I'M A CHRISTIAN...NOW WHAT?
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“I hate God” Chapter 4
We hear this so much in our Ministry. We hear it because the people who say it do not know God. What is the cure for lack of knowledge? Of course the cure for lack of knowledge is accurate knowledge…it means everlasting life (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1st. Thes. 2:13).
We hear “I hate God” because these folks have been injured…stumbled…by bad religious teaching (Mat. 7:21-23, 2 Peter 3:9, Mat. 7:16-17). They have been taught that God is a bloody, punishing God without realizing (or being taught) that the Old Covenant has been done away with and we are living under the New Covenant…the time of God’s Grace, Redemption and Salvation through Christ. This is the entire purpose of Christ’s first appearance here on earth and the entire purpose we are preparing for His return.
From Genesis on…the purpose for this exercise is repeated throughout the Scriptures…the message is simple and elegant and repeated dozens of different ways…by many inspired writers. Like a fine meal the ingredients are the same but the presentation varies. The analogy is that pasta is still pasta…it is the same basic ingredients…formed into different shapes, textures and sizes. The same noodles form an infinite variety of delicious meals…but pasta is still pasta…God’s word, God’s Will, God’s message for us today is the same as it was from the beginning and into eternity…He is the only One qualified to rule mankind.
We hear so much about Salvation…but why Salvation? Why is Salvation necessary?
After all, if God is the Creator He can do anything. If He truly is the God of love why does He allow so much evil in the world? Why is there so much suffering?
He created all of this and pronounced it good…How can that be? Many people argue that it is not good…they point, as evidence, that we humans perpetuate so much evil upon one another.
These are all legitimate questions….they are questions from people hungry for the truth…”keep asking and it will be given to you” (Mat.7:7). We are encouraged to ask questions, seek answers in the Scriptures (Acts 17:11) and to do so with the humility of little children (Mat.18:2-4). “Keep on seeking and it will be given to you” (Prov. 2:1-5).
We hear these questions often in our Ministry. Sometimes they are spoken in bitter, angry tones by men, and women, who have been Spiritually broken since childhood. A common denominator of people (souls) in jails, prisons, homeless shelters and Rescue Missions…as well as people on the other end of the spectrum of humanity…those with ‘privileged’ lives… is that they were born into brutal Spiritual circumstances.
It is easy to understand why these souls who were broken from childhood would ask such questions…and even those born into a good life wonder the same questions. The answer, of course, is that satan is currently the god of this world. But why is he currently the god of this world? How can the One True God allow this? And more importantly why does He allow this?
“Where was your loving God when my old man would come home and beat both me and my mom?!!” “Where was your God when I was sitting in my Uncle’s lap and then he blew his brains out…I can still smell the gun powder and that was 50 years ago!!!”
“What about rape and war? Crooked politicians, corrupt religious leaders?”
The stories and questions are as endless and varied as the people (souls) who inquire
God sent me to my first homeless shelter, to the Great Falls Rescue Mission, in Great Falls Montana, to do 2 things: #1. Truly learn how to love all mankind. (John 13:35, Colossians 3:14, 1st John 3:10-12, 4:20-21, Heb. 10:24-25). #2. Write about it…and His Will regarding what I see and what He tells me. He is the Author…I am just one of His many writers. I witness Him at Work and report on it. “When under trial, let no one say; ‘I am being tried by God’. For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does He Himself try anyone.” (James 1:13). God is not a perpetrator…satan is.
In my own prideful, human way, I had already learned to love and trust God without question… or so I thought…I was sent to my first Mission kicking and screaming…I had other plans…God had His plans…He won…He allowed satan to interfere with my plans so God could use me for His plans and He was right…no surprise there.
I soon learned that for my own walk with God to be more complete I would have to see humanity with His eyes, hear with His ears and feel with His heart. I was compelled to see the worst of the worst of humanity. I was forced to see satan’s influence (as the temporary god of this system of things currently on earth) in order to be able to love everyone…even rapists and murderers…I already knew how to hate the sin…it was time for me to learn to love the sinner…as Christ did…at least as much as an imperfect human can.
We are admonished to do this even when our human eyes see things and our human ears hear things that we personally find despicable.
No man is the Judge regarding the Salvation of any other man…that is God’s Job and His Job alone…God will define the final outcome of each soul…in each circumstance…according to His Will…in His time…and ONLY when He is ready. For any human individual or human institution to place itself between another soul and God is idolatry…plain and simple (1st Timothy 2:5). Christ is the only mediator between God and man and for any human to usurp that role is the exact prideful mistake satan made when he led the rebellion in heaven and later in the Garden of Eden.
