Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Sorcerer's Plight

I have made an online acquaintance. His name is Ray. And Ray has got himself into quite the predicament. He seems to have convinced himself that even the idea of Almighty God is incoherent and internally contradictory. He reports his findings here.

I have invited him to this blog. I have offered him a venue for friendly discussion. I aim to clear some if not all of the confusion from his mind. I understand that this will not be easy. He has invested a great deal of honest thought and effort into the construction of his line of reasoning. In fact I fear that he has gone over it so thoroughly in his mind that unintentional ruts may have been carved. While comfortable and perceived as safe these engraved lines of thinking may prove insurmountable obstacles to the truth; God forbid.

When we read Ray’s list of Assumptions we see Ray trying to paint God into a corner of contradiction. He seems to be saying “God, if you CAN make a perfect universe, then why did you NOT?” Well the answer might be that Ray’s idea of a perfect universe and God’s idea of a perfect universe are different.

What if the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God, Ray referred to, wanted to create special beings that love Him? Well, He could create them so they have to love Him. But, that is weird. I mean love is a decision. It is not a character trait. For these creatures to be able to actually love God, they would have to have the real option to reject God. Hence, the possibility of Evil is a necessity for a universe that meets God’s standards. He would have to sow a universe where Evil is allowed in order to reap a universe that fits His standards.

One problem; God will not tolerate Evil. He separates Himself from the smallest of sins as He does from the gravest of sins. God must then devise a universe in which His special creatures can choose Evil time and again yet be always near a path to reconciliation. And what of the sin; God can’t just overlook it. All seems lost; the perfect universe unattainable.

But wait. What if God intervenes? What if God enters His creation fully as one of His creatures and fully as Himself? He then having committed no sin would be legally qualified to pay the sin debt for each of the special creatures. They in turn, sins accounted for, would have a continually new opportunity to choose to love God.

Is this the perfect universe; with God separated from Himself? Don’t forget; He is the All Mighty! He has power over death. He, with the righteous requirement of the law fulfilled and raised from the dead, lives and rains as God for all those special creatures who decided to love Him and worship Him. Those special creatures loved by God but choosing time and again to reject God to the end; live eternal separated from Him in torment. Again, this is a necessary consequence in order to reap the universe fit to standard.

Ray, and others, does this presentation clear up in the mind “The Problem of Evil?”

In the love of Christ,


Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Way

Some would say that “God enjoys punishing man.” I say.

God is love. God is also just. The righteous requirement of God’s law for sin is death. When a sin is committed, then that sin must be paid for by death. Why? Because that is the way the Creator of the Universe has set it up. Why? God is Holy. He does not tolerate sin. He does not tolerate anything against His will. He separates Himself from all things sinful; things against His will. That is what death (the eternal second death) is. It is separation from God.
God created man to be with Him and worship Him for eternity. However, God gave man free will. That means man can choose to be with God or not. Man can choose to act in accordance with His will or not. Man can choose to sin against God and to not worship Him. In other words God wants volunteer worshipers.

Like it or not, man was created to worship God. Again, like it or not, man is only fulfilled when he is in right relationship with God. Man can’t have joy apart from what he was created for.
God loves man. God wants man to choose His will; but, if God were to force man to choose His will, then this would be no choice at all and it would not be the case that man loved God. So, the choice to love God or not is a real choice with real and everlasting consequences. The decision of each man then belongs to each man.

Man is given sovereign authority to make his choice but he is not given sovereign power. Hence, he is unable to continue in God’s will by his own effort. Every man fails, due to lack of power, to choose to keep God’s law to perfection. God made man, and so, at first glance this may seem unfair of God; even sadistic. On the contrary, the withholding of sovereign power is in fact merciful. If man were to have sovereign power, then his sin, any individual choice against the will of God, would be beyond God’s grace. It would be God’s power that was too limited to make restitution. Praise God for His wisdom and for His grace.

The plan of salvation in Jesus Christ was set down before time. God would come to be with man as a man; the person of His Son Jesus Christ. He would live a perfect life, one without sin, by His sovereign power and then lay His life down willingly in payment for all sin. This Way the righteous requirement of the law would be fulfilled. This Way man’s sovereign authority displayed in disobedience could not separate him from God for all eternity in that he lacks sovereign power. This Way man could be reconciled to God for eternity through the one decision of faith in His Son. This Way God could deliver man into His Holy presence through each man’s humble acceptance of the gift of eternal life. This Way the only man who would spend eternity separated from God would be the man who refused, time and time again, the outstretched arms of the Savior calling him home. This Way, whomsoever (that is broad enough), calls on the name of the Lord (that is specific enough), shall be saved (that is sure enough)!

