I’m a Christian and an Adventist because it gives me a framework to understand this crazy world. I’m writing this while my daughter’s school is on lock down. A friend recently mentioned that her daughter is scared to go to school. A co-worker doesn’t want to go to concerts or sporting events. I even know someone who was supposed to be at the Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas, but changed their mind last minute. She doesn’t think she’ll be going out anytime soon. Can you blame them? Are you right there with them?
How can we make sense of it all? Is it senseless, or is there more going on here? My Christianity and my Adventism shape my worldview, and honestly without them I don’t know how I’d find the strength to keep going on, let alone have hope for the future. Allow me to explain. I’ve spoken before that I believe we are all sinful, and that corruption is our natural state. Romans 5:12. However, that is not the beginning of the story. The story starts with two naked vegetarians living in a garden (no, this isn’t Boulder I’m speaking of). This is the Garden of Eden. This is the state we began in, in which God declared everything “very good”. Genesis 1:31. His intention was for us to live in an idyllic, perfect world.
If you’ve ever gotten the sense that something just isn’t right, it’s not because you’re trapped in the Matrix, it’s because this isn’t right. It’s not what God intended. We messed it up by wanting to be like God, knowing good from evil. Genesis 3:4. Guess what? God was right, things aren’t working out so well for us. We’ve now turned what was perfect into this perfect mess where we now live. We’re human, it’s what we do. But this also isn’t the end of the story, although it very well could have been if not for the love of God.
God told Adam and Eve after he kicked them out of the garden, that although the serpent would strike at their heel, He would send someone to crush the serpent’s head. Genesis 3:15. And He did. For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16. We are here at the bottom of the valley, stuck in a ditch we made. However, God piloted the rescue helicopter, and let down the hook. He wants to winch us out. For now we’re still stuck here, with the cable pulling us up.
By the gift of prophecy we know the entire story, not just the part up to now. We know that God intends to set everything right. Isaiah 65:17. We are in the middle of a war, called the Great Controversy. Satan is striving against God, he has claimed that God is not just, good, and holy. And right now he’s the prince of this world, the power of the air. He is the one at work in those who are disobedient. Ephesians 2:2. But by the end, God’s character will be vindicated and all will be set right. We strive against an enemy, but he is a defeated enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. 1 Peter 5:8. But he is a wounded lion, and he is cornered, and he is desperate. In Daniel chapter 2, we are given a vision with a timeline from Babylon to the very end of this world. All has come to pass as it said. We we are now living at the very tips of the toes of iron and clay, waiting for Christ to return and establish His kingdom forever.
We are in the birth pains of the new world. Romans 8:18-25. We know that at the end of time, it will be as it was in the days of Noah – where every thought and action was evil continually. Genesis 6:5, Luke 17:26. We are not there yet, but we are certainly getting closer. This story will end, but it will get worse before it gets better. However, Jesus will return as a triumphal king and call his people to himself. Sin and death and sorrow will be eradicated forever. He will wipe every tear from our eyes. Revelation 21:4. Satan and his followers will be destroyed forever. Revelation 20, Malachi 4:1, 2 Thes 1:7-10. Christ will restore his followers to live as they should have in the beginning (more naked vegetarians, sorry). Revelation 21-22.
We are called now, in this muddy ditch of sorrow and pain to grasp the lifeline dangling from the helicopter, and share it with someone else. We are called to fill His kingdom with sinners saved from the fire, by the grace of God. It is out of mercy that He delays His return, wishing that none be lost. 2 Peter 3:9. Do you want out of the ditch? Do you want to see the end? It’s your call. Have you been wondering how this story ends? Jesus says, “Surely, I am coming quickly.” and we reply: “Even so, come Lord Jesus.” Rev 22:20.
The Bible. New King James Version. 1982. Thomas Nelson.
White, Ellen. The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan. http://www.whiteestate.org/books/gc/gc.asp