8/30/21

Why Doesn't God Appear to Us to Prove that He Exists? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=5323

Why Doesn't God Appear to Us to Prove that He Exists?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Sometimes our unbelieving friends wonder why God doesn’t just appear to everyone on Earth and prove in person that He exists? Why doesn’t He show Himself to each generation of humanity so that everyone on Earth can see and hear Him and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is real? After all, according to the Bible, the Lord appeared “to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty” (Exodus 6:3), and He “spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (Exodus 33:11). So why doesn’t He do the same for everyone else?

Christians freely admit that there are many specific things that we do not know about the infinite, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient Creator of the Universe, including why He does or does not do certain things. “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9). There is no way to know the mind of God unless He chooses to reveal some of His ways to us. Moses wrote: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29, emp. added). So has God specifically revealed why He has not appeared to every human being in the history of the world to prove His existence to them? The fact is, God does not expressly address this question in the Bible; but He does reveal enough to us about Himself and His creation to draw the following conclusions. 

First, even if God directly appeared to and spoke with every person on Earth, not everyone would believe in Him. After all, God revealed Himself to mankind in the first-century (John 1:1,14), speaking like “no man ever spoke” (John 7:46) and working all manner of miracles, including walking on water, healing the blind, reattaching severed body parts with the touch of His hand, and raising the dead. Yes, even though, for example, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, and came back from the dead Himself, many still did not believe in Him (John 11:45-53; 12:9-11)—they rejected Him despite the fact that He (God) appeared to them face to face.

In 2012, renowned atheist Richard Dawkins was questioned about his unbelief in God. Specifically, he was asked, “What proof, by the way, would change your mind?” He quickly responded by saying, “That is a very difficult and interesting question because, I mean, I used to think that if somehow, you know, great, big, giant 900-foot-high Jesus with a voice like Paul Robeson suddenly strode in and said, ‘I exist and here I am,’ but even that, I actually sometimes wonder if that would….”1 Though Dr. Dawkins was interrupted, he clearly left the impression that even if God appeared to him, taking the form of a “giant 900-foot-high Jesus” with a mighty voice, even that encounter would probably not convince him.

Sadly, not only would many continue in their unbelief if God actually did appear to them, many more would reject His authority over them, even if they acknowledged His existence. Judas was among the closest friends and disciples of Jesus. He was the treasurer of the group. Yet, he was a thief who eventually betrayed the Lord. One might argue that Judas never believed (cf. John 6:60-71), which would only further validate our first point. But if he truly believed in Jesus as the Son of God, then he ultimately chose money over the Master; he chose sin over the Savior. He was not, and will not be, the last to make such choices. In fact, before any human being ever came to know God and subsequently reject His will, there were a number of angelic beings who did. They are created heavenly beings (Colossians 1:16) who knew (and know) God, but willingly chose to reject His will for them (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). So wicked and rebellious to the God of heaven did Satan become that he even tried to tempt God to sin (Matthew 4:1-11). Make no mistake about it, in no way does acknowledging God’s existence directly translate into loving Him and submitting to His will (Matthew 7:21-23). In fact, atheist Dan Barker demonstrated such rebelliousness in the Butt/Barker debate when he stated that, though he believes God “doesn’t exist,” “[i]f there is a hell and if the atheists get to the end of their life and discover, ‘Yep, I was wrong, there is a God….’ Then I would say to that God…‘you go to hell…. You do not have my respect.’”2

Third, God has already given every accountable person on Earth an adequate amount of evidence to come to a knowledge of His existence. The very reality of a material Universe (which could not have sprung into existence from nothing; nor is it eternal),3 testifies to the existence of a Creator. “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4). In fact, “[s]ince the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). Since the time of Adam and Eve, mankind has been given the opportunity to see how “the things that are made” testify quite “clearly” on behalf of a powerful, invisible Creator. As the psalmist proclaimed, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (19:1-4).

So why doesn’t God appear to every person on Earth to prove that He exists? The short answer is: “Because He, as the sovereign Ruler of the Universe, chooses not to.” We may not know all of God’s reasons for why He chooses not to appear personally to every person on the Earth throughout every generation, but in no way does such a decision on His part prove (1) that He doesn’t exist, or (2) that He is unkind and unfair. The fact is, God has always given man adequate evidence for His existence—so much so that any person who refuses to acknowledge His existence is “without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

Endnotes

1  “Q&A: Religion and Atheism” (2012), ABC Australia, April 9, http;//www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3469101.htm, emp. added.

2  Kyle Butt and Dan Barker (2009), Butt/Barker Debate: Does the God of the Bible Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), emp. added.

3  Jeff Miller (2013), “Evolution and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Thermodynamics,” Apologetics Press, /apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=2786.


 

Why Do Men Reject God? by Wayne Jackson, M.A.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=224

Why Do Men Reject God?

by  Wayne Jackson, M.A.

Most people in the world, throughout the ages of history, have believed in some concept of a Supreme Being. They may have had a perverted sense of Who that Being is, but they were convinced that there is a Personal Power greater than man. Given the evidence available, faith is reasonable. That is why the psalmist declared: “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalm 14:1). The Hebrew word for “fool” suggests one who is not thinking rationally.

Since unbelief is neither reasonable nor the norm, one cannot but wonder why some people become atheists. I am convinced, after reflecting upon the matter for many years, that religious disbelief does not result from logical conclusions based on well-researched data. Rather, generally speaking, emotional motivation of some sort is a primary causative factor.

Consider the following case. In 1996, Judith Hayes, a senior writer for The American Rationalist, authored a caustic, atheistic tirade titled: In God We Trust: But Which One? In this treatise, Mrs. Hayes revealed two clues as to why she left the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) and became an atheist.