To die in Christ and to be reborn means just that…to let our own will die and replace it with God’s Will (1st.Thess. 4:14). Every time…in every case…as much as humanly possible…without reservation or question (or looking for loop holes) in regards to God’s plan…His wisdom…His Will…His Authority and in His time…This is the very essence of what being obedient to God means and it was the very issue in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:1) and will continue until Revelation 21:4 occurs.
None of this is to my glory or any human’s glory that He is willing to reveal these things to anyone and everyone who is willing to learn and then live in His Will...in other words…be OBEDIENT to Him...after all…He is a fair and just and benevolent God. Loving Him is easy once we get to know Him. It is the obedience part humans have failed miserably at.
His job is waaaaaaay above my pay grade, waaaaaaay above your pay grade and waaaaaaay above any other human’s pay grade.
In order to be obedient to God we must first understand His Will…what He expects, indeed DEMANDS, from us. In other words…respect God’s authority and do not try to usurp it…Father God is Father God…He is the only One qualified for His position. .
We were created in God’s Image…and even we puny little humans…in our imperfect state…can be Christ-like…just ask the original disciples.
If we can see God’s work in the so called scourge of the earth…in those we find despicable…then we can forgive anyone and everyone…even our enemies. After all, Christ did. How can we expect God to forgive us if we fail to forgive others?
I am often asked if God is so loving then why doesn’t He just get rid of satan now? Why does He allow so much suffering? How can God just stand by and allow babies (or anyone for that matter) to die.
“Wars occur Mark”!!! “There is starvation and disease”!!!
“Why not let those things spoken of in Revelation 21:4 happen NOW”?!!
The answer is simple…but one must understand both the reasons for free will and faith…and how they are tied in to God’s Will…obedience to His Authority.
Faith can only come through seeing God at work…by witnessing what many believe to be supernatural occurrences. To us, His miracles are supernatural…to Him it is all in a day’s work. Many miracles are profound and obvious…others are, as Joyce Meyers would say, ‘every day miracles’…but miracles none-the-less.
Personal faith can come only by walking through the trials in life and witnessing and recognizing, first hand, God at work…His handiwork…His miracles. The best way to do this is at your local Full Gospel Christian Church. Get to know the folks there, see them on a regular basis…hear their Praise Reports…watch God at Work…His Work.
Christ chastised the original disciples when they asked Him to give them more faith. He chastised them because if God gave us faith it would negate free will…and without free will we would just be a bunch of robots…this would not be fulfilling to God or fulfilling to us.
Again the detractors yell: “But why do we need faith?!” He is God!!” He could do it NOW if He wanted to….and if He truly is the God of love then what is taking Him so long?”
To begin to understand the answers, we have to begin to understand God…and even though we are significantly limited intellectually compared to Him we can understand the simplicity and elegance of His Word and His Will.
For example: How fulfilling is it for a human to have what we call ‘fair weather friends’? We’ve all been there. There are lots of people who are there for us when times are easy but let life (satan) throw you a storm and suddenly your so called friends disappear when the going gets tough.
Our true friends are there no matter what. They love us through thick and thin. They are faithful no matter what we have or don’t have…whether we are strong and happy or in the depths of depression and full of tears aching for release.
It is those true friends whom we cherish. Time has tested their loyalty and love. They are the ones who inspire trust because we are able to forecast their behavior. God wants true friends…true believers.
There are two key points to this analogy in relating this to God. One is time, the other is free will…choices.
God measures time in terms of eternity. We humans measure time in terms of decades and centuries and even smaller increments. To us, ten years or a hundred years is a very long time. To God…balanced against eternity…our time as humans isn’t even a nano second…and since He intended for humans from the time of Adam and Eve to live forever…“The righteous themselves will posses the earth, and they will reside forever upon it”… (Psalm 37:29, Rev. 21:3-4). God gauges our existence in terms of eternity.
Love and trust and devotion require time to be tested and true…God’s time.
God allows satan to be the god of this current system…this world…for a relatively short time (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11, 2nd Corinthians 4:3-4, 1st John 5:19)…God’s time. So far, it has been a few thousand years…to us it seems as if it has been forever…to God the time has been miniscule…and someday, when we humans are on His clock and with His perspective of time…when we live forever as souls with God…our scale of time will be more like His.
Returning to the other key component; free will...We all know how fulfilling a tried and true friend can be. They are people who love us unconditionally…the Bible calls this Agape love in the Greek language. Those faithful friends are always there…even when there is nothing in it for them…that is why in regards to salvation, God judges our hearts…not our works…or even our faith alone…but when both works and faith are combined it is a demonstration of where our hearts are…this requires our hearts, minds and souls to all be working in unison…this demonstrates faith…unquestioning obedience to God…bowing to Him and His Authority. In other words, being obedient to Him…walking in His Will.
