We believe, according to the Scriptures, that the Lord our God is a God of purpose, absolute and unalterable purpose, a God whose purpose must and shall be accomplished. Before the world was made, before time began, almighty God sovereignly purposed all that comes to pass. Everything that is, has been, and shall hereafter be was purposed by God from eternity. Everything in the universe is moving toward the predestined end of God’s eternal purpose with absolute, precision and accuracy. Everything that comes to pass in time was purposed by our God in eternity. Look into the Word of God and see if this is true. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
· Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
· Romans 9:11 Here Paul tells us that God chose Jacob in everlasting love and rejected Esau in everlasting hatred, and that he revealed this fact to the boys’ parents "...the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth."
· Ephesians 1:11 "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will."
· Ephesians 3:11 Paul explains here that he preached the gospel to the Gentiles, even the unsearchable riches of Christ, that the manifold wisdom of God revealed in the gospel of Christ might be made known to all men... "According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:"
· 2 Timothy 1:9 "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."
These five texts of Scripture which we have read from the Word of God himself tell us five distinct facts about the purpose of God. (1.) The purpose of God is eternal. (2.) The purpose of God includes all things (Isa. 45:7; Rom. 11:36). (3.) The purpose of God has for its particular and peculiar design the spiritual and eternal benefit of God’s elect. Everything God has purposed is for the ultimate, spiritual, and eternal blessedness of his covenant people. (4.) The purpose of God is immutable and sure. “What God does,” wrote A. H. Strong, “he always purposed to do.” And that which comes to pass in time is exactly what God purposed from eternity. The Lord God declares, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isa. 46:10). And (5.) in its ultimate end, God’s purpose will accomplish the eternal salvation of his elect and the glory of his own great name.
We rejoice to know that our God is a God of purpose and that his purpose has been, is, and ever shall be accomplished everywhere, in all things, and at all times. Yet, we are often confused and frustrated because we do not presently see what God’s purpose is. How often have you said to yourself, “If I could just see what the Lord’s purpose is in this trial, it would make it more bearable?”
I have searched the Scriptures and have found seven things, which God has purposed, seven things which must come to pass. We are going to look at several passages of Scripture in this study. The key word in each text is the word “must.” These seven things must, of a certainty, come to pass. These things must come to pass, because God has purposed that they shall come to pass.
1. THE SON OF MAN MUST SUFFER AND DIE UPON THE CROSS.
This is the matter of first, primary importance. So we will look at this first. The death of our Lord Jesus Christ was not an accident. It is not something that came to pass as the result of man’s free will, or because the Jews would not allow Jesus to be their king. The death of Christ was a necessity. It was something that must be accomplished. He said so (Luke 9:22).
Why? Why must the Lord Jesus Christ, the holy, sinless Son of God, the perfect Son of Man, the God-man, suffer and die upon the cursed tree? Why must the Lord of glory lay down his life as a sin-atoning sacrifice at Calvary?
Christ had to die at Jerusalem because God purposed it from eternity (Acts 2:23; 4:28). Our Savior had to die at Jerusalem two thousand years ago in order to fulfill his covenant engagements as our everlasting Surety. The Son of God voluntarily took upon himself the responsibility of our redemption from eternity. He freely laid down his life for us at Calvary. Yet, having voluntarily agreed to become our Surety, he had to lay down his life for us. His honor and faithfulness demanded it (Gen. 43:8-9; John 10:18).
If he would fulfill all the types and prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures, our Redeemer had to die as a slaughtered, sin-atoning sacrifice in the place of his people, uplifted upon the cursed tree (Acts 13:29; Ps. 22:6-8, 16, 18; 34:20; Ex. 12:46; Ps. 69:21; Isa. 50:6; 53:3-6, 10-12; Zech. 12:10; Isa. 45:21; John 3:14-17; Rom. 3:24-26).
It is only through the death of the God-man, our most glorious Christ, that it is possible for our God to be “a just God and a Savior.” Only by the sacrifice of Christ could the righteousness of God be revealed. Only by his death as our Substitute is the sin of man exposed and condemned. The justice of God could be satisfied by no other means (Heb. 10:1-14). Only by his blood could the people of God be forgiven of all sin and justified (Heb. 9:22). The mercy, love, and grace of God is revealed and manifest to sinners only by the cross of Christ (Rom. 5:6-8).
However, the death of Christ alone is not sufficient to save us. Something else must be done.