As a youngster, she had a friend who was a Buddhist. Judith was very close to “Susan,” and she simply could not tolerate the idea that her friend, who did not accept Jesus Christ as the Son of God, might be lost apart from the biblical redemptive system. So, rather than carefully examining the evidence to determine whether or not the claims of the Lord (as set forth in the New Testament record—see John 14:6; Acts 4:12) are true, she simply decided, on an emotional and reactionary basis, that Christianity could not be genuine.

Eventually Judith married, but the relationship degenerated. Mrs. Hayes claims her husband was verbally abusive. Again, though, instead of considering the possibility that she might have been responsible for having made a bad choice in her marital selection, or that her husband decided on his own volition to be abusive (in direct violation of divine teaching—Ephesians 5:25ff.), she blamed God for her disappointment. “[H]ow could I possibly have wound up married to a tyrant? Why had God forsaken me?,” she wrote (1996, p. 15). God did not forsake her. He honored her freedom of choice, and that of her husband as well. Human abuse of that freedom is not the Lord’s responsibility.

The infidel William Ernest Henley (1849-1903) was known principally for his skeptical poem, Invictus. As a youngster, Henley contracted tuberculosis, and had to have one foot amputated. He suffered much across the years and became quite bitter. He wrote:

In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced or cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance, my head is bloody, but unbowed.

His disbelief, however, was emotional, not intellectual.

The late Isaac Asimov once wrote: “Emotionally I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time” (1982, emp. added).

In one of his books, Aldous Huxley acknowledged that he had reasons for “not wanting the world to have a meaning.” He contended that the “philosophy of meaningless” was liberating. He confessed that the morality of theism interfered “with our sexual freedom” (1966, p. 19). This is hardly a valid argument for rejecting the vast array of evidence that testifies to the existence of a Supreme Being!

Here is an important point. When men have motives for resisting faith in God, and when—out of personal prejudice—they are predisposed to reject the Creator, they become “ripe” for philosophical skepticism.

REFERENCES

Asimov, Isaac (1982), “Interview with Isaac Asimov on Science and the Bible,” Paul Kurtz, interviewer, Free Inquiry, pp. 6-10, Spring. See also Hallman, Steve (1991), “Christianity and Humanism: A Study in Contrasts,” AFA Journal, p. 11, March.

Hayes, Judith (1996), In God We Trust: But Which One? (Madison: WI: Freedom From Religion Foundation).

Huxley, Aldous (1966), “Confessions of a Professed Atheist,” Report: Perspectives on the News, Vol. 3, June.

Why Did God Create People—Knowing That Many Would Go to Hell? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4194

Why Did God Create People—Knowing That Many Would Go to Hell?

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

[Author’s Note: The latter half of this question, which concerns hell, is a sentiment that is often used by skeptics to cast doubt on the veracity of the Bible and the God depicted in its pages. We will deal with this question in two distinct sections. First, we will see what the Bible has to say about why God created humans in general. Then we will proceed to show that the concept of hell, and God’s foreknowledge about who will choose to go there, does not rationally or morally militate against the God of the Bible.]

If there is an all-knowing, all-powerful God (and there is, see Existence of God), then we would expect His motivations for action to be, in many cases, unknown to us. Since there would be so many things that He would know and we would not, it would be virtually impossible for us to understand His reasons for certain actions unless He condescended to explain them. As Isaiah the prophet wrote: “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9). In one sense we could liken God’s relationship to humans to the knowledge that a five-year-old child would have of some of the actions of her parents. Suppose a child sees a parent pull out a small, rectangular checkbook, write something on a check, pull the check out and put it in an envelope, place a stamp on it, and put it in the mail. The child might ask, “Mommy, why did you do that?” The mother might respond, “So that we can keep driving our car without the bank taking it from us.” How could the child possibly connect a piece of paper to driving a car? Without knowing the details of how a check represents money, how the car was purchased from a dealership, how the bank loaned the parents money, etc., then the child could not grasp the significance of the check.

In a similar way, there are things that God has done that we humans can never fully understand for the simple reason that God has not told us why He has done them. Or, perhaps He has told us, but His answer does not give all the details that our human curiosity might wish. Moses well understood this idea when he wrote: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which have been revealed belong to us and our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Some things God tells us; some things He does not.

When we approach the question of why God created humans, we find ourselves dealing with a question for which God has not provided an extensive answer. The simple answer given in the Bible is that God created humans, as well as the rest of creation, by His will and for His glory. 

BY HIS WILL

Revelation 4:11 declares: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for you created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (emp. added). The “take home” message from this verse is that God freely chose to create and was not constrained by any outside force or by a need to fill any type of deficiency. Psalm 115:3 says: “But our God is in heaven; He does whatever He pleases.” The simple, but none too informative, answer to our question is that God wanted to create humans, so He did.

We must stress, at this point, that His desire to create humans was not because He needed them for some reason. There have been those, especially in ancient religions, who have suggested that God was lonely or in some way deficient and needed humans as companions or helpers. This suggestion has no merit. In Acts 17:24-25, the apostle Paul plainly declared: “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things” (emp. added).

The fact that God does not need humans to “help” Him is also reflected in Psalm 50:10-12, a statement that quotes God’s own words: “For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine and all its fullness.” This passage is certainly not suggesting that God would actually get hungry. On the contrary, it is implying that God would never need anything from His Creation.

Neither was God “forced” to create humans because He was lonely. Being the all-sufficient Being, there is nothing in God that needs more of anything. God’s eternal communion with Himself (in the persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) has always provided all the fellowship God needs to be complete. We can clearly see this communion of the three persons of the Godhead in Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’” Jesus echoed this sentiment of God’s eternal communion when He prayed to the Father: “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:5, emp. added). God’s free will act of creating humans had nothing to do with a need to assuage any loneliness. As Stanley Grenz correctly concluded: “Thus, God’s creation of the universe is a free act, a non-necessary act. God is not driven to create, not forced by some sense of compulsion to bring the universe into existence” (1994, p. 99).

