Tough Questions ~ Part 3 : Deal With It
“It’s God’s creation! It’s His rules! DEAL WITH IT!!!” is my oft used argument to atheists that just won’t quit. Unless you understand who is in control of the whole of everything, you will never get it.
Open your Bibles to the Book of Romans, one of my three favorite books of the Bible (Galatians and Ephesians being the other two).
13 “Even as it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
“Now WAIT a minute! God is love, he love’s everyone!” No, apparently not.
“Well there’s got to be a misinterpretation somewhere.” No there isn’t. He didn’t care for Esau. Keep reading.
Romans 9:13-26 (Continued)
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that hath mercy.
It’s not your desire or effort that gets you God’s mercy and grace. You can’t earn it or buy it, or will yourself into his good grace’s. For trusting him and accepting his son, he grants you pardon. “That’s no fair!!!!” That’s what I’ve been saying. He is a sovereign, a king. It’s not a democracy. You don’t get a vote. Keep reading.
Romans 9:13-26 (Continued)
17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, For this very purpose did I raise thee up, that I might show in thee my power, and that my name might be published abroad in all the earth. 18 So then he hath mercy on whom he will, and whom he will be hardeneth. 19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he still find fault? For who withstandeth his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why didst thou make me thus? 21 Or hath not the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor? 22 What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long suffering vessels of wrath fitted unto destruction: 23 and that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he afore prepared unto glory, 24 even us, whom he also called, not from the Jews only, but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Hosea, I will call that my people, which was not my people; And her beloved, that was not beloved. 26 And it shall be, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, There shall they be called sons of the living God.
In history, God made choices. He chose from all the nations of the world, that ever were or will be, a people. That race He chose was the Israelite people. I say this and not Jewish for the following reason – all Jews are Israelites, but not all Israelites are Jews. Let that sink in. The “Jewish” nation came out of Israel when they split and you had two kingdoms. Because the tribe of Judah was the ruling tribe in the second kingdom, they were called Jews. Israel ceased to be and disappeared into time. Unlike others, I don’t believe they are lost at all, but that is a topic for another time. God chose gentiles and made the rule that you could obtain mercy by trusting in him, not by any other means. It’s a gift you can’t earn by being good.
The point here is that God makes choices about people and judgment calls on them. That may be harsh, but God taught that rule to his people. He hands out mercy to those He chooses. Find the places in the Bible where He tells the story of the potter and the clay. It’s one that is told in the Old and New Testaments. It’s underlying principle is spelled out for the reader/pupil: the clay does as the potter commands. Remember, God didn’t force the heart to be evil, it was just disposed to that. He knows the true person, so if He causes them to be meaner, then it’s His creation to use as He will. Esau was a rat anyway. He knows if that person would change or not; just like He knows people’s hearts in today’s society.
God says He didn’t want humanity to go the way of angels but, by it’s free choice, they did. Hell wasn’t created for us, but we put ourselves there because of a choice. But thanks and praise be to Jesus, our God had a plan for our redemption, yours and mine. Because while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He loves you and I that much. God doesn’t want people to go there, but it’s their choice. Your heart puts you there. And even though God’s plan didn’t put humans there, he still “hates” certain people. Do you think God would put someone with Satan’s heart back into heaven? You wouldn’t do that, why would God? You think people like Richard Dawkins would choose to follow God? Read his remarks and other atheist’s remarks about religion and God. They call parents “child abusers” if they teach religion to their children. Yet we sit back and don’t counter those arguments? One day he and his compatriots will bow down before God. I’ve read the end of the story.
People are going to argue with this, and the kickback is that “God loves everyone.” Well, He doesn’t or he wouldn’t have said what He did. He wouldn’t have said what he said. He wouldn’t have talked in parables if he wanted all to understand would he? Look at any translation you want.
Mark 4:11-13 (ASV)
11 And he said unto them, Unto you is given the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all things are done in parables: 12 that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest haply they should turn again, and it should be forgiven them.
In John, he prays not for the whole world, but those that God has given him out of the world. Read the true “Lord’s Prayer” in the synoptic gospels. Read the whole thing if you don’t want just the following snippet.
John 17:8-10 (NIV1984)
8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.
Again, “Well that’s not fair!” Nope, but it’s just. A just judgment from a just God.
