United Church of God, ia
Portland Oregon/The Dalles Oregon

Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

The Great Battle for God Part 3

In our confused and chaotic world, one of the great battlefields is whether God is real and if His Word has meaning for us today. Few grasp that the same instruction mankind rejects holds the answers to our problems and to the greatest questions of life.

All-out assault on the family

What do we need to understand all this? We look at our world and realize we can't do much about the large problems. But we can do something about our own lives. We can begin to get a handle on the challenges we face. We begin by understanding the purpose for our lives.

I mentioned earlier that the traditional view of marriage and family is being radically altered today. Marriage and family has been under attack for a long time on multiple fronts.

The sexual revolution of the 1960s broke down cultural norms. The birth control pill allowed for immorality without consequences. Immorality led to rising rates of divorce. In the 1970s abortion became a legal right and fact of life.

The twin sins of immorality and divorce have had a devastating impact on marriage. Long before the rising tide of same-sex marriage of recent years, the family as God intended had been severely eroded.

All of this has served to hide from us the true purpose of our lives. Man is created in the image of God to become like God through a resurrection and change to a completely new existence—one of eternal life as divine spirit beings.

I know many of you feel you are a child of God and look on Him as a Father and desire a spiritual relationship with Him. Not to take anything away from your concept, but your Bible reveals much more about that than you have ever been told or thought!

When you look at what the bible actually says about why you were born and why God has put mankind on this planet, it is unbelievably astounding. It opens your mind to another dimension of understanding that will utterly change your life!

This biblical truth is so amazing, and yet people who have read the Bible all their lives and try very hard to live by what it teaches don't fully grasp what it really says!

"You are gods"

Let's look at a few foundational thoughts from your Bible that show in unmistakable terms why you were born and the purpose and meaning of your life.

John 10 records an occasion when Jesus was talking with a group of Jews who thought they understood their own Scriptures. They accused Him of blasphemy and wanted to stone Him for claiming to be the Son of God (verses 31-33).

Jesus Challenged them in verses 34-36 by quoting from Psalm 82:6, which says, "You are gods,"—applying to other human beings. He further told them to look at His works and believe that they might know that God was working in Him, in the flesh, on earth. Christ had come as the Word of God, and the Father worked in Him and He in the Father through a divine process that was opening the path of salvation for all humanity (John 10:36-38).

Here in this little-understood passage Jesus shows us the core truth of the salvation process and how we might have eternal life and live forever.

Jesus was the Son of God come in the flesh as the Son of Man to live a life of perfect righteousness. He came as the Lamb of God to die so that mankind might be redeemed from sin to God. And He came to be resurrected back to spirit life at the right hand of God to show us the way to salvation and that you and I might have the hope of eternal life and live forever in the family of God.

By saying, "You are gods," Jesus was not making a light statement. It was profound. It is life-changing when you consider what it can do for your life today!

It means you and I can become a son of God. And to be a son of God means ultimately a full, divine member of God's family—nothing less!

"What is man that You are mindful of him?"

The book of Hebrews shows us more about what God is doing as a Heavenly Father. It tells us that He "has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:2).

Jesus Christ's inheritance is far above the angelic realm. He has inherited all things and today sits at the right hand of God. Jesus was God and became flesh to become a Son of God that we might share that glory and honor with Him. Angels never had this distinction. Human beings are created for a different purpose—you were created to inherit salvation.

Hebrews 2:6 asks a key question to God:

"What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him?"

The writer, here quoting from Psalm 8:4, is asking, "What is man?" Why should God have any concern or interest in this lump of physical existence called man?

Why would God be interested in your life or mine? Do you ever ask that question? Sure you have! You've wondered what this life is all about. You've likely asked if there really is a God and whether He knows you. We especially ask that in the dark moments of life—when we're frustrated or angry with the hand life has dealt us.

Hebrews 2:7 goes on to begin to answer the question, continuing to quote from Psalm 8:

"You have made him [mankind] a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands."

Mankind is created in the image of God, which is different from angels. Human beings have been set over the earth. We are here to use this life to prepare for another greater life in God's family forever!

Hebrews 2:8 continues, "But now we do not yet see all things put under him . . ."

Just as Jesus Christ has inherited all things and sits as Lord and Master today, there stands before each of us the invitation to join Him in this inheritance.

Hebrews 2:10 continues, "For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering."

Did you catch that? God is "bringing many sons to glory." Jesus Christ is the perfect captain of our salvation, and with His help we can be sons of God!

You are created with the potential to become a divine child of God sharing in the glory of Jesus Christ has through His resurrection. Your life today takes on greater meaning than you could ever imagine because of this truth! Here is the purpose for your life. Here is the meaning of life. Here is the great mystery revealed!

"The whole family in heaven and earth"

We see this astounding truth and confirmed in Ephesians 3:14-15, where Paul writes:

"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named . . ."

The Father and the Son are a family, and they are bringing other children of God to glory, to share in that family name and existence. That is why the family—the biblical definition of family consisting of one man and one woman, bearing children and raising them to adulthood in a loving, nurturing family—is so important to mankind and the preservation and progress of human civilization.

To alter this design and purpose by any means—immorally, divorce, same-sex marriage or any other human design—hides from mankind the purpose and intent of human life. That is why we see so much social and cultural distress today. That is why life, even your life, can seem chaotic and confusing!

But you can do something about your life. You can find out more, and you can begin to live your life according to God's will and intent and begin to reap the blessings.

If you really want to understand why the nations are in turmoil and why the news headlines report so much unrest, injustice and evil, then you must get this picture in your mind. God is measuring the nations and the people of the earth, and we are coming up short.

We are living in a time of history when major events and trends are reshaping the world prior to a day when God will intervene to reveal to the world the fullness of His glory and His plan!

This is a time for you to consider your life in relation to the great God and His eternal plan of redemption for this world. It is time for each of us to consider our lives before the presence of God. It is a time to align ourselves with God—for you to let Him be the God of your life in a time of judgment.

God will bring judgment to this world. When He does, the great battle for God will be resolved. God will win and His truth will fill the earth as the waters cover the sea!

God speed that day, and may He help you better understand His purpose for your life!

- Darris McNeely

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