Just because God did not (and does not) need humanity for anything, does not imply that humans are unimportant to God. Once He freely chose to create humans, He endowed them with importance by forming them in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27). As theologian Wayne Grudem rightly commented:

Someone might wonder, if God does not need us for anything, then are we important at all? Is there any significance to our existence or to the existence of the rest of creation? In response it must be said that we are in fact very meaningful because God has created us and determined that we would be meaningful to him. That is the final definition of genuine significance (Grudem, 1994, p. 162, italics in original).

God chose to create us by His free will. When He did, He endowed us with meaning and importance by creating us in His image.

FOR HIS GLORY

The Bible also says that God created humans “for His glory.” The God of the Bible declared: “Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory, I have formed him, yes, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:7, emp. added). It is at this point that we must confess that the phrase “for His glory” opens the door to a great deal of speculation. What does the Bible mean when it says that humans (and all creation) were brought into existence for God’s glory? Does it mean that His creation will praise Him and give Him glory? Does it mean the mere fact that human existence brings glory to God as a manifestation of His power and ingenuity? Does it mean that our continued worship of God, in spite of the existence of suffering and hardship in this world, vindicates God and glorifies Him in contradiction to Satan’s expectations, as illustrated in the book of Job? Everything that is involved in this idea will never be truly understood by humans. We can only say that humans are here “for His glory.”

Some have suggested that if the God of the Bible made humans simply “for His glory,” then this would imply that God is an egotistical dictator Who simply wanted more “subjects” to grovel at His feet and tell Him how great He is. This suggestion fails to comprehend important aspects of the phrase “for His glory.” Not only are humans designed to bring glory to God, but they are also designed to enjoy God’s glory and find their own completeness in it. As Jack Cottrell stated: “Herein lies the purpose of human existence, i.e., to receive God’s goodness and to give him glory” (2002, p. 109). God created humans to live a blissfully happy life receiving His glory and responding in turn to the gift of His glory. It is a perfect feedback loop of humans receiving God’s glory, responding with obedience and praise, and being complete and fulfilled by their reception of God’s glory as well as by their proper response to it. We can say, then, that God created humans to live blissfully perfect lives receiving and reciprocating His glory. Understanding the situation in this light brings to the surface the folly of accusing God of selfish egotism.

KNOWING MOST PEOPLE WILL GO TO HELL

Once we establish the fact that God created humans by His will, to live completely happy lives as they receive and respond to His glory, the skeptic is quick to seize upon the fact that many people are not blissfully happy. In fact, a large number of people are unhappy. Not only that, demands the skeptic, but most people, according to the Bible, are destined to be punished eternally in hell. How is it, the skeptic queries, that a loving God could create humans, knowing that most of them would go to hell? Atheist author David Mills demanded:

If we conclude, then, that God would create Hell to deter human behavior which He disliked—knowing beforehand that the majority of humanity would, as a result, suffer eternal torture—then we would be forced to label this god as evil and sadistic also, because He likewise would have inhumanely tortured individuals in order to accomplish His goals (Mills, 2006, p. 180).

Skeptic Vistonas Wu posted similar thoughts on the Web in an article titled “Debunking the Arguments of Christian Fundamentalists and Evangelists”: “If you were God, and you were omnipotent and could see throughout all time, would you create a world where you knew beforehand that the majority of people would end up in an eternal hell?” (2009). The answer implied by the skeptic is, “No.” But the problem with his reasoning is that humans are not all-knowing and that is why humans are not in such a position. In fact, in light of humanity’s limited knowledge, it easily could be the case that the information we do not have at the present is the very information that would lead an all-knowing Being to create the world as it is. The simple sounding question, “If you were God…,” can never be asked in any legitimate sense, and certainly cannot be used as “evidence” to impugn the character of God. If a person really could be God, then his thought process would be so different from what it is now, there is no way he could say what he would or would not do. It needs to be noted in this context that God has created humans in His image, endowing them with the ability to distinguish truth from error, and those ideas that are rational from those that are not. We are not contending that God’s choice to create people is irrational to humans, but rational to God. We are simply saying that God’s omniscience puts Him in a position to know all the details that would be needed to make a perfectly rational decision.

DISSECTING THE SKEPTIC'S ACCUSATION

The skeptic’s accusation that God is evil because He created humans, even though He knew that most would go to hell, crumbles under closer scrutiny. First, the skeptic is quick to include the idea that “most” people are going to hell. This word “most” must be included in the accusation, because if more people go to heaven than go to hell, one could easily argue (using the skeptics’ own humanistic morality) that the present world is arranged for the benefit of the majority. Since humanistic morality claims an action is moral as long as it brings about the most good for the majority of people (Butt, 2010, pp. 33-36), then skeptics cannot, according to their own standard, criticize a God that saves “most” people in heaven and allows a minority of them to choose hell.

So, can we be sure that “most” people are going to hell? No, and here is why. Numerous verses can be cited that seem to indicate that a majority of people choose hell. The most common passage is Matthew 7:13-14, which states: “Enter by the narrow gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” According to this passage, many choose the path to destruction, and only few choose the path to life. What is implied in these verses, however, is the idea that those under discussion have the ability and capacity to choose. Those who are not in view in this or other such passages are those who have not yet reached an age or mental capacity to choose—unborn babies, infants, and children. If we can show that children go to heaven (and we can, see Butt, 2003), and we can show that there is at least a possibility that more children have died in a saved condition than adults who have died lost, then we can do away with the idea that “most” people are going to hell. When we consider that worldwide, there are an estimated 42 million abortions each year (Johnston, 2010), and when we understand that children often are the first to die in periods of famine and disease, we are forced to conclude that it is at least possible, and most likely probable, that more humans have died in a saved state than those who will be eternally lost. [NOTE: At this point in the discussion, the skeptic will often change the subject and demand that God cannot be loving and allow all those children to die. This accusation is false and has been definitively refuted, see Butt, 2009]. The skeptic, then, cannot know if “most” people are going to hell, and thus, according to humanistic morality based on the majority, cannot accuse God of evil. In truth, however, the concept of “most” people has very little to do with justifying God’s actions. Because God’s morality can still be justified even if most people are lost and only a few saved.

