The Little God Who Can’t

The Little God Who Can’timages

Is God unable to save everyone he loves?  Here’s more thought on a delicate subject.

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In reading about the life of the nation of Israel in the Old Testament, one cannot help being struck by the enormity of what a failure it all was.  There were grand and glorious promises made to the Hebrew people about their life in their promised land, but the writings of Moses also contained prophecies about a crashing destruction that would come upon their nation in the end.  What was God doing?  Why would he create such a grand experiment in the life of humanity knowing that it would only end in failure and tragedy?  Was God unable to make such a great and elaborate plan a success rather than a failure?  The answer, of course, is made plain in the New Testament.  God’s full intention was to show and prove to all people that man has sinned against the God who made him and fully deserves eternal death.  It was and still is a hard lesson to learn.

In our world today man still has not fully understood what it was that the failure of Israel taught us — that man cannot save himself by being “good” and keeping laws — or even by making correct decisions. Even a large part of the Christian community today believes in a religious system that leaves the far greater part of humanity in a burning hell rather than “saved” because they have not “done” something to make themselves acceptable to God.

To many Christians today God is a failure. He means well, but He just can’t get what He wants. He supposedly wants to save the whole world of humanity from hell, but that obviously is not happening; and people that he (supposedly) dearly loves are being separated from him for eternity. Popular Christian belief today requires that a person must first hear the gospel, believe it, then repent and confess their sin.  Then they can become born again and go to heaven. The truth is , however, that for the first 4,000 years of human history there was no New Testament gospel as we have it today.  And even in modern times the greater part of the world’s population still has not heard it.

Has Israel’s failure to save themselves in Old Testament times now become God’s failure in our time?  The choice of heaven or hell is now (supposedly) in the hands of man. God is excluded from the contest (gamble). He wants everybody to be eternally “saved,” but the losses are terrible, and hell is filling up with unbelievers who do not choose God. What can God do? He is powerless. He made the rules and now He must abide by them. Will He grieve forever because people He loves are in a state of eternal torment? Is this the God we believe in?  Is something wrong?

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Radio Pastor Loren Henry Wilson

Divine Sovereignty

There is no attribute of God more comforting to His children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty.

Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty has ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all.

There is nothing for which the children of God should more earnestly contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation—the kingship of God over all the works of His own hands—the throne of God, and His right to sit upon that throne. On the other hand, there is no doctrine more hated by worldlings, no truth of which they kick around the most, as the great, stupendous, but yet most certain doctrine of the Sovereignty of the infinite Jehovah.

Men will allow God to be everywhere except on His throne.

They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and to make stars. They will allow Him to be in His position as Giver to dispense His gifts and bestow His blessings. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and uphold its pillars, or light the lamps of heaven, or rule the waves of the ever-moving ocean.

But when God ascends His throne, His creatures then gnash their teeth. And when we proclaim an enthroned God, and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well, without consulting them in the matter—that is when men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on His throne is not the God they love. They love him anywhere better than they do when He sits with His sceptre in His hand and His crown upon His head.

But it is God upon the throne that we love to preach. It is God upon His throne whom we trust.

Read more sermons by Spurgeon at Blue Letter Bible.

Whatever My God Ordains is Right!

Whatever My God Ordains Is Right

from Hiding Place by Matthew Smith

Listen to this song here: http://matthewsmith.bandcamp.com/track/whatever-my-god-ordains-is-right

lyricssovereign

What e’re my God ordains is right,
holy His will abideth
I will be still what e’re He does
and follow where He guideth
He is my God,
though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall
Wherefore to Him I leave it allWhat e’re my God ordains is right,

He never will deceive me

He leads me by the proper path,

I know He will not leave me
I take content,

what He hath sent,

His hand can turn my griefs away
And patiently I wait His day

What e’re my God ordains is right,

though now this cup in drinking
May bitter seem to my faint heart,

I take it all unshrinking
My God is true,

each morn’ a new,

sweet comfort yet,

shall fill my heart
And pain and sorrow shall depart

What e’re my God ordains is right,

here shall my stand be taken
Though sorrow,

need, or death be mine,

Yet I am not forsaken
My Father’s care is ’round me there,

He holds me that I shall not fall
And so to Him I leave it all

Help my unbelief
May my faith abound
Let me seek you and know that you may be found

When this life is done
In the clearer light
I may see you with full and with endless sight

credits

from Hiding Place, released 11 March 2014
©2013 Detuned Radio Music. Written by Matthew S. Smith, based in part on texts by Samuel Rodigast and Henry Alford

Discussing Free Will – Part 4

In this four-part series (audio is about an hour long), Jim McClarty and his friend Alex Franzone images (1)discuss various aspects of free will. What is it and – most importantly – what does the Bible say about it?

