God Reaches Out to You

MEMORY SELECTION: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” —John 3:16,17

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Genesis 12:1-3; Hebrews 1:1,2; Luke 15:4-10

JOHN 3:16,17 has been a favorite text of scripture among Christian people for a long time. The text essentially shows the infinite capacity of love which our Heavenly Father possesses and the provisions he has made for the recovery of the human race from the condemnation of sin and death. God’s plan for the restitution of man centers around the redemptive price which his only begotten Son—our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—paid with his own life.

The root of promise and hope was first planted in the Garden of Eden when God said: “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.”—Gen. 3:15

In this remote and obscure passage we find figurative language depicting the reversal of 12 the powers of evil, in due time. The seed of the woman had its fulfillment in the birth of Jesus many centuries after this passage was recorded. And the seed of promise will eventually consist of our glorified Lord together with the 144,000 members of his church who will share the blessings of the heavenly phase of his kingdom. They, in turn, will together bring righteousness and truth to all the families of the earth.

Throughout the present Gospel Age, during which time the call has gone out to those who would respond to the invitation to be members of the “seed class,” Satan has been active in persecuting the followers of Jesus. That persecution is represented in the bruising of the heel, which, although it has been painful to those Christians who have suffered during the long period of opposition, has not destroyed the body of Christ. On the other hand, we have the assurance that Satan will be destroyed in due time.

God’s plan gradually matured in the promise to Abram (whose name was later changed to Abraham). He said (Gen. 12:2,3): “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

This promise is known as the Abrahamic Covenant and assures us that God intends to bring blessings to all mankind in due time. The blessings of Christ’s kingdom will not be limited merely to those who have endeavored to follow Jesus during the present age of sacrifice. There are two salvations—one which is heavenly for those who will be thus rewarded for their faithfulness, and the other, the earthly salvation for the whole world of mankind.

The world’s blessing will include a resurrection for all who have fallen asleep in death throughout the history of man. This wonderful part of the provision of God’s grace is recorded in the Gospel of John: “Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life [the spiritual salvation for the faithful members of the body of Christ who have successfully passed their trial period during the present Gospel Age]; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment [the earthly salvation for the world of mankind who will be assisted up the highway of holiness and judged on the progress of their own merit].”—John 5:28,29 ASV (See Diaglott also.)

In connection with the seed of promise, Paul wrote (Gal. 3:16,29): “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. … And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

This is an illustration of the completed seed of promise that was so remote in the passage discussed in Genesis 3:15. Throughout the centuries between our Lord’s first and second advents the call has gone out to those who would respond to the invitation to present their bodies a living sacrifice and eventually to participate in dispensing the blessings of the kingdom to the world.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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