GOD WANTS ALL PEOPLE TO CHOOSE TO BE SAVED

The Bible is clear that God allows all accountable  humans to choose their own final destination. Throughout the Scriptures, we see God placing before humans the ability to determine their own destiny. Moses wrote: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19). Jesus’ statement in Matthew 7:13-14 about the narrow and wide paths included the idea that His listeners had the ability “to enter” whichever path they chose. Joshua underscored this idea of choice when he declared to the Israelites, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24:15). The skeptical community likes to parade before the masses a picture of a tyrant God Who arbitrarily casts people to eternal destruction based on nothing more than whim and caprice. That is not true. Any person who goes to hell will have consciously made the decision to be there. As atheist Dan Barker so clearly stated: “Speaking for myself, if the biblical heaven and hell exist, I would choose hell” (2008, p. 170). C.S. Lewis insightfully noted: “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ All that are in Hell, choose it” (1946, p. 72, ital. in orig.). Timothy Keller added: “All God does in the end with people is give them what they most want, including freedom from himself. What could be more fair than that?” (2008, p. 79).

God allows people to choose their final destiny, and He wants all men to choose to be saved. First Timothy 2:4 says that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Second Peter 3:9 says that the Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Not only does He not want people to choose hell, He sent His Son as a sacrifice for sin to dissuade people from choosing hell and to persuade them to choose heaven. In fact, the book of Hebrews explains that those who choose the path to destruction will trample the Son of God under their feet on their way (Hebrews 10:29). The concept of hell does not militate against God’s love or justice (Butt, 2010, pp. 17-24). [NOTE: I understand that the skeptic does not accept these verses as inspired and does not accept the story of Jesus’ sacrificial atonement. If the skeptic accuses the Bible of portraying God as immoral, however, he must allow the Bible to answer for itself. I am simply saying the Bible presents a cogent, logical argument that shows the skeptics’ accusation of God as being immoral to be wrong. If God really allows people to choose, and if He sent His Son to demonstrate His love and persuade people to choose right, then He cannot be accused of immorality.]

GOD SHOWS NO PARTIALITY

Another key concept to understandingGod’s dealings with humanity is His lack of partiality. The apostle Peter correctly stated: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34-35). This verse testifies to the fact that the Bible presents God as a perfectly impartial, fair Being Who gives every person an equal opportunity to respond to the truth. We must understand, however, that we are not saying that all people have the exact same number of opportunities to hear the Gospel, or are born into identical socio-economic situations, etc. What we are saying is that God fairly judges each person based on the opportunities he or she has been given. As Jesus said: “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:48).  In all the examples in the Bible in which people responded properly to the truth, God provided those people with enough information to be saved (cf. Acts 8:26-38; Acts 10). God, therefore, takes into account every aspect of a person’s inherent make-up and external environment and impartially judges that person’s behavior based on what he or she should do given all the circumstances.

YES, BUT GOD KNEW SOME WOULD CHOOSE HELL...

Once the skeptic realizes that he cannot rationally conclude that God is unfair for allowing all people to choose their own destiny, he must insist that the mere fact God knew some people would choose hell should have kept God from creating those people. An adequate response to such a statement is simply, “Who says?” Is there anything about the skeptic’s charge that shows some type of inherent moral rightness? There is nothing. And while, “Who says?” is an adequate response, it is not the only one at the disposal of the biblical theist. While it is true that God could have only created those humans that He knew would choose heaven, would the skeptic call that “fair”? Would it be fair for God not to create a person, and thereby deprive that person of the same opportunities and chances as other people, simply because God knew that person would choose hell? Such a course of action would actually be truly “unfair” and would land God in the real moral dilemma of showing partiality. On the contrary, the only way for God to be truly fair to all His human creatures would be to allow each of them the same opportunity to choose their own final destination.

The skeptic might then contend that it would have been better for God not to have created humans at all. But the answer to such a statement once again is, “Who says?” Who is the skeptic to say that a world with no humans is one that is better than a world in which humans are all given an equal chance to respond to God’s love, with many millions actually responding obediently and receiving eternal life? On what grounds does the skeptic demand that his perceived world is better than the one that we have? He can appeal to no greater authority than his own personal opinion. In essence, the skeptic is saying nothing more than, “I think it would have been better if humans were not created if some would choose hell.” The response to such an opinion is simply that God, Who knows everything and is completely impartial and perfectly moral and loving, understands at least one thing about the Universe that the skeptic does not know (or refuses to acknowledge) that calls for the situation to be as it is.

CONCLUSION

There is no possible way for our finite human minds to understand all the reasons behind why God created humans. There is enough information about God and humans for us to reason properly that God is not immoral for having created humans. We can know that humans were created by an act of God’s free will to receive and respond to His glory. The skeptic’s vacuous charge that God is immoral for creating humans, knowing that some would choose hell, cannot be sustained. God has given every responsible person an equal opportunity to choose heaven. There is no ground upon which the skeptic can maintain that a world without humans would be a better world than one in which some humans choose eternal life and others choose eternal destruction. In fact, God’s attributes of omniscience, impartiality, and love provide the basis to conclude that only He would be in a position to determine which world would be the very best. When understood properly, the Bible presents a completely consistent picture of God’s moral perfection in regard to His choice to create humans.

REFERENCES

Barker, Dan (2008), godless (Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press).

Butt, Kyle (2003), “Do Babies Go to Hell When They Die?” http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=1201.

Butt, Kyle (2009), “Is God Immoral for Killing Babies?” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=260.