For us to love and be loved, unconditionally, requires free will. We were not pre-programmed to have unconditional love for God or our neighbor…we are expected to have it out of choice…free will...if we are to please God. After all…That is what Christ did for us…and in order to obey God and recognize His Authority…we MUST reciprocate. This is only fair and just. Blessings follow love for Him and our neighbors.
How precious and valuable unconditional love through free will makes love and companionship!!! How greatly that grows the bond of trust!!!
God’s attributes are our attributes perfected.
We were created in His image. God is no different except He operates on a much grander scale…and, of course; He is both omnipotent and omnipresent…and perfect.
If He didn’t create us with free will we could never love Him with the love He and we cherish most…that unconditional love known as Agape love.
By definition, unconditional love (God’s Agape love) must be demonstrated over time…the more time the better for it to season. Otherwise there would be no history…no experience from which to draw.
Brothers in arms form stronger bonds with each battle. The strongest marriages are formed over decades of both good times and bad times. The strongest friendships and love and trust in any relationship weathers the test of time…the more time the better. The stronger the bond of experience the stronger and truer the bond of love.
Without both the components of free will and unconditional love there can be no fulfillment for either party in a relationship.
Without those two components, a relationship is merely a ‘hollow obligation’. Ask anyone who has been in a ‘loveless marriage’ or in a ‘one way’ relationship of any kind.
God created us with free will so our faith and the demonstration of our faith through works (our service to Him, our love for Him and obedience to Him) would be fulfilling to both ourselves and to God our Creator.
Keeping these two elements in mind we will learn to discover how, from the beginning, in Genesis, free will and love for God (obedience) played such an important role in what has been going on and is going on and, indeed, will go on into eternity. It has to do with God’s Authority and how, because the original sin was when satan tried to usurp God’s authority and be as great as God, this began the establishment of the very first legal precedence under The New Covenant…one that will balance mankind’s free will and God’s authority, in mankind’s individual minds and actions, forever.
In Mark 3:28 Jesus Himself makes a point regarding God’s first and only legal precedence under The New Covenant: “Assuredly I say to you, all sins will be forgiven sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter: (29) “but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”.
God has given us thousands of years and nearly countless generations to prove to ourselves that only God is qualified to rule mankind. When Christ returns to claim His Kingdom this precedence will be fulfilled…and that first law of the New Covenant will be in place. From then on if anyone tries to usurp God’s Authority they will be separated from God for all eternity. God will simply say something to the affect that “We went through that already with Adam and Eve and Lucifer (satan), my point was made. It has already been done”…that person will then immediately fall into eternal condemnation.
And so someone asks “Well Mark, what about the title to this Chapter “I hate God”? If someone blasphemes God doesn’t that condemn them eternally?” The answer is that we have a New Covenant with God…Salvation through Christ…this period of God’s Grace and until that time comes when He shuts the door, all humans have the opportunity of Eternal Salvation through Christ…but we will continue to have free will…and if anyone ever exercises it as Adam and Eve did, or Lucifer or Judas, after Christ comes to reclaim His Kingdom then God will simply impose His Sovereign Will…the precedence has been set and we were given thousands of years of history to prove that only God is equipped to rule…Theocracy not Democracy, Kings or any other form of human self-governance is what God had in mind from the beginning.
We learned in previous chapters of this book who the Holy Spirit is…God on earth Who came at the moment of Jesus’ death to protect us from the enemy…To performs miracles in our lives and so forth…but later in this work we will learn more about Him as The Holy Spirit prepares the way for Jesus’ return to claim His Kingdom. We will also learn about the anti-christ and how to spot him.
Faith is not a place to go
It’s a place to be
A peaceful feeling from within
God’s Will lets you see
In the very darkest times
When faith is all you have
Faith will carry you along
Turn tears into a laugh
Allow you to affect this world
Overwhelm it if you must
Turning them to dust
An inner strength you carry
A wisdom that you learn
Give time and faith the power
Adversities will turn
If your thoughts are noble
And righteous steps you take
God’s Power comes in purest form
When everything’s at stake
The faith you carry in troubled times
Shows who you are
True colors shine with troubles near
God’s Faith your guiding star
A pure heart cannot be destroyed
Honest men don’t cringe
Boldly give your very best
On that futures hinge
Life is not a mystery
Problems all are solved
If your faith is strong enough
Blessings always follow faith
God is your dearest friend
Truth always finds its mark
Beneficial in the end
I’m a man who’s seen it work
Tasted all of life
Known the very best of it
Anguished in its strife
The only times life conquered me
Were when my faith was weak
I chose to loose the awesome strength
Faith brings when faith I seek
The best of times were the ones
When faith its fruit did bear
Abandoned not in my heart
God’s miracles were there
COPYRIGHT 1989 MARK DIAZ
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED