Most of us humans—being self-centered and self-absorbed for the most part—often break our promises—even if we’re well-intended in attempting to keep our promises. It’s a rare human who doesn’t break promises sometimes—for real or contrived reasons. We break promises to God, to family members, to our children, to friends, to bosses, to customers…and the parade of broken promises goes on.
The only Person I know who doesn’t break any of his promises is God! God could probably not break a promise even if He wanted to; that’s just not part of his nature and character. There are over 3,000 of God’s promises to humankind in the Bible. His most startling promises concern the biblical teaching that God will eventually redeem, restore, and reconcile all humanity to Himself.
In one of his books, Hope For All, Gerry Beauchemin lists ten “anchors” or ten reasons why and how God gives hope to all humanity. Anchor Nine is titled “Hope In God’s Promises.” This teaching is my attempt to supplement Gerry’s teaching about God’s promises to all humanity.
Before continuing, I must offer a confession. Through the years of my earthly pilgrimage, I have “claimed” various promises of God that I have personalized—feeling they were made by God just for me. I know that can’t be quite true in a rational sense, but, nevertheless, I have claimed certain of God’s promises through the years. My confession to you is that I feel God has not fulfilled some of them. Again, at a rational level, I realize that if God makes a promise, by his very nature, He must fulfill that promise. He is honor-bound to do so. Bur I honestly feel God has not kept some of his promises to me, that I have claimed.
I’m not blaming God. I’m not disappointed in God. I’m not angry at God. That’s simply how I feel about some of his promises. Only with the passage of the future ages of time, and when I reach Eternal Realms, will I know the truth of the matter—and I am content with that. I’m sharing this matter with you to let you know I’m very human, and because I know many of my readers have had similar feelings in relation to God’s promises.
At another level, I make a quality decision to believe all God’s promises will be fulfilled—simply because He is God and is at work in every human ever born, whether they’re still alive here in this life, or whether they’ve died and transitioned to the afterlife. God will complete what He has begun in every human (Philippians 1: 6, for example)—including the promises He has made to all humanity.
One more thought in regard to my confession to you. Yes, I do believe that some of God’s promises to all humankind (including to me) are conditional. That is to say that the fulfillment of certain promises God has made to me are conditional upon something I do or do not do, in response to such promises. But the vast majority of God’s promises to humanity are not conditional in any sense. God has made them simply because He is a good God who wants nothing but good for the humans He has created.
Let’s continue on. Acts 13: 32 – 34, coupled with 2 Corinthians 1: 20, states that in some mysterious manner, all God’s promises center on Jesus in one way or another—especially in the fact that God raised Jesus from the dead (by the power of Holy Spirit) after Jesus was killed. For centuries, God had been promising his children in the Old Testament ,that a Savior would be born, that the Savior would die, and that God would raise Him from the dead. The Bible proclaims that if Jesus was not raised from the dead—as God had promised—we who believe in Him are most deceived, and most miserable among humanity! But God did fulfill his promise: Jesus was raised from the dead, and through Him we now possess God’s eternal LIFE!
Moreover, Numbers 14: 21 in the Old Testament (written approximately 3,400 years ago) promises this: “’As I live,’ promises God, ‘all the earth shall be filled with the Glory of the LORD.’” That proclamation by God is one of the major promises He has made to humankind—and God will fulfill that promise!
Following is God’s final promise to all humankind. Based on his fulfillment of past promises, and based on his honorable and honest character and nature, we can take hope that this final promise will be fulfilled in its entirety. Note: this is my personal paraphrase of God’s final promise (based on reliable English translations) found in 1 Corinthians 15: 24 – 28:
“Here’s God’s final promise—his final stage of completion. Jesus will never stop crushing his opposition—all rulers, all powers, all authorities, until his last enemy—death—is subdued, defeated, and eliminated. Then when Jesus is absolute Victor, He will submit Himself—and hand over his Kingdom—to God the Father. That will be the final consummation of all things God has purposed. God will then be All in all—absolutely everything to everyone…including all humanity. God will be supreme, the indwelling and controlling factor of all life everywhere. His rulership over all creation will at last be absolutely comprehensive—a perfect ending!”
“Now may God, the source and fountain of all hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you place your hope in Him. And may the inner power of Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his superabundant goodness until you radiate with hope!” (Romans 15: 13, paraphrased)
NOTE: Many more of my teachings and writings may be found on our ministry website, leservices.org and my books may be found at billsbooks.org