THE BALL IS ALWAYS IN GOD’S COURT!
“For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen!” [Rom 11:36]
THE WHOLE SHOW IS GOD’S!
You’ve got to put it in your pipe and smoke it whether you like it or not!
“For the kingdom is the LORD’S: and He is the Governor among the nations!” [Psalm 22:28] And the Government shall be upon HIS shoulder! [Isaiah 9:6]
“And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest Thou?” [Dan 4:35]
“Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: He maketh the devices of the people of none effect.” [Psalm 33:8-10]
“Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?” [Lam 3:37]
“If the power of an earthly king is law in his kingdom, how much more shall the word of God be in His! In the Scriptures He is represented to us as God ALMIGHTY, who sits upon the throne of universal dominion. He knows the end from the beginning and the means to be used in attaining that end. He is able to do for us exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or even think. [Eph 3:20]
The category of the impossible has no existence for Him “with whom all things are possible,” Matt. 19:26; Mark 10:27. This, however, does not mean that God has power to do that which is contrary to His nature, to work contradictions. It is impossible for God to lie, or to do anything which is morally wrong. He cannot make two and two equal five, nor can He make a wheel turn around and stand still at the same time. His omnipotence is as sure a guarantee that the course of the world will conform to His plan as is His holiness a guarantee that all His works will be right.
Not only in the New Testament but In the Old Testament as well we find this doctrine of God’s sovereignty consistently developed. Dr. Warfield says concerning the doctrine as it is found there: “The Almighty Maker of all that is is represented equally as the irresistible Ruler of all that He has made; Jehovah sits as King for ever (Ps. 29:1 0). ” He goes on to say that the writers rarely use such expressions as “it rains;” they instinctively speak of God sending rain, etc. The possibility of accident and chance are excluded and even “the lot was an accepted means of obtaining the decision of God (Joshua 7:16; 14:2; 18:6; 1 Sam. 10:19; Jonah 1:7).
All things without exception, indeed, are disposed by Him, and His will is the ultimate account of all that occurs. Heaven and earth and all that is in them are the instruments through which He works His ends. Nature, nations, and the fortunes of the individual alike present in all their changes the transcript of His purpose. The winds are His messengers, the flaming fire His servant: every natural occurrence is His act; prosperity is His gift, and if calamity falls upon man it is the Lord that has done it (Amos 3:5, 6; Lam. 3:33-38; Is. 47:7; Ecel, 7:14; Is. 54:16). It is He that leads the feet of men, wit they whither or not; He that raises up and casts down; opens and hardens the heart; and creates the very thoughts and intents of the soul.” (Biblical Doctrines, Benjamin Warfield)
SOME POINTS TO PONDER WHERE GOD IS SEEN PLAYING ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BOARD –
“And thou (Moses) shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let My son go, that he may serve Me!” [Ex 4:22,23]
“But I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go!” [Ex 4:21]
“And the LORD gave the people FAVOUR in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.” [Ex 12:36]
God can either give you favour before your fiercest enemy or He can raise up an adversary against you when there is none!
When the ways of a man please the Lord He maketh even his ENEMIES TO AT PEACE WITH HIM! [Prov 16:7] And when Solomon provoked the Lord with his sins and sorcery it is written – “And the LORD STIRRED UP AN ADVERSARY unto Solomon, Hadad the Edomite!” [1Kings 11:14]
In the book of Revelation the final chapter of mans history it is written that the very powers which once aided Babylon the Great Whore finally turned against her! And the Bible tells you WHY . . .
“And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
For GOD HATH PUT IN THEIR HEARTS TO FULFIL HIS WILL, AND TO AGREE, AND GIVE THEIR KINGDOM UNTO THE BEAST, until the words of God shall be fulfilled!” [Rev 17:16,17]
God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30) and yet no man can repent until God GRANTS HIM repentance! (see Acts 11:18)
The sons of Eli were evil and did wickedly before the Lord and their father pleaded with them to repent; yet they could not! And the inspired record tells you WHY . . .
“Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, BECAUSE the LORD would slay them!” [1Sam 2:25]
That’s right! God had from eternity marked them out as reprobates and so He did not grant them repentance! (2Tim 2:25) God has always been and still is the discriminating Sovereign who hath mercy on whom He will and hardens whom He will! [Rom 9:15:16]
God commands His own to “work out their salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12) and yet for all that they CANNOT do that unless HE “works in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure!” [Phil 2:13]
Augustine was right when he said – “Grant what Thou commandest and then command what Thou wilt.”
THIS is the God of the Scriptures! This is the God who hath been pleased to reveal himself to us! This is not the God of the average pulpit!
