history is His Story
 
In the beginning

God is good and holy, He is not the author of evil, in the beginning everything was made perfect. The world was made for man to dwell in, and Man was the most important of all of God’s creation, made in God’s image. Even Eve, the woman, was taken from Adam’s side, therefore Adam represented us all. Mankind was given just one law to obey and God permitted him to be tested. He set before him life and death, but man chose to disobey God and bear the consequence. Thus it was because of man’s rebellion that sin entered the human race. 

The immediate result was spiritual death, as man’s conscience accused him of his guilt. The curse of God and physical death were further penalties. Since then all the descendants of Adam and Eve down to us have a corrupt sinful nature and physically die. We sin because we are sinners. Even so, God in His mercy promised a Saviour who would one day be born from a woman (Gen 3:15). 

Catastrophe

Adam and Eve were barred from the presence of God and the right to the tree of life. In time, the earth became populated with people, but their long lives, filled with wickedness, were an affront to our holy Creator. Yet Noah found grace, and while the world was warned of it’s impending judgment, God instructed him to build an ark to save those who would believe. In the end it was only Noah, his wife and three sons and their wives who were saved, just 8 souls. All the rest of the population of the earth were destroyed in the global flood. Whilst the seed-bed of animal species were preserved alive in the ark to repopulate the earth, the vast fossil-bearing sediments under our feet the world over are ample evidence of the catastrophic end of the ancient world.

After the flood, God promised never to destroy the world in such a way again, though it was to remain a lesson for all thereafter. At first, everyone spoke one language and dwelt together in Mesopotamia. But as the population increased, they again set about doing evil. So God confused their languages at Babel. The resulting confusion caused the dispersion of the peoples to fill the earth and in time, this gave formation to distinctive tribes, languages, nations and cultures. 

Abraham, the father of faith

Not long after this, God chose a man named Abram. He called him from Ur to follow Him to a land God promised to give him. God promised to make Abram a blessing to all families of the earth. Abram believed God and set out to follow Him to the promised land. Despite Abram’s ageing years, and the age of his wife, God continued to promise him a son, and changed his name to Abraham, ‘father of nations.’ Eventually God’s promise was fulfilled and Isaac the promised son was born. In time, God further tested Abraham by asking him to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. Though this was a great test of Abraham’s faith, he implicitly trusted God, that if he should kill his son, God was still able to fulfil his promise somehow, even perhaps, by raising him from the dead. In the event, God prevented Abraham for harming Isaac, leaving us with a remarkable picture of a loving father, willing to sacrifice his son to death to fulfil God’s will, believing that God would raise him up again, if necessary. The very hilltop these events took place upon, was the mountain where 1,000 years or so later, king David and Solomon built Jerusalem and the Temple.

The story of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and his twelve sons, form the background to the Old Testament. They are known as the Patriarchs, or the forefathers. God’s progressive revelation of His covenant to them, and their descendants after them (the nation of Israel) provide the vehicle through which God does a number of things. In making this nation a special people and by giving them His law and covenant, He revealed a great deal about Himself and His purposes. The nation also becomes the vehicle through which God would one day provide the promised descendant of Abraham, the Saviour who would bring blessing to all nations.

The first great deliverance

Meanwhile, Israel as a young tribal nation, became slaves in Egypt. Their cry to God was heard and God raised up for them a deliverer – Moses. Through Moses, God delivered his people Israel from slavery in Egypt, the final triumph being on the night of Passover. This feast first began when all Israel were required to have and kill a sacrificial lamb. The blood of the lamb was daubed on the lintel and posts of each of their homes. When the angel of death entered the land, he passed over those families who were ‘under the blood’ while killing the firstborn of all the Egyptian families. This great event was marked from then on in Israel’s calendar. Israel were driven out of the land towards the promised land of Canaan. However, due to lack of faith, it was not until forty years later that the second generation entered and conquered the land.

During Moses forty year leadership in the wilderness, Israel as a nation was brought together under the Law. This was God’s covenant or agreement with them by which the nation would serve God and be His special people, having the priestly service and God’s divine law and blessing. Though Israel agreed to the covenant, the law was continually broken throughout their history. Moses was shown their failure ahead of time, and promised a leader to follow him, who would be like him, but bringing in a new and better covenant. Moses did not bring the people into the land, but Joshua, the leader who followed him did. (Joshua and Jesus are the same Hebrew names.)

