears, our doubts, our troubled hearts.  We cannot deceive Him, but neither can we be separated from Him.  The cries of our hearts, even those that cannot be formed into words, are heard by Him and answered. 

If you get a chance in the next couple of days, read Ephesians chapter 2, especially beginning in verse 11 through the end of the chapter, with this awareness of the presence of God in your life and in all that is. 

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