A Troubled Land – Part 2

2 Chronicles 29:1-8

by Paul George

The problems in our nation, the world, and in the Church are an extension of the problems in the twentieth century. The problems in the twentieth century were an extension of the problems in the ninth and previous centuries. The problems were in previous centuries were the results of the attitude of the people toward God. The attitude today is, “It’s my life and I can do what I want.” This is a second reason why the problems we must deal with in both our nation and the Church exist. The fact of the matter is that our lives are not altogether ours to do, as we like. God has created us and we belong to Him. The universe, this world and the people in it all belong to God. He owns them all by right of creation. Furthermore, God has not set us loose in the universe to do as we please but to live according to the plans and purposes of God. We are to obey His laws and commandments in the grateful pursuit of the life He has given us. It is important we recognize and accept the biblical worldview. This world and the people in it belong to God. Many today believe that their life is theirs to do with it as they please and that they have a right to live in an autonomous way before God. This is the opposite of the biblical worldview, which recognizes an inherent responsibility of every person to honor and obey God.

God’s plans and purposes

The Bible teaches that God has created all things with a purpose, which fits into His overall plan. In Isaiah, it is written, “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; …Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it” (Isaiah 46:9-11)

In Genesis 1:27-28 it is written “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

From Isaiah we learn that God has planned things with purpose according to His good pleasure. The account of creation states man’s purpose, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth”. Furthermore, man is placed in the garden and is commanded by God not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Some important principals become known here. First, we are the object of God’s love and goodness. Second, we have been given a specific purpose by God and are responsible to fulfill that purpose. Third, God has given us His laws and commandments to govern our lives as we accomplish the plans and purposes, which God has ordained for us.

There are other verses in the Bible that tells us that the plans and purposes of God for man are for his good and blessing. While some might initially view the plans, purposes and commands of God as restrictive, the wise person will see that God alone can provide an abundant life of happiness and fulfillment. However, this can only be realized as each one yields in complete subjection to God’s plans and purpose, trusting Him, obeying Him and honoring Him in all things. On the other hand, we are warned in scripture of the danger of taking the gift of life and misusing it by pursuing our own plans and purposes refusing to acknowledge God’s rightful place in our life.

The laws and commandments of God

Many have a mental picture of God as one who takes pleasure in denying happiness to man through the imposition of His laws and commandments. The truth is God wants His people to enjoy an abundant life. When we observe all the beauty of creation the fact that God has provided it and sustains it for us to enjoy should reveal the goodness of God in this regard. However, the ability to enjoy this creation and every other thing that God wants to bless us with rests upon our obedience to God’s laws and commandments, which are given to preserve the gift of life.

While the world was created to be in subjection to God, the facts of the matter reveal the sad reality that man from the beginning did not maintain this relationship with God. The account of the creation of man also gives testimony to the account of the fall of man. Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s commandment and took from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The scriptures reveal that Eve was led to question and doubt the wisdom and goodness of God and to test the authority of God. Being told by the serpent that she would not die as God had warned and led to believe that God was withholding some good thing from her she succumbed to temptation and broke God’s commandment. Furthermore, she convinced Adam to do the same and he too broke God’s commandment (Genesis 3:1-6).

The lesson we need to learn from Adam and Eve’s disobedience is this; we must trust God and obey Him in all things. All God’s commandments are for man’s good and God will not withhold any good thing from His creation. Furthermore, the warnings that God gave to Adam and Eve concerning the consequences of disobedience were in the end found to be accurate. The death God had said would come did in fact occur and continues to this day. Many today still do not take seriously the warnings that God has given to this world in His word. Tragically, like Adam and Eve, those who continue to ignore His warnings will one day reap the inevitable consequences of their disobedience, as they will face the certain judgment that God has declared will come on those who reject the truth and disobey the gospel.

We must be thankful and content to be living in God’s will and keeping His commandments knowing that God will not deprive us of any good thing and that obedience to Him is for our good and that of our neighbor. Much if not most of the misery in the world today is a direct result of man living in disobedience to God. The pain and unhappiness we find in our lives at times is a result of our waywardness.

The key to finding the solution to the problems in our nation, the world, and in the Church is learning and doing God’s will.

A Troubled Land – Part 1

2 Chronicles 29:1-8

by Paul George

Our nation and the Church have some serious problems. Before we can fix the problems, we need to know why they exist, the source or sources of the problems, and why we are not solving the problems. We are not solving the problems in our nation because we are looking to the government, the educational system, and the judicial system for solutions to the problems. These are useful tools when used properly. However, they do not have the final answer. We are not solving the problems in the Church because we are tolerating them hoping they will go away. History has proven this will not happen.

Before we can fix the problems, we need to accept the fact the problems of the twenty-first century are not new. The source of the problems is not new. The solution is not new. The source of the problems is rebellion against God and the rejection of the truth concerning the source of the problems. A second source of the problem is a rejection of the biblical worldview.

Writing to the Roman Christians Paul said, “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18). The source of the problems in the societies prior to Paul writing this was the suppressing of the truth. The source of the problems when Paul wrote this letter was suppressing the truth. The suppressing of the truth is not an act of ignorance it is a deliberate attempt to destroy the foundation of truth. The same people who were suppressing the truth in the past are the same people who are suppressing the truth today and will suppress the truth in the future. The suppressor of truth is the ungodly and unrighteous men and women who live as if there is no God and no truth.

