Paul in writing to the Ephesian church tells us what God revealed to him about His plan - the plan which had not been disclosed previously, although hints of it had been given to some of the Old Testament prophets.
He (God) made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment -- to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. [Ephesians 1 : 9 - 10 NIV]If this is to be so, then sin and death must be dealt with along the way.
Well, Jesus dealt with sin 2000 years ago ...
Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.and, as a result, God no longer holds our sins against us ...
[1 John 2 : 2 NIV]
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. [2 Corinthians 5 : 19 NIV]And Jesus will deal with death at the end of the ages (when the times reach their fulfillment) ...
For he (Christ) must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. [1 Corinthians 15 : 25 - 26 NIV]So all is in place for God to achieve His "unity plan" at the end of the ages.
Now, let's consider the benefits of knowing this?
There are quite a few for me.
One, my opinion of God as a God of unconditional love is reinforced.
Two, I have a terrific single-focused good-news message for the world, that God is not mad with them, He is reconciled to them and plans to give them the best eternal future possible.
Three, I can distance myself from the good-news/bad-news dichotomy often presented by mainstream Christianity that God is love on the one hand yet He will oversee the torture of the majority of His creation forever on the other.
Four, I can relate to everyone of my friends, colleagues and neighbours as people on the journey to the same destination as me, even if they are at a different stage of that journey. As such, I can pray for people with much more hope and optimism than I previously might have had, knowing I am praying in line with God's will.
To know the end result of the space-time realm in which we live is as reassuring as it is empowering, and encourages me to roll up my sleeves and be involved in the ministry to which God has called me - the ministry of sharing "the message of reconciliation".
What about you?