Butt, Kyle (2010), A Christian’s Guide to Refuting Modern Atheism (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Cottrell, Jack (2002), The Faith Once for All (Joplin, MO: College Press).

Grenz, Stanley (1994), Theology for the Community of God (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Grudem, Wayne (1994), Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).

Johnston, W. Robert (2010), “Summary of Registered Abortions Worldwide, Through April 10, 2010,” http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/policy/abortion/wrjp3310.html.

Keller, Timothy (2008), The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism (New York: Dutton).

Lewis, C.S. (1946), The Great Divorce (New York: Touchstone).

Mills, David (2006), Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism (Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press).

Wu, Vistonas (2009), “Debunking the Arguments of Christian Fundamentalists and Evangelists,” http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Debunking_Christians/Contents.htm.

"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN" Father...Glorify Your Son (17:1-5) by Mark Copeland

 








"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

Father...Glorify Your Son (17:1-5)

INTRODUCTION
  1. In a previous lesson we stated that the prayer of Jesus in John 17 is "The Greatest Prayer Ever Prayed", noting four reasons...
    1. The Person who prayed the prayer
    2. The occasion that demanded the prayer
    3. The contents of the prayer
    4. The victory in Jesus that it reveals
  2. We now begin to take a closer look at this prayer, beginning with the petition Jesus makes for Himself in verses 1-5 and asking...
    1. What is Jesus asking for?
    2. Why should God grant His request?
    3. Was Jesus' prayer answered?

[In regards to the first question...]

  1. WHAT IS JESUS ASKING FOR?
    1. THE PETITION EXPRESSED...
      1. "Father...glorify Your Son" - Jn 17:1
      2. "Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was." - Jn 17:5
    2. THE PETITION EXAMINED...
      1. glorify - "to exalt to a glorious rank or condition" - Thayer
      2. Jesus asks to be restored to His state of glory He had before the world existed - Jn 17:5
      3. His request implies two great truths concerning Jesus:
        1. His pre-existence, as foretold in prophecy- cf. Mic 5:2
        2. His Deity, for God shares His glory with no one - cf. Isa 42:8
      4. Overhearing this prayer, we appreciate why John began his gospel with these words:
        1. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God... He was in the beginning with God." - Jn 1:1a,2
        2. "...and the Word was God." - Jn 1:1b
      5. Thus Jesus asks the Father to reinstate Him to the glorious position He had before coming to earth

      [This leads us to our second question...]

  2. WHY SHOULD GOD GRANT HIS REQUEST?
    1. "THAT YOUR SON ALSO MAY GLORIFY YOU..."
      1. Jesus desires to glorify His Father - Jn 17:1
        1. Thus His prayer is not purely personal
        2. He wants to reciprocate by utilizing His glory to honor the Father
      2. Jesus provides an important example in regards to our own prayers
        1. Do we ask for blessings that we might better serve God and do His will?
        2. Many prayers go unanswered because they are for selfish reasons - cf. Jm 4:3
        3. Our requests should always be with the Father's will in mind - cf. 1Jn 5:14
    2. "AS YOU HAVE GIVEN HIM AUTHORITY OVER ALL FLESH..."
      1. The Father had already given Jesus 'authority' - Jn 17:2
        1. Authority to give eternal life - Jn 17:2 (more in our next study)
        2. Authority to forgive sins - cf. Mt 9:6
        3. Authority to execute judgment - cf. Jn 5:26-27
        4. Indeed, all authority in heaven and on earth - cf. Mt 28:18
      2. In view of such authority, it is only proper to receive glory to accompany it
    3. "I HAVE GLORIFIED YOU ON EARTH..."
      1. Jesus had glorified His Father on earth - Jn 17:4
        1. By making His Father's will and work His chief delight - cf. Jn 4:34
        2. He came from heaven for this very purpose - cf. Jn 6:38
        3. By His life and His words Jesus always glorified His Father
      2. Again, Jesus provides an example regarding our own prayers
        1. Do we base our requests solely on promises of what we will do?
        2. Or do we seek to do His will first, and then ask God to fulfill what He has promised?
    4. "I HAVE FINISHED THE WORK..."
      1. He had finished the work given to Him by His Father - Jn 17:4
        1. True, His greatest work (dying for our sins) had not yet been done - cf. Jn 19:30
        2. But its accomplishment was so certain, Jesus could speak of it as done
      2. Jesus illustrates the proper place prayer should occupy in our lives
        1. Not something used only in the case of emergency
        2. But complementing a life of devotion and service dedicated to glorify God!

        [We now come to our third and final question...]

  3. WAS JESUS' PRAYER ANSWERED?
    1. YES, BY MAKING HIS DEATH SIGNIFICANT...!
      1. The significance of Jesus' death gives Him great honor
      2. As expressed in the book of Revelation - cf. Re 5:9-14
    2. YES, BY RAISING HIM FROM THE DEAD...!
      1. God declared Jesus to be the Son of God with power - Ro 1:4
      2. And then gave Him glory - 1Pe 1:21
    3. YES, BY EXALTING HIM TO THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD...!
      1. God seated Him at His right hand, far above all things - Ep 1:20-22; 1Pe 3:22
      2. Jesus now reigns with authority over the nations - Re 2:26-27; 3:21
    4. YES, THOUGH MORE GLORY IS TO COME...
      1. When Jesus returns, He will be glorified in His saints - 2 Th 1:10
      2. He will sit on His throne of glory, as He judges the world - Mt 25:31-32
CONCLUSION
  1. The words of Paul confirm that God has glorified His Son - cf. Php 2:9-11
    1. Having highly exalted Him, giving Him the name which is above every name
    2. At which every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that He is Lord
  2. But we do well to also remember...
    1. Jesus not only prayed "Father...Glorify Your Son" - Jn 17:1,5
    2. Jesus also prayed that we might behold His glory! - Jn 17:24
    3. Jesus desires that we share in His glory! - cf. Re 2:26-27; 3:21
  3. From these two passages in the book of Revelation...
    1. We know that God has answered Jesus' prayer to be glorified
    2. We know that God will answer Jesus' prayer that we may behold His glory!