The suppressor of the truth uses the legislative system, judicial system, the media, the entertainment community, and religion. Through these mediums, millions are deceived and imprisoned in darkness.

Most Christians, and there are professing Christians seeking other sources, use the Bible to define what the truth is and what is morally right or wrong. In the secular community, the biblical definition of truth and morality is not acceptable because it is a contradiction of society’s definition. The biblical definition has been set aside as outdated, a definition that has served its purpose by the suppressers of truth. They claim only the narrow minded and those out of touch with reality would accept such a limited view of reality and the world. This is not some new attitude. The people who were first given the Law turned from the truth and rejected God’s Law.

The problems in our nation and in the Church involve a worldview that is not biblical. . The biblical worldview rests on the belief of a Creator God. The secular worldview rests on the knowledge and wisdom of man. This view sets man as the center of the universe. All events in the world revolve around him. He determines the destiny of humanity and the universe. He is a god unto himself. This view contradicts the biblical worldview and the worldview of paganism and the more recent worldview of the New Age Movement. From the dawn of history, man has believed there is a Supreme Being or force behind all that exists in both the supernatural world and the natural world. These supernatural beings and forces influence the events in the world and humanity’s destiny. The sacrifices of ancient people were to appease them.

It is often difficult for some people to separate the difference in the biblical worldview and the secular worldview. There seems to be a connection between the two. The biblical worldview rests on the existence of a Creator God, the word of this God, and includes spiritual beings that have an important role in the affairs of humanity. According to the Bible, God is a spiritual Being that has no beginning or ending. There are spiritual beings that have a beginning but no ending. There are good and evil spiritual beings. Man is both a physical and spiritual being through his creation in the image and likeness of his Creator.

Unlike the pagan religions of the world and the New Age Movement that search for something to base their beliefs on the supernatural and the creator of the physical world the Bible does not offer an explanation for the existence of God. The prophets and the apostles did not try to convince the world God exists. Jesus never tried to convince the world God exists. According to the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heavens and earth.” Since He created the heavens and earth He existed before the heavens and earth. He existed independently of all that He created. He does not depend on what He created. What He created depends on Him for their existence.

It is a good thing we remember what the palmist said, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” (Psalms 14:1) This does not mean it is wrong when we ask how we can know there is a God who has created the heavens, earth, and all that exists in the universe. There is nothing wrong when someone asks us how they can know there is a God who created the heavens, earth, and all that exists in the universe. If we are honest and have an open heart when we ask the question, we will accept the biblical evidence for the existence of God. If the person who asks us how can know the truth about is honestly and with an open heart seeking the truth he will accept the biblical evidence for the existence of God. God has no problem with us asking Him questions. He has a problem with our doubting Him.

Why should we have a biblical worldview? Biblical evidence for the existence of God is overwhelming. The apostle Paul stated the reason why in his letter to the Christians in Rome. He wrote the following, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20).

The rejection of the biblical evidence of the existence of God is the rejection of the truth. The rejection is a heart condition, the fallen human nature. It is the revolting of the human nature against the divine nature. It is man placing his will above the will of his Creator and following in the footsteps of the enemy of both God and man.

The second point in the biblical evidence of the existence of God is the preeminence of God. The Bible consistently pictures God as preeminent in every way. He is set apart from all other living beings. The preeminence of God is stated in Acts 17:25-25, “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things.”
In First Timothy 6:13-16), Paul told Timothy “I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He will bring about at the proper time– He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords; who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”

In Revelation 4:11 it is written “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

Paul recognized God’s preeminent position as the sovereign ruler of all created thing. Together with the following verses these scriptures reveal God’s preeminence as sovereign ruler. The Bible is consistent in describing God’s preeminence as the only true God.

Today, we are told God takes on many forms or can be known in and through many different paths. This idea is not in harmony with a biblical worldview. In fact it is in direct opposition to the biblical world-view. It is direct opposition to what Jesus prayed; “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:1-3)

The apostles also taught the preeminent nature of God when they referred to Him as “The Only God.” Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:17). Jude wrote the following, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen”
(Jude 1:24-25)

Finally, God Himself through the prophet Isaiah declares Himself the only true God calling all men to turn to Him for salvation: ) “Turn to Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance” (Isaiah 45:22-23). “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10).

The Bible is always consistent in its declarations of the moral perfection of God. In First John 1:5, it is written, “And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” Light and darkness are used in the Bible to contrast the difference between good and evil. Light is associated with righteousness, goodness, love, purity and truth along with behavior that is proper. On the other hand, darkness is associated with wickedness, lawlessness, hate, sexual immorality and other destructive and disgraceful behaviors. When considering the perfection of God He is light, and that there is no darkness in Him.

Moses and the psalmist summed up the absolute moral perfection of God when they wrote, “For I proclaim the name of the LORD; Ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He” (Deuteronomy 32:3-4). “For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You” (Psalms 5:4).

The reason why there are serious problems in the nation and the Church is a lack of a biblical worldview.