Saturday, April 10, 2010

God, Free-Will, and Sin Part 2

God was not caught unaware by sin's development in our first parents. He was not shocked. The Bible plainly states that God made provision for our rebellion and sin by erecting the cross of Jesus Christ before the world was formed, Revelation 13:8; Titus 1:2; Ephesians 1:4. God selected the Jews as a people through Abraham because He needed a people by whom Christ would come according to the flesh, Romans 9:5. He placed the Roman Empire as the head of the known world so that when the time came, Jesus would die the death that had been predicted for Him, John 12:32-33; Deuteronomy 21:23. If evil exists, why has God done nothing about it? The very real fact is that He has. He came in the person of Christ to abolish sin and death, and bring life and immortality through the gospel. The sins of the Old Testament saints were overlooked before the cross, because God looked ahead to the consummation of His payment for their sins, Romans 3:25. The sins of New Testament saints are forgiven in Christ, who is our satisfactory payment, and already suffered the punishment our sins deserve, 1st John 2:2. Christ is the solution for a hurting world, but the world at large rejects the solution God offers and strives for its own, all the while being very liberal in their blame of God for the reality of evil in this world. This is a hypocritical stance, and a poor method to resolve the reality of evil and suffering. Instead of accepting God's explanation for our current state we dismiss Him as though He does not exist. But now the atheist has no moral grounds to stand on. Without the reality of God, good and evil fall completely into the realm of subjectivity. There is no authority to set standards with which to measure either. God was the ground for absolute moral truth; without Him we can have opinions about what we prefer, but we cannot declare anything “good” or “evil” any longer. What is good to someone is evil to another, so now we are reduced to personal preference. If it works for you, do it: the ultimate pragmatic philosophy. But don't do it if it is detrimental to me, because I wouldn't like it!

The reality of evil is an essential proof of man's free-will. The world in chaos with natural calamities is further proof of God's sovereign hatred of sin and its manifestation in the very beings that were meant to be His image-bearers! That we die and forfeit our lives suggests accountability to One who owns our very breath, Ecclesiastes 12:7; Daniel 5:23. Yet free-will was essential for us, so that we could genuinely love our God in return, with a love that is not coerced. It is not the programmed love of some automaton. Is it wrong of God to want His creatures to love and worship Him? In Him is our life, in Him there is the sum of goodness, peace, and satisfaction. Out of Him there exists only the aberration of sin, which warps what is originally meant for our good, and brings with it the reward of death; 1st Corinthians 15:56; James 1:13-15.

Sin is not something external; it is an internal sickness, a cancer of the soul that will always kill the victim unless the remedy of Christ’s atoning blood is applied. Like cancer it spreads; and like cancer it is an abnormality, a perversion of what was originally good. Evil of itself cannot exist without good, because evil needs something to corrupt, to reveal itself as evil. Good, on the other hand, can and does exist autonomously. When God finished His work, He declared that everything He had made was “very good,” Genesis 1:31. Part of what was so good about the pre-Fall earth was that everything was in harmony and fellowship; first with our Creator, and then with one another. This is evidenced with Adam and Eve who were naked and unashamed, Genesis 2:25. The first thing sin accomplished was division. There was shame and guilt from the first. Harmony was gone, replaced by sin marring the image of God in mankind. God designed mankind with the capacity for eternity; since we are made in His image, we must dwell someplace forever, Ecclesiastes 3:11. This earth will not always endure. Here we are tested, as to whether we will believe the gospel and receive eternal life, or continue in rebellion and enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. Satan is God's rival, and has offered from the first the very thing that sinful mankind has always craved: autonomy. It was what he offered Eve, and it was what he offers us today. The serpent told Eve that God won't truly kill you for disobedience, and that there is wisdom that man may achieve to even be his own god!

Our choice is Satan's enticement of self-centered pleasure now or God's offer of glory in eternity, though we may tarry on this earth for many years. This present world is Satan's; everyone who is not born of God is blinded by him, Luke 4:6; 1st John 5:19. God's drama is unfolding across the ages, and mankind and angels alike are bearing witness that His wisdom is the enduring kind, and His will is the only one that is fitting and right. Satan's lie has long since been exposed as a fraud by the billions of graves that people the globe, and yet billions still follow after him in seeking fulfillment outside of God. All the while, even since Eden, God has been haunting us; we can hear His footsteps in the garden as He seeks after us, calling for us to be reconciled to Him. He came as Christ to seek and save that which was lost, and to call sinners to repentance. He's still calling for us today, to ready us for a citizenship in Heaven. Consider this present world, with Satan as its head, as the rival suitor, attempting to woo us away from God. Yet ask yourself: what is there left when we dismiss God? To live a good life? To get a good, high paying job? To marry and have children? To leave a legacy of hospitality and generosity? And then the grave, where nothing follows you, and soon no one will remember you. No wonder Jesus wept over His people. Those made in God's image, to glorify Him and fellowship with Him for eternity are reduced to such a sorry state, and are content with it!

