For the purpose of this study, (as illustrated in Figure 1–1), God’s Eternal Plan and Purpose is organized over three time periods described as the First Creation, the Fallen Creation, and the New Creation.
The time period between the creation of the universe and the next six days is referred to as the First Creation. Each of those days focused on either creating the favorable earthly conditions that would sustain life and/or the formation of life.
After creating, God rested on the seventh day. At first, the human pair lived in a wonderful relationship with each other and with God. Then they rebelled against Him. As a result of that rebellion, humanity’s relationships with God and with one another were broken. This is normally referred to as the fall. Thus, on the seventh day, the First Creation became stained with sin and distorted by evil, and became a Fallen Creation. Almost all of humanity’s history takes place in the seventh day, which continues today.
Throughout the Fallen Creation, God continued to reach out to humanity. Then at a predetermined time, God entered the physical realm through human birth as Jesus. He came to die and heal humanity’s brokenness, preparing the way for the fulfillment of His plan. Three days after His death, Jesus arose from the grave and ascended back to heaven.
With the resurrection of Jesus, the symbolic eighth day of the New Creation began while the Fallen Creation still existed all around it. This in-between portion of time when both the Fallen Creation and the New Creation coexists is called the Church Age and the Last Days of the Fallen Creation.
During the beginning of the New Creation, God works through the Holy Spirit and the Church to draw humanity to Himself as the end of the Fallen Creation draws near. Then, the Fallen Creation’s seventh day ends with the return of Jesus who will usher in the millennial kingdom that will fully remove the effects of sin. Afterward, God’s glorious kingdom of heaven will come to earth just as the Lord’s Prayer petitions: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” At that time, the metaphorical eighth day will fully dawn into a new heaven and a new earth.
What are the three time periods addressed in this study?
On what day did sin enter into the world?
When did the New Creation begin?
Where do you think most Christians expect to spend eternity: in heaven or in a heaven on earth? Which do you think is more appealing?
Excerpt from Incredibly Human: Community in the First Creation
Copyright© 2015 D. A. Combs
All rights reserved.