Do you want to participate in that glory? Confess and obey Jesus as Lord (cf. Ac 2:36-38), and then "hold fast" till He comes (cf. Re 2:25)...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2021
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The Decline of Shame in America by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

https://thepreachersword.com/2017/06/22/the-decline-of-shame-in-america/#more-10862

The Decline of Shame in America

“I only need one,” boasted Bill Cosby, as he waited in a small third-floor conference room that he called “my dressing room.”

It is reported that through his recent trial for drugging and raping Andrea Constand, a former Temple University Basketball Manager, that Cosby was confident in a mistrial.

It turns out that Cosby was correct. The rape trial ended in a hung jury last week.

In a rambling monologue to a New York Post reporter who managed to get inside Cosby’s “dressing room,” the 79-year-old Cosby talked about race, meeting Nelson Mandela, his wife, grandchildren, and performing again.

I can’t wait to get back out there because I have a lot to say. There’s still so much to be said,” he’d say.

“It’s in the bones,” he’d continue. “In the blood.”

Post reporter, Stacy Brown wrote, “As deliberations continued to drag, he’d muse again on what turned out to be a great hunch.”

“Only need one,” he’d say. “And if it’s just one, I hope that one holds on.”

Interestingly, Cosby never talked about the allegations against him by dozens of women. Or demonstrated any regret, remorse, or contrition for his actions. Instead, he insisted sexual relations with these women were consensual.

For those my age and older, do you remember when adultery was actually a crime in this country? And, of course, homosexual behavior was also illegal. Those days are a dim memory as our country is on the fast track in the race toward Sodom and Gomorrah.

Cosby’s casual tone reminds me of the apostle Paul’s description of the insolent, immoral antinomians of his day, “whose glory is in their shame” (Phil.3:19).

Shame seems to be dead in America today.

Think former Governor John Rowland of Connecticut. Ex-California Gray Davis. Former President Bill Clinton. And more recently Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. Add to this the scores of politicians who haven’t been convicted or caught. Talking heads who regularly lie and deceive the public they’re supposed to inform. And entertainers whose acts are filled with profanity, vulgarity, lasciviousness.

The prophet Jeremiah spoke of those in ancient Judah who committed abomination and were not ashamed and couldn’t even blush (Jer. 8:12). The Bible recounts the sins of the Gentile world in Romans 1 whose debased minds were given to vile passions. There was no shame as they perverted the glory of God. Rather they gloried in their debauchery.

First century Christians were not exempt from the immoral influence of their age, as evidenced by Paul’s stinging rebuke to the Corinthian church. “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn.”

So, our era of sin without shame is no exception. It’s a sad lot of the human condition. Its sorry state just seems, at least to some of us, to have worsened in our lifetime.

But our challenge is not “to curse the darkness,” but to light a candle” in a world that’s a moral mess. We can live “soberly, righteousness and godly in this present age” (Titus 2:12).

Furthermore, let us not become too enamored with our favorite entertainer, politician, or celebrity that we either justify sinful behavior or worse yet find ourselves taking pleasure in their ungodly indulgences.

While shame may be on the decline in our culture, may we, as God’s holy people, never lose our sense of shame at those things that break the heart of God.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

GOD'S HISTORICAL ACCOUNT by steve finnell

 

http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2016/09/gods-historical-account-by-steve.html

GOD'S HISTORICAL ACCOUNT by steve finnell


There is only one trustworthy account of the history of God and that is the sixty six books of the Bible.

All the extra-Biblical historical accounts do not confirm the accuracy of the Bible. The Bible confirms that the extra-Biblical account are true only if they in fact parrot the Bible.

2 Timothy 15-17 and from childhood you have know the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NKJV)

Where are the extra-Biblical historical writings that are inspired by God. Does anyone believe that historical writings outside of the Bible are totally trustworthy? 

Are all church catechisms, creed books, statements of faith, and other extra-Biblical writings given by inspiration of God? Are they equal to God's accounts of Himself found in the Bible?

Why would denominations need creed books written by men as a guide or the final authority for faith and practice? Unless they are they exact copies of the Bible they are adding to or taking away from God's personal account of the history of Himself.

Creed books are written in order to promote man-made doctrine.

God has His account of His history written in the Bible. God does not need extra-Biblical writings to validate the Bible.

You can put your trust in God's Bible or you can trust books written by men.

Adam and Eve were the first to put their trust in someone other than God. They trusted Satan. 


Calvinism Chapter 12 NAMES AND TITLES, commentary by C.A. Feenstra

 

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Feenstra/C/A/1931/ch12.html

Chapter 12

NAMES AND TITLES

Q. Does GOD'S WORD teach that we are to do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus and that we are to glorify God in His name?

"And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Col. 3:17

"But if a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name." I Pet. 4:16

"And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved." Acts 4:12

"And he (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he (Jesus) might have the preeminence." Col 1:18

Q. If GOD'S WORD teaches that we are to do all things in the name of the Lord Jesus and that we are to glorify God in His name, why do men call themselves, their children, and all things by the name of a mere sinner whose body has returned to dust?

Q. Why do they use "Calvinist"?
"Young Calvinist"?
"Young Calvinist Federation"?
"Young Calvinist magazine"?
"Calvinist Conventions"?
"Young Calvinist Rallies"?
"Calvin Cadettes"?
"Calvinettes"?
"Calvin church"?
"Calvin college"?
"Calvin seminary"?
"Calvin grade schools"?
"Calvin high schools"?

