Work: A Preview of Things to Come
Study Guide September 6, 2015
Several new inventions and technological advances are now on the horizon. And here is one that will be a welcomed breakthrough for all the beach lovers around here…how about instead of having to slather on hand-fulls of sunscreen each time you go to the beach you just take a ‘sunscreen pill’ instead? Then, this one sounded really great. Imagine you are out hiking and badly cut your leg or arm in a fall or something…and you just reach into your bag and pull out your Laser pen which instantly seals up your wound.
This one was kind of crazy: Let’s say you are on vacation, but a meeting at the office comes up and you have to be there. Instead of flying back for the meeting, you call on your holograph phone and it projects your image to your fellow employees and their office phone projects their images to you at the same time. Meeting done…back to the Links…And then this one was fascinating, and I think there’s something like this around already, but it’s a speech to speech translating device that lets you communicate with someone of a different language. It’s like having a portable translator.
And here’s a strange one…you might want to start carrying around a heavy duty fly swatter because they are working on insect like robots that can spy on people. I can see that becoming both something really helpful, for like the military, or really bad, for like hackers and such.
And of course, cars are getting really smart, like communicating with each other to prevent crashes. And Volvo is working on a crash proof car. Then imagine that your car’s computer had an owner detection system, so that when it detected your approach it could not only start up, but even remember what temperature you prefer and what music you like and set that up for you. Plus, it might even be fitted to start up a hot cup of coffee in the cup holder waiting for you when you get in.1
But the point is, just think about some of the amazing things that mankind, even in man’s unredeemed and fallen condition, has been able to create and continues to create. Why is that? Gen 1:26-28- “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” NKJV
To be created in the image of God includes being created with the innate inclinations of God, particularly in relation to this proclivity for creating things. In other words, the Creator created human beings with the intention that they would continue to exercise their God given creativity to steward all the Creator’s creation. Continue it how long? We’ll talk about that. But the thing is, with all of these remarkable inventions of man throughout history, these are simply previews of what redeemed man is going to invent and create when the curse is finally and fully removed from God’s redeemed people and from God’s redeemed world. In every area of life, from entertainment to engineering, from technology to travel, from music to media, and on and on, this God designed creativity that God placed within man will be one of the main features of life on the New Earth and in the New Heavens.
We talked a little about this in our study Wednesday night on the Truth Project, as we explored this area of ‘Labor’ or ‘Work’. And I’ll be gleaning a bit from that excellent study by Dr. Tackett as we expand on this subject of the Labor or the Work of man.
But think about it: We often wonder why the Universe is so immense. Why so many physical places beyond what we can even see and imagine? Well, when God’s people are able to utilize all their creative abilities, unlimited by sin and the curse…well, as the saying goes; “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” Literally, the sky is the limit for what God’s stewards are going to come up with, are going to create, once the limits of the curse are gone, and, especially since we have been made in the image of the One who loves to create, we will really get on with our proclivity for ‘creating’.
How is that different from most people’s idea of what Heaven is going to be like; or what is really going to be going on in the new world; or what the activities of Heaven will include? Is Heaven just an existence filled with resting and lounging around? No, Heaven’s not going to be filled with a bunch of ‘cloud potatoes’. No, on the contrary, Heaven will be filled with this fulfilling of this call by God for His people to exercise ‘dominion’; the management and development of all His works. And so once again, whatever mankind has been able to create and invent so far is going to seem like child’s play compared to all that God’s stewards are going to be doing and dreaming and inventing and creating in the coming Kingdom.
Randy Alcorn, in his excellent book on Heaven, said that in Heaven God is going to ‘unleash’ our creativity, not confine it. What a great way to put it; ‘creativity unleashed’. He then said, ‘As a musical novice, I might even compose something worthy of Bach. And (then) what kind of music do you suppose Bach will compose?”2
Brother Alcorn went on to point out that now we use the arts, including drama, painting, sculpture, music, and much more to provide enjoyment and entertainment and especially to praise God. So don’t you think these will continue to provide enjoyment and entertainment and be used to praise God even more in Heaven? C. S. Lewis said, “When you painted on Earth…it was because you caught a glimpse of Heaven in the earthly landscape.”3 All the beauty of the Earth, and all the wondrous things of the arts and sciences and technologies and so on, are like glimpses we are getting now of things to come in the land of the New Earth and the New Heavens. These things on Earth, these abilities on earth, these talents on earth, these creative expressions of our innermost image, this image of God in which we were created, are all like previews of the things that will really thrive in Heaven, once we are free from the sin stunted effects of this old earth, which is still under the curse.
