First let me deal with this question in regard to anyone being able to change God’s sovereign plan. When it comes to God’s ultimate sovereignty, no one can change this. He knows the time frame in which He is going to do things. But, having said that, it might be wise to see just what God says about what he sovereignly is going to do.
In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:8-12 (NASB)
Two important things are said here about God’s ultimate sovereignty. The first is that God is working toward the, “. . . summing up of all things in Christ.” This means that ultimately we know that God will one day sum up everything in Jesus Christ. This tells us that we too should be seeking to honor, glorify, praise, and exalt Jesus – because one day it will be ALL ABOUT HIM. The second phrase used here is speaks of “God’s purpose” – the end of which is that those who hope in Christ are to be to the praise of God’s glory. This statement has huge implications, because Paul makes it in the context of the work of the gospel in the hearts and minds of men and women on this earth. God’s ultimate work is that the gospel of Jesus Christ should be the means by which men and women are saved, transformed, sanctified from sinners into those who live for the glory of God. Seeing this happen brings glory to God for His grace and mercy given through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thus ultimately – God sovereignly is working through the gospel – He is doing so to manifest His own grace – which should cause men to praise God for the glory of His grace.
What does this mean for us? It means – if you believe in the sovereignty of God (which matters little – because He is sovereign if you believe He is or not), you should manifest it by both living it out in your life – and by proclaiming it to others. Ultimately – all the universe will be focused on God’s glory seen through His grace – and that grace is ONLY available through Jesus Christ, His crucifixion and resurrection.
To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. Ephesians 3:8-12 (NASB)
This passage actually speaks of God’s “eternal purpose” within it. That purpose was carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord. What is this purpose? It is known as those called by God make known the unfathomable riches of Christ. Once again, the eternal purpose of God is to have the gospel of Jesus Christ preached – this time so that even the “rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” can have the gospel made known to them. These are the angels – both the holy and the unholy ones – and even they need to hear about Jesus Christ and His gospel.
Let me wrap this up for you in a few sentences. God’s ultimate purpose, as revealed in His Word, is that the all people praise God for the glory of His grace in the gospel. We are to be to the praise of the glory of that gospel grace. Look at the songs at the end of the age in Revelation – they praise God for His marvelous salvation. Believe me when I say that eternity is going to be an everlasting praise and worship service for God. It will be a time when we will sing, and sing, and sing, and shout . . . and then sing some more about God’s astounding grace in Jesus Christ!
Now, back to the question that was asked. Can we change God’s plan and purpose in what happens in Revelation? The answer to that I believe is no, we cannot change it. What happens in Revelation is biblical prophecy and cannot be altered. But remember, at least in how we teach God’s Word here, that involves a 7-year Great Tribulation period. I teach that this happens after the church is snatched away in an event called, “the rapture.” Over and over again this time period is mentioned in Revelation. The things that happen in it, I believe, cannot be reversed. But also remember that we, the church, are still here and have not been raptured yet. That means that we are not currently in the Great Tribulation. We may have regular tribulation because we love Jesus, preach the gospel, and endeavor to live holy lives according to God’s Word. But the tribulation mentioned in Revelation 6 and later, that is reserved until after the rapture of the church.
Let me try to give you a conclusion on all this. Can we change the events in the Great Tribulation described for us in the book of Revelation? No, we cannot do that. But, since we are not in the Great Tribulation yet, those events are not happening. We may see the gathering storm on the horizon, which may indicate that we are not far from these events beginning, but we are not “IN” the Great Tribulation. (Note: When I write in the Prophecy/News section of our webpage, I write about things which may be leading up to this time period – but I never intend to say that we are currently “IN” the Great Tribulation) Since we are NOT in the Great Tribulation, do everything you can to help others – especially in regard to the Ebola virus outbreak (or any other situation for that matter).
Regarding God’s eternal purposes that cannot be revoked - I also have a comment for us. If you will note, God’s eternal purpose is that His great salvation through Jesus Christ be seen in His redeemed, so that we would be a cause of others (and even we ourselves, since we should praise Him for the grace He gave us in salvation) giving glory to Him for His grace in Jesus. How can we do this? We do it two ways. First we do it by working out our salvation in fear and trembling – living godly, holy lives as we wait for His coming – or our own going to Him when we die and leave this world. Second, we do it by proclaiming the gospel to the world around us – seeking to see them repent and believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation. Now – you want to know what is truly awesome! We can do these two things ANY TIME IN HISTORY without worrying about something in God’s sovereignty hindering us. He desires for these things to happen – and the only thing that could hinder them from coming to pass in our individual lives – disobedience. The ONLY thing keeping us from fulfilling that eternal purpose is us making a choice to live for something else – us making a choice to NOT proclaim the gospel boldly and lovingly to the lost – us choosing to live for this present world that is passing away rather than living for the world that is to come, and that is coming even now. As I said to the person who asked this question . . . there is never a time when loving the Lord, loving your brothers and sisters in Christ, reading and studying His Word, praying and seeking God’s face, living as a servant to others in Jesus’ name, and witnessing with a loving, bold heart is not going to benefit us. Regardless of what any prophecy says – these things will bring blessing into our lives – and believe it or not – very often into the lives of those around us! Live for Jesus daily! Love God with all your heart daily! Give your life away as you love others for God’s glory and the gospel daily! These things are NEVER-MISS in the sight of God in any generation!