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The mother of all promises

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Information about The mother of all promises
Spiritual

Published on October 14, 2014

Author: glenndpease

Source: slideshare.net

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This is the mother of all promises. It is the first to be given and the last to be fulfilled. It is the alpha and omega of promises, and it is given to Him who is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. He is the one who has already made the fulfillment of the promise possible, and who will come again to make it actual. Why should Christians set their affections on things above and be heaven minded? It is because, says Paul, our faith and our knowledge rest in the hope of heaven and eternal life.
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1. THE MOTHER OF ALL PROMISES BASED O TITUS 1:2 By Glenn Pease Sometimes in all sincerity we promote the devil’s lies and think we are doing God a service. I can remember singing as a youth, “Every promise in the book is mine, every chapter, every verse, every line.” That sounds good, but the fact is it is a lie. It is the very lie Satan used to tempt Jesus. He said, “Cast yourself down for it is written He shall give His angels charge concerning you, and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus, of course, was not so gullible as to fall for that theology that says every promise can be claimed as applying to you personally. Even Jesus knew it would be presumptuous for Him to jump claiming that promise. He quoted Scripture saying it is also written, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” Beware of those who say you can claim any promise in the Bible as your own, for this can easily lead you to tempt God. We do this when we think we have God cornered where we can force Him to do our will, for we think we have Him bound by His own promises. It is presumption to ever think God is at your mercy because you have found some formula to control Him. There are some promises, however, that are clearly universal and meant to be claimed by all of God’s children for all time. Paul in the second verse of Titus gives us one of those all inclusive promises. We not only can claim it, but must claim it to have a foundation on which to build our faith. The promise is that we will have eternal life. The hope of heaven is the foundation for the Christian life. Any Christian who says he is not all that concerned about heaven is being indifferent to that which is the primary promise of God. I say primary because Paul says that this was the very first promise of God to man. He says that God gave this promise before the beginning of time. I hope you realize that this means before God said, “Let there be light,” and began the creation. This was before man was even created. Before a single human being had existence God promised that this creature He was going to make in His image would have eternal life. Who in the world did He make this promise to if it was before Adam? We might have guessed it would be the second Adam, who was in the beginning with God, but we don’t have to guess, for Paul uses this same phrase in II Tim. 1:9 where he writes, “This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” There were many things going on before the beginning. God did not just play it by ear and see how things would go. He knew precisely how all would go, and how man would need a Savior. He made all the provisions for this even before He started creation. Man had a Savior even before he existed, and to that Savior of mankind God promised on behalf of all who would trust Him that they would have eternal life. This was the kind of promise that made it worth it for Jesus to come into the world and die for man. He had in the promise of God that which made it all worthwhile. This was the promise that motivated Him, and this is the promise that is to motivate us-the promise of eternal life.

2. This is the mother of all promises. It is the first to be given and the last to be fulfilled. It is the alpha and omega of promises, and it is given to Him who is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. He is the one who has already made the fulfillment of the promise possible, and who will come again to make it actual. Why should Christians set their affections on things above and be heaven minded? It is because, says Paul, our faith and our knowledge rest in the hope of heaven and eternal life. A Christian who does not build on this hope is setting himself up for a shaky faith and inadequate knowledge. The hope of heaven gives on a totally different perspective on life. For one thing, it is this hope that enables the Christian to cope with the realities of a fallen world. There are so many evils and tragedies that seem so meaningless. Many innocent people suffer the holocaust of man’s injustice, and also the destructive forces of nature. If there was no hope of the record being set straight, and the wrongs and evils of life being rectified, then bitterness and despair would be legitimate. But God promises that He will have the last word, and that word will not be death, but life. This hope does not make us hate the evil any less, but it does make us love the Savior more and cling to Him as our only hope in a fallen world. God has given us a complete picture of just what eternal life will be like because it would tempt us to court martyrdom and even suicide if we knew just what awaited us beyond death. The mystery keeps us under control of the will to live that God has built into us, and so we avoid death as an enemy. We have all had pets that could understand certain words. Our dog Cuddles would go wild when we said the word walk. She knew exactly what it meant and would be clawing at the door to get out. If I said library she would not get excited at all. This was an experience she could not relate to. So it is with God’s revelation to us about heaven. He says gold, jewels and song and that gives us great pleasure, but God does not say to us words that describe what is beyond our comprehension and experience. We can get excited about the things we know, but what is beyond our experience has no meaning for us. This is where faith comes in. By faith we know that God in His infinite wisdom and creativity will have activities in heaven that are beyond our wildest dreams. Even our dreams have to use the categories of reality that we know. We cannot even dream in categories that only an infinite mind can know. We are above the level of the dog in relation to its master, however, for we can know that God knows infinitely more than we do and that He has promised us eternal life to experience that infinite creative mind. The dog never lays around dreaming of the day it can go to the library with its master and read great literature with him. We, however, can dream of adventure with our Master that our far superior to any we now have in this world of so many limitations. Christians who take their eyes off the big picture and neglect this hope of eternal life tend to also lose the intensity of their faith, and also their love for a growing knowledge. They tend to focus on the things of the earth and become so

3. preoccupied with the temporal that the eternal loses its impact in their lives. I read about a little boy who saw a pretty butterfly and began to chase it. It lead him on a merry chase, and by the time it took off into the sky and disappeared he was lost and didn’t know the way back to his own yard. He was found wandering tearfully a few blocks from his home. This is what happens to Christians who take their eyes off the hope of eternal life and get it on some butterfly fluttering by, such as power, passion or possessions. The chase seems so important at the time, but the day comes when that importance vanishes and one does not know the way home. Such a Christian feels lost even though saved because they have lost their orientation to the things that matter to God. When the hope of heaven is kept as a priority in our thinking we are less likely to be dazzled by the passing beauty of earthly goals. It also gives great comfort to see the long-range view. Moses did not get into the Promised Land after all he went through. In the short run it looked sad and tragic. But when we come to the ew Testament we see Moses appear on the Mount of Transfiguration, and we realize that he made it into the ultimate Promised Land after all, and has now been there for several thousand years enjoying the promise of eternal life. The big picture of victory wipes out the mini picture of defeat and changes our whole perspective on life.

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