In Defense of the Gospel
February 2, 2015
|God is Good.
The scriptures portray him as desiring "all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth", and therefore we, his children, should pray for all men. (1Tim. 2:1-4)
"He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" and therefore he postpones judgement, waiting until all hope of redemption is exhausted. (2Pet. 3:9)
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life." (Jno. 3:16)
God came down to our level - of mankind, to affect our course for the sake of everyone for all time, that we might have spiritual life, and he gave us a demonstration of his love in accord with his holiness. He produced his only son on Earth and then gave him in sacrifice for mankind to absolve us of our damnable guilt and shame, so that we could stand before him clean and confident. His holiness, his power, his justice, his mercy and his love - were all demonstrated in the life of Jesus Christ, his only begotten son. His grace and truth were manifested to the world in Jesus. (Jno.1:17)
The nature of reality - the reality of God's spiritual nature, prescribes our own nature and how God deals with us as spirits in his own image. Nothing done by God is arbitrary. Nothing is done in caprice. Nothing is done without a very good reason in the context and environment of the existing universe. The fate of man is in accord with God's nature, which is the basis of the environment of reality - of what is, in the universe. Starting from the beginning, (the Alpha of our understanding) God chose love which is in accord with his nature. He loves mankind as himself. Therefore he commands us to love our neighbor as our own selves which should be a mirror of God's nature within our nature.
This current and constant ascribing to God of spiteful, selfish anger and caprice in the media is not part of the reality of God's nature but rather the projection of those same qualities arising in men's hearts. Evil men have taken over the control of most of the media in the world at this point in our history and their unreasoning defiance of God is what colors and influences unthinking people's opinions.
When we do not allow our image to mirror the Creator's image; that is what is known as sin - missing the target. People tend to deny their own natures because it is difficult to deal with guilt and shame in a hostile environment, especially when the prospect of correction in our characters threatens to spoil all the pleasure and power that we may be having in our limited license to do as we please while in the world. It takes courage to change just as it takes courage to love and in humility to be forgiven.
The constant maligning and juvenile blasphemy of God that we hear today is born out of pure hatred of everything that is good and just. It is aimed at derailing those who are trying to search out and come to God and to find their purpose and destiny. There are people who are so mistakenly angry with God and that blame him for all the evil in the world, that they are willing to throw you under the bus to get back at him. Anyone with that kind of hatred does not know God.
We have indications in the scriptures that mankind is growing as a whole race and that God has been dealing with us from the beginning of this age according to all the stages of our development. Just as you treat elementary school kids, teenagers, and adults differently, so God has been dealing with man in history the same way.
There is not too much revealed about the previous ages, just that man grew wicked and corrupt to the point that there was no hope of salvaging them. So he started over and took a starter seed of a few men, Noah and his three sons and destroyed every other living thing on the planet. That began the age of new growth for us. Mankind has been maturing to the point when God could fully reveal himself to us and grow mankind into a spiritual race of intelligent, godly beings who mirror their creator in righteousness and love. It seems, as others have pointed out, that this growth is exponential, it gets faster and faster during the current age. In the course of ages, Jesus is said to have come to us just at the right time, at the culmination of the ages. He didn't reveal himself fully in the Old Testament days in man's adolescence.
The good news is that God hasn't changed. He's been waiting for us to grow up. Since the beginning of the present age in the first century, we now can graduate and become mature sons of God and matriculate, i.e. go on to the next level with God. But WE have to change. We have to put away the childish things of the world and come to God for cleansing and anointing, and learning to live as spiritual beings. The Bible puts it: "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts 2:38-39)
With that new birth into the family of God, He will deal with you as his child and educate you to maturity and bring you home to live with him forever. That is what is being offered to us now. That is what he has wanted from the beginning. As far as he is concerned, Jesus was sacrificed for you from before the foundation of the world. (1Pet. 1:20; Rev. 13:8) That is the plan of the Ages. Don't get thrown under the bus by evil men in the world, but rather, get on the bus and make sure of your own salvation. If you put your trust in the loving God, he will lead you to the truth, enlighten you and perfect you. He is not only Good but also Faithful. He will not let you down.
For more thoughts on this subject see this post.