Upset at God’s Generosity

The Bible is very clear that God’s election, his choice, his predeterimination is based on his grace alone, not works or anything we do.  “In accordance with this decision he graciously softens the hearts, however hard, of his chosen ones and inclines them to believe, but by his just judgment he leaves in their wickedness and hardness of heart those who have not been chosen.” (Canons of Dordt, Art. 6) 

Are we angry because God saves whom he wants to save? Do we think him unjust? Or have we embraced the modern version of a “knock off” deity that is fair and universally inclusive?

“What shall we …say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” (Rom 9:14-18).

Christ asks, “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ ” (Mt 20:15). God does not owe and is not indebted to show anyone mercy, love and grace. They are his gift.

On the other hand, God is obligated to act in justice against sin. He is holy and he hates sin (Rom 1:18). People love darkness rather than light, they hate the light, neither come to the light because their actions would be exposed (John 3:18-21).

People act in accordance with what they love most, do they not? If they love sin, they are the slave to sin. They cannot serve two masters- they will love the one or hate the other.

 Therefore, the sad case of men and women is not that they are unable to come but also that they are unwilling to come. God can only remedy this by coming to them in his Sovereign Grace.

 

© 2011 Stephen S. Gibney Soul Health Care

 

All material may be reproduced and distributed for edification, just leave a note that it was our article, please.

 

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THE LORD IN CAPS!

The LORD in caps“The LORD is our Judge, the LORD is our Lawgiver, the LORD is our King; he will save us.” (Isaiah 33:22). 

You can’t help but notice as you read this verse in Isaiah’s prophecy, the three times God is referred to as LORD. In a following article I will discuss the Hebrew name for God, but for now, something struck me: the three times that the letters of the word LORD is capitalized.  It is no mistake or translator preference that the Holy Spirit made sure the  letters  LORD are emphasized to stand out from all the rest.  When we see the King of the universe in his beauty, he is the chiefest among ten thousand (Isa 33:17; Song 5:10) he stands out among the rest!

He is the only One worthy of worship!  “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.” (Isa. 2:11).  He is above all other lords and gods because they are not real! They are lower case and miniscule-small potatoes. But the LORD alone is the living God,  “For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.” (Ps 96:5).  He is the only true God and there is none else. He is King of kings and Lord of lords!  

I am sure I am not the first one to emphasize this.  I am only a humble voice. But I can join the choir of  men of God, “that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.” throughout the ages (Mal 3:16).  How we need to see our LORD  as he really is-the Sovereign matchless King of the Universe! Let me tell you who love scholarship something incredibly deep about the LORD. He is BIG!  HE is immense!  He is GIGANTIC!  The LORD is HUGE! He is the great LORD. “Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.” (Deut. 4:39).

He is not small nor miniscule. You cannot fit an image of him in your pocket, paint him on a stain glass window or wear him around your neck.  “Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth.” (Deut 5:8).

He does not fit in church buildings! Solomon builds his golden temple for God that today would bankrupt several nations and then moans, “But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!” (2 Chr 6:18). 

This does not mean God is limited to time and space. It does not mean volume or size per se.  What it does mean is that He is Omnipresent or everywhere present!  “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.” (Jer 23:24). This LORD is uncomfortably close.  “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” (Ps 139:7-8).He is unavoidable. He is everywhere at once! He cannot be contained localized or reduced! Every person alive must deal with him and they cannot run away from him.

We do not serve God in small case but in caps! We should be “case-sensitive” in our proclamation of the gospel for many of those preaching today have minimized God in order appease people. The Psalmist says, “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” (Ps 34:4). The word “magnify” shows that God should be praised, prized and valued! But I like the other meaning-intensify. We must make people see the great LORD God they cannot see. God is always great and even our praise cannot ever at any time match his greatness. But again, Peter tells us to “sanctify” the Lord God in our hearts (1 Pet 3:15).  God is already Holy.  There are angelic beings that cannot cease to spill this fact from their lips (Isaiah 6:3; Rev. 4:8).  But Peter  makes it clear we must see the LORD  and value the LORD  as the apex of holiness, the highest and the greatest. The LORD  is God all by himself, without worship, without acknowledgement by men “from everlasting to everlasting thou art God” (Ps 90:2).   The reality of God must be pressed upon people.

He is uncontrollable. I know in this age in which we live people prefer a domesticated Deity to the biblical untamed Deity. But He is the Sovereign Lord, ” Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” (Rom 9:18). God is not civilized enough for today’s culture and world. The religious marketers for years in all ages have attempted to repackage and sell their new and improved deities to no avail. Men have attempted to dumb truth down, they have attempted to create a more acceptable image of God.  God does not need better public relations men in the pulpit but prophets, those who preach his word in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Despite all this, God remains the same when the universe and its inhabitants are moth-eaten and are tossed aside like old clothing the Bible says of the LORD, “but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.”  (Ps. 102: 26-27). Here is a novel idea-preacher tell people who God really is!  We are under the impression that we should hold back on certain truths about God because people will not understand or that is “too deep for them” We love the old, “don’t scale the fish before ya catch ’em.” philosophy.  It is pathetic. Churchianity in America  has become intoxicated on the notion that it should make the less palatable or harder to digest truths about the LORD like the fine print or a disclaimer.  But God is the immutable and impassable  God who says, “For I am the LORD, I change not!” (Mal. 3:6).

Let me end with this Psalm, “Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious. Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah. Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.” (Ps. 66:1-5).