Oh Death, Where is Your Sting?

Have you ever noticed how often the Bible speaks of future events as if they’ve already happened?

One of my favourite examples of this are the couple of verses sometimes called ‘The Golden Chain of Salvation’ – Rom 8:29-30. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

It lays out the basic steps in the process of someone’s salvation: predestined, called, and justified. Now there are a few steps missing from the list – conversion and sanctification being the most notable.

But what’s obvious to anyone with their eyes open is that none of us are yet glorified. And yet Paul speaks in the same past tense as he used for called and justified.

Why would this be so? My thinking is that whenever God decides that something will be so, then it is guaranteed to happen. Therefore, if God has predestined, called and justified a person, it’s only a matter of time (and a matter of dying, of course) before that person is finally glorified.

A similar principle applies to some other Scriptures, ones that speak of future events as if they are current, not just historical. And here I’m thinking of a passage we looked at on Sunday from 1Cor 15.

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