Genesis 50:19-20 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”
Pastor Obie concluded our Sunday sermon series based upon the book of Genesis by recapping how Joseph was betrayed (sinned against) and forgotten by his brothers and was sold into slavery, was sold again in Egypt to be betrayed again by the lie of his owner’s wife and was unjustly imprisoned for years. Then, was betrayed still again by a fellow inmate he helped, who reneged on a promise and forgot him, until the Pharaoh reminded him years later, which lead to his elevation to second in command of all of Egypt. But when his brothers showed up in Egypt to buy grain from him, instead of justified wrath for the sins against him, he showed them genuine, no catch and no strings attached forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration. Joseph saw the big God story of the road to redemption unfold before his life and he had repurposed evil for good. Joseph’s grace was a foreshadowing of the grace of God.
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Pastor Obie explained that God’s forgiveness is full, final and life-giving. But, God has given us “freedom of choice”, so He will not force anyone to accept His offer of forgiveness, redemption, salvation, reconciliation, restoration or regeneration to life. Nevertheless, God has loved us from the beginning and the wise would seek Him and His Plan of Salvation via the road to Redemption through Jesus Christ. What Joseph told his brothers, is true for all: “What man meant for evil, God makes good. Creator God is in the business of making things “good”, because it is His nature and intent. Everything is working out toward His “good” purpose. Our job is to align our will to God’s will, our heart to God’s heart, our purpose to God’s purposes, and our way to God’s good way. We do not have the high, heavenly, big God ’s perspective of time and events on earth. History is His Story.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
We have to recognize “the road to Redemption” was set in place from the very beginning in the Garden of Eden when the devil deceived Adam and Eve to bring sin and death into the world. Creator God told Satan in Genesis 3:15, saying, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” This is the “Protoevangel” (the first proclamation of the gospel that Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, was coming with His gracious offer of forgiveness, redemption, salvation, reconciliation, restoration or regeneration to life; a pathway was paved were sin could be reversed and reconciliation with God available to those who chose to accept this gift of God. God cared for our redemption from the beginning by providing the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6), through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for our sins.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
He was talking about His narrow path to Heaven. If you are on any other board way to perdition, change your road. The 1828 Webster’s dictionary define the word “perdition” as the utter loss of the soul or of final happiness in a future state; future misery or eternal death. The impenitent sinner is condemned to final perdition (eternal damnation).Sin must be paid for. But, Jesus came to seek and save the lost. We all need to choose our road in life.We can repent of our sins and accept the offer to take God’s "road to redemption" in Christ today.
In Christ, Brian