GREATEST THING IN THE UNIVERSE
2:7: "That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding
riches of His grace in His loving kindness toward us in Christ
Jesus." All Christendom has erred in respect to the lengths
and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God, which
passeth all understanding. (#Eph 3:18,19.) This is evidenced
by our conflicting creeds, not one of which is rational enough
to be defended by one in a hundred of its own clergy, who
profess that they believe it and are teaching it. This is
driving many noble souls away from the Bible, which has been
misinterpreted by us all. Our difficulty has been that we
have looked at the unfinished parts of the Divine Program,
and have neglected to properly use the telescope of God’s
word, which would have enabled us to see the future features
of that plan, without which the whole world would be incomplete
of us would judge of a new building merely by the first story
of the structure, incomplete and surrounded by scaffolding.
On the contrary, we would inquire for the architect’s
drawings and consider them prophecies of the building to be.
God proposes the development of the church first, as a "new
creation" on the spirit plane, higher than the angels,
and "partakers of the Divine nature;" "Ye are
the church of the living God;" "a kind of first
fruits unto God of His creatures."
fact that the Bible declares the church to be the "first
borns," the "first fruits" of God’s creatures.
Thus does God positively declare a secondary part of His great
plan of salvation—in which "free grace" and
fullest opportunity for reconciliation to God will be granted
to the non-elect. But their salvation will be, not heavenly,
but earthly. Their resurrection will not mean a "change"
of nature, but a raising up to the perfection of human nature,
to be enjoyed in a world-wide paradise by all the willing
and obedient. Nor will the unwilling and disobedient be tortured
to all eternity, but, as the Scriptures declare, "All
the wicked will He destroy;" they shall "perish
like brute beasts," in the "second death."—#2Pe
2:12; #Ps 9:17, R.V.
of the Great Structure
order to judge of the Divine character we must see the truth,
the Divine program, and not merely a primary section of it.
The Jewish age and its people, its law, its mediator, its
priesthood and its jubilee were only rough outline sketches
of the Divine plan, which had not then even begun. The Redeemer
is the foundation for the great structure, as said St. Paul,
"Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid—Jesus
Christ." A God of justice, wisdom and power devoid of
love would be as cold and unsympathetic as a marble statue.
The greatest thing amongst men is love.
palace nor cottage could be a real home and a place of joy
and peace and refreshment without love. We cannot even suppose
a heart devoid of love without supposing it under the control
of selfishness, and selfishness is merely another name for
sin. The greatest men and women who have ever lived, and who
have done the most to bless our race, have been men and women
of heart, of love.
love is the principal thing in all this world, without which
none can be truly happy under any condition, but with which
happiness is possible under almost any condition. Whence came
to man this quality of love unless from the Creator?
Display of Divine Love
love will be most wonderfully displayed in His gracious kindness
in the resurrection of the church to glory, honor and immortality.
Then will come a further display of "love divine, all
love excelling," when mankind in general shall be blessed
under the Messianic Kingdom. We are not informed respecting
the work of the church beyond their thousand year reign; the
text merely assures us that Divine love is illimitable, and
that those who now shall prove themselves loyal, even unto
death, shall have blessing upon blessing through future ages.
assures us that, aside from the planets which belong to our
own system, all the other stars are suns, with whirling worlds
about them, invisible to us.
shows stars which cannot be seen with the eye. The number
of these suns is now reckoned at more than 100,000,000. Although
this sum is quite beyond the power of human comprehension,
there is a general agreement among astronomers that if we
stood upon the farthest world we should probably see just
as many suns beyond us as behind us. What a suggestion we
have here of Divine power—omnipotence! How little we
feel ourselves to be, and proportionately how amazing seems
the love of God toward us in Christ Jesus!
Lessons Taught by Sin
our text speak of "ages to come for the showing forth
of God’s love toward us?" Ah! what a limitless
eternity is provided! Nor can we doubt that the lessons taught
through the permission of sin among humanity on our earth
are designed of the Creator to furnish a great lesson throughout
ages to come. The church, the new creation, will undoubtedly
be associated with the Redeemer as Jehovah’s agents
in creating inhabitants in all of these billions of worlds.
And who will say that even the witness of God’s justice
and love, in the perfected world of mankind, might not be
taken to tell in other worlds the story of Adam’s disobedience
and fall; the story of the reign of sin and death for 6,000
years; the story of the redemption accomplished through the
sacrifice of Jesus; the story of the selection of a faithful
"little flock" of his footstep followers to be His
bride; the story of human restitution to all that was lost
in Adam and redeemed through Jesus’ death; the story
of the second death visited upon the unwilling and the disobedient,
that eventually every creature should bow the knee and confess
with joy, and acclaim the Father and the Son!
a little fence around Today, And therein stay; Look not through
the sheltering bars Upon Tomorrow, —Sufficient for each
day, the evil And the sorrow.