God’s Plan to Save the World in Five Minutes

Spoiler alert!  What we’re actually attempting is to summarize God’s plan, spanning many thousands of years, in a super-brief summary of the Biblical account that can be read in five minutes or less.  But be warned: we’ve left out a few details!   So read the Book!

  • God creates EVERYTHING – not only the matter and energy of the cosmos, but also the very laws by which it operates. And on a tiny speck of the universe He brings humans into being – creatures with a will and potential that mirrors His own perfect nature.  And it is all very good!
  • Humans choose to depart from the constraints of God’s perfect will and to challenge His authority. Once the sin of self-centered rebellion is unleashed, ‘human nature’ is at war with God and each generation breeds a new group of rebels who invent increasingly abhorrent ways of preying off each other.  But God is determined to somehow salvage the beauty and promise of the creatures He created in His own image.
  • God selects a single promising man, who He renames Abraham, and covenants that he will make him the father of a new and special people, by which all the people of the earth will be blessed. The plan is in motion!
  • Abraham’s descendants multiply during 430 years of adventures, including a period of slavery in Egypt before God miraculously frees them under His appointed leader Moses. But before leading them into their promised land, God personally reveals through Moses His sacred moral Law for living according to His divine will, and also dictates the special regulations about worship and daily living which will set them apart from their Godless neighbors – a sign of the binding Covenant by which He is their God and they are His people. Their animal sacrifices to God are a foreshadowing of the plan’s final sacrifice for the atonement of all
  • Lots more adventures follow for the Jewish people who, like unruly children, repeatedly backslide into idolatry and other bad behaviors and God forcefully warns them through His prophets and disciplines them back in line. After over 1000 years of this, the Jewish people are now firmly committed to the One True God and eagerly longing for His Messiah, a shadowy future figure repeatedly glimpsed by their prophets as the one by whom God’s plan to restore His Kingdom will be achieved.
  • At an ideal time, with Roman rule providing unprecedented stability over a big chunk of the globe, a baby is miraculously born to the Virgin Mary in the tiny town of Bethlehem and is named Jesus (“God saves”). The boy grows up in obscurity in the backwater of Nazareth, working in the carpentry shop of His step-father, Joseph.  Only He and His parents know that Almighty God is His true father.
  • Around the age of thirty, Jesus emerges from obscurity when He is baptized by John the Baptist as part of the mass spiritual revival foretold in prophecy. Empowered by God’s explicit approval, Jesus selects twelve disciples to be his Apostles (witnesses). During a brief public ministry (four years max), Jesus preaches, performs healing and feeding miracles, and trains His Apostles.  His message is that the Kingdom of God has arrived and He is the promised Messiah sent to save and eventually judge the world.  He announces a New Covenant, to be lived by obedience of the heart rather than external signs.  He predicts His own sacrificial death for mankind’s sins and His resurrection on the third day, and promises that whoever truly believes in Him will live in God’s Kingdom eternally.
  • Jesus’ bold preaching gets Him in trouble with the Jewish religious leaders who collude with the Roman authorities to have him crucified. Jesus’ followers are first devastated, but then delighted when He appears to them two days later vibrant and transformed.  After a number of such appearances He departs them with three promises:  He will send the Holy Spirit to lead; He will always be accessible; and He will return again in glory to judge the world and take His children home to Him.  Meanwhile they are to make disciples of all the world’s people, baptizing them into the Kingdom of God, and feeding them for this work with His own Body and Blood.
  • After 2000 more years of chaotic growth and adventure, we are still working on spreading this message of incredible good news to all the world and waiting expectantly for His return. God’s not done yet!
  • The last act is still to be written. The details are hazy, but we know it will again be very very good!

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