Q. What does GOD'S WORD teach concerning the use of religious titles by those who claim to be God's children?

"Then spake Jesus... saying...
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your teacher, and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father on the earth: for one is your Father, even he who is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, even the Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled; and whosoever shall humble himself shall be exalted." Matt. 23:1-2, 8-12

Q. As used in GOD'S WORD, to whom only does the term "Reverend" refer?

"Holy and reverend is his (God's) name. The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom..." Psalm 111:9-10

Q. Is the use of the religious title "Reverend", any less presumptious and less God dishonoring that the titles of "Pope" and "Father"?

Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

Bible Reading for August 30, 31 by Gary Rose

 

Bible Reading for August 30, 31

World  English  Bible

 

Aug. 30

Psalm 20-22

Psa 20:1 May Yahweh answer you in the day of trouble. May the name of the God of Jacob set you up on high,

Psa 20:2 send you help from the sanctuary, grant you support from Zion,

Psa 20:3 remember all your offerings, and accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah.

Psa 20:4 May He grant you your heart's desire, and fulfill all your counsel.

Psa 20:5 We will triumph in your salvation. In the name of our God, we will set up our banners. May Yahweh grant all your requests.

Psa 20:6 Now I know that Yahweh saves his anointed. He will answer him from his holy heaven, with the saving strength of his right hand.

Psa 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust the name of Yahweh our God.

Psa 20:8 They are bowed down and fallen, but we rise up, and stand upright.

Psa 20:9 Save, Yahweh! Let the King answer us when we call!


Psa 21:1 The king rejoices in your strength, Yahweh! How greatly he rejoices in your salvation!

Psa 21:2 You have given him his heart's desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah.

Psa 21:3 For you meet him with the blessings of goodness. You set a crown of fine gold on his head.

Psa 21:4 He asked life of you, you gave it to him, even length of days forever and ever.

Psa 21:5 His glory is great in your salvation. You lay honor and majesty on him.

Psa 21:6 For you make him most blessed forever. You make him glad with joy in your presence.

Psa 21:7 For the king trusts in Yahweh. Through the loving kindness of the Most High, he shall not be moved.

Psa 21:8 Your hand will find out all of your enemies. Your right hand will find out those who hate you.

Psa 21:9 You will make them as a fiery furnace in the time of your anger. Yahweh will swallow them up in his wrath. The fire shall devour them.

Psa 21:10 You will destroy their descendants from the earth, their posterity from among the children of men.

Psa 21:11 For they intended evil against you. They plotted evil against you which cannot succeed.

Psa 21:12 For you will make them turn their back, when you aim drawn bows at their face.

Psa 21:13 Be exalted, Yahweh, in your strength, so we will sing and praise your power.


Psa 22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?

Psa 22:2 My God, I cry in the daytime, but you don't answer; in the night season, and am not silent.

Psa 22:3 But you are holy, you who inhabit the praises of Israel.

Psa 22:4 Our fathers trusted in you. They trusted, and you delivered them.

Psa 22:5 They cried to you, and were delivered. They trusted in you, and were not disappointed.

Psa 22:6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people.

Psa 22:7 All those who see me mock me. They insult me with their lips. They shake their heads, saying,

Psa 22:8 "He trusts in Yahweh; let him deliver him. Let him rescue him, since he delights in him."

Psa 22:9 But you brought me out of the womb. You made me trust at my mother's breasts.

Psa 22:10 I was thrown on you from my mother's womb. You are my God since my mother bore me.

Psa 22:11 Don't be far from me, for trouble is near. For there is none to help.

Psa 22:12 Many bulls have surrounded me. Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.

Psa 22:13 They open their mouths wide against me, lions tearing prey and roaring.

Psa 22:14 I am poured out like water. All my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax; it is melted within me.

Psa 22:15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You have brought me into the dust of death.

Psa 22:16 For dogs have surrounded me. A company of evildoers have enclosed me. They have pierced my hands and feet.

Psa 22:17 I can count all of my bones. They look and stare at me.

Psa 22:18 They divide my garments among them. They cast lots for my clothing.

Psa 22:19 But don't be far off, Yahweh. You are my help: hurry to help me.

Psa 22:20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog.

Psa 22:21 Save me from the lion's mouth! Yes, from the horns of the wild oxen, you have answered me.

Psa 22:22 I will declare your name to my brothers. In the midst of the assembly, I will praise you.

Psa 22:23 You who fear Yahweh, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify him! Stand in awe of him, all you descendants of Israel!

Psa 22:24 For he has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, Neither has he hidden his face from him; but when he cried to him, he heard.

Psa 22:25 Of you comes my praise in the great assembly. I will pay my vows before those who fear him.

Psa 22:26 The humble shall eat and be satisfied. They shall praise Yahweh who seek after him. Let your hearts live forever.

Psa 22:27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to Yahweh. All the relatives of the nations shall worship before you.

Psa 22:28 For the kingdom is Yahweh's. He is the ruler over the nations.

Psa 22:29 All the rich ones of the earth shall eat and worship. All those who go down to the dust shall bow before him, even he who can't keep his soul alive.

Psa 22:30 Posterity shall serve him. Future generations shall be told about the Lord.

Psa 22:31 They shall come and shall declare his righteousness to a people that shall be born, for he has done it. 

 

Aug. 31

Psalm 23-25

Psa 23:1 Yahweh is my shepherd: I shall lack nothing.

Psa 23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

Psa 23:3 He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Psa 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psa 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over.

Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and loving kindness shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in Yahweh's house forever.


Psa 24:1 The earth is Yahweh's, with its fullness; the world, and those who dwell therein.

Psa 24:2 For he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the floods.

Psa 24:3 Who may ascend to Yahweh's hill? Who may stand in his holy place?

Psa 24:4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood, and has not sworn deceitfully.

Psa 24:5 He shall receive a blessing from Yahweh, righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Psa 24:6 This is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek your face--even Jacob. Selah.

Psa 24:7 Lift up your heads, you gates! Be lifted up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory will come in.

Psa 24:8 Who is the King of glory? Yahweh strong and mighty, Yahweh mighty in battle.

