Posted in 1John, Acts, Matthew, Romans

Overreaching

“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed…We who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8:19; 23

My favorite board game is called Ticket to Ride. It involves “tickets” you choose to keep or throw away based on whether you think you can build the trains necessary to connect the two cities listed on the card; it’s all about risk and reward. The problem, of course, is that if you overreach and take a ticket you can’t fulfill, it counts against you in the end. You can be having a great game but then, in a moment of presumption, overreach in a way that causes you to lose in the end.

Overreaching in preaching leads people to disillusionment. Some very zealous teachers today believe that this is the time that the sons of God are going to be fully revealed and begin to remove the curse on creation. As we walk in our full authority, they maintain, everything will change for the better on this earth.

While it is critically important for us to know our identity in Christ, the event creation is longing for only occurs at the return of Christ where our adoption is completed and our bodies are redeemed. The full manifestation of the sons of God happens at the second coming; not in this present age. John said it like this: “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” (1John 3:2)

Right now we groan with all of creation and the Holy Spirit within us also groans (Romans 8:26-27) because things aren’t right yet and they won’t be until Jesus comes back. Life in this present age is hard, but God is still good. When Jesus described the time we’re now living in He said the wind and the waves were going to hit every life. He promised that those who obeyed His words would survive the storms, not be saved from them ever happening. (Matthew 7:24-27)

I love it when people are excited about Jesus, but we never have permission to overstate what we have been promised. No matter how much we may like a preacher, we have a responsibility to judge all that we hear by what the Word of God actually says. (Acts 17:11)

Author:

Pastor at City Church in Madison, Wisconsin