Tuesday, 25 February 2014
And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. Romans 16:20
“And” connects this verse directly to Paul’s imperative for the Romans to “be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.” By doing this and following the instruction given in the epistle “the God of Peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” Paul uses the title “the God of peace” to show that even among those who are contentious, self-serving, and who cause divisions, God is still in control and He is our peace. Where those filled with Satan come against the church, He is our safety, our hiding place, and our calm refuge in the world that rages around us.
The thought that He “will crush Satan under your feet” goes right back to Genesis 3:15 –
“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.”
The work of Christ as the Suffering Servant is past. The church is currently engaged in the spiritual warfare which rages around us (see Ephesians 6), and the work of Christ will be completed when He returns and vanquishes Satan forever. Eventually, he will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10).
And this will occur, as Paul states, “shortly.” It is the same word used in Revelation 1:1 & 22:6 when speaking of the things which must occur “shortly.” Because of this terminology, the church has picked up on the notion that it must have happened already. But “shortly” from our perspective can’t be applied to God. To Him, a day is like a thousand year and a thousand years is like a day (2 Peter 3:8). So “shortly” doesn’t have to mean that God has failed if it hasn’t happened yet, almost 2000 years after the epistles and Revelation were written. Further, the Greek word for “shortly” is tachei. It is often translated as “quickly” rather than “shortly” in other verses where it can only mean “quickly,” and also in these referenced verses by differing versions.
Why is this important? Because those who believe the church has replaced Israel attempt to justify their stand by saying that these things are already accomplished. One way to do this is to state that “Satan” here isn’t speaking of the proper name of the devil, but rather it is a collective term speaking of those false teachers mentioned in Romans 1:17, 18. However, this is unreasonable and doesn’t represent the Bible’s continuous use of “Satan” as a proper noun; it is stretching for a reason to justify why the word “shortly” and not “quickly” is correct.
Another wholly unfounded explanation used by preterists is that this is speaking of either the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in AD70 or the establishment of Christianity by Constantine within the Roman Empire. Again, these are completely unfounded explanations because Romans is a part of the Christian Bible and therefore applies to the entire Christian era which is on-going today. We still have Satan actively working against us. There are dividers within and foes without. To claim that Satan is crushed under our feet is completely contradictory to the truth of the world around us; it is really crummy theology.
Be assured and comforted – Christ is coming again and he will shut up Satan for 1000 years and then He will eventually toss him into the Lake of Fire. Until then, we will suffer trials, woes, and tribulations, but we also have our refuge in the God of Peace. Because of this comfort, Paul finishes the verse with a thought which is extremely close to John’s final words at the end of Revelation, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”
No matter what our headache or affliction, no matter who the enemy is who comes against us, and no matter what we do which is contrary to the salvation we have once-for-all-time received, we are secure in the grace of Jesus Christ. We have the absolute confidence that He has our eternal souls securely in His capable hands. Paul desires us to remember this and then finishes with “Amen;” so may it be.
Life application: Preterism does not align with either the Bible or with the events in the world around us. It is faulty and causes us to divert our eyes from what God is doing in redemptive history. Israel’s disobedience in no way negates God’s faithfulness. When the church age ends, Christ will rule from Jerusalem and from among His people, Israel. Pray for them. The tribulation is coming and they must endure many hardships before they are refined and purified.
Heavenly Father, I stand with Israel. You have remained faithful to them and You are readying them for the time when You will send Jesus to rule among them, just as Your word proclaims in the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and in the New Testament. Be their safe refuge in the troubled times ahead and be glorified through them, O God. Amen.