Summary: Continuing Study of the Book of Romans covering chapter 8:18-8:28
Book of Romans
Lesson # 19
By Rev. James May
Romans Chapter 8:18 – 28
Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
This was the verse that we ended with last time, but it seems appropriate that we should begin here for this next portion of our study.
If there’s one thing that every Born Again Christian, indeed, every soul of man, should know, is that this world is not our final destination. At the end of the age all that is around us, everything of this world will be utterly destroyed in God’s holy fire to purge the power of sin and death once and for all. The only things that will exist in eternity are the souls of men, either in Heaven or Hell. We are choosing our destination now – so we must choose every move we make wisely.
No matter what kind of lifestyle you might have here, poor or rich, or in-between; and no matter what your plans and ambitions are; and no matter how much you may have to suffer in conditions of your health, or in persecutions for the cause of Christ, or anything else – it will all count for nothing compared to the things that God has prepared for those who love him.
People of this world who serve self, and serve Satan, will lose everything, and gain not one thing of any value in return. All will be lost.
People who serve the Lord will lose everything of this earth, including those things which may be useful for the work of the ministry – but what we will gain in return upon our arrival in Heaven will be so much greater that there is no comparison.
Just one moment in the presence of Jesus; just one look into those eyes of mercy, grace and pure love, and all of the things of past will fade forever into nothingness. Heaven will surely be worth it all. So no matter what you’re facing, never allow it to discourage you or draw you off focus of serving Jesus. Nothing of this world is worth missing Heaven!
One of the few things of this world that can follow you to Heaven are the souls of your children and family, but they too must make that choice to be Born Again. You can’t drag them with you; but you can certainly pray and believe God to bring them in.
The other things that will follow you are the works of Righteousness that you do under the direction of the Holy Ghost. Those will be used in determining your reward to some degree; but not your salvation. What rewards will be given will be at the discretion of God alone and will be based on faithfulness and obedience; not on the actual accomplishment that you might think, because all we are called to do is to plant and water the seeds of the gospel. It is God alone that brings the increase.
Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Some theologians teach that the word “creature” in this verse refers to the entire universe; all of God’s creation because the whole of creation has suffered because of the sin of man. It’s as though creation itself is waiting for the deliverance from the power of death. However, we must keep in mind that this creation will destroyed, so it is doubtful that this could be the true reference meant.
Others think that perhaps the “creature” refers to angels who are obliged to minister to mankind, even sinful men at times, and so they groan to be rid of that burden to have to minister in the midst of death, darkness and sin; and to be rid of their ongoing struggles with the powers of hell in doing their work for the Lord toward mankind. (Think of Gabriel’s struggle with the Prince of Persian in answering Daniel’s prayer. And think of the angels that accompanied Jesus as he went to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. And then of the angels that encamped around you every day and are witnesses to the dumb things we do sometimes.)
Yet angels are created beings with but one purpose, and that is to be ministering spirits for God. I find it hard to imagine that any angel would regret serving the Lord, no matter what his assigned task may be. Just as it is for you and I, there may some things that we do for the Lord that are more enjoyable than others, but anything we do for God brings joy, and we serve because we love God and because we count it a privilege to be a part of God’s work in the earth. So I doubt that this is the creature that Paul is referring to.