Eternal Purpose

“This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Eph. 3:11)

Sometimes things just happen. People are within their right to ask, “Did you do that on purpose?” Often as not we answer, “No, it just happened. I didn’t mean to.” I remember studying about making long-range goals of five or more years when I was in full-time ministry. No goals, no progress was the idea.

Do you have any long-time goals? How certain are you that they will come to fruition? There are so many things that can get in the way of our plans and derail them. It’s hard to plan too far ahead, isn’t it? Still, many are able to get in life-long plans and strive to see them come to pass.

Imagine making a plan that will come to pass in a thousand years or two. Making a plan so thorough that you are able to outline every single event that will take place over this long period of time. If you think about it carefully, it will boggle your mind.

I would like to offer a small, inadequate comparison. I’m currently writing a new novel. With this novel, I am outlining the three acts and the scenes in these acts. I have to decide what each character is going to do and say over a period of a few days. I am in total control, but there are so many details and so many things that can happen and change the expected outcome. None of my characters have real free will. They are what I make them and should do what I want them to do. Sometimes they don’t. This novel may only cover a few hours or a few days or weeks.

God planned the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, his son in eternity. Just when we don’t know, but it was before time. It was done prior to the creation of man whom Jesus would come to save. Before the first man (or woman) ever sinned the answer for that sin was in the mind of God. It was the ultimate mystery story, and he planned every step of the way from beginning to end.

It was the eternal purpose of God to offer us, the sinners, grace, and mercy. Some think that Jesus failed in his mission and will come back and try it again. That kind of thinking casts doubt on God’s ability to purpose, to plan. God does not fail. His plans always succeed. He sent Jesus to die on the cross to save mankind and to build them into a holy temple that the Godhead could live in via the Holy Spirit. It was and is God’s purpose. The church is not a temporary substitute for the real plan God had to establish a kingdom. It is the real thing. It is the kingdom of God, and it was his plan from the foundation of the earth.

Do not think for even a moment that God can fail in all he desires to do. He purposed, and he brought the plan to fulfillment. Jesus came, died, resurrected and established his body, the church, the kingdom of God. He reigns until the end of time, and then the Godhead will rule throughout eternity.

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