And then think of games and hobbies and sports. It could be that your favorite sport is one that is yet to be invented in Heaven. Often when I’m talking with someone about playing sports in Heaven they say something like, “Well, I don’t know. What challenge will there be if we’re all perfect there?” Whoa! Time out! What a huge misconception of what we will be like in Heaven. Perfect? In what are we perfect? Thankfully, we going to perfect in our holy moral nature, but in everything else, like in our learning and in the developing of our talents and abilities and so on, we will continue to grow and to further develop in all of these and more. Remember, only God is perfect in all things and in all ways. Only God is perfect in knowing all things; His omniscience, and only God is perfect in all power; in His omnipotence, and so on. So we will be like God in our moral nature, but we’ll have a long way to go in our development of everything else, like our knowledge and abilities and power and such. Praise God, we’ll have perfect health, as in free from sickness and disease, but your resurrected body is always going to benefit from a good workout or a helpful practice session in whatever you are doing in Heaven.
But again, the point we are making is that all these sporting events and artistic displays and even engineering feats on this present Earth have come out of this original creative implantation within us when God made us in His own image, His own likeness. And the thing is, most people of this world don’t even realize that’s why they are drawn toward or driven to do the things they do and to make the things they make and to dream the things they dream about creating, whatever those things might be that they are on the verge of creating. Who put those desires within them, and why? You see, Most people do not connect their inner talents and gifts and abilities as being those very things which the Creator placed within them when He said, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.” Gen 1:28 AMP
God’s plan for those He created in His likeness included being His stewards over all that He created, and this plan was never altered nor rescinded. In other words, the plan remains, and it will remain throughout eternity. Once this interruption of the reign of sin and death is over, the original plan of God’s will unfold and God’s redeemed people from every tongue and tribe and nation of this Earth will be given complete dominion and stewardship over the New Earth and New Heavens.
Think about it: Those of you that are good at Engineering, why do you think you are good at engineering? Could it be that God designed you to do those things in engineering that would bless others in this world now, and also do those things in the ages to come in the new world that will be part of those things God said that eye has not yet seen nor ear yet heard, all that God has planned for those who love Him? Could it be that things you will one day build or design in the New Earth and even into the New Heavens are part of those things beyond our imagination now? And what about those of you who are craftsmen and artists. Recall what God told Moses about the way He had planned for the building of the Tabernacle: Ex 31:1-6- “Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “See, I have called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, that he may work in all kinds of craftsmanship. “And behold, I Myself have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in the hearts of all who are skillful I have put skill, that they may make all that I have commanded you…” NASU Just like God placed those skills of craftsmanship and artistry within these servants of God for the purpose of building the tabernacle, God has placed certain skills within you for the purposes for building that which honors God and blesses others now, and on into the Kingdom of Heaven.
As Pastor Robert pointed out in our study, that this is all simply part of God’s design as He told us in Eph 2:10- “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” NASU And what’s the time-frame on this? Is there a 20 year or 40 year or 90 year limit on these good works or on God’s plan? Did God create us for time or did He create us for eternity? Right, He created us for eternity and He designed us with an eternal plan of good works in which we should walk. That’s one of the reasons Jesus told us His parables about the Kingdom of Heaven so that we would understand how important our faithfulness is now; that we would understand that our faithfulness in doing good works now for God affects our privileges of getting to do more and more of these good works and great things that God planned for us to do in the coming Kingdom of Heaven.
There are many unimaginable opportunities ahead for us. There are skills and interests and abilities that we have just now only experienced in part, but we will fully get to experience them all in Heaven…if we are faithful in these little things now, so that we will be rewarded with being given the privileges of the greater things ahead in the coming Kingdom.
And here is one help that can help us keep this focus in mind. In the Truth Project series Dr. Tackett pointed out that at the end of every composition of Johann Sebastian Bach he would write three letters: ‘SDG’, which stood for ‘Soli Deo Gloria’, meaning: ‘For God’s glory alone’. That commitment to God’s glory can also keep us focused on how we are to do whatever we do in the use of the talents and gifts and abilities that God has implanted in us to do these good works that He planned for us before the beginning of the world and on into the never-ending new world to come…this new world that is just on the horizon now. Imagine that; we can make what is coming even more glorious by doing everything we are doing now to the glory of God.
‘SDG’ – Soli Deo Gloria
- Jason Wire, 23 Incredible New Technologies You’ll See by 2021, matadornetworking.com
2. Randy Alcorn, Heaven, p. 403
3. Ibid, p 406