What logic can be constructed to characterize God as a God who enjoys punishing man in the light of His love poured out for us on the cross? His wrath is only ever revealed against those who have, by their own sovereign choice, rejected His daily offers of love and forgiveness. His wrath is always dispensed with remorse and He never revels in its necessity. He readily and often relents in accordance with the prayers of the righteous for mercy. While He is jealous for His elect and can be angered to wrath; He is loving, kind, merciful, faithful, forgiving and full of grace. This is the God you will find if you open your heart to Him. This is the God who will save at a moment’s notice. Call on Jesus.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Truth

Are we ‘seekers’ of the Truth? Do we want to know what is true and what is untrue? Well, before we get too far along on our journey we might want to consider, at least for a moment, what it is exactly we are looking for. I mean we would not want to spend a lot of time, money, and energy looking for something that once found would bring us no satisfaction; would we? Also, if we do not, from the start, understand the thing searched out, then, upon encounter, will we recognize it?
Most dictionaries will inform us that truth should be consistent with the facts or what is real. But if we look up the word fact or the word real, then we are likely to find that these are defined as things that are true. Sounds rather like a British round-about.
Since a formal definition eludes us, we must turn to an intrinsic understanding. Any alleged event, statement, or proposition consistent with what “IS” shall be taken as True. Any alleged event, statement, or proposition which contradicts what “IS” shall be taken as untrue or False. What “IS” must be universal and absolute (axiom). Otherwise, all things become True and nothing is False. But, Falsehood exists. As example, take the following Proposition (P): Over the course of the year 2007, the relative position of the earth to the sun was constant. The negation of P is True. The negation of P is universally and absolutely True. There exists nowhere in space or time a place where the negation of P is untrue. Therefore, Truth is universal and absolute.
So then, what “IS” becomes the standard for Truth. But how do we determine what “IS”? Here we have a huge problem in our search for Truth. We can’t in our own human weaknesses and limited power determine, for certain, what “IS”. We can only ‘believe’ to have determined what “IS”. To this point, humanity has failed to agree to ‘believe’ the same things about what “IS”. In fact, I am sure some would contend that P is true based on their beliefs about what “IS”. Some concede defeat to this Goliath. The Post-Modern man has given up their search for universal absolute Truth and settled for a personal truth. What is not realized is that the search for personal truth is Truly futile (chasing the wind). For by definition, as the person changes, personal truth is ever changing; ever elusive; never to be grasped for more than an instant. It is the carrot held just out of reach. Personal truth is unattainable.
So, are we left empty of personal truth and cut off from the universal absolute Truth? Not at all. We have available access to Truth by the revelation of the One with no weaknesses and unlimited power. For “I Am” is what “IS”. God is the Truth. We have access to Him by His revelation. If He is not willing to reveal, then we are shout out from the Truth. However, if He is willing, then we are guaranteed the Truth. Truth is attainable; only by the will of God.
The good news is that God is willing to reveal the Truth. He proved it coming in person to reveal Himself. He announced Himself as “I AM” (John 8: 58). He identified Himself as what “IS” (John 14: 6). He continues this revelation to this day in the hearts of those willing to humble themselves before the mighty hand of God. If we are ‘seekers’ of Truth, then we seek to know Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
In the love of Christ,

Friday, April 18, 2008

Why not Jesus?

Many people do not accept the fact that they are in need of a savior. I can understand at least two reasons for this attitude: (1) Things have gone well thus far and this person might be tempted to trust in their own strength to carry them or; (2) Many of the behaviors they choose to engage in are known to them to be against the will of God. In both of these cases they are not willing to give up the status quo for some dream of eternal bliss with God.

The problem they have is the same problem all of us have: SIN. God is Holy and righteous and those still in their sins are separated from Him. Those who have accepted Christ have been washed clean in the blood of Calvary and stand reconciled to God. Those who have not accepted Christ stand condemned already because of their unbelief. Since faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to reconciliation, then there can be no justification for any other path and therefore no hope outside of the Gospel.

So, no matter how well things have gone for you in the past (they went well for me for more than 30 years) and no matter how much you enjoy worldly pleasure (I spent long seasons in the vanity of the flesh) your situation is desperate without a relationship with Jesus. No one can force you to accept Christ. You may not want to because you perceive the cost to great. You are right about one thing: If you ask Jesus into your heart, then it will change your life forever.

In the love of Christ, Mel

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