The Son of David

In time the nation possessed the land and grew. God chose and made further promises to King David, a descendant of Judah, that one of his sons would build God’s Temple and sit upon the throne of Israel forever. Solomon, David’s son, did indeed build the Temple, but it was king Davids’ greater son who would ultimately reign and build a final temple.

Skipping over lots of detail, the close of old testament history concludes with Judah returning from captivity in Babylon, having received a prediction that within 490 years, God will reveal his Messiah. He would be heralded by a prophet, but sadly cut off in death. In the fulness of time God fulfilled this by bringing forth His Son into the world. Jesus, son of David, Judah and Abraham was born in Bethlehem around 4BC. As predicted, He was born to a virgin, therefore, unlike us, had no indwelling sin. He was essentially hidden until the time that God had prepared for Him to be revealed to the people.

Announcement of Christ’s arrival

The herald who proclaimed the Messiah’s coming was John the baptist. In the spirit of Elijah, he predicted the Lord’s coming and warned Israel to repent in preparation. When Jesus came to him to be baptised, the Spirit of God was seen to descend upon Him and this began Jesus’ earthly ministry. He was tested forty days in the wilderness and then began preaching in the regions of Galilee. The authority of His teaching astounded His hearers - here was someone with more authority than Moses. His signs and miracles were beyond those of Elijah or Elisha, prophets of old. He showed more zeal for God than king David or any before or after Him. Could He be the Messiah? (or in Greek, the Christ?).

Ultimately, what God was doing through His Son was the greatest act of self-disclosure possible. Man could only really know and experience God, if God became a man. Jesus, who was both God and man in flesh, the Son of God and Son of Man, revealed the true heart of God. He was indeed the promised Messiah, or Christ, though one key thing was not understood by all his followers: God foreknew that Israel as a nation would reject it’s Messiah and put Him to death. In the sovereign purposes of God the Christ was to die upon the cross, like a Passover lamb, so that those who believed in Him would have their sins passed over. For Him to come and offer the gift of forgiveness of sins, He would need to bear the curse of God by His own sacrifice and blood. 

The rejected Messiah, the suffering servant

The very thought of this happening to Israel’s Messiah was a stumbling block for the Jews, nevertheless this was God’s plan. When Christ was finally betrayed to envious leaders and put to death on the eve of Passover, on the same mountain that Isaac had been offered up all those centuries before, God’s great plan was being brought to pass. When Christ suffered and died, He did so as a faithful servant to bear the penalty for His people. 

On the third day, He rose again from the dead, proving that death itself was broken, the grave was no longer the victor. Thus the cruel cross became Christ’s greatest triumph. He did not come first to rule and to reign, for without forgiveness of sin, no one would be able to be a part of that kingdom. But now, having died to bear the penalty of sin, sinners like you and me are invited to hear this good news and believe – that Christ died for us, to bring us to God. Now, before He returns a second time to establish His final rule and authority on the earth, He rules from heaven, calling people to be saved, giving life and light to those in death and darkness.

The good news offer to all

Through what you have read, He calls you today to believe in Him, cast your burden at His feet and cry out for forgiveness. He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, for He is the great mediator of the promised new and better covenant purchased by His own blood. To those who believe, He promises the gift of eternal life, through the gift of His Spirit, the fulfilment of the very promise given to Abraham. Jesus will anoint (baptise) with his Spirit all who trust in Him. 

Salvation is of the Jews, by the Jewish Messiah: Jesus Christ alone. He is the name above all names, God has appointed him to judge the world and He will do so on the last day. He has every right, since He died at our hands, in this world, for this world. But right now, the offer of peace with God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is being proclaimed for all. Therefore, repent and believe and you shall be saved, call upon Him while he is near. For there is a dreadful day approaching, the day of judgment, when it will be too late. You must be saved today, you must be born again, or you must face the consequences of rejecting God’s greatest gift, which will haunt you for all eternity. So, come as you are, hear while it is still day and do not harden your heart. It is sin which separates you and God, but Christ died for sin, therefore you can be reconciled to God today.
This is a brief summary of Biblical history.
Read it to discover the basics of what God wants you to know...