God’s Purposes for Time and Eternity  – David Richards

Friday, May 11th, 2018

God’s purposes can be divided into two separate groups

It was God’s intention to have a creation of beings with whom He could converse and have fellowship with Himself.

“The Scripture tells us eternity is in our hearts. We’ve a space in our hearts that’s eternal in its nature and only God can fill it.”

‘I don’t seek to do My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.’ The words of Jesus Christ.

We can wonder about the purposes of God and what His will might be. And then again, if we knew the overall purpose we might be able to see ourselves in the context of what He is doing.

What does the Bible say?

We can speculate all we like, but what does the Bible say?

Pastor David Richards who’s now in his 80s became a Christian in 1950.

That was 68 years ago when David was in the Brethren Assemblies and later went on to serve in the Apostolic Churches Australia.

David, recognised as an outstanding Bible teacher, was also pastor of the seniors ministry at Hillsong church in Sydney.

So who better to ask whether God’s purposes are a mystery or are they hidden away in plain sight.

David said the Apostle Paul shed some light on the subject in the early chapters of the Book of Ephesians.

God is indeed a God of purpose and God does have many purposes.

David also said you don’t have to look too far into the Bible to see God expressing His purpose.

“Let us make man in our own image and in our own likeness.’ So there is an expression of God of a purpose that He had in mind to do and He began to do it.”

David believes it was God’s plan to have a human race who lived in the earth in idyllic conditions.

Conversations with God

“Paradise. In close relationship with Himself,” was how David described it.

We’re told He used to have a chat with Adam in the Garden in the cool of the evening.

“It was God’s intention to have a creation of Beings with whom He could converse and have fellowship with Himself.”

But as the story goes the sin issue arose and that created the gap between mankind and God.

David believes God was aware that this was going to happen.

“If God had been caught unawares of the adventures of Lucifer in the Garden as we’re told, it would have meant that God was caught off balance.”

God had other purposes

“In fact if He wasn’t God at all and there was someone else who had a better idea of how to do things than He. But that was not the case,” said David.

God already had other purposes in waiting when this (event) took place in the Garden of Eden.

\As for evil and sin, it can often been assumed they’re equal to the presence of God. But David’s response to that assumption was to refer to Isaiah chapter 14 and Ezekiel chapter 28.

“There are two brief biographies of this gentleman called Lucifer,” David observed.

“He was the highest angel and held the highest job in the heavens. We ‘re told he was a king and he had a throne.’

Lucifer said, ‘I will ascend’

“We’re also told he had a wonderful musical ability. He led the worship in heaven. I mean he had the greatest job ever.”

“Yet he decided of his own volition, pride rose up and he decided he wanted God’s job,” David describing Lucifer’s ambitions.

Lucifer said, ‘I will ascend, I will exalt my throne above the rest of the angels and I will be like the Most High.’

“And God said to Lucifer, ‘Well I’m sorry. No you won’t!” David paraphrased.

“From that time onward Lucifer has been at odds with all of the purposes of God.”

“And we can see that delineated right through the Scriptures. Not only the Adam purpose but everything else God has sought to do Lucifer has been totally opposed to it.”

God’s time purposes

In short, God’s purposes are many and Pastor David Richards said they can be divided into two separate groups.

There are the eternal purposes that go on into eternity. And time purposes, that are executed and come to their conclusion in what we call time.

Abraham and the nation of Israel is one of those time purposes.

“In 1 Corinthians 10:32 where Paul says, ‘Give none offence. Neither to the Jew, nor to the Gentile, nor to the church of God,” David explained, saying they are three of God’s time purposes.

“As we study the Scripture we find they are concluded in the scene of what we call time.”

“God is working out in the scene of time His eventual eternal purposes because He is the God who inhabits eternity.”

God’s eternal purposes

David said there’s a very good reason why it’s important for Christians to know about the purposes of God.

“It’s because the Scripture tells us eternity is in our hearts. We’ve a space in our hearts that’s eternal in its nature and only God can fill it.”

There’s a capacity there for us to have a relationship with God and to have an understanding of what His eternal purposes are.

Next stop. The New Testament and Jesus. The Messiah, the Redeemer, the focal point of Scripture from beginning to end.

David turned to Colossians where Paul spoke about God’s plan.

“It’s the plan of the Father to reconcile all things to Himself. So anything that’s gone astray or seems to have gone wrong in God’s desired purposes, Jesus is the One who is going to rectify the situation.”

‘The Spirit of the Lord is now upon Me’

“We are told very clearly in Colossians the way He rectified it was by the shedding His blood.”

“That’s fundamental to the Christian belief and fundamental to the purposes of God and the out-working and the completion of the purposes of God to God’s requirement and desire.”

Then to Luke chapter 4 and Jesus quoting from Isaiah chapter 61 and the message He spoke about Himself.

Isaiah prophesied ‘The Spirit of the Lord is now upon Me because He had anointed Me.’

This was when Jesus stood up in the synagogue to read and what was given to Him were the Scriptures opened at Isaiah 61 of all places.

“He recited the beginnings of those verses to the point where it says, ‘to the acceptable year of the Lord.’ And He closed the book,” David remarked.

Jesus and the purposes of God

What David also noted by Jesus stopping where He did was that the Lord did not go on to read about the day of vengeance of our God.

It was significant then that Jesus had involved Himself in the purposes of God and that He was the one who had forestalled all vengeance.

“For He was the one who was going to pay the price whereby the vengeance of God would be reeked upon Him, in order that we might be free from the power of sin.”

If you would like to listen to the full audio interview click play below

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