Monday, August 3, 2020

Who Did That

One of the saddest phrases that comes forth from a Christians mouth when life trials come or a tragedy happens is, "God, why did you let this happen!" It is as though somehow God takes pleasure in the agonies that take place in humanity. Many will even say, "God is sovereign" (which He is) which to them means that God does whatever He wants whenever He wants, even if it means operating contrary of His Word. Many come this conclusion because they have been taught to think this way by church leaders who reason through life's adversities rather than exercising faith in the integrity of God's Word and understand what is actually going on. Peter tells us, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue." (2 Peter 1:2-3)

Notice that God has given the believer "all things that pertain to life and godliness." This means that believers should have an understanding of how God operates in this life. He is a God of blessings and life not of tragedy and death. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6) and "...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)  In both of these verses the word life means, "life as God has it; that which the Father has in Himself." Although redemption is much far reaching than most in the church today understand, notice that one of the reasons for the incarnation was to give humanity life as God has it, life which the Father has! From this, to say that God has some mysterious purpose in the tragedies that happen in humanity, especially to the believer, His child, comes down to this, "My people are being destroyed because they don't know me." (Hosea 4:6)

Looking back on 2 Peter 1:2-3, notice that grace and peace are multiplied to the believer in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Also notice that all the things that God has given the believer that pertain to life and godliness, also comes through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. This connects with what the Holy Spirit spoke through Hosea. One of the ways that people, even Christians, blame God for permitting tragedies or saying that tragic things are a part of God divine purpose is because they do not know Him, meaning, His nature, character, will, purposes and plan. Of course terrible things happen on the earth, but it is not God's will nor are they some sovereign purpose of God that we will never understand. We must stop blaming God for things that are not His will nor a part of His divine purpose. Sure God can use a tragedy and turn it for good, but to say that He somehow permits tragic things to happen to fulfill some mysterious purpose of His is utter nonsense. It would be like saying that Jesus did not fully satisfy justice for humanity, so God uses tragic situation to complete mans redemption.

Jesus said, "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also;" (John 14:7) and "He who has seen Me has seen the Father;" (John 14:9) Jesus is not saying that these men were not his disciples, but that they did not have an accurate knowledge of his nature, character, will, purposes and plan, which was actually the Father's. God has given us His Word, the Bible, so that the believer can know His nature, character, will, purposes and plan. We should start by looking at the four gospels. In them we will discover that Jesus is a perfect reflection of the Father's nature, character, will, purposes and plan which is to save, heal, deliver and bring abundant life to humanity not tragedy and death. Jesus said, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." (Matthew 28:18) but He does not use His authority to override mans will nor does He use His authority to operate contrary to His Word.

How can one honestly believe that our heavenly Father somehow has a sovereign purpose or plan to have one of His children perish at the hand of a drunk driver? It was the will of the drunk driver to reject what was right for what they knew to be wrong. It was the will of the drunk driver to get behind the wheel of a car and cause this tragedy. God will not stop people from exercising their will. He didn't in the Garden of Eden nor does He do it now. He does not force people to do His will, so yes, He does permit tragic things to happen, but it certainly is not His will or His divine purpose. Never forget, that sin has its consequences and unfortunately many innocent people suffer for it. Also let us not forget that Satan's hatred for God and humanity is the motivator behind such heinous things.

God is certainly in control, (sovereign) but He Himself is limited in that control, "As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, in judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress." (Job 37:23) and "...For You have magnified Your word above all Your name." (Psalm 138:2) God does everything on absolute legal grounds and within the parameters of His Word so that none (man, angels, Satan or demons) can accuse Him of not being just or blame Him for permitting things to happen that are contrary to His nature, character, will, purposes and plan. He is limited by His own Word as well as the choices of man. Even in the Garden, God did not encroach Adam's will (free choice) to commit treason and yet God was just as sovereign then as He is now and will ever be.

Throughout Israel's history scripture clearly shows us that they rejected God through their poor choices which were not God's will nor some divine purpose of God and we see that they received the consequences of those choices and yet God remained sovereign. God has made a way for man to be free from sin and Satan through Jesus Christ, but it does not mean that all people will Chooses God's plan of redemption, thereby permitting the destructive nature of sin and Satan to still have their way in humanity. Another thing to consider is that God is also limited by the choices that believers (the church) also make that are contrary to His Word. The church is the Body of Christ and therefore it is the voice and power of God on earth.

The Lord has given the church (believers) authority over sin and Satan. We must use this authority to enforce and uphold what Jesus has provided through His death, resurrection and glorification. We must stop taking tragedy on the chin and stand on God's Word knowing that God does not have some divine purpose in the destruction of His children. My friends, blaming our Great Heavenly Father for these things breaks my heart and brings me to tears. God's ingenious plan of redemption liberates all men and provides abundant life right here on planet earth while we wait in hope for the glory of heaven. Don't believe me? Study and meditate on God's Word being led by the Holy Spirit and see for yourself the true nature, character, will, purposes and plan of God and be set free. For who Jesus has set free (being born again) is completely free.

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