Wednesday, July 20, 2005

To Clarify....

There is a line in my song for Paul that I think can be misunderstood:
"But the enemy's robbed us of all of these momentsHe has taken my son from my arms"
I think this line could be taken to mean that what happened on April 10th was just a result of some cruel enemy, and that God had no control of it. That God may have wanted to stop this tragedy from happening, but an enemy of God caused it anyway. Some theologians today believe this kind of thing, and some pastors even counsel people in this manner.
Let me just say, I do not believe this. The Bible clearly teaches that God is in control of all things:Ephesians 1:11: "In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will."Ps 139:15-16: "My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
At the same time, the Bible also affirms that certain things are evil and are enemies of God. These include sin, Satan, and death. God hates sin and is opposed to it. Death has entered the world because of sin, and is not a natural part of God's good creation (Rom 5:12: "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned"). Just becuase God has providentially allowed death and sin does not mean that we should act like it is natural or good. Death is an enemy of God and God's people. That is why I wrote, "the enemy's robbed us of all of these moments." I know and trust that God is ultimately in control of everything that happens in His universe, and this faith is what gives me hope and strength. But I also know that the separation death causes is not the way things should be. I look for and long for the defeat of this enemy and the ultimate victory of Christ.
In Christ's life, death, resurrection, and ongoing reign He is on a mission to overcome the enemies of God and God's people:1 Cor 15:25-27 "For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death."Revelation 20:14: "Then death and hades were cast into the lake of fire."1 Cor 15:54 "So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."It is not until the final resurrection of God's people that death is completely defeated and swollowed up in victory. It gives me joy that Paul is in the presence of God. But I also look forward and long for the day when I am reunited with Paul, and Paul is reunited with his body at the resurrection. In that day, God's sovereign and beautiful plan will have been accomplished. A perfected, sinless, and resurrected people, living on a perfected earth (Rev. 21:4: "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."), where the Lord will dwell with us forever (Rev 22:3 "And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.")
Until then, let us trust that God is in control of ALL THINGS. But let us also hate the things God hates and pray for their end, while looking forward to their defeat. Jesus Christ guaranteed it when He rose from the dead after suffering victoriously on the Cross. What a good, wise, and powerful God!

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