Now I must ask a question that is at the heart of the controversy that comes out of the cross. This question has bothered me, since I was a little boy, when my parents first told me about God, heaven and hell. If God loves everyone, and if God is all powerful, how can he, who loves all and is able to do all things, allow anyone to get to the point where God will forever condemn him in his sins?
Certainly, he who is all-powerful and all knowing can convict a man of his sin (John 8:9; 16:8; 1Corinthians 14:23-25) and draw him to Christ (John 6:44-45; 12:32). Is there anything impossible for our God? No, there is no one so evil that God has not loved that one enough to provide for him in the Equivalent Ransom (1Timothy 2:3-6). He is able to save the fiercest of men at Gadarenes (Mark 5:1-4,15, 18), and the most self-righteous on the way to Damascus (Acts 9:1-6). There is nothing too difficult for him. And, contrary to the appearance of our modern day society, he is not impotent with respect to sinful man. He is all-powerful and knows how to cause a man to see his own evil. Jesus was able to convict the self-righteous Pharisees of their wickedness when they brought the adulterous woman before him (John 8:9). Today, the Holy Spirit is quite capable of doing the same job (John 16:8). He is not powerless to convict sinners who come to the church service, and he is well able to draw them to Christ (1Corinthians 14:23-24; cp. John 6:44-45). If this is so, why aren’t more people repenting and coming to Christ? I can conclude with the ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus, that only one of four possible assumptions is true with regard to the silence of our God in the face of so much evil in our world:
- PROPOSITION #1– God is willing to help, but he is unable (i.e. his creation is out of control and he cannot prevent all this evil).
- PROPOSITION #2– God is able to help (i.e. he is strong and powerful), but he is unwilling.
- PROPOSITION #3– God is neither willing to help, nor is he able to help.
- PROPOSITION #4– God is both willing and able to help mankind (wholly and individually). In other words, he is in complete control!
Concerning the first proposition of God’s inability to help, he may love us, but we are out of his control. This god doesn’t know what to do about it. A god like this would not be worthy of worship and is, in fact, no God at all.
The second proposition speaks of a God who does not love man. Anyone who does not love us would not have sent his only Son to die on the cross to save us. Therefore, this second assumption cannot be true for a Christian, because we believe Jesus is the Son of God and came to save mankind. The studies in my blog seek to address what Jesus has done for us and in us. He knows us, loves us and is powerful enough in our lives to both change us and keep us from evil.
The third proposition says we serve a weak God. Like the first proposition, this god is no God at all. It is not my purpose in these studies to prove God is real. I have proved this to myself by walking with him for so many years. He has extinguished any questions I may have had with regard to his existence, his love, his power and his knowledge concerning me as an individual or creation as a whole.
The fourth proposition is the only possible answer for what we see today, if we believe in God. He exists, and he cares. He is all-powerful and is in complete control of everything that is happening. He is sovereign. No person and no circumstance can prevent him from doing exactly as he desires. He is neither surprised with our evil, nor does it hinder his purposes. Because God does not dance when we play the pipe (Matthew 11:17), does not mean that he is not aware and in control. Our circumstance is like that of the apostles when Jesus slept on the boat, while the storm came up on the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:22-26). We may be really concerned with all the storms of life, but God isn’t. He is, however, always in full control of everything. Where is our faith (Luke 8:25)? May the God of all comfort open our eyes to see his almighty power that shows itself in full control of this world.