Here’s the fourth and last part.

Listen and talk among yourselves.

I pray this short series has been edifying.

Discussing Free Will – Part 3

In this four-part series (audio is about an hour long), Jim McClarty and his friend Alex Franzone images (1)discuss various aspects of free will. What is it and – most importantly – what does the Bible say about it?

Here’s part three.

Part four in a few days.

Listen and talk among yourselves.

Discussing Free Will – Part 2

In this four-part series (audio is about an hour long), Jim McClarty and his friend Alex Franzone images (1)discuss various aspects of free will. What is it and – most importantly – what does the Bible say about it?

Here’s part two.

Part three in a few days.

Listen and talk among yourselves.

Sermon of the Week: “The Sovereignty of God”

The clarion call of the mush-mouthed preachers of lies that please the flesh is “God is love!” – as if almighty God was a one-dimensional character who is simpering in inability masquerading as “love”. The Creator and sustainer of all things is complex beyond our ability to comprehend. He is holy and His love is not captive by the creature. His love is primarily directed to and for Himself. We who are redeemed are loved with an everlasting love that God has set upon His elect – that we would shine the light of His Truth for the glory of His name.

God is sovereign, not trapped by a Greco-Roman perspective of human love that we may project upon our image of God. We must submit our mind to the Word of God and embrace what He has revealed – about Himself and us.

I don’t know the man preaching this sermon, but it will be good for your soul; and the glory of God.

Quotes (749)

Man has become so fallen that he cannot keep the law. Sooner might the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots, than he that is accustomed to do evil learn to do well (Jeremiah 13:23); but what man cannot do, by reason of the perversity of the flesh, God performs within him, working in him to will and to do of his good pleasure. Oh, what amazing grace is this, which while it forgives our want of will, also removes our want of power!

And, dear friends, is it not a wonderful proof of grace that God does this without destroying man in any degree whatever? Man is a creature with a will,—a “free will” as they sometimes call it,—a creature who is responsible for his actions; so God does not come and change our hearts by a physical process, as some seem to dream, but by a spiritual process in which he never mars our nature, but sets our nature right.

If a man becomes a child of God, he still has a will. God does not destroy the delicate machinery of our nature, but he puts it into proper gear. We become Christians with our own full assent and consent; and we keep the law of God not by any compulsion except the sweet compulsion of love. We do not keep it because we cannot do otherwise, but we keep it because we would not do otherwise, because we have come to delight therein, and this seems to me the greatest wonder of divine grace.

See, dear friends, how different is the Lord’s way of working and ours. If you knock down a man who is living an evil life, and put him in chains, you can make him honest by force; or if you set him free, and hem him round with Acts of Parliament, you may make him sober if he cannot get anything to drink, you may make him wonderfully quiet if you put a gag in his mouth; but that is not God’s way of acting.

He who put man in the Garden of Eden, and never put any palisades around the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but left man a free agent, does just the same in the operations of his grace. He leaves his people to the influences that are within them, and yet they go right, because they are so changed and renewed by his grace that they delight to do that which once they loathed to do.

I admire the grace of God in acting thus. We should have taken the watch to pieces, and broken half the wheels, and made new ones, or something of the kind. But God knows how to leave the man just as much a man as he was before his conversion, and yet to make him so entirely a new man that old things have passed away, and all things have become new.

And this is very beautiful, too, that when God writes his law in his people’s hearts, He makes this the way of their preservation. When God’s law is written in a man’s heart, that heart becomes divinely royal property, for the King’s name is there, and the heart in which God has written his name can never perish.

– Charles Spurgeon

1834 – 1892

HT: Pyro