Sermonette 11-4-00 Ann Arbor, MI
WHY DID GOD CREATE MANKIND?
Our nation, people around us, getting excited about the Presidential race and the election next Tuesday. Are any of us depressed (or elated) by the drunk driving arrest of George W. Bush twenty-four years ago? Are we getting too caught up in this world’s politics mentally? Does it really matter, if Jesus will be here in (say) twenty or thirty years?
Given that question, why did God create mankind, including you and me? What is the purpose of our lives? To maximize pleasure and minimize pain over a period of roughly seventy years before we get tossed into a metal box and buried in the ground?
Is this statement by Mr. Armstrong in Mystery of the Ages true (pp. 102-3, 110, 135)?: “Why did the Creator God put man on the earth? for God’s ultimate supreme purpose of reproducing himself—of recreating himself, as it were, by the supreme objective of creating the righteous divine character ultimately in millions unnumbered begotten and born children who shall become God beings, members of the God family. . . . To destroy an embryo or a fetus in a mother’s uterus is to murder a potential future God Being. Therefore, abortion is murder. . . . Why is man? God created man on the earth to build in us what the sinning angels refused to let God build in them—his perfect character! He is, in his time-order and way, developing us to become very God—each of us—and to finish the creation of the unfinished universe!” (emphasis omitted) Is it true that men and women shall become God?
What should make us much more excited than any election or Presidential campaign is our future destiny in God’s Family in which we’ll be Sons of God who will be as divine as the Father and Son are themselves.
SPS: Today, we’re going to look at several key texts that show mankind’s destiny is to become God.
Avoid the plural, “We shall become gods” is false, since God is One.
John 10:30-38 (notice esp. 30, 38): READ
Key point: Jesus said that if these judges were called “gods,” therefore there’s nothing wrong if He, the unique Son of God, implied He had a uniquely close relationship with the Father (v. 38) that only someone Divine could have (v. 30).
v. 34 present tense issue
A key, underrated text (John 17:20-24): How often have we heard these words spoke on the Passover, yet not realized their full import. They aren’t just a nice statement about spiritual unity in the church, but imply
John 17:20-24: READ
Implications: If Jesus being one with the Father implied He was God, what are the implications coming from Jesus’ promise that the Father and Son would be one with us? That He and the Father would come to be in us (by the Holy Spirit).
Notice despite the past tense in v. 22, is about the future since the church, those to whom the apostles would convert, not yet converted. A prophetic perfect?
V. 22 “glory”: Consider the divine implications, compare to v. 5, READ. Other texts, look up New Testament texts in a concordance dealing with “glory” and human beings gaining it. Implies also we shall become God, by taking on a key, defining characteristic or attribute of God.
Jehovah’s Witness book reasoning first notified me about the implications of this text (p. 424, Reasoning from the Scriptures). Remember, they deny Jesus is God, so they’re trying to get out of John 10:30 which implies Jesus is God. Instead, they indirectly discover one of the best texts for Mr. Armstrong’s teaching!
“When saying, “I and the Father are one,” did Jesus mean that they were equal? Some Trinitarians say that he did. But at John 17:21, 22, Jesus prayed regarding his followers: “That they may all be one,” and he added, “that they may be one even as we are one.” He used the same Greek word (hen) for “one” in all these instances. Obviously, Jesus’ disciples do not all become part of the Trinity. But they do come to share a oneness of purpose with the Father and the Son, the same sort of oneness that unites God and Christ.”
Don’t be put off the their use of the word “Trinity.” Suppose one put in “the God Family” instead!
Hebrews 2:5-17: READ as much as be done.
v. 7: In Hebrew in Old Testament, the word here is “elohim,” GOD, not “angels.”
Little lower than angels, or for a little while lower than God! (ambiguity)
v. 9: “glory”: Jesus gained it . . .
v. 10: in order to give it to us!
v. 11: Not entirely different kinds of being then, but of the same “species” (Aristotle), “kind,” category of being. “brothers, of the same FAMILY.” Say it this way: “Jesus is my brother, God is my Father.”
v. 14, 17: Jesus humbled Himself. Being God, He chose to become man, and take on the limitations we have.
God became man in order that man may become God!
Given this reality, that we’ll become God and live for all eternity as God, why should we get so excited about a presidential campaign and who will be president for the next four years? How much will it matter a thousand years from now?
Implications of delegation by God to human beings: Allows us to have children, to reproduce for Him. Gives us the privilege and duty to raise children and direct them to become more like God in character, moral decision-making. Teens: Temptations of the world (sex outside of marriage, the party/drug/drinking lifestyle, or even some like playing team sports on the Sabbath or during Holy Days) of so little consequence compared to what destiny God is offering you. Try to catch the vision of what God is offering us, and offering to make us become, and look beyond the obvious glitter of the world to the true spiritual, but hidden, gold God has in store for us. Certain serious adults may get caught up in worldly politics, thinking that’s more important than the passing pleasures of the world, but it’s just as temporary. Any individual in God’s kingdom will outlive any civilization that has ever existed.
So then, although the world may present us with various passing temptations and pleasures, we have to organize our lives around the reality that God wants us to become like Him in our character by overcoming the pulls of the flesh and the temptations of the world, and help guide others similarly to become more like God themselves, such as the children you may have. We have to live in accordance with this truth every day. Let’s remember the greatest truth that God allowed Mr. Armstrong to uncover: Our ultimate destiny is to become God.