The sovereignty of God
(Esther 4:14 BBE) If at this time you say nothing, then help and salvation will come to the Jews from some other place, but you and your father's family will come to destruction: and who is to say that you have not come to the kingdom even for such a time as this?
The question today is are you living towards your destiny? Are you reaching towards your ultimate purpose or are you wondering around… kind of enjoying the view…. Once in a while wondering what’s it all about… but then not really spending too much effort on the thought… after all you have got responsibilities…..
The truth is you do have responsibilities…. Eternal ones!
This is perhaps one of the most basic yet most important pieces of the puzzle of life. God’s perfect will, will be done, and he desires that you be a part of His will, but he will not force you into it.
Now I want us to think about the difference between Gods sovereign will and our free will. Doesn’t that create a conflict. I mean here we are living our own lives, free to make mistakes, and we do make a lot of them. And then there is God who’s will, will be done, with us or without us.
And that is the key right there. “With you or without you.”
How much control do you really have over your life? The question of God’s unlimited dominion over our lives verses our own self will can cause some unmerited doubt and confusion. I hope to help you clear that up today and give you a big picture view of what is happening in the world. We have to look at this question on two fronts. The first view that we will be taking is our own personal lives. In this perspective we can see how God has complete authority over the entire universe while at the same time giving us complete free will to decide our own destiny.
The second picture that we look at will be the big picture of the world and the times we are living in, and how the free will decisions that God allows us to make have developed into the world order, or disorder, we see today. Along with that, we will see how God’s sovereign will, His complete control over the universe, ends up working out in the light of our free will decisions.
At first you can see how confusing this can become. In the personal perspective there has been the question of being the predestined “Elect” and the “who so ever will.” The technical terms for that discussion is Calvinism and Armenian. John Calvin taught that is only by God’s sovereign will does anyone come to Christ. In other words there is absolutely nothing that man could ever do to win his salvation. It is not up to you it is up to God. The Armenian theology says that it is you who must make the decision to accept the truth of Jesus Christ or not. Therefore your salvation is dependent upon your free will decision.
I AM HERE TO SAY THEY ARE BOTH WRONG AND THEY ARE BOTH RIGHT!
Jesus told us that we did not choose him but that He chose us. He also said that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that “Whosoever will” believe on Him shall not perish but have ever lasting life.
(John 15:16 KJV) Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
(John 3:16 KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
So, which is it? Does God give us a choice, or are we just puppets on a string? The answer may seem to simple for some, and in it, you have no excuse for not making your decision one way or the other.
God is eternal and all knowing. He is omnipresent and omnipotent. If He so desired he could have made us mindless robots doing exactly what he told us to do, how he told us to do it. But that is not what He desires from you. He wants you to be completely, uniquely you. There is no one else like you in the entire world, in all the history of the world. Not only did God desire to make you unique, He wanted you to love Him because you love him, not because he programmed you to love Him.
His greatest desire is that all the world, every single person in the world, come to the knowledge of His love for them, and return that love of their own free will. So what about the sovereignty of God? Yes, God knows who will and who will not except Him and serve Him. Yes, God knows the mistakes you will make tomorrow. God is the God of the future as well as the God of the past. You have to remember God is above our realm of understanding. It is hard for us to think about time any other way then the way we know it. But if time and space were not relative, and you could see eternity as a panoramic view, you could see the future as well as the past, without interfering with the free will decisions.
Ok….OK… my wife told me not to get too out there with this message. Man, how does she know the directions my mind goes?
So let me bring this down to earth for you. God knows your heart. The Bible tells us that God knows the thoughts you think and the desires you have.
(1Chronicles 28:9 KJV) And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
This verse sums up the personal sovereignty of God. God is all powerful and we can either choose to run after Him knowing that his perfect will is the perfect thing for our lives or we can choose to walk in utter darkness, outside His will….. Where there is nothing but darkness and gnashing of teeth.
I remember living in a travel trailer outside of Dallas Texas when the tornado sirens suddenly sounded in the middle of the night. The next thing I remember is everyone crowed together in the only building that had concrete walls which happened to be the shower house. The storm was pounding outside the walls and all we could do was to wait for it to pass. The next day we found out that the tornado had hit less than a mile from where we were and it took out the whole center of the town. If it had hit were we were our little travel trailer would have been picked up and carrier away somewhere over the rainbow.
The point I am trying to make here is that we did not have any control over the storm but we did have control over where we ran. God is a sovereign God and we can either run to Him knowing that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him or we can rebelliously run from him and reap the whirlwind.
Now that is the personal picture. Now let’s take a glimpse at the big picture. Before I get into this I do not want to suggest that I am an expert on eschatology, or the end times…. But welcome to them.
Many people are now talking about us not heading into World War III, but already being in it. Israel’s enemies are surrounding her and it seems the entire world is turning against her.
The only real message I have for you is directly form the LORD. “Fear Not!”
When the disciples asked Jesus of the “end times” listen to what He told them…
(Matthew 24:3 KJV) And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
(Matthew 24:4-6 KJV) And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
I tell you this. God is still on the throne and not a sparrow falls from the sky without God knowing about it. And God still has plans for your life.
People always ask: how could a loving God allow all this pain and suffering? The only way that God can give us our free will, and keep us alive, is to allow it. Remember, He almost gave up on us all a time or two in the past. Remember Noah’s Ark? But He will not allow it to go on forever. Because we read in the Bible how bad things will get that if God does not step in we will completely destroy ourselves:
(Matthew 24:22 KJV) And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
So what should we do?
1st we should check out hearts. Repent and turn to God. If there is any doubt as to your salvation then work it out with fear and trembling. Now is the time of your salvation. Now is the appointed time.
(Matthew 24:42 KJV) Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
(Philippians 2:12-14 KJV) Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
2nd we should be about God business and go tell it on the mountain. Let the world know of God’s love for them and His perfect plan of salvation.
I was listening to someone talk about boldly witnessing and I realized how much we all needed to get better equipped to have a bold witness. And that does not mean that we need to be loud. It means we have to be sincere. It does not mean we have to be condemning people and telling them that they are going to hell. It means we have to have a real witness and let people know what God has done for us. He has radically changed your life? He has delivered you from deaths door. He has restored your family. He has set you free. God has created all things new for you and in you. Be bold and let the world know what Jesus has done for you and let them know that he can do the same for them. Let them know that they are welcome here. Let them know that there is hope.
But first you need to see the light. You need to know that the hope is real. You need to not be looking at the coming war but see the coming victory. Yes times of great tribulations are coming but fear not, for the battle is already won, and you get to decide on who’s side you will fight.
There is so much more that needs to be said but for right now we all need to know that God has got it all under control. All you need to decide is to let Him fulfill His purpose through you so that your life will be complete.
Have you completely trusted Jesus? Have you ever looked at the big picture and realized your part in it. Are you walking in the truth? Seek the truth and you will find it!