The End Of All Rebellion

The Fall of the Rebel Angels; left hand panel of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Haywain Triptych, c. 1500

It is an important question, whether or not any of us will sin once we arrive in heaven. Can a person of their own free will, sin and fall away from God once our life on earth ends and we live with the Lord in heaven?

The angels lived in the presence of God and when they fell away and rebelled against Him, there was no plan of salvation offered. The reason is that they were created perfect, lived with God, saw His perfection, righteousness, and love, yet still chose to rebel. For this reason and because they had a complete revelation of God, no salvation was offered.

Man was also created by God perfect, and had fellowship with God. After Adam sinned and rebellion was found in his heart, God promised a Savior; a Messiah, who would offer redemption to anyone who would believe.[1,2]

A second question we might ask is why after Jesus died for the sins of the world, did He delay His return to earth to complete our redemption, and to judge sin, evil, and rebellion? Peter wrote that it was for the express purpose of giving fallen human beings time to repent, that God delayed the return of Jesus:

“But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief.” ~2 Peter 3:8-10

The answer in the delay may linked to the knowledge that God had in His desire to put down all sin and rebellion forever. The angels sinned and rebelled though they lived in the presence of God. Adam sinned and rebelled though He had fellowship with God and walked with Him. How can the eternal state of man and angels living in heaven, guarantee there is no future rebellion?

“For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment.” ~2 Peter 2:4

It seems that the long process of human birth with a nature towards sin; the opportunity to learn what Jesus has done for us and make a decision to turn from our sins and trust Him, achieves the long term goal of putting down all rebellion.

Humans who will inhabit heaven for eternity will have the benefit of knowing what it was like to sin against God, and be alienated from Him—yet be redeemed by Christ. Forever we will treasure what God has done for us, and it is clear that those chosen for eternal life by God, will never rebel or sin again in eternity. It is clear that we still have the ability—we could sin and rebel if we wanted, but our knowledge of the entire process that we have gone through, appears to prevent the redeemed from repeating the fatal error of rebellion.

This informs us that the reason for the creation of mankind in the first place, with God knowing that we would sin against Him and rebel against His moral law, this was a part of His plan. Only by going through this long process can a person destined for eternal life—know the love, mercy, and grace of God. It is through our mortal life here on earth as sinners saved by the grace of God, that we can fully appreciate what He has done for us.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” ~Isaiah 55:8-11

God knew before He created anything, that this is the process that would accomplish His ultimate goal: to create beings like Himself who could share in the same unity of mind, purpose, and will that the Father, Son, and Spirit have shared forever.

In the texts of the New Testament Paul wrote that rulership of the entire universe, will be given to redeemed human beings, not angels. At the present time we are, “a little lower than the angels,” in our rank of authority. When our redemption is complete at the return of Jesus for us, we will be elevated above the angels, and in heaven, given the authority to rule over the entire universe. Paul cites this fact in his letter to the Hebrew Christians, chapter 2:

“For in one place the Scriptures say, “What are mere mortals that you should think about them, or a son of man that you should care for him? Yet for a little while you made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them authority over all things.” ~Hebrews 2:6-8

This text that Paul included in Hebrews, came from Psalms 8:4-6:

“What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than angels (the Hebrew reads, “Yet you made him [i.e., man] a little lower than Elohim”)and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority.”

When we arrive at the book of Revelation, redeemed redeemed human beings are described as, “kings and priests of God who will rule with Christ, over all creation, forever.”

“And they (the redeemed) sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” ~Revelation 5:9-10

Revelation 5:9-10 speaks of rulership over the earth with Jesus during the one thousand year reign of the Messiah, promised to David in the Old Testament. Paul extends this right of rulership, to authority over the entire universe after the conclusion of the thousand years.

In order for God to ensure that those chosen for such a high honor of eternal rulership over all His creation, they must first come out of a mortal life whereby they knew and understood sin, destruction, complete loss, a future judgment, and the redemption of their lives by Christ. Only people who have endure this long and difficult process, are fit for eternal rulership with God.

We can thank the Lord every day that He knew us before He made anything. He understood that this process we are all now enduring, will fully prepare us for a destiny that is beyond our ability to comprehend. We who love Jesus; we who believe God when He warned us of a future judgment for sin; we who repented from our sins and trusted fully in Jesus for our salvation for all of our life—are the ones God chose for this great future rulership over all the universe. There will be no future rebellion in the ages to come.


NOTES:

[1] The First Prophecy of the Messiah in the Bible: Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Adam was created on the earth as the first man, and subsequently made a wrong choice. Adam’s unfortunate decision to disobey God caused a defect in the perfection of man, which brought about sin and death to all of his descendants. This first prophecy of the Bible is God’s immediate response to man’s loss of perfection, eternal life, and fellowship with God. New Testament fulfillment: 1 John 3:8 …For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. See: “The Prophecies of the Messiah
[2] Man originally created perfect and without sin: Genesis 1:26: “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” Sin came into the world by Adam: Romans 5:12 “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.:



Categories: Robert Clifton Robinson

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