The problems in our created world started when Adam and Eve sinned, and God put a curse on creation. As a result, no part of nature exists today as God originally created it to be. Paul talked about this in Romans 8:20 where he said, “Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse.”
The story of God’s curse on creation is described in Genesis 3:17-19.
17 And to the man (Adam) he said (God speaking), “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.
19 By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”
So, one couple’s disobedience caused all of creation to be corrupted. Decay, disease, pain, death, natural disasters, pollution and all forms of evil came into existence. The Law of entropy, which is the constant and irreversible degradation of matter and energy, also came into being. These are conditions that creation has endured since the fall.
However, Paul gave us some hope in Romans 8:20-22.
20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope,
21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.
22 or we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
God promises a time of restoration — which all nature groans for in hope and expectation. Paul likened this groaning to the pains of childbirth. Like Eve – whose sin brought the pain of childbirth – nature also endures its own kind of labor pains. Just as human birth pains usher in new life – so nature’s birth pains usher in restoration Unfortunately, we don’t know when this will occur. So — as creation “eagerly awaits” for this to happen — it groans.
And not only does creation groan for restoration — but believers do as well. This is described in Romans 8:23-25.
23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.
24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it.
25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
So, believers look forward to the day when they will receive full rights as adopted children. This will be an inheritance that they will receive in heaven. This is described in 1 Peter 1:3-4.
3. All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again (that’s the first step), because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,
4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
Verse 23 also says we will receive new bodies. These new bodies will be like the one that Jesus received at His resurrection. They will be eternal and will be perfect in every way.
Verses 24-25 call this our hope. Hope is the firm belief and confidence in God’s promises. The hope of our salvation is based in Jesus’ promise in John 6:37-40.
37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.
38 For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will.
39 And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day.
40 For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:37-40 NLT
I can’t think of anything more reassuring than that. We will never lose what Jesus has given us, and He promises to never take it away.
Well, that’s it for now. See you next week…