I remember a little tune I learned as a teenager containing a phrase I’ve heard repeatedly since then. “We win, we win, Hallelujah we win. I read the back of the book and we win!”
I’ll use this little song to float a secret that will rock your world, if you get it. Here it is: When you read the back of the Book, we don’t win. Jesus wins. You respond, “OK, of course. What’s the big deal?”
What I point out might smack a little of “holier than thou,” but this brings up a huge perspective shift that will affect how you view the Bible and your Christian walk. Ask most Christians (even Bible college educated) what the theme of the Bible is, and what do you think their answer will be? Many will say something like “salvation by Jesus Christ.” That is certainly a theme and prominent message to which many prophesies point. But it’s part of a bigger, broader picture that puts God’s kingship and kingdom at the center rather than us and our salvation.
Now… back to the back of the book. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Rev. 11:15) Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords eventually reigning forever and ever over all kingdoms in His kingdom—that’s the theme, from the first to the last of the Bible. (Ex. 15:18, Ps. 146:10, Isa. 49:6-7, Eze. 37:25, Dan. 7:14, Matt. 6:13, Luke 1:33, Rev. 11:15)
In eternity past, God ruled on His throne, unchallenged until His highest angel, Lucifer, rebelled. Lucifer’s pride led to his fall (Isa. 14:12-14), and he took 1/3 of the angels with him. (Rev. 12:4)
God’s complete kingdom was now incomplete.
Enter Adam and Eve created as perfect beings and told to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth. (Gen. 1:28) With what? Sons of God. The first sons of God were angels (Job 38:7), and some of them fell with Lucifer. God’s plan was to replenish His kingdom with replacement sons of God.
As we know, from the beginning to the end of the Bible, there’s an enemy fighting for that kingdom. He’s the prince of the power of the air right now.
Satan entices these first perfect human sons of God, Adam and Eve, to sin by disobeying God and eating of the fruit of the tree from which God told them not to eat. (Gen. 3:11-15) God has a prophecy for Satan. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (3:15)
The seed referred to in this passage that would destroy Satan’s head is Jesus. From the beginning, God set a new “son of God” plan in place to redeem sinners and turn them into sons of God to replenish his kingdom. (John 1:12)
Watching that seed line come up through Bible history is a nail-biting read. Just go to the genealogy of Christ in the first chapter of Matthew and review some of the characters, recalling some of their harrowing stories from the Old Testament. Notice how that seed line was constantly in peril.
- Abraham is promised the seed will come through him (Gen. 22:17—compare the “stars of heaven” addition with the “stars of heaven” loss in Rev. 12:4), but he’s not having a child any time soon, so Sarah his wife tries to devise a plan to come up with a seed herself through Hagar. Nope that wasn’t the one.
- Isaac is the one, but God asks Abraham to sacrifice him. Isaac is inches from having his body sliced up when God intervenes. (Gen 22:12)
- Isaac’s first son Esau should be in line for the seed blessing, according to tradition, but Rebekah prefers their other son Jacob and manipulates to get the family blessing passed on to Jacob instead. It works. And surprise: God wanted Jacob to be the line from which Christ came anyway. (Rom 9:13)
- Later, God reveals David is the one through whom the seed will come, but Saul tries desperately to kill him. Fortunately, he’s a bad aim with the javelin. (1 Sam. 19:10)
- Eventually the Seed, Christ, is born, but King Herod wants him dead, so he orders all small children to be killed. Joseph and Mary run away with baby Jesus to Egypt until Herod dies. (Matt. 2:13-14)
- But alas, at the right time, the Seed dies His intended death on the cross, partly because one of Jesus’ 12 disciples gets a plan from Satan to betray him and have him killed. (John 13:27) Satan thinks he won. But no, because Jesus, the perfect Son of God, rises again from the dead, and now those who receive him have the power to become sons of God. (John 1:12)
Now do you see through a new lens what the plan of salvation is about? It’s not as much about God’s plan for you as His sovereign rulership over His completed kingdom, of which you get to be a part if you’ve accepted His only begotten Son, the promised seed, and become a son yourself.
When you look at it this way, do you think your salvation by faith in Christ is all about you living your best life now? The phrase, “Jesus would have come and died for just one (me, you),” seems ill-informed now, doesn’t it.
We are living in the last days, and the pervasive perspective, even among the church, is a “me” focus. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves… (2 Tim. 3:1-2a)
This focus has become lost: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. (Rev 22:13)
For a parting thought (that I’ll expand on next time)—when we get saved, we become part of His spiritual kingdom (the kingdom of God) where He rules. After the second coming, we become part of the actual physical kingdom (the kingdom of heaven) where He will rule over all.