Friday I talked about how God needs a PR firm. But the truth is as the poet said, “God is his own interpreter. He will make it plain.”
I poked some fun at people who like to justify God’s actions or inaction in the world. The spectacle of a faith-healer calling God to action at his behest, to lengthen a leg or clear up a lung, while that same God chooses not to grant the petitions of millions of earnest folks causes me to cringe. When I think of the history of Christianity, and its involvement in slavery, exploitation, and carnage, I am saddened when I hear Christians complaining about how us poor Christians are being beat up by the “liberals”. Is it not true that “Christians” have hurt millions of people? Yet many of my brethren want Christians to have more political power, I think the unvarnished truth is that the more power “Christians” have had in history, the more they have mismanaged it.
Yes, Christianity has a good view of marriage and morality. I agree with that. I disagree with the notion that man is the only God, and I certainly do not agree with New Age notions that there are many pathways that lead to God. Christianity is shockingly clear that there is only one way to God. But what most Christians seem to be missing just now is that God has more than one way, and more than one time, to get his message to all the people who have ever lived. Jesus died for universal redemption, and that redemption will be available for those who do not respond to the “call” or “drawing” of God in this age.
Contrary to what most Christians think, God has not done all that he plans to do to interact with the world. At the moment, he has, according to a number of clear statements in the Bible, wrapped up his plans and purposes in a mystery. Most people simply don’t understand what he is doing. As Romans 1 puts it, the wrath of God has been revealed — everyone can see it. They can see God is opposed to evil. They can see that people suffer and die. That is God’s wrath, and every time you go to a funeral you see it again. But in the same context, the writer says, “The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.” In other words, only people of faith can see that God is good and righteous. Most people simply can’t see it.
Romans goes on to say that those who are granted faith in God’s love and goodness become the sons of God. Not that all who have faith understand everything. But they have enough trust to get through the rough points in life and keep believing in God and keep learning lessons from him.
Later, in Romans 9, the apostle writes that the whole creation groans together, waiting for the revealing of the sons of God. And it says that all of the world of mankind was made subject to this vanity or frailty against their will, by God, for his own reasons.
The big thing that all people can look forward to in confidence is that someday soon God will indeed reveal his full plans, and take charge of the earth. And here is the surprise for most Christians. That day will be unpleasant for the world of mankind, much the same way that Midterm Exams are unpleasant — since all people have significant badness in their lives, but it will not be the end of human life, but rather the beginning of God’s plans to teach everyone else. “When God’s judgments are in the earth” — everyone dies? — no, “the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” – Isaiah 26:9
Now is the time for the learning and testing of God’s children, authentic Christians of any and all denominations. When that work is done, God will stop playing his cards so close to his chest, and will start explaining things.
Still, if anyone wants to know what God is planning, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist or get a degree from the Dallas Theological Seminary. In fact, they may not let you graduate from the DTS if you read and believe what the Bible says God’s goals are. They are clear and plain, but they are directly opposite most main-stream teachings:
The earth? He created it to be inhabited.
Heaven? It will be united and harmonized with earth.
People? They will be more valuable than gold. All of them shall return from the dead. All the graves will be opened. Even the fools will find it possible to be transformed — stumbling stones will be gathered up, hindrances to obedience will be removed, and the pathway to true righteousness will be so wide and smooth that everyone will be able to go up it. The blind eyes will be opened, the old man will return to the days of his youth. The church of Christ will be the rulers and judges and teachers of the whole world. Spontaneous music and joy will erupt from people everywhere. There will be NO ignorance of God. The earth will become a paradise. Evildoers will be eliminated, first by transforming most of them into righteous people, second, after a millennium of attempting to teach and correct the incorrigible, by eliminating them after a final test. There will be no pain, tears, or conflict when the process is complete.
And all people will glorify God because of their own private experience with how he rescued them and made all their pain contribute to their education and moral development.
More on God’s Goals at http://www.whyjesusdied.com/q08_ggoals.html