Be of good cheer my brothers and sisters. God’s plan of redemption continues in our day. Though your heart may be heavy during these extreme times, be encouraged by the unfolding of the Drama of Redemption. It began before the beginning of creation and will continue until the end of the age with the establishment of God’s Eternal Kingdom. Take comfort knowing that God is sovereign, has been sovereign, and will always be sovereign over all things that occur in heaven and on earth. In other words, God is in control and not one thing happens unless He causes it or approves of it. For those who are His, they can take comfort knowing that redemption has come through Christ and Christ has overcome the world.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
Paradise Lost and Regained
The Drama of Redemption can best be summarized by the back to back works of John Milton, Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. In his first poem, Milton illustrates the fall from grace of Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were deceived by the villain, Satan, and they rebelled against God. Their punishment was swift, and they were ejected from Paradise. As the representatives of all mankind, Paradise was lost for all. In his concluding work, Paradise Regained, Milton introduces a hero who regains Paradise for mankind. The hero is of course, Jesus. The villain, Satan, returns to tempt Jesus into rebelling against God by worshipping him, (Satan). Instead, Jesus overcomes the temptation and remains obedient to God. This act overturns the disobedience of Adam and Eve, and it redeems mankind making Paradise available again.
The Drama of Redemption is the story of mankind, from creation through the end of history. It begins with the Eternal Decree where the members of the Trinity, “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” create their eternal plan for creation including redemption. In this plan, God foreordains everything that will come to pass. God knowing the beginning from the end, has decreed that His plan will succeed according to His will and He directs all things to their appointed ends.
“Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure; Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it. surely I will do it.”Isaiah 46:9-11
God’s plan of salvation includes man’s rebellion which He uses for His own good purposes. Salvation comes by the redeeming work of the Son, Jesus Christ. The Drama of Redemption continues as more and more people are redeemed daily through their faith in Christ. It concludes at the end of history when sin is destroyed along with everything that was corrupted by it, including creation itself. Paradise is restored through the revealing of the New Heavens and The New Earth; all the redeemed will enjoy eternity with God in His Eternal Kingdom.
This is our hope for today. Though we suffer through the calamities’ which affect us all, we are encouraged by knowing that this is all part of the Drama. It is part of God’s plan and He is in charge, directing all things according to His divine will. Our hope and trust is in God. Our faith is in Christ, who is the hero that regained Paradise Lost.