Remember, God’s going to sit in judgment upon us all. Those in Christ get the pass. It’s called grace, and it’s given to those that trust God. If you don’t trust Him, you don’t get it and you go to hell. Sorry, but that’s just the bluntness of it. It’s not His will that man should perish and be judged, but we screwed up. Understand that and carefully read scripture. My point is twofold. First, Christians, if you don’t want people to go to hell, then you better start witnessing or doing your part in whatever capacity God called you to work. Second, if you are an unbeliever, you had better take a serious look at this Jesus person and talk to a good Christian friend.
Now after that little side trip, let’s get back to the topic at hand. What about why things happen? I want to share the following line from the comic book “The Watchmen” by Alan Moore. I know, I know, I find spiritual stuff in some crazy places. But I refuse to throw babies out with bathwater. If it’s truth I find, I’ll use it; no matter who said it. I’ve quoted this before, but I think it fits again. It comes from the character Rorschach (like the test used by psychologists). This character sees things in black and white, right or wrong and refuses to bend.
Rorschach: “You see, Doctor, God didn’t kill that little girl. Fate didn’t butcher her and destiny didn’t feed her to those dogs. If God saw what any of us did that night He didn’t seem to mind.” (I would disagree with him there.) “From then on I knew… God doesn’t make the world this way. We do.”
Who has screwed this place up and caused all of this suffering? God or us? Us.
Because of Adam and Eve’s fall, they forfeited this world to Satan. The whole of creation fell with Adam and Eve. Suffering exists because we as a race messed up. It was not God. He’s the perfect one, the good one, the one with the plan of redemption for this world. Instead of letting people curse our God for being an insensitive and sadistic monster, you would think we Christians could speak out against this and preach the truth.
But to speak out, we have to know our scripture. Don’t you think, as Christians, it’s high time we actually learn what we need to know, stand up and start teaching people the truth instead of preaching at them? I’m tired of seeing Christians sitting back, wringing their hands with sorrowful looks on their faces. I’m tired of people saying things like “I just don’t know why God would let this happen?”
Saints, we have to start studying, start reading, start finding truth somewhere and make a stand. Be bold with your answers. It happened because the rain falls on the just and unjust alike. It happened because someone decided to drink and drive home. Why do we have cancer? It happened because of the radiation of the sun or the lack of sun screen we didn’t use. We have all sorts of electromagnetic waves bouncing everywhere. We age and decay because we are cutoff from the source of life – God. Kicked out of a garden that was supposed to be our home. We aren’t healthy because our food is not of good quality like it was originally created. It happened because we misused “free will” and chose wrongly then and every day since. We suffer the consequences that we have caused.
Every man and woman of God has to grow up spiritually at some point and be able to have those conversations. We have to quit being milquetoast about this issue. Paul says you start out as babes drinking the milk of the Gospel, but then you have to start eating some meat. And by eating meat you get stronger and tougher.
1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (ASV)
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not with meat; for ye were not yet able to bear it: nay, not even now are ye able; 3 for ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you jealousy and strife, are ye not carnal, and do ye not walk after the manner of men?
How long before we grow up Saints? Those of us who have been on this spiritual walk for a good while, this is for us. God expects you, and he expects me, to start acting like the mature Christians we should be by now. We should be fielding these tough questions. Not ducking the issue and apologizing to every “Christian with the wrong message” and every non-believer we run into.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (ASV)
Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be affrighted at them: for Jehovah thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Again folks, God is with us. The outside world is constantly watching for our reactions to life’s storms and their questions. Not only do they watch, but also the demons from the pits of hell watch. Even Satan is watching. They are just standing there waiting for us to break; and we will break if we are not centered in Christ Jesus. I’ve done my homework and I am chewing on meat, but not as much as I would like. I’ve wasted time and energy on tasks that were not important. I have also wasted lots of time getting caught up in my job and on this world. It happens to every one of us at times. Even one of Paul’s disciples became so caught up in this life that he left.
Don’t become so focused on the here and now.
Yes, currently, the election is upon us and will be over when this article is published. My words of advice are to remember – God is on His throne and Jesus Christ is still the King. The new president is ordained and seated by God for His purposes. Don’t ever forget who’s ultimately in control. You really think God is worried? If He isn’t, you shouldn’t be either. I’m saying this as a warning to myself and to you. We ought to support and build each other up in this Christian walk through life. We can’t do this alone. In the end, what’s your reaction going to be when the waves crash down and these questions are asked of you? Do we run, backslide, make excuses, hide? Or do we stand in the presence of the King, being clothed in his power and righteousness, and make our stand no matter what the circumstances look like?
Ephesians 6:10-18 (ASV)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Wherefore take up the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 withal taking up the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
My advice is Paul’s advice: Stand fast, Saints! Stand Fast!
Grace and Peace,
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