How the Cosmic Conflict Changes Everything (Twelve 8)

How should we see the world differently because of the cosmic conflict? What would it be like to live without that knowledge? The cosmic conflict powerfully answers the three great questions of philosophy; 1) where did I come from, 2) where am I going, and 3) why am I here? 1) According to the cosmic conflict, where did I come from? I come, first of all, from the mind of God, who foresaw me back in eternity and shaped me in His image. He has created me free, with the commission to copy His creative work in the formation of little people like myself. My life has meaning and purpose when I live it in relationship with God and in a creative fashion that honors Him.

2) According to the cosmic conflict, where am I going? To join God in resolving the crisis in the universe by non-violent means. God will bring an end to sin and sinners and will restore the universe to a condition of freedom, joy and peace, grounded in love and trust. Along the way it will appear that all is lost, but the lost battles will not undo the final outcome. God and His ways will win in the end and we can know we are on the winner side no matter how bad things may be now. Knowledge of the outcome gives us confidence to keep trying and avoid discouragement.

3) According to the cosmic conflict, why am I here? I am made in the image of God to reflect His character to others. To bear witness to the unique facet of God’s character that He has gifted me with. My purpose each day is to “fight” for the kind of world and universe that God is leading to, to bring a piece of that glorious eternity into everyday experience today. The little battles we fight every day are part of a much larger war. This gives meaning and purpose to all that we do.

Knowledge of the cosmic conflict provides meaning and purpose to all that we do, connects us to a purpose far bigger than ourselves, and enables us to cope with the past, no matter what we have done or what has been done to us, and relaxed about the future, knowing it is safely in God’s hands.

What is the significance of the heavenly “war of words” on our picture of what God is like? God’s side in the cosmic conflict places priority on love and self-sacrifice, respects the freedom of God’s creatures, and does not coerce but rather is patient, seeking to provide persuasive evidence. On the other hand, Satan seeks to win by persecution (force) and deception (telling lies). The casting out of Satan in Rev. 12:9-10 is more intellectual than physical. The hosts of heaven no longer take his lies seriously, his arguments have lost credibility at the cross.

Our picture of God to a large degree determines how we live and behave. If we think of God as severe and judgmental, we become more like that. If we think of God as gracious and self-sacrificing, we become more like that. We become like the God we worship.

5 thoughts on “How the Cosmic Conflict Changes Everything (Twelve 8)

  1. Orlando Vanegas

    At the end of the cosmic conflict on this planet, will the destruction of the unrepentant will be intellectual or physical? And when the dragon is finally cast in the lake of fire, will it also be intellectual?

    1. Robert Whiteman

      What is meant by “intellectual” as mentioned here, as being separate from the physical being? Aren’t God’s creatures the combination of dust + breath = living soul? If either dust or breath are removed, soul ceases to exist, since God destroys “both body and soul” of the finally impenitent.

  2. Robert Whiteman

    For question 3; “why am I here?”, could we say that God’s purpose for us includes His desire for our companionship as His children, having created all things “for [His] pleasure”(Rev 4:11) and “exceeding joy”(Jude 24)? Don’t we build a home, have children, plant a garden, for similar reasons? These give meaning and benefit to our existence. So we could see God having more meaning and benefit in us(how can it be?!!), which is why the infinite price being willingly paid to save us. He desires our fellowship and wants us to experience perfect peace and joy with Him(there is no other way). Very compelling reason for why we are here(see also Acts 17:26-28). Regarding the great conflict, our place it to exercise faith in God’s desire and promises to restore us to His image. More about this below…

    You ended with the idea of us becoming like the God we worship. This is such a vital understanding isn’t it? Mainly, I have concluded that few seem to understand the meaning of true worship. At least as I have finally come to see it portrayed in the Bible. Here’s a nutshell of what I’ve learned so far…

    Worship is often identified as spending time in a pew, “paying” tithe, keeping a day “holy”, agreeing to a set of doctrines, closing our eyes during prayer, singing hymns, etc. While these may be part of a worship service, the Bible states simply that we should worship “in the beauty of Holiness”. So what is holiness? Being Godlike, as God commands us to be “holy, as I am holy”. So could we say that Holiness is to imitate God? Close enough? This means that if we imitate another in character and purpose, THEY are who we really worship, no matter how much time we serve in a pew. (As a young lad I worked hard to imitate Sandy Koufax, but I simply could not throw a ball with my left hand. I had the hat and glove, but not the left handed ability, no matter how hard I worked to perfect it. This was nothing less than worship.)

    I would like to juxtapose two verses here: Rev 13:8, and 17:13. What do we see?!! Don’t these two verses tell us that we worship whomever we give our “power and strength” to? So if I give 10% to God, but far more to pleasure seeking/self-serving, etc, whom do I worship/imitate?

    In God’s reckoning, worship is what we are each day, not what we might pretend to do one morning each week. Yes, too easy to worship another if we have a wrong concept of God’s character, government and purpose, being unable to truly worship(imitate) Him at all, though we might spend all morning in that pew doing all the pew things.

    1. Jon Paulien Post author

      Good thoughts, my comments on the question were brief and superficial.

      Worship in the OT is particularly centered in reciting or rehearsing (in both word and action) the mighty acts of God. See my book called Meet God Again for the First Time.


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