CATASTROPHE AND THE EXPECTATION OF THINGS TO COME
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
When tragedy begins to strike the earth, the expectation of the Christian soars. We don’t know exactly what is coming, we only know it will be beyond all our hopes and dreams. Paul said that the birth pains of the groaning creation awakens an “earnest expectation” in His children. That phrase, earnest expectation, is one word in the greek new testament. It’s meaning is quite descriptive, it means literally to stretch out your neck in anticipation of what is coming. The picture Paul paints is that of a spectator at a race, stretching his neck to look over the crowd to catch a glimpse of the finish.
When we hear of the increasing number of prophetic events being fulfilled, something inside of us begins to pulse with excitement, we know that something special is about to happen.
In today’s verse, the apostle Paul gives us a hint at what that might look like. He says what is coming next is the manifestation, or the unveiling of the sons of God. That is our great hope, that is what life is all about. We were made for eternity, nothing else can possibly satisfy our hearts. After all, deep inside our hearts we know that there is more, a whole lot more.
These present calamities are speaking to the world, creation itself is calling out for God’s glory to be revealed. Creation is all about the revealing of God’s glory. That is what this vast creation does, it declares His glory.
So why is creation groaning? It is longing for the greatest display of God’s glory reserved for these last days. And what could that be, it is the unveiling of His glory in this fallen race. Millions of sinners; the drug dealers, the prostitutes, the pimps, the crooked politicians, and the average guy, all of those who have been born of His Spirit, will be changed in a moment of time. We will be clothed with His glory, we will be like Him. That is why creation is groaning. The King is returning and the great display of His redeemed sons and daughters will begin. At that instant the groaning will end and the singing will begin,
“For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”