A God Who Controls All Things

 “I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, who does all these things… I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host. I have stirred him up in righteousness, and I will make all his ways level; he shall build my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward.” Isaiah 45:5-7, 12-13

Consider with me for a moment, the prayers made to God by his children:

“God, please help…”

“God, please heal…”

“God, thank you for…”

Each one of theses statements, and so many of like nature, appeal to the sovereignty of God and the expectation that he is able to do, or has already done, something solely by his ability. We find comfort in the fact that God is in control and, as his children, works all things for our good (Romans 8:28).

I was reminded of this again a little while ago when a post showed up on my Facebook feed that someone had shared, a quote by Barry Bennett:

Why do so many Christians insist that God controls all things when He can’t even control them? He didn’t control Adam. He didn’t control Cain. Exactly who does God control? Was God controlling the storm that Jesus rebuked? Did God make everyone sick that Jesus healed? Was Jesus undoing God’s will and thwarting His control? Does God make you drive the speed limit? Does God make you always act out of love? Did God send the church into all the world with the good news and does He then go and kill those lost people with natural disasters to prove how good He is?

…God is not controlling all things.

It is quotes like this that clearly undermine what God himself says in his word about his sovereignty and control. It causes confusion at best and turns people away from the living God at worst.

Continue reading “A God Who Controls All Things”

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The Gospel

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” – Romans 1:16

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel.” – Mark 1:15

The apostle Paul writes in Romans that those who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved, except how will they know on whom to call if they have not heard the gospel preached to them (Romans 10:13-15)?

So, when we think of sharing the gospel, we must know what it is. “Gospel” is translated from the Greek word – εὐαγγέλιον – (a good message [news], the gospel), and bears within itself the knowledge that we are sinners under the wrath of God destined to eternal torment for breaking his holy law, thus making us traitors against the king of the universe. But God, being rich in mercy, chose to pay the debt by pouring out his wrath on his son, Jesus Christ, who willing took our place and died approximately 2000 years ago on a wooden cross, showing his marvelous grace in his sacrifice that was sufficient to redeem his people.

Since gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way by which sinners are reconciled to God, it is then imperative that we understand this good news. I have summarized a few key elements to guide you in your own study of the gospel, to equip you to share this good news:

  1. Who is God?
  2. Man’s Sin Nature
  3. Christ’s Sufficiency
  4. Justified by Faith

Continue reading “The Gospel”

To Judge or Not to Judge

A great exegesis of Matthew 7:1-6!

Aletheia (Truth) Blog

“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

“There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.” Romans 3:10-12

“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great of the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5

I am sharing these verses to show you that the heart of man is evil to its core. Every one of our thoughts is on evil all the time because our focus is not God, but self. If we being evil can take good things and destroy them, then we can take the word of God and mutilate its meaning. My…

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Book Review: “The Shack” – William P. Young

With the movie version of the widely popular book “The Shack” getting geared up to hit the big screen, it is safe to assume that based on the extraordinary success of the written version, the movie version of this fiction will also be well received in the professing church. It SHOULD then also be safe to assume, I believe, that Christians will be obedient to the very word we base our faith on and “test all things” (2 Thess. 5:21) and no matter how emotionally charged a story like “The Shack” is, or how it may “speak” to us, we will be ready and vocal in dismissing it if it contradicts scripture in its portrayal of the person, character and work of God.

In a review, Greg Rice says:

I guess what I am trying to say is that I find this book not only theologically inaccurate, but totally unnecessary. We already have a book to tell us how God deals with tragedy in our lives. It’s called the book of Job. Here we see God actually suggesting to Satan that he afflict Job. It was God’s idea! Why? We can’t know all of the reasons, but God certainly does and if He does not share them, He absolutely has the right to do so. My guess would be to show Satan that when God’s Holy Spirit controls a man, that man will never turn away. Consider Job’s word in Job 19:25-26:

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,”

Continue reading “Book Review: “The Shack” – William P. Young”