The Purpose of God
Time and Eternity
"If you take away from me the doctrine of the Second Advent of Christ, which is to be a crisis of human history as definite as the First Coming, I am the most pessimistic of men. If you tell me that the work of the missionary is to convert the world by preaching, I am hopeless indeed.
"But when I realise that the work of the missions is to evangelize the world by the preaching of the Gospel for a witness, and that beyond the (Second) Advent there will be a new age in which human history will be perfected, then I wait with patience for the crisis which is to come, and serve as God helps me in order to hasten that coming, the coming of the Lord Himself.
"May God deliver us from taking away so great, so stupendous and sublime, far reaching vision of the wisdom which transcends our finite theory, in order to formulate a doctrine that God has chosen a few people to be saved and left the rest to be damned forever. That is an unwarranted (unscriptural) deduction.
"The plan of the Church existed in the mind of God from eternity. He predestinated the Church that it should be conformed to the image of His Son.... He predestinated men and women that they should be conformed to that likeness. The Church then is not an experiment in human history. It is part of the plan of God. It is the conception, the Plan of God from eternity.
"Finally, the Church is eternal in yet another sense. The Consummation is eternal, for the Church is to serve the purpose of God in the coming ages. Through the Church in its union with Jesus Christ, there will be revealed in the ages to come - 'the exceeding riches of His grace' and there will be unveiled before the angels - 'the manifold wisdom of God'.
"This is the first note of the central preaching of the letter to the Ephesians. The Church of God is eternal. Its conception in the past eternity was the plan of God. Its construction in time is by the power of God. Its consummation in the coming ages will be for the fulfilment of the purposes of God. Are we of the Church? If we are, then we were in the heart and mind and Plan of God in the ages gone; we are to fulfil the purpose of God in the ages to come, and the plan of the past and the purpose of the future are linked by the power of the present; for plan, power and purpose are alike eternal."
Dr. G Campbell Morgan