Why Did God Create an Unjust World?

Why Did God Create an Unjust World?

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.” Isaiah 46:9-10 If you assume that God created the world, you cannot be convinced that He is just by looking at what He created. Assuming that I am correct in this observation, why did He do this? Remember, all relationships require reciprocity, and reciprocity requires the exercising of the will. You cannot have a relationship with a robot or a manikin. He created people in order to have a relationship with them, and because He is the Creator, and they are the created ones, submission to His will is essential for the relationship to exist. God created all people with a desire for autonomy. This desire was not the product of their sin, but the reason they sinned. If He had not created them with a desire for autonomy, they could not have chosen to have a relationship with Him. Having been given the choice, they rejected Him in their quest for autonomy. The heart of your relationship with God centers around the question of who you think should decide what is good and evil,1 what is in your best interest and what is contrary to your best interest. If God senses that you do not believe in the core of your being that He alone should define good and evil, He will not have a...
Power Struggle

Power Struggle

As men, we are driven by a desire for power. Though the Bible doesn’t define power, the essence of power is the ability to change or affect something. Wealth, sex, and authority are the means we use to exercise and gain a sense of power. God’s Word teaches that we are governed by powers which we cannot control (Jer 10:23). The curse of Adam was that sin was given power over us, and we can no longer exert our will in line with the God that guides and directs the creation (Eph 2:1). The Law cannot save us from the power of sin because the righteousness of the Law has no power of its own (Rom 8:3). This means that any attempt to overcome the power of sin strictly through obedience to the commands of God leads to condemnation. Sin has real power, it takes the Law captive and leads to death. Romans 6 teaches that when Christ triumphed over death, he took back the power of sin, making it possible that we could once again will with God. The power we have by the Gospel is contradictory to the power of the flesh. Our weaknesses are our strengths, we lead by serving, and we humble ourselves to be exalted. If our hope is that God will give us the desires of our flesh, we will be misled when things go according to plan. When we attribute our selfish gain to God, we are mastered by the power of sin. When we hold God accountable for the undesirable events of this world, we are similarly without reason to hope...
False Impressions

False Impressions

“Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night; for it is written, `I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’” Matthew 26:31 If, prior to the betrayal of our Lord, the disciples had discussed how they could most completely misunderstand the events surrounding Jesus arrest, trial, and crucifixion, they could not have done a better job. What they perceived and what happened were exact opposites. They looked at the unfolding events as a tragedy of the first magnitude; dashed hopes, unfulfilled expectations, the destruction of their dreams. In reality, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ provided the basis for their hope of heaven and a life of purpose here on earth. This illustrates how wrong your perception of events can be. If you are like I am, you can look back on your life and see things that happened to you that you thought were counter productive to your best interest, if not a tragedy. Later you discover that it proved a blessing in disguise, as illustrated by the person who was angry because he missed his flight, only to find out later that the plane crashed. Conversely, you remember things that you initially thought were pure blessing, only to later discover were just the opposite, as illustrated by people who felt blessed that their spouse agreed to marry them, only to discover that they had entered into an unfortunate alliance. Pray that God will deliver you from bad decisions and circumstances, and then give Him thanks when events unfold in a way that make...
God Gets To Choose

God Gets To Choose

     I am one of twenty people who take the message of hope to my home town in Hampshire, England. We call ourselves ‘town pastors’, although only a few us are professional clergy. Sometimes we meet people in Alton late at night who are open and receptive to the Gospel and, of course, we attempt to be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have with gentleness and respect (paraphrasing 1 Peter 3:15). At times it seems an awesome, if not daunting responsibility. What if we make a mess of things? Of course, we do have responsibility; we should know the Gospel that Paul summarises in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. We should demonstrate the Gospel by accepting and loving those people. But we can also be reassured that, as for Lydia, it wasn’t Paul’s eloquence that moved her to faith in Christ, but God himself. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia…the Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. (Acts 16:14) Paul says of himself that many thought him a poor speaker (2 Corinthians 10:10) but as Luke reports, the response to his witness, whether poor or not, was entirely up to God – and so it is with us town pastors. It is God’s choice to reveal himself through his mighty Spirit, and that is a wonderfully gracious act for those that would ‘be sent’ to bear witness to Christ, as we are therefore released from: Concern over knowing or choosing to whom we speak – it...
Your Thought Life

Your Thought Life

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7 In one sense, you are the sum of your thought life. What you think reveals what you are. Although how you look forms externals that disappear upon death, what you think you take into eternity with you. All permanent change in your life takes place by altering your perception of reality. You respond to the opportunities and imperatives of life on the basis of two things: First, what you think you can do. If you do not believe you are capable, you will not try. A man who does not believe that he can swim does not voluntarily dive into deep water. Second, what you believe you ought to do. Some things in life you may believe that you can do, but do not believe you ought to do. For example, you may believe you can wash clothes, cook meals, work in the garden, or paint the house, but this does not mean that you believe you ought to. In order for you to perform according to the expectations of God, you must believe you can do what He says and that you ought to do it – i.e., the particular command applies to you. Foundationally, you must believe that what God expects from you He will empower you to do, and that your faithfulness in meeting His expectations will make an eternal difference. If either or both of these are not firmly in place, you will not perform. For this reason you must saturate yourself with the Word of God. For in His Word you will...
Is The Bible Truly God

Is The Bible Truly God

Your answer to this question will determine how you view the Bible but also it will have an eternal impact on your life. If the Bible is truly God’s Word, then we should cherish it, study it, obey it, and trust it. If the Bible is the Word of God, then to dismiss it is to dismiss God. The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. The term “revelation” simply means that God communicated to us what He is like and how we can have a right relationship with Him. If the Bible truly is the Word of God, then it is the final authority for all matters of faith, religious practice and morals. There can be no doubt that the Bible does claim to be the very Word of God. This is clearly seen in Paul’s commendation to Timothy: “…and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:15-17) One evidence that the Bible is truly God’s Word is in its unity. It is 66 individual books, written on 3 continents, in 3 languages, over a period of approximately 1500 years, by more than 40 authors from many walks of life. Yet the Bible is one unified book from beginning to end without a single contradiction. No other book is like this. It...