Summary: It is important what you KNOW about redemption! Because what you KNOW about redemption will control what you BELIEVE about redemption and what you BELIEVE about redemption will dictate how you LIVE within redemption.
While looking for illustrations for this and other lessons, I came across this delightful story. I heard the story in a different format many years ago, but you know about time and memory, especially mine.
This story has nothing to do with the lesson, life, eternity or any other subject I can think of. I tried to twist it enough to work as an illustration for one of the points in this lesson, but I gave up, and decided to just tell it without any purpose at all.
Although.., just maybe.. it could be a modern day "Prodigal Son". Naw! That won’t work either. So… here goes and we’ll get Spiritual later. That’s a good philosophy, or at least one used quite often in life.
Listen to the story, then listen to the lesson and see if you can figure out a way to use it for one of the points in the lesson. I would be glad to hear your conclusions.
Three sons left home. They went out on their own to see how much money they could make. After several years, the boys got together for a little reunion, and a brag session. The conversation obviously came around to which one had given the best gifts their elderly mother.
The first said, "I built a big house for our mother."
The second said, "I sent mother a Mercedes with a driver."
The third said, "You remember how Mom enjoys reading the Bible? She can’t see very well now. So, I sent her a remarkable parrot that recites the entire Bible. It took the elders in the church 12 years to teach him; he’s one of a kind. Momma just has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot recites it. It cost me $100,000."
Soon thereafter, Mom sent out her letters of thanks.
"Milton", mother wrote, "The house you built is huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house."
"Gerald", mother wrote, "I am too old to travel. I spend most of my time in the house, so I rarely use the Mercedes. That driver is so rude, he’s a pain!"
"My dearest Donald", wrote mother, "That skinny little chicken was delicious!"
There you have it. At least it talked about the Bible. After that, maybe we better have a long prayer session!
God’s redemption. It’s easy to say. Yes! It is also easy to receive. In most church’s doctrinal "Statements of Faith", redemption takes a half a dozen lines or so to declare its essence.
However, to have even a surface understanding of the details of redemption, God provided us a Manual of 66 books, written by 40 different authors. Even with such a divinely provided Manual, the best of human thinkers have yet to reach the depth of this inexhaustible subject, and many godly theologians disagree radically on the details of this redemption. I’m quite sure that when we get heaven, we’ll find that much of our earthly musings fell far short of the totality of this eternal truth.
God’s redemptive program spans all of time and at least some of eternity. The fulfillment of God’s plan requires all of heaven’s resources and is opposed by all of Satan’s power.
Humans must work with finite knowledge and flawed reasoning abilities, and we use these, less than perfect tools, to study and draw conclusions concerning this infinite truth. There seems to be more time spent "drawing" conclusions, than in the actual study, however. Under the best of circumstances, even good spiritually qualified people do not always comprehend the full import of God’s program, as we see in…
1 Peter 1:10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven - things which angels desire to look into.
Even the prophets, who personally penned the prophesies, could not figure out all the details of the "ins" and "outs" of this redemption, and this after they inquired and searched diligently.
Inquired = (Greek) To crave, therefore to investigate; Seek out; Search after
Search diligently = (Greek) This is the strongest form of search (they left no stone unturned)
Please note that these prophets went about their investigations in a manner that not many people or theologians would ever think of doing. They first of all had a craving to know the truth. This craving launched them on investigations that were the strongest form of searching. Too many of us are just "ho hum" about our redemption, to say nothing of really wanting to know the details of it.