II. God has always been a God of Salvation
“Reconciliation was God’s motivation for the gospel.” – John Perkins (Founder of Christian Community Development)
It’s hard to believe God would create imperfect beings – that He would make something that would immediately disobey Him (Adam and Eve eating the apple). But He did. He created humans and called His work “good,” not “perfect.” This does not mean His act of creating wasn’t perfect (because He Himself is perfect – Matthew 5:48), but that He left a variable for error: free choice. The beauty of freedom is that love may blossom; the tragedy of freedom is that error (evil) can occur. This is why Ivan Karamazov says Jesus could not have been God: He offered freedom but freedom is oppressive. What man really wants, Ivan argues, is order with some flexibility. Freedom is too lofty; its grandeur is intolerable.
But, the question remains – why? Why not just create robots? Wasn’t there some other way to paint life without the smudges? This will remain a question for eternity, because, as far as I can see, nothing can be added to God’s goodness. Heaven is a relational appointment, not a physical destination. It’s an invitation to feast, dance, sing, and delight in ultimate good, knowledge, peace, hope and love. Though we are not hosts, we cannot deny that we are anticipated guests:
“For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God [us – see verses 16 & 17].” – Romans 8:19
In His perfect knowledge, God knew our capacity for straying from Him. He hoped we wouldn’t choose this corrupt route, but, just in case, He devised a plan to bring us back to Him (grasping His omniscience and His hope is paradoxical on this side of heaven). He made us so that we might love as He loves. He made us to bring Him glory.
From the first occurrence of God’s grace:
“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” – Genesis 6:8
To the end of time:
“He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken. And it will be said in that day, ‘Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” – Isaiah 25:8-9
God is salvation.