Why this world? Our free-will necessitated it. To summarize: God wanted to create our race in His image. This implied intelligence and choice. God created a world ideal to us, something abundant in food, space, and conditions agreeable to our nature. God permitted Satan's rebellion to allow mankind an option. Here was the most brilliant angel enticing mankind with the craftiest offer he could create; one which even he was deceived by!

Why is there evil? We chose to disobey God, and we choose to fight and have conflicts with one another in a bid to have our will exalted, James 4:1-3. Evil is a perversion of a normally good thing. Evil is a corruption of what God originally made for our pleasure, when rightly used. Anyone who is not God is prone to suffer thoughts, words and actions unfitting of God, and therefore sinful. Yet from the first (even in Eden) God provided atonement to foreshadow the death Jesus Christ would die for us, to redeem us from our sins, cleanse us, and permit us entrance to Heaven and fellowship again. Full pardon and reconciliation with God is freely available to all who acknowledge and confess their need of Him. There is salvation in no other name under Heaven, Acts 4:12.

Why do the wicked prosper? This is Satan's present world. He is the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who is at work in the sons of disobedience, Ephesians 2:2. This world is unjust because we have turned our backs on God and attempted to build empires and governments apart from Him. Since God is life, and we have divorced ourselves from Him in every sense, corruption occurs readily and naturally. He has given us warning that this would be so. There will come a day when all these wrongs are made right, and the threads of this tapestry are woven in such a manner so as to complete the design that God is presently working on. We can't see it now, since we are beings in time, but God is not hindered by time, and sees the end from the beginning; all of His council will stand, Isaiah 46:10; Revelation 1:8; Isaiah 55:11. Our faith in God is not on an absence of evidence, but a reasonable conclusion after weighing the evidence. The Bible explains our present world, and offers a solution to our ills in the person of Jesus Christ. He is offered to everyone who will receive Him by faith, John 1:12. Honest seekers hurting for answers and peace will find Him, Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 11:28-30.

1 comment:

  1. “Love Not The World”

    ”For the WHOLE world(not just a portion) is under the control of the evil one”.......(I John 5:19)

    “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world will pass away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of The Only True GOD will abide for ever.”(IJohn2:15-17)

    “If you were of the world, the world would love it’s own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.” (John15:19-20)

    “Where do wars and fighting among you come from? Do they not come of your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is to be at enmity with The Only True GOD? Therefore whoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of The Only True GOD.” (James 4:1-4)

    “The world cannot hate you; but the world hates Me, because I testify that the works of this world are evil.” (John 7:7)” and “The Messiah gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of The Only True God, Our Father.”(Gal 1:4)

    The Messiah testified: “If the world hates you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”(John 5:18) Truly, Truly, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life in this world shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall have it unto life eternal.” (John 12:24-25)

    John testified: “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (I John 3:13) “ James testified, “Whoever would be a friend of this world is the enemy of GOD”(James4:4)

    The “earth and it's life forms” are The Creation of The ONE and Only True GOD, Father of ALL! The “worldly” systems are the creation of, and under the dominion of “the god of this world”, he who is “the father of lies”, he who “has blinded the minds of those who believe not The Messiah”! All the nations of this world are under the dominion of, and serve, the “god of this world” for he provides the fuel that feeds mankind’s “imag”ination. Sadly mankind’s “imag”ination is destroying Creation(air, water, land vegetation, creatures) and perverting that which is Spirit(Truth, Light, Life, Faith, Love, Peace,, All that is Truly Good) ;-(

    Yet there is hope!

    Hope, not for this world and it's things, but hope is that there would be those who take heed unto The Call of The Creator to "Come Out of her, MY people.......

    Peace, in spite of the dis-ease(no-peace) that is of this world and it's systems of religion, for "the WHOLE world(not just a portion) is under the control of the evil one" indeed and Truth......

    Truth IS, lies never existed and never will.......

    Abide in The Truth....... francis

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