Psa 24:9 Lift up your heads, you gates; yes, lift them up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory will come in.

Psa 24:10 Who is this King of glory? Yahweh of Armies is the King of glory! Selah.


Psa 25:1 To you, Yahweh, do I lift up my soul.

Psa 25:2 My God, I have trusted in you. Don't let me be shamed. Don't let my enemies triumph over me.

Psa 25:3 Yes, no one who waits for you shall be shamed. They shall be shamed who deal treacherously without cause.

Psa 25:4 Show me your ways, Yahweh. Teach me your paths.

Psa 25:5 Guide me in your truth, and teach me, For you are the God of my salvation, I wait for you all day long.

Psa 25:6 Yahweh, remember your tender mercies and your loving kindness, for they are from old times.

Psa 25:7 Don't remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions. Remember me according to your loving kindness, for your goodness' sake, Yahweh.

Psa 25:8 Good and upright is Yahweh, therefore he will instruct sinners in the way.

Psa 25:9 He will guide the humble in justice. He will teach the humble his way.

Psa 25:10 All the paths of Yahweh are loving kindness and truth to such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Psa 25:11 For your name's sake, Yahweh, pardon my iniquity, for it is great.

Psa 25:12 What man is he who fears Yahweh? He shall instruct him in the way that he shall choose.

Psa 25:13 His soul shall dwell at ease. His seed shall inherit the land.

Psa 25:14 The friendship of Yahweh is with those who fear him. He will show them his covenant.

Psa 25:15 My eyes are ever on Yahweh, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

Psa 25:16 Turn to me, and have mercy on me, for I am desolate and afflicted.

Psa 25:17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged. Oh bring me out of my distresses.

Psa 25:18 Consider my affliction and my travail. Forgive all my sins.

Psa 25:19 Consider my enemies, for they are many. They hate me with cruel hatred.

Psa 25:20 Oh keep my soul, and deliver me. Let me not be disappointed, for I take refuge in you.

Psa 25:21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.

Psa 25:22 Redeem Israel, God, out all of his troubles. 

 

Aug. 30

Romans 11

Rom 11:1 I ask then, did God reject his people? May it never be! For I also am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

Rom 11:2 God didn't reject his people, which he foreknew. Or don't you know what the Scripture says about Elijah? How he pleads with God against Israel:

Rom 11:3 "Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have broken down your altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life."

Rom 11:4 But how does God answer him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal."

Rom 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

Rom 11:7 What then? That which Israel seeks for, that he didn't obtain, but the chosen ones obtained it, and the rest were hardened.

Rom 11:8 According as it is written, "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, to this very day."

Rom 11:9 David says, "Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, a stumbling block, and a retribution to them.

Rom 11:10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see. Bow down their back always."

Rom 11:11 I ask then, did they stumble that they might fall? May it never be! But by their fall salvation has come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy.

Rom 11:12 Now if their fall is the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?

Rom 11:13 For I speak to you who are Gentiles. Since then as I am an apostle to Gentiles, I glorify my ministry;

Rom 11:14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh, and may save some of them.

Rom 11:15 For if the rejection of them is the reconciling of the world, what would their acceptance be, but life from the dead?

Rom 11:16 If the first fruit is holy, so is the lump. If the root is holy, so are the branches.

Rom 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them, and became partaker with them of the root and of the richness of the olive tree;

Rom 11:18 don't boast over the branches. But if you boast, it is not you who support the root, but the root supports you.

Rom 11:19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in."

Rom 11:20 True; by their unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by your faith. Don't be conceited, but fear;

Rom 11:21 for if God didn't spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.

Rom 11:22 See then the goodness and severity of God. Toward those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness; otherwise you also will be cut off.

Rom 11:23 They also, if they don't continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

Rom 11:24 For if you were cut out of that which is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more will these, which are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

Rom 11:25 For I don't desire you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, so that you won't be wise in your own conceits, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in,

Rom 11:26 and so all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written, "There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

Rom 11:27 This is my covenant to them, when I will take away their sins."

Rom 11:28 Concerning the Good News, they are enemies for your sake. But concerning the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sake.

Rom 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Rom 11:30 For as you in time past were disobedient to God, but now have obtained mercy by their disobedience,

Rom 11:31 even so these also have now been disobedient, that by the mercy shown to you they may also obtain mercy.

Rom 11:32 For God has shut up all to disobedience, that he might have mercy on all.

Rom 11:33 Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!

Rom 11:34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"

Rom 11:35 "Or who has first given to him, and it will be repaid to him again?"

Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. To him be the glory for ever! Amen. 

 

Aug. 31

Romans 12

Rom 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.

Rom 12:2 Don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think reasonably, as God has apportioned to each person a measure of faith.

Rom 12:4 For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members don't have the same function,

Rom 12:5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Rom 12:6 Having gifts differing according to the grace that was given to us, if prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of our faith;

Rom 12:7 or service, let us give ourselves to service; or he who teaches, to his teaching;

Rom 12:8 or he who exhorts, to his exhorting: he who gives, let him do it with liberality; he who rules, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Rom 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil. Cling to that which is good.

Rom 12:10 In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate one to another; in honor preferring one another;

Rom 12:11 not lagging in diligence; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

Rom 12:12 rejoicing in hope; enduring in troubles; continuing steadfastly in prayer;

Rom 12:13 contributing to the needs of the saints; given to hospitality.

Rom 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless, and don't curse.

Rom 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice. Weep with those who weep.

Rom 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Don't set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Don't be wise in your own conceits.

Rom 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil. Respect what is honorable in the sight of all men.

Rom 12:18 If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men.

Rom 12:19 Don't seek revenge yourselves, beloved, but give place to God's wrath. For it is written, "Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord."

Rom 12:20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in doing so, you will heap coals of fire on his head."

Rom 12:21 Don't be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.