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Thoughts on Theology


Declaring the end from the beginning.

All the religions of the earth cannot do, nor do they claim, what the God of the Bible can do. Isaiah 46:9, 10 says; "Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is none like me. Declaring the end from the beginning . And from ancient times things that are not yet done. Saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.'

God's Creation and Providence.

Most of what is about to be mentioned has been drawn out of the "Holman Bible Handbook". I highly recommend this and the "Wilmington's Guide to the Bible" as two very resourceful books for the serious christian who desires the meat of God's word.
Now getting back to the subject at hand. The opening verse of the Bible clearly points to God as creator. The theme of God as creator of the heavens and earth is clearly taught in scripture from beginning and end and all in between. (Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 40:28; Mark 13:19; Revelation 10:6)
The Bible affirms that God is the direct creator of men and women (Genesis 1:26 & 27; Mark 10:6) , of his covenant people Israel (Isaiah 43:15), and in fact of all things (Col. 1:16 & 17; Rev. 4:11). With Scripture, we maintain that creation occurred by God's word (Genesis 1:3; Psalms 33:6 - 9, 148:5). The spoken word that brought creation into being is vitally related to the eternal WORD who was with God and who was GOD (John 1:1). According to John's gospel (John 1:3), ALL things were made through the word and without this word nothing was made that was made. The word was JESUS!
Creation is the work of the Trinitarian God (Genesis 1; Hebrews 11:3). God the father is the source of creation (1 Cor. 8:6), the Son is the agent of creation (Col. 1:16), and the Spirit of God was lovingly hovering over the work of creation (Genesis 1:2). Creation reveals God (Psalms 19:1) and brings glory to him (Isaiah 43:7). ALL of creation was originally good (Genesis 1:4 & 31), but is now imperfect because of the entrance and effects of sin on creation because of the fall of man (Genesis 3:16 - 19). This is, however, only a temporary imperfection (Romans 8:19 - 22), for it will be redeemed in the final work of God, the NEW CREATION (Isaiah 65; Rev. 21:1 - 5).
God's providence involves the continuing work of the Triune God into the affairs of man. And that ALL things in the universe are directed and controlled by God, thereby assuredly bringing about his wise plan (Romans 8:28). This is carried out, generally, by the establishment and outworking of natural laws and principles that are part of God's good and wise creation. It can, however, also include God's unique, purposeful, and special intervention into the natural process to accomplish his will, which we refer to as a miracle.
God's providence at times also transcends the affairs of men and women. In so doing, God can take actions intended as evil and use them for his good (Genesis 50:20). But one may raise one of the most difficult questions in christian theology: Why do evil and suffering continue in this world?
Some may theorize the non-existence of God or that he is not powerful enough to do anything about evil or is not loving enough to be concerned about suffering. In contrast to this, we want not only to confess that God exists, but that he is, indeed, infinitely powerful and absolutely loving. Yet, we do not want to deny evil and suffering either, for it is obviously present around us.
We are not in despair as the world is, having no hope, but that God has a plan and a purpose and puts ALL things into perspective (Eccl. 9:11). In light of this, we would say that evil still exists because Satan, a completely evil creature, still exists and continually opposes and attempts to thwart the plan of God. We can maintain that evil presently exists, but this is just a probationary period and that God, while temporarily permitting evil, will redeem all things in his final plan.
We also need to keep in mind that while suffering punishes the wicked it also is used as a tool to help christians know the sufferings of Christ (Phil. 3:10) and perfecting them (Hebrews 2:10). We can, with scriptural affirmation, be assured that God can and does use sin, evil, failure, and suffering for his eternal good. The ultimate example is the crucifixion of Christ, which pictures Christ in his suffering state because of the sinful, evil actions of humanity. Yet through the triumph of the ressurection, the greatest act of evil (the crucifixion of the God-Man Jesus Christ) became the greatest good, the provision of forgiveness of sin, and the salvation of mankind. All of this points to God's wise and wonderful plan for this world, part of which has been revealed to us but which is finally incomprehensible in its totality to God's creatures.

The author and finisher of our faith.

Jesus is the beginning and end of everything pertaining to life. He's there when you are born and he's there when you die. Always available and present even at a person's death bed, waiting ever so patiently for that person to turn towards him. Even when a person is dying, he can still reject Christ, or accept him. Luke 23:39 - 43 "Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed him, saying, 'If you are the Christ, save yourself and us.' But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, 'Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.' Then he said to Jesus, 'Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' And Jesus said to him, 'Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.'
But, this is not to suggest that one should wait till their death bed, for no one knows their appointed time. Death can come unexpectingly and suddenly, so please don't take the chance and wait till then. Call on Christ today. Now, for the believer who has placed their trust in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection, they have the blessed hope of "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)

God's Foreknowledge.

The biblical doctrine of election refers to God's free and sovereign choice of those whom he has appointed to fulfill his purposes. It has particular reference to his decision prior to creation as to whom He would save and how He would bring about their salvation.
Election is the concept representing the Hebrew verb bachar (select) or participle bachir (elect or chosen), referring to selection by extending preference from among alternatives. But, somewhere among God's elect is free-will. Just like in the garden of Eden, God knew the forthcoming disobedience because of his omniscience, but Adam and Eve still had the free-will choice to disobey after being tempted.
How can God choose or elect people without violating their will? Omniscience. God is LORD who knows our thoughts from afar. He is acquainted with all our ways, knowing our words even before they are on our tongues. (Psalms 139:1 - 6, 13 - 16) He needs to consult no one for knowledge or understanding. (Isaiah 40:13 & 14) He is the all knowing LORD who prophesies the events of the future, including the death of his son (Isaiah 53) and the return of Christ at the end of this age when death will be finally overcome. (Romans 8:18 - 39; 1 Corinthians 15:51 - 57)
Only the all-knowing and all-powerful GOD can guarantee real freedom from sin, decay and death. He can begin a process of change in believers during the present age; for "Where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty."