Major theological battles have been waged over what the Bible teaches about origins and destinies. What we believe about where we came from and what we believe about where we are going both have tremendous impact on how we live NOW.
In other words, eschatology is important, and so is protology.
What if one believes that in the beginning, an inexplicable explosion somehow caused matter of unknown origin to organize itself into a universe? What if one believes that life mysteriously sprung forth from that matter then evolved, and that people are only one result of evolution? What if one believes that in the end humanity and all life forms will go extinct and the meaningless universe collapse into oblivion? Only utter despair is consistent for one holding that basic world view, however nuanced.
What if one claims to believe the Bible but allows that its clear account of divine creation is ambiguous and/or might include evolution directed by God? In that case Marxism or other forms of statist idolatry as well as ideologies about ethnic supremacy, abortion, and others cannot be consistently denied. It’s the law of the jungle, the best predator rules!
And if that one’s eschatological view is one in which Christ somehow wins as far as eternal matters but evil wins the day in history, zeal for the advance and triumph of the His kingdom here and now is rendered inconsistent.
However, what if one believes that God brought forth the entire universe about six thousand years ago, with human beings specially created in his holy image? What if one believes that the same God has been directing all of history since creation toward a gloriously triumphant conclusion, albeit through many an evil day and through battles not merely theological but bloody? If one so believes, then what?
Despair is ruled out and hope abounds. All forms of hatred, despising of human life, and organized oppression can be opposed consistently and vigorously. With full expectancy that His kingdom is coming and will come, that one continually prays to the God of creation, providence, and redemption: “Thy kingdom come.”
Short version: Even while the universe was being created, the Creator saw that it was good. On the day it was finished, He pronounced it very good. Then, tragically and incomprehensibly, the universe including humanity was horribly ruined by human sin.
But God the Redeemer’s eternal plan and purpose to save it through Jesus the Messiah immediately began to unfold and continues to this day. On the day of the consummation of history…at the time of the restoration of all things, then the universe will be GLORIOUS!
*Debby McClatchy’s modern version of a folk song of older and obscure origin minded the author to so title this meditation. That song includes the lyrics:
Where did you come from. Where did you go?
Where did you come from cotton-eye Joe?