Thursday, June 3, 2010
Discerning God's Will Together Part I
Are their things out of Gods’ will?
Can anything exist or take place against God’s will?
Do things happen that aren’t necessarily God’s will?
This is a question that has plagued people since the beginning of creation. In reality, this question exists because evil exists. The most common way to ask this question was immortalized in a book called “Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People.” Unfortunately this is a bad book with no valid, scriptural, and useful answers. It aimed at the mark and horribly missed.
There are two major reasons this book missed the mark. The first reason is the incorrect assumption that there are good people. The argument is that since these are good people they did not deserve, or it is inconceivable, or it is incongruent that evil things would befall “good people.”
Well, as Ray Arnold said in Jurassic Park, “hang on to your butts;” there are no good people. Says who? Says God!
As the Apostle Paul was making his argument that the entire human race had sinned against God thereby falling short of God’s glory, he concluded that the Jews were no better off. He concluded his three chapter treatise on the sinful condition of the entire human race by proving that even the Jews, God’s chosen people were guilty sinners. Paul’s amazing conclusion was that all are sinners, both Jews and Gentiles, and that there were no good or righteous people on earth. Listen to Paul’s conclusion:
“None is righteous, no not one; no one understands; no one seeks God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12, ESV)
Paul quoted this passage from Psalms 14:1-3. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, David wrote an amazing Psalm that testifies to the fact that there are no good people by God’s standards. As a matter of fact, David, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit gives us an anthropomorphic expression (he assigns human attributes and function to God who as Spirit [non-corporeal] has absolute and perfect knowledge being omniscient) telling us that “The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.”
The second major problem with this book is the fact that God is somehow either lacking in knowledge, power, or ability. This problem has led men to conclude that God is not omniscient, or that He does not know things in advance. A false and blasphemous system of theology has developed called “open theism” that advances the proposition that God does not know the all of the future and that He merely reacts to it. In other words, God did not know that the car would run the traffic light and broadside your car severely injuring you. However, He has the power now to make something good come out of this accident that He could not foresee.
Other false theologies develop that God is powerful but limited in His power. It has been taught that God is limited by sin, or by Satan, or even by man.
In the Middle Eastern cultures of Abraham’s day through the time of Christ men believed that when good things happened to you, such as health, prosperity, and children is was a sign that God was blessing you. However, conversely, if you lost your health, wealth, possessions, or were barren then these were signs that God was displeased with you.
We see this “line of thinking” in the oldest book of the Bible, Job. Job, in rapid succession, lost his crops, livestock, children, and his health. His closest friends came and sat with him in mourning for several days. Then in turn, each one counseled Job to repent of his sin in order to have the bad removed from him and the good restored to him by God.
Mankind simply finds it inconceivable that God would either allow or direct bad things to happen to members of the human race. The reason for this error in thinking stems from an incorrect understanding of God. The majority of the human race (those who even think about God) have concocted a “God” who is in some type of cosmic or galactic warfare with Satan, his minions, and evil who either is incapable of stopping evil or who has things happening around him that are somehow out of his will. Of course, there is a conflict, a horrible spiritual warfare going on around us which we are part of. The problem is that is not being carried out the way many modern teachings portray it.
The prevailing opinion of God is that he wants only the best for the members of the human race, especially His children. The prevailing opinion is that of “spiritual entitlement.” In other words, since I am God’s child I deserve a life with no problems.
Now, it is true, God desires to give to His children the very best. Since there is nothing better than God, God designed a means by which He could give Himself – the best that could be given – to those whom He has adopted as His own. If God were to give to us anything else then God would become an idolater; since anything else would be superior to God; thereby making that “thing” an idol. Since God is not an idolater the best and only thing that He can give us is Himself.
This is where we miss the mark in this discussion of why do bad things happen to good people, or is there anything outside of God’s will? Remember we began with several questions:
Do things that happen that are not God’s will? Are their things out of Gods’ will? Can anything exist or take place against God’s will? Do things happen that aren’t necessarily God’s will?
Stay tuned tomorrow; Lord willing, I intend to go further into this discussion. I want to demonstrate scripturally where we miss the mark in this discussion. I also, Lord willing want to answer these afore mentioned questions.
Posted by Gregg Metcalf at 1:00 AM