Summary: Our world is doomed for destruction, but God has other plans. Glory awaits God’s children. Lessons we need to remember.
Life From God’s Perspective Rom. 8:18-25
INTRO.: We consider Solomon the wisest man to live before Jesus. He wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes, a book of meditations on the meaning of life. He had, to the best of his ability, researched the meaning of life from every angle. Then, he sat down to document his findings. He starts his report with "Meaningless! Meaningless!" and goes on to review the events that have led him to this conclusion.
Solomon tried pleasure, power, wealth, wisdom, and even religion and didn’t find satisfaction in any of them. In the last chapter of his book, he again reiterates his findings: "Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Everything is meaningless!" in the end the conclusion of the wisest man who lived before Christ was "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man." Ecc. 12:13.
You see, his conclusion is "What’s the use. Just do your duty and don’t think things will ever get better." Life is full of suffering, fear, and disappointments. There’s nothing we can do about it.
We often feel this same "What’s the use" attitude caused by all kinds of problems and challenges. No matter how hard we work to make things better, they keep getting worse. Let’s look at life from God’s perspective and see if we can’t find meaning beyond just doing our duty. Let’s look for hope for the future.
I. We all know things aren’t going well in this world:
A. World affairs are in a mess"
1. There is no end to armed conflict we all know could end in nuclear holocaust.
2. Diseases like Aids, Alzheimer, and cancer are everywhere and defy efforts to curtail their spread.
3. On a personal level, we all have a lifetime of toil and grief ending at the grave.
B. We humans aren’t alone. The entire creation groans:
1. The environment is being polluted, resources depleted. Natural disasters abound.
2. The entire creation is in "the bondage to decay." V. 21
3. The creation is subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but because of the sentence of God on sin. Gen. 3:17-19
C. So, God sent His son to deliver the creation from all this:
1. They crucified Him. The perfect Savior was killed.
2. He came to offer eternal life and was killed.
3. In spite of our "instinct for survival," mankind seems bent on self destruction.
II. God has other plans. Glory is coming:
A. All the problems (groaning) are like the pains of childbirth. Joy will follow.
1. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 19.
2. Like we wait for someone to come off a plane. Necks stretched out eagerly expecting.
3. When Christ returns, all who are His will be seen sharing His glory. Then we will know life is worthwhile. Things will get better.
B. The New Testament envisions a new heaven and new earth: II Peter 3:10-13
1. This old world is destined for destruction. Even the heavens will disappear with a roar. The elements will melt.
2. But God’s promise will not perish. He has promised a new heaven and earth.
3. The new creation will be the home of righteousness.
4. Sin and all its results will be gone. No pain, sorrow, disappointment, death.
5. This will not come about by human effort, but by the power of God.
III. Lessons we need to learn:
A. Live holy and godly lives. II Pet. 3:11
1. Since everything in this world will be destroyed, let’s not invest everything in it. That’s negative motivation.
2. Positive motivation is seen in the anticipation of better things. II Pet. 3:14
3. Since Jesus died for our sins and rose again, there is a bright future ahead.
B. Keep hope alive:
1. "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.: I Cor. 15:19
2. Because of God’s promise, we hope for what we can’t see.
3. ILLUS.: "There’s a New World Coming" It’s coming because of Jesus.
4. In Christ, we always have hope for a better future.
C. Look at life from God’s perspective: Rom. 8:18
1. ILLUS.: The Power of Perspective.
2. God is working for our good in all of life’s problems.
3. Know that in the end, God will give us the victory over death and sin.
4. For the Christian, life does not lead to destruction, but to glory. The Christian life is a life of hope.
CONC.: a little girl was disappointed because rain had caused the cancellation of her picnic. Her father said, "don’t be sad. Into each life a little rain must fall." she asked "Why?"