If you want to understand God and reconcile the word of God with facts of existence you must understand four things:
One: God made man a free moral agent. He gave him the ability to choose. The ability to make choices is so fundamental to man. It’s what informed Joshua’s iconic statement: “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15. It’s what informed the placing of options before Adam in the Garden of Eden: ‘God commanded the Man, “You can eat from any tree in the garden, except from the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. Don’t eat from it. The moment you eat from that tree, you’re dead.”’ Genesis 2:16-17.
Two: God is sovereign and unlimited. He is sovereign over his creation. That means you can’t constrain or question God. He is absolute and can do as he decides or pleases: “Thus God, the Holy of Israel, Israel’s Maker, says: “Do you question who or what I’m making? Are you telling me what I can or cannot do? I made earth, and I created man and woman to live on it.” Isaiah 45:11-12. “Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” Romans 9:20.
Three: The history of the world is written out. There is a programme. Concerning a perplexing dream King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had, Daniel gave this interpretation: “And after you shall arise another kingdom [the Medo-Persian], inferior to you, and still a third kingdom of bronze [Greece under Alexander the Great] which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom [Rome] shall be strong as iron, since iron breaks to pieces and subdues all things.” Daniel 2:39-40. History played out according to the dream and interpretation. And there are other numerous iterations. What we call the future is actually history to God. He has foreknowledge. He’s omniscient.
Four: Righteousness is not the same as morality. God operates by the laws of righteousness not morality: “The Lord is rigidly righteous in ALL His ways and gracious and merciful in all His works.” Psalm 145:17. “And He will judge the world in righteousness”. Not by the rules of morality. Psalm 9:8.
These factorships provide a bedrock of answers to the most perplexing questions about life:
Q: Why is there evil in the world?
A: Because the first Adam chose to disobey God. He was a free moral agent. The disobedience of Adam unleashed a regime of catastrophic consequences. It’s not called the fall of man for nothing. For example, murder didn’t exist before the fall. The fall damaged mankind psychologically.
Q: Why did God allow Adam to sin?
A: Because Adam was a free moral agent. He had his own freewill. That’s why he was held accountable. Freewill is inviolable. Adam was not a robot.
Q: Why did God love Jacob more than Esau, even before they were born? Isn’t that unfair?
A: He is a sovereign God. He can love who he likes. He’s not bound by our rules of morality. He operates in righteousness. Romans 9:14-15: “What shall we conclude then? Is there injustice upon God’s part? Certainly not! For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion”. God has freewill too! He makes his choices, loves whom he likes! In other words, his prerogative of mercy is absolutely at his discretion. And it’s independent of us.
The definition of right is what God calls right and the definition of evil is what God calls evil. Not what we say. Righteousness is not the same as morality. Morality is relative, righteousness is absolute.
Q: Why can’t God just programme all of us to go to Heaven?
A: He gave us freewill. You have a right to choose your destination. It is on account of freewill you’ll be judged. Freewill creates personal responsibility. Without personal responsibility we can’t be judged. This dovetails into the principle of accountability. We are accountable to God on the use of our lives. Life is God’s asset. Like all assets it demands accountability.
Q: If I’m a good man will I go to heaven?
A: Bible says goodness is not the basis of visa to heaven. (John 3:15-16). We go to Heaven on the basis of what Christ did, not what we do. The spiritual currency for ticket to heaven is Jesus’ blood. The criminal crucified with Jesus never did anything good up to that point. Jesus promised him Heaven simply because he acknowledged him as Lord and believed in his resurrection. Luke 23:42: “Then he (the criminal on the cross) said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingly glory!” Romans 10:9: If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Q: Why is God permitting all the evil in the world to go on? Why can’t he just wrap everything up?
A: Because there’s a programme of history for the earth. Everything is unfolding according to that programme. Long before the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt for example, God told Abraham well in advance. Even how long. Jesus came under the programme. Indeed the coming of Jesus was predicted way back in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:15). The plan to send Jesus actually preceded the Garden of Eden. His death and resurrection was prehistory. He is described as the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). So there’s a programme. The Antichrist will come under that programme. Jesus will defeat him at Armageddon according to the programme.
You can see how the four factors – our free moral agency, God’s sovereignty, righteousness and Earth’s programme address the topical questions that constitute philosophical challenges to us. Now, bearing in mind that God gave us freewill, YOU now have to decide whether to accept the sacrifice of Jesus or not. John 3:16: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Please pray this prayer: “Father I come to you in the name of Jesus. I am a sinner. Forgive me. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord. I accept him as my Lord and Saviour. Amen
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org