I have been developing an idea for a while now that I have found very comforting and highly uplifting. You see, for centuries the Christian world has defined our existence and our relationship with God from the wrong point of view. We have been buying into what I call “The Great Lie”. This lie is that we are sinful by nature, that we must be raised from our fallen state and that without redemption; we are doomed to an eternity of hellfire and damnation. Satan would have us view ourselves in this way, but this is not our nature; this is NOT who we are. True, we have all sinned. True we exist in a fallen state (fallen from what, may I ask?). It is true, indeed, that we must be redeemed from this fallen state, but THIS condition does not define us; it is actually the aberration in our existence. For countless millennia before inheriting our second estate, we existed as children of God, His spirit children, living in His presence. We were not sinners. We were not fallen. And for eternity after this, we have the promise of returning to that pre-mortal dwelling place. So, who are we really?
Well, we are certainly not, by nature, desperate beings, each hoping to become one of the privileged few who qualify for the great prize. We are not mortal pawns in a game of good vs. evil, tossed about like Job at the whims of capricious and unjust Gods who save some but not others. Our promised redemption is not a reprieve from a default fate of eternal torture; it is an infinitely wise manifestation of the pure love of Christ. Redemption is instead a promise contingent upon our obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel; a promise made to all who will humble themselves and follow His example. It is a promise between a Father and His spiritual offspring. Contrary to traditional doctrine, we are children of God striving to return to the celestial existence from which we came. Our nature is to be heavenly, not sinful.
In this, our second estate, most are blinded to both our previous existence and our eternal destiny. All we have known is struggle. We tire often, and many, resigned to their perceived fate and having lost sight of their divine nature, survive on a vague, instinctive hope that there must be something more. Without realizing it, they sense that if our eternity were to be like our mortality, it’s going to be a very, very long and hard existence. Some lose faith, deny God, and declare that there is no eternal existence. Some lose hope, and terminate their life on their own terms. When this happens, Satan has won.
The God I know would not create us and then condemn the majority of His creations to such a fate, either in mortality or in the eternities. He would certainly not condemn us to an eternity of endless torture, which is a component of most pre-restoration doctrine. Instead, He has made it known to those who will listen that His love is extended to all of His children. Redemption from our fallen state is a free gift to all, wrought in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the Cross of Calvary by our Lord Jesus Christ. We received this promise when we kept our first estate and came, on the wings of faith and an unimaginable trust in our Heavenly Father and His Only Begotten Son, to this earth. In addition, we each have the opportunity to return to live with Him if we develop sufficient faith, manifested by our obedience, in this life. Salvation is not a rescue, and is not conditional, it is a promise. Exaltation, or eternity in the presence of God, is conditional upon our faith and obedience, and is the ultimate fulfillment of our divine nature.
I personally refuse to submit to Satan’s lie. I am a child of God who chooses to overcome this temporary fallen condition to become even greater than I was. When I view myself as such, I cannot help but aspire to a higher standard. I naturally seek joy, because this is my nature. I find beauty all around me, and see God Himself in all of His creations. I treasure the ability to love, because I know that this is what distinguishes me from the unfortunate multitude that could not trust enough, and thus followed Satan into ultimate oblivion. Knowing these things, I must be true to my nature, and if I am, I am promised greater joy than I can imagine. THIS joyful existence is the promised eternal state – THIS……is who I am. THIS….is The Great Promise.