Is There a God?
(and if there is a God, where is He and what’s He doing?)
I’m sitting on our patio with my wife and my computer and two Greek lexicons I have been using in preparation of a sermon for this Sunday. The traffic noise coming from a major thoroughfare just a half mile from our house is constant. The thought just went through my mind that the world, generally speaking, is totally oblivious to the Creator of the universe and all that is in it. People live as if there were no God. And, sadly, millions of people have been drawn into destructive heresies taught by men and women who have created God in their image. These heretics are no better than your average atheist.
If I didn’t know better, solely by God’s grace, I would question God’s existence, going on the fact that the world is a horrible mess and functioning, seemingly, without His interference. The coronavirus is the big news at this time and thousands of people are dying from it every day, globally speaking. There just doesn’t seem to be any indication that there is a God and that He cares, else it seems He would intervene and stop this virus…and a lot of other stuff. If there is a God, where is He and what’s He doing? Well, He’s where He’s always been and He is bringing to pass His planned-from-eternity past work of redemption and judgment.
As one who came to faith in Jesus Christ 46 years ago, by the grace of God while hearing the gospel, I have at times asked those very questions. I have even thought “if there is a God, He’s not doing a very good job of being God.” And, I’ve also had the silly thought that if there’s another God up there, perhaps He should be put in charge of everything. That reminds me of a joke, but I’ll pass on it for now.
Are you familiar with the idea of “theodicy?” Theodicy is the word theologians have come up with as they (we) attempt to the answer the age-old question, “If God is so good, why does He allow so much evil and suffering?” Man’s attempt to explain that is called theodicy.
The late Billy Graham along with many other preachers, used to tell his listeners “God has a wonderful plan for your life.” Yeah, right. For billions of souls His plan is eternal damnation, not so wonderful, huh? And lest one gets one’s undies in a wad and accuses God of being mean and cruel and unfair, consider this, by virtue of our innate rebellious natures, hell is where we all deserve to go. Those who go to hell are only getting their just reward. The reason grace is so amazing is that anyone goes to heaven.
This is my theodicy and it aligns with the written word of God found in Romans 9-11, God is Sovereign and just and righteous in all that He does to His creation and in all that He permits with His creation. God righteously does what He wants to do, whether we like it or not. And in His sovereignty, God has elected to give eternal life to all who will call upon the name of the Lord Jesus. And we call upon the name of the Lord Jesus solely by the grace of God and the life-giving Spirit who draws us to faith in Jesus and gives us light and life and faith.
Here are passages of Scripture that the Spirit might use in someone’s life.
14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!
15 For He says to Moses, "I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION."
16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. (Rom. 9:14-16 NAU)
44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
45 "It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.
(Jn. 6:44-45 NAU)
63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. (Jn. 6:63 NAU)
10 as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12 ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE."
13 "THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN GRAVE, WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY KEEP DECEIVING," "THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS";
14 "WHOSE MOUTH IS FULL OF CURSING AND BITTERNESS";
15 "THEIR FEET ARE SWIFT TO SHED BLOOD,
16 DESTRUCTION AND MISERY ARE IN THEIR PATHS,
17 AND THE PATH OF PEACE THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN."
18 "THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES." (Rom. 3:10-18 NAU)
21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;
25 whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;
(Rom. 3:21-25 NAU)
13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-- having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Eph. 1:13-14 NAU)
Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Eph. 2:1-10 NAU)