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What is God's grand plan? Almost everyone, at some time or other, has wondered if there is a reason behind all of life, and if so, what it is. If God created the world, what was the reason? And if there is some grand climax to history, what is it?

In the beginning...
The Bible starts with these words, but we know that it was not speaking of the beginning of God, just of His creation of our world. God has existed from eternity, and the Bible indicates He created the world because...well, because He chose to! He made all plants and animals, then, in a separate act created His masterpiece - mankind. We can see a multitude of hints about God's purpose in doing so as we look through scripture, but the end is the best place to look to really understand what God was planning.

And the end...
A sure method to determine the purpose of nearly any operation is to look at the final result. If you observe a huge complex of buildings and see a variety of materials going in such as metal, computer chips, plastic, etc., you may not have much idea what the factory is there for. It could be producing computers or backhoes. But if you see a stream of shiny cars coming out every day, you can be sure the purpose of this complex is to build automobiles. All those raw materials have only one goal - to produce an automobile.

God's final result
So what is the final result of God's creation, the climax of all history? If we look at Revelation 21, the next-to-last chapter in the last book in the Bible, we see what God is up to. Verse 3 says "And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them.'" God is preparing a people for Himself, with whom He will be in close fellowship throughout eternity. The chapter goes on to describe the blessed state of those people. It's nothing short of heavenly - because it is heaven! All those whose names were not found in the book were thrown into a lake of fire - dividing all mankind into two groups.

Who are they?
But who are those people who God is preparing for Himself? Who will be qualified to live in God's presence? Verse 27 of the same chapter says it will be "only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." Those names identify the ones who belong to God through redemption. In chapter 5 we are told that the Lamb "was slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation." We know from many scriptures that this Lamb was none other than Jesus Christ, God's own Son. In redeeming His people, He clothed them with robes of His own righteousness, qualifying them to live in God's presence.

Putting it together...
How can we wrap our arms about this? God creates the world and populates it with people. Throughout all history, some of these people are purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ, and will be privileged to live in the blessing of God's presence, forever. In summary, God loves having people enjoy the glory of His company so much that He sent His Son into the world to purchase them with His own life. This demonstration of love was not a desperate attempt to rescue a bad situation - it was part of His plan from the very beginning of the world. (Rev.13:8) The fact that God's entire plan hinged on this ultimate act of redeeming love brings heightened meaning to every book in the Bible - God's love is everywhere!

Are you one?
Who would want to miss being part of the eternal celebration God has planned? Amazingly, multitudes will miss the party because they had other plans. They will have either denied the existence of God or the necessity of His plan, or believed their righteousness was adequate without being redeemed. They will in effect have said "I don't like your plan, I'll do it my way!" And, having refused God and His gracious offer, He in the end will have to say to them, "Thy will be done!" But God will welcome into His heaven all the redeemed who bow before Him and declare, "Thy will be done." If you have not joined that blessed number, read how here. God wants you to increase His glory by joining the throng rejoicing in His presence - forever!

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Love Letter photo used with permission of Rian Houston