By Submitted Article on May 2, 2020.
Pestilence and disaster
Last of three parts
Jacob M. Van Zyl
There is one pestilence that cannot be evaded by lockdowns and isolation; all are infected already. Adam and Eve’s fallen nature has been inherited by all their offspring (Rom. 5:12).
When the Son of God accepted a human body, God created in Mary a pure, fertilized ovum (Mat. 1:20, Luke 1:35). Christ was born without original sin and he did not sin afterwards (Heb. 4:15).
He was the only human being not infected by the pestilence of sin; however, he was severely affected by it when God laid the sins of humanity on him while he was flogged and crucified (Rom. 3:10-12, 23, 2 Cor. 5:21). He was the unblemished Passover lamb that died so that God’s wrath would pass over us (1 Cor. 5:7, 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
The purpose of Christ’s incarnation was to save humanity from the pestilence of sin and its consequences by making forgiveness and a new life possible (1 John 3:8). That’s the good news.
The bad news is that in this life not even the born-again are perfect. Yes, their views, attitudes and behaviours change for the better, but they still struggle with the interference of the old nature.
St. Paul told us about his own struggle (Rom. 7), and he urged Christians to keep fighting their old sinful nature, called flesh (Rom. 6:12-13, Gal. 5:16-26).
Although forgiven and reconciled with God through Christ’s atoning sacrifice and the work of the Holy Spirit, Christians don’t fully recover in this life from the pestilence of sin. When the old nature dies with the body, the spirit goes sin-free into the presence of God.
This spiritual existence with God is not the final destination; it is an interim period. Salvation will be completed when new bodies are resurrected and reunited with their spirits, destined for New Earth (1 Cor. 15:50-52, 1 Thess. 4:13-18, Rev. 21:1-7).
In Genesis 1, God reiterated seven times that his original creation was good, very good. For the eternal God, the period of sin on Earth is only a short interruption in his original perfect plan. He will resume where he left off – without the devil and the tree of temptation, and thus, without sin.
Imagine a perfect Earth without devil, temptation and sin. Just the absence of these three pests will make New Earth wonderful. Add to that all the good things the Creator will shower onto his perfect Earth and children, and we will indeed have heaven on Earth.
Creation now groans (Rom. 8:18-22) under burdens such as death, extreme temperatures, pollution, hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms, earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts, floods, wildfires, pests, diseases and famines. New Earth will be free of all these – hallelujah!
Let’s make sure we’ll be there (John 3:16, 6:37).
Jacob Van Zyl of Lethbridge is a retired counsellor and the author of several faith-based books.