God’s Perfect State

 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

Revelation 21:5

 

Last month I read the book of Revelation for perhaps the third time. I was fortunate to have my favorite study reference with me (a website done by David Guzik called Enduring Word), and referenced it with each chapter I read, sometimes multiple times. Revelation is not necessarily an easy read, but using a study guide helps tremendously. There is a great number of messages and takeaways throughout the book; I’m excited to share thoughts about something I read in the study guide for Revelation 21.

 

In the beginning of Revelation 21, John shares the description of the New Jerusalem and the fact that God Himself will dwell among His people, and that there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. Also, that He, the holy One who sat on the throne said that He makes all things new. David Guzik’s comment surrounding verse 5 is what caught my attention. In reference to “all things new”, he writes “This is a brief glance at the thinking behind God’s eternal plan – to allow sin and its destruction in order to do a greater work of making all things new….Our instinct is to romantically consider innocence as man’s perfect state, and wish Adam would have never done what he did. But we fail to realize that redeemed man is greater than innocent man, that we gain more in Jesus than we ever lost in Adam. God’s perfect state is one of redemption, not innocence.” (emphasis mine).

 

Guzik is right. I had failed to realize the concept of redemption being greater than innocence. I don’t know if I understood the concept, however. I mean, Adam and Eve seemed to have it so good—they walked with the Lord Almighty in His garden. They lacked nothing. As I mulled it over, I turned into either a professional journalist or professional toddler, with the series of “why” questions I posed to myself. Follow along (if you can) with my thought process: Why did they have to fall? Why did they have to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Why was the tree even there? Why did God place the tree there?” Now please understand, I am not accusing God of setting Adam and Eve up for failure—He did not tempt them. We learn in James that He does not tempt anyone. But surely He knew they would eat from it, because He is omniscient. So why was it there? As I prayed and sought His discernment, I believe the answer is this: free will.

You see, everything was good with Adam and Eve, walking with the Lord each day in the garden. But without something to invoke a decision, or a choice, there wouldn’t be cause for them to choose to love God in the fullest. Without free will, Adam and Eve and their descendants would be mere puppets, loving Him without thought or action. No, God needed to do something to introduce free will, so He commanded them to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, lest they die. They had the commandment and consequence for breaking said commandment. It was upon this single commandment that the fate of mankind rested. It was in the breaking of this single commandment that God’s provision of redemption was invoked.

 

God’s offering of free will is out of love. How much truer is our love if we give it willingly, actively, responsively, than if it is taken from us without our involvement? How much greater is the love that we see in Jesus’s sacrifice than if we didn’t need redemption at all? (no, that does not mean that we should all go out and sin up a storm so that we can see the true depth of His death on the cross. Paul tell us emphatically “No!” in Romans 6:1-2).

 

I am thankful for God’s gift of free will, for the gift of His Son, and for the love that He bestows upon me. I pray that you experience the goodness of His tremendous and unending love.

 

Prayer Requests

  • For those who are without family and home right now
  • For those who are suffering abuse, neglect, or abandonment
  • For those who are facing the loss of a loved one
  • For those who mistreat, abuse, or bully others – that they get help for what they do, and that they understand what Jesus did for them
  • For us to fulfill His plan for His church

 

God’s plan for us is true, it is love, and it is perfect. Thanks be to God!

 

Quotes

 

“A smart person knows what to say; a wise person knows whether or not to say it.”

 

“Faith is the art of holding on to things in spite of your changing moods and circumstances.”   — C.S. Lewis