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Monday, April 23, 2007

Plan A

While discussing the Daughters of Zelophehad this Sunday, we explored the concept that God does not have a "Plan B." He ordained for Zelophehad to only have daughters, yet permitted their inheritance.

Perhaps it was a bit of a heavy leap, but we then took a look at Romans 11 to see that God's plan in salvation was not an issue of Plan A (Israel) and Plan B (Gentiles). My desire was that if we see God's eternal purposes working in the large scale issue of salvation, then we would certainly be able to see it at work in smaller issues, such as land inheritance.

God's purposes for His People is not something I've spoken on a lot of. Therefore, as I straightened my desk up for a counseling appointment this morning, I found it interesting that the following quotes from Shepherds' Conference fell out of a stack:
Papias (60-135 AD) who is now mentioned by us, affirms that he received the sayings of the apostles from those who accompanied them, and he moreover asserts that he heard in person Aristion and the presbyter John. Accordingly he mentions them frequently by name, and in his writings gives their traditions...Amongst these he says there will be a millenniaum after the resurrection from the dead, when the personal reign of Christ will be established on this earth.--Eusebius (275-339 AD)
But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead, and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, [as] the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare.--Justin Martyr (100-165 AD)
Therefore peace being made, and every evil supressed, that righteous King and Conqueror will institute a great judgment on the earth respecting the living and the dead, and will deliver all the nations into subjection to the righteous who are alive, and will raised the righteous dead to eternal life, and will Himself reign with them on the earth, and will build the holy city, and this kingdom of the righteous shall be for a thousand years.--Lactantius (240-320 AD)
Philips Schaff (1819-1893) summarizes this way:
The most striking point in the eschatology of the ante-Nicene age is the prominent chiliasm, or millenarianism, that is the belief of a visible reign of Christ in glory on earth with the risen saints for a thousand years, before the general resurrection and judgment. It was indeed not the doctrine of the church embodied in any creed or form of devotion, but a widely current opinion of distinguished teachers, such as Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertulian, Methodius, and Lactantius.
While meeting with a couple of brothers this week, I was reminded of my grand inadequacy regarding eschatology. However, I was also reminded of why it is important. He has written out the ending. He has called us to serve Him. We have the privilege of being part of His "Plan A."

1 Comments:

  • At 1:52 PM, Blogger Brad said…

    You know Brad is really busy when...

     

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