The story of God and man
This is a dramatic story, full of intense emotions, tragedy, and the highest level of love, mercy and forgiveness, but also wrath, justice and judgement. I will keep it short, so please take the time to meditate on it and bring it to your heart.
God is. among many other things, the Creator. He created the universe in which we live. That includes our world, us, and different spiritual beings, all of them already in picture in the first chapters of Genesis.
When He created us, both mankind and heavenly beings, He gave us one of the most precious gifts: free will. By doing that, God voluntarily limited His own might so that we could be free to make our own choices. Why would he do that? Because He delights in being served out of love and gratitude, and not because we have no other choice. Because of His goodness towards us, He expected us to reject evil and live faithfully to Him in love. Unfortunately, we chose to go our way and live life on earth without considering the will of our Creator and Lord, falling into the disgrace of sin and selfishness, giving the control over to the fallen cherub, Satan, named in the Bible “the god of this world.”
Yes, before us, angels had rebelled as well. God judged them, and their sentence has been already dictated. The destitution of their glory has been already executed, but their final punishment is still to come. They are on death row. But in the meantime, those powers of fallen angels and demons operate on earth and in the heavenly places, opposing everything God wants to do. Their time is limited, because they know He will take back this part of His creation and place it again under His authority.
Because yes, praise God, He will take it back. All the misery, suffering, pain, fear and death will disappear, and He will place His King to rule this earth with justice and righteousness. That King, His anointed one, will be Jesus of Nazareth, also known as the Christ. He was sent by God, also known as the Father, about 2000 years ago. God the Father informed us of His coming since the beginning of our existence through prophets, history, revelation, and the law of Moses. The entire Old Testament talks about Him, the One through which everything created was created, the One who sustains all created things in existence.
When Jesus, the Son of God, and Israel’s promised Messiah, came to earth, He proclaimed: “Repent! Because the Kingdom of God has come near!” He called that proclamation “the Good News of the Kingdom,” what we call in our days the gospel. The King was here, and every one of His followers expected earnestly that He would destroy their oppressors (the Romans at that time) and grant Israel independence and power. But, to their surprise, He didn’t. Because the real oppressor of Israel, and of the entire world, is not Satan, nor any government, the real oppressor is us. We love sin more than we love God, we love ourselves more than we love Him, and run towards Satan’s dominion through our sinful lifestyles. We have joined the gang of a condemned criminal, and we commit the same crimes he committed, deserving the same punishment he will receive.
Fortunately, God the Father is a merciful God. He decided to give us a chance and did not destroy us immediately. He chose to love us, and in order to be able to righteously forgive us, He needed to place the punishment for our crimes on someone strong enough and holy enough to carry all sins upon His conscience and pay for them at once and for ever.
Would there be anyone able to accomplish such a mission? Yes, God Himself. That was Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, who renounced to His glory as part of the Godhead, became like one of us, lived among us, taught us the way back to the Father, and gave His life as a sacrifice to pay for all our sins by dying on a cross.
But the story does not finish there. He was part of the Godhead; He was holy and pure. He proved His sovereignty by taking His life back three days later, resurrecting on His own power as the victorious King! There were many witnesses of this event, whose lives were so radically changed that there cannot be other possibility than this being true. The resurrected Messiah then sent us to proclaim His victory to all nations, and to call people to return to the Kingdom of God, walking out of the darkness of this world through faith in His name, and to be ready for His return.
Yes, He will return! He will come back to reign on earth, after having taking revenge of His enemies. He will then come as a sovereign ruler, and not anymore as a meek suffering rabbi.
However, the mission is way to big for us to accomplish it in our own strength. That’s why He sent His Holy Spirit from Heaven, which was promised to Abraham in the beginning of the Bible. This Holy Spirit would remind us of all Jesus taught, and guide us to the fullness of the truth, sealing our souls as a guarantee of our future salvation, and equipping us with supernatural power to fulfill the task given to us. He would communicate to us all that the Father and the Son have to say, and without Him, there’s nothing we can do.
So, the King has been here, has started the biggest movement of priests and ambassadors – His church – and will come back to reign and rule the world from Israel, His chosen nation. His Kingdom is already here, but is not yet established. While we wait His return, He has given us the Holy Spirit to carry out the mission. We have been sent then to proclaim this news, bring people through a spiritual new birth into His Kingdom, teach them His ways, equip them, and send them to rescue the rest of those who are still in the boundaries of the kingdom of darkness.
That is us, you and me. We are the sent ones, disciples and apostles of the King Jesus.