2. IN ORDER TO SAVE US FROM OUR SINS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST MUST RISE FROM THE DEAD.
A dead Christ could never save anyone. A dead Christ could never be of any value to either God or man. A dead Christ might be a good example; but he could never be a mighty Savior. It was when the crucified Christ arose from the dead that the foundation of our faith was fixed (John 20:9).
It was his resurrection that demonstrated, in an undeniable manner, that our Redeemer is the Son of God (Rom. 1:1-4). The resurrection of Christ assures us that our sins have been put away and justice has been satisfied (Rom. 4:25; Heb. 9:12). The greatest apologetic for Christianity in this world is the empty tomb. The resurrection of our Lord is the sure evidence of his power and ability to save every sinner who comes to God by him (Rom. 8:31-34; Heb. 7:25).
Here is the third thing that must come to pass because God has purposed it.
3. THE GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD, THE GLORIOUS GOSPEL OF THE GLORIOUS CHRIST, MUST BE PREACHED IN ALL THE WORLD.
In Mark 13:10 we are told that, prior to the second advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, the gospel of the grace and glory of God in him must be heralded throughout the whole world. There are three reasons why it must be so: (1.) To declare to all men the glorious accomplishments of the Son of God as our Redeemer, (2.) For the salvation of God’s elect out of every nation, kindred, tribe, and tongue, and (3.) To leave the reprobate, the unbelieving, without excuse.
4. ONCE THIS GOSPEL HAS BEEN DECLARED IN ALL THE WORLD, AND BEFORE CHRIST COMES AGAIN, ALL GOD’S ELECT MUST BE SAVED.
God allows this world to stand, and allows it to stand only, because he has a people in this world whom he is determined to save. Because he is “longsuffering to us,” the world is not yet destroyed (2 Pet. 3:9). Our Lord has not yet come in final judgment, because he has not yet saved all his people (John 10:16; Isa. 65:8).
The Scriptures are abundantly clear in asserting that all God’s elect shall be saved. Not one of Christ’s sheep shall perish. Every sinner redeemed by blood shall be saved by grace and crowned with glory. The purpose of God demands it. The law of God demands it. Justice satisfied cannot punish those for whom it has been satisfied. The satisfaction of Christ demands it. Were one of those for whom he died to perish under the wrath of God, the Lord Jesus could never see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied (Isa. 53:11).
Christ must come, at the appointed time of love to seek his lost sheep (John 4:4). Before they can enter into the kingdom of heaven, every chose, redeemed sinner must be born again (John 3:3-8). They must come to God through Christ, believing that he is, and that he is the Rewarder of them who diligently seek him (Heb. 11:6). Their wills must be broken by almighty grace (John 3:30). They must learn to worship God in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). These things are matters of certainty, because the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ shall never be discovered a miscarriage.
5. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST MUST REIGN AS KING.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 and rejoice. Our all glorious Christ, the Son of God, is the sovereign Ruler and King of the universe. We must either bow to his dominion or perish as his enemies. There are no other options. Repent or perish! Turn or burn! Bow or be damned! Either way, “He must reign!” And reign he does!
· For The Salvation Of His People (John 17:1-3).
· Because He Earned The Right (Rom. 14:9; Phil. 2:9-11).
· Because None Can Stop Him!
6. The BODIES of God’s Elect MUST BE RAISED FROM THE GRAVE.
Once God’s elect have all been saved by his grace, and all the purposes of God have been accomplished in this time world, the Lord Jesus Christ must come again in power and great glory to gather his elect unto himself in resurrection glory (1 Cor. 15:51-58). Oh, yes, Christ must come again! Our Redeemer shall come again to raise his saints, destroy his enemies, create all things new, and reign gloriously forever (Job 19:25-27).
7. ACCORDING TO THE ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD, EVERYONE MUST STAND BEFORE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IN JUDGMENT.
When at last everything which was purposed by our God from eternity has been accomplished, you and I are going to meet God in judgment (2 Cor. 5:10-11; Acts 17:31). When you stand before Christ your God, before the august majesty of his great white throne in judgment, how will you fair? Let every child of God take comfort in this fact: -- The purpose of God shall stand. Our God will do all his pleasure. If any read these lines who are yet rebels against King Jesus, I call you to repentance. Bow to him now. The King of glory has once more given you his terms of peace -- SURRENDER!