I really hope you are investing in our church’s current study through the book of Galatians. Its teaching emphasizes the good news of the gospel in some real ways aimed and comforting believers with real freedom and life in Christ. There’s one particular part that has been stuck in my thoughts for days now as I’ve been doing the study. I hope it will get stuck in your thoughts too!
It is found in one tiny verse, chapter one, verse four. It says Jesus “gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” God’s work in Jesus’ death and resurrection is this: “to deliver us from the present evil age.” This is God’s will, that we not be destroyed or imprisoned forever by this present evil age. Think about what this present evil age is and how much destruction, sadness, heartache, darkness are in it.
The age before Adam’s sin was a perfect paradise; no sadness, no sin, no problems of any kind. But after the fall affliction of every kind entered and that paradise was lost forever. The current age in which we live is called “evil.” It is an age when people love the darkness and hate the light of God and His instructions (John 3:19). Those who live in this present darkness cannot see where they are going or what they are doing and will soon be totally overcome by the darkness (John 12:35). In this present darkness people are literally held in the power of Satan’s grip over them (Acts26:18). There is a cosmic war taking place with powerful, evil spirits literally destroying human beings.
You can see it all around. Those we love have bodies that are breaking down and soon their heart and breathing will stop. Some, now, are waiting out their last moments of life with their loved one. Strong men who once could do anything are now so weak they can barely move or cannot feed themselves because of Parkinson’s. Many have had their tiny baby ripped from them before they ever had a chance to know them and see them laugh. Many have had their tiny baby grow up to be wrecked by lifelong mental illness or drug addiction. Some hate themselves for their inability to resist pornography. Some hate themselves because of the sad married life they’ve created for their mate who deserves better. Marriages have be shattered. Families have become places to avoid. The elderly are often all alone and sad with no one noticing. Every time you turn on the news it sounds like the whole world has lost its mind.
The weight of the sadness is very real. It is an evil age. And everyone knows it.
But God has taken joy in doing something about it. By sending His Son to die He has once for all broken the power of Satan’s darkness, sin and death. By raising Him from the dead He has given believers the promise that they will not be overcome by the darkness but will live forever. And the paradise that was lost cannot hold a light to the new heavens and new earth that Jesus will bring with Him when He returns to put an end to this present evil age. Followers of Jesus have the promise that we will not only inherit that eternal kingdom but we will actually sit on Jesus’ throne with Him ruling over the angels in the new heaven and new earth (Rev. 3:21).
So whatever the sadness is today that weighs on you due to life in this present evil age, push it aside by faith in what is yet unseen. The day is coming when Jesus will literally fold up the very skies and all the sadness will be gone forever. We will be set free forever from our own sins and all the scars from the war will be erased.
This is good news!