Few who claim to be Christians know THIS God! The God THEY believe in is a frustrated idol who keeps hoping and wishing and wringing his hands helplessly as MAN AND DEVIL RULE BY THEIR ‘FREE WILL’.
But not so MY God! Of my God it is written -”Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not EVIL AND GOOD”?[Lam 3:37,38]
My God “is in ONE MIND, and who can turn HIM? And what His soul desireth, even that He doeth. For He performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with Him. Therefore am I troubled at His presence: when I consider, I am afraid of Him”! [Job 23:13-15]
This God cannot be known by ‘walking an aisle’, ‘saying a little prayer’, signing a ‘decision card’ or getting baptized when you are old enough etc, but only by REVELATION!
“I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast HID THESE THINGS from the wise and prudent, and hast REVEALED THEM unto babes”. [Matt 11:25]
Again – “Unto YOU (His elect) it is GIVEN to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: [WHY?] That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them”. [Mark 4:11,12]
Now THIS is the God I came to know shortly after my salvation. THIS is the God of the Scriptures! To the unbelieving heart and even the nominal religious Christian THIS God described above is nothing short of a monster!
A.W.Pink once wrote to a brother he was ministering to – “PREACH ELECTION, AND YOU WILL KNOW WHO THE SHEEP AND THE GOATS ARE!” I would say a hearty “Amen!” to that, for I am convinced that the doctrine of divine predestination is not some high doctrine only to be understood by ‘older divines’ and ‘Fathers’ in the lord, but a truth that can be grasped EVEN BY A BABE IN THE LORD.
I have personally labored much to present the truth of divine Predestination in many a pulpit in our land as the Lord gave me the opportunity. But I was to them as one who spoke in a strange tongue. And the reason for this is that very few in Christendom today are REGENERATED CHRISTIANS who know the Lord or rather are ‘known of Him’. A great majority (99%) of those who warm the pews are ‘NATURAL MEN’ who worship A GOD OF THEIR OWN MAKING. Only a babe in Christ will desire the ‘sincere milk of the Word’. And believe me, what is preached in the existing ‘pulpits’ of our day is NOT EVEN ‘MILK’ let alone ‘MEAT’. It’s just plain hogwash!
THE CHRIST OF NOMINAL CHRISTENDOM IS NOT THE SOVEREIGN, ALL-POWERFUL, DISCRIMINATING GOD OF THE BIBLE!
In one of his letters to Erasmus, Luther said, “Your thoughts of God are too human.” Probably that renowned scholar resented such a rebuke, the more so, since it proceeded from a miner’s son. Nevertheless, it was thoroughly deserved. I, too, pose the same charge against the vast majority of the preachers of our day, and against those who, instead of searching the Scriptures for themselves, lazily accept the teachings of their Seminaries. The most dishonoring conceptions of the rule and reign of the Almighty are now held almost everywhere. To countless thousands, even professing Christians, THE GOD OF SCRIPTURE IS QUITE UNKNOWN.
Of old, God complained to an apostate Israel,
“THOU THOUGHTEST THAT I WAS ALTOGETHER SUCH AN ONE AS THYSELF” (Psalm 50:21).
Such must now be His indictment against apostate Christendom. MEN IMAGINE THE MOST HIGH IS MOVED BY SENTIMENT, RATHER THAN BY PRINCIPLE. They suppose His omnipotency is such an idle fiction that Satan can thwart His designs on every side. They think that if He has formed any plan or purpose at all, then it must be like theirs, CONSTANTLY SUBJECT TO CHANGE. They openly declare that whatever power He possesses must be restricted, lest He invade the citadel of man’s free will and reduce him to a machine. They lower the all-efficacious atonement, which redeems everyone for whom it was made, to a mere remedy, which sin-sick souls may use if they feel so disposed. They lessen the strength of the invincible work of the Holy Spirit to AN OFFER OF THE GOSPEL which sinners may ACCEPT or REJECT as they please.
All that to say, whether it is our salvation, our knowledge of God and His ways or our works for Him, in everything ALL the glory is due to Him and Him alone. This is one reason why I am convinced that I am one of His elect. For His Spirit has in His grace and mercy revealed to me WHO HE IS!
AND THE DOCTRINE WHICH HE HAS TAUGHT ME GIVES GOD ALL THE GLORY AND PUTS MAN WHERE HE BELONGS ….IN THE DUST!
This is how I know that I am one of His elect, and this is how I know that I know the God of the Bible! And this is how I recognize others who are elected with me. They have come to believe the GOD OF THE SCRIPTURES AS HE IS REVEALED IN THE SCRIPTURES!
An eternity will not suffice to glorify this great and terrible God! Hallelujah!