A Sidekick's Blog

It’s All About Me, Right?

May 4, 2015
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Let’s say I’m on a boat on the ocean that was struck in a storm and sank, and I found myself floating on a raft for a couple of days awaiting rescue. On the horizon I see a ship! It looks like it’s getting closer and closer, but then it looks like it’s just going to keep right going past me. Suddenly it turns toward me and I’m rescued!

Am I grateful to the captain of that ship? Oh, yes!

But suppose I assume that the ship is out there only to rescue me. That it has no other reason for being out in the middle of the ocean. Let’s say that I suppose it’s primary mission is saving me. I might tend to think less of her captain even if I am rescued. “What the heck took you so long?”

If I was captain of that ship that had rescued the presumptive, arrogant version of me, I’d order the crew, “See to his medical needs, some dry clothes, a hot meal, then throw his sorry butt in the brig.”

Y’know what? It’s little wonder that so many of those that have been picked up from the Sea of Dead Works are languishing in the brig, so to speak. It’s that arrogant presumption that God’s sole purpose for being is to rescue me, care for me, provide for me, love me, satisfy me, and fulfill me that lands me in the brig – safe, but unhappy; resentful instead of eternally grateful; ashamed instead of humbled; envious instead of content.

When we present the offer of salvation to sinners, we must not do it in a way that leads those who accept it to wind up in the brig with other bewildered souls. It’s not all about saving sinners, it’s all about the glory of God! His ship does not sail the ocean exclusively on a mission to rescue unworthy stowaways. We are sinners, deserving only death and hell. When He rescues one of us, He does so for the glory of His mercy towards the unrighteous, unlovely, filthy, rotten, and undeserving. Those who end up in hell do not do so because He failed to reach them in time. They end up in hell because it is what they deserve, as do I. Even in hell, they remain for the glory of God. They bear testimony to the glory of His holiness, purity, and justice.

The gospel begins and ends with the glory of God, not the well-being and comfort of His enemies! It is good news for the wretched, evil, and undeserving. But it’s purpose is the glory of God, from eternity past to forever beyond time itself.

Perhaps fewer people would respond to the gospel of God’s glory, but at least of that number, fewer will end up in the brig for their arrogance and presumption.

Sorry sinners, it’s not all about you and me. It’s about Almighty, thrice-holy, all-sovereign God. We exist for His glory, whether we are rescued or left adrift to die.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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Two Wills of God?

August 12, 2014
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It’s God’s will for EVERYONE to be saved, is it not? Absolutely. He requires all men in all times and all places to repent and believe the gospel (John 3:18), and thus to be saved from His wrath.

But of course, not everyone believes the gospel, and most of humanity is not saved. Does this mean that God’s will is thwarted by men? How can it be His will for everyone to be saved, yet also His will for so many to perish? Does He have “two wills” that conflict with each other? Not at all. Here is why:

Both the righteous and the wicked exist for God’s glory: The righteous to the praise of His mercy and love; and the wicked to the glory of His holiness and justice. BOTH glorify their Creator!

But the question of whether God truly “wants” every person to be saved or not is like the plan of God itself:

this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men… (Acts 2:23)

On one hand, murder is not God’s will! He says, “You shall not kill!” It is not His moral will that anyone should be murdered. And yet even before He created the world He had planned the murder of His only begotten Son, and it occurred exactly as God had determined and planned ages before the fact. His will was not thwarted, but rather carried out “by the hands of godless men,” for a fantastic display of God’s mercy towards undeserving sinners like me!

So while murder is “against God’s will,” we also see that the murder of His Son was God’s will. Is there a conflict between His “moral will” and His “decreative will?” On the surface it looks like it, but His decree – before creation – that the Son would be murdered to purchase a people for Himself from the fallen race of Adam, was in fact, God’s will.

Two “wills” of God?

No. One standard of morality, and one plan to redeem a people. The standard is holiness! The one single attribute of God that is repeated three times by the heavenly beings, in Isaiah and Revelation, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty…” – we never see “Loving, loving, loving” or “merciful, merciful, merciful,” but always, in both Testaments, “Holy, holy, holy.” His “moral will” is His standard. It requires perfection, purity, absolute righteousness from all living beings, period. The plan was and is to have rebellious, fallen men to demonstrate the awesomeness of God’s holiness and purity in the treatment they shall receive at His hands, whether He shows them mercy by granting them repentance and faith, or whether He shows them justice in the everlasting lake of fire.

So is it His “will” for everyone to be saved? That is the standard He holds all men to. He requires faith in Christ of all men (John 3:18). But His plan was to demonstrate BOTH His justice AND His love. The wicked demonstrate His justice, and the redeemed His mercy and love. There is no contradiction between God’s standard and His plan. They are consistent both with who He is and with how He has revealed Himself in His written word.