Table of Contents
Let’s set the parameters of our discussion and the definition of our terms to make sure we are all talking about the same God, since there are many who would desire to be our gods and offer their services as gods.
We will be talking about the first God, the God who made the Heavens and Earth, the One True God, the eternal, pre-existent One Who is above all other gods.
We will also be talking about the devil and his forces of evil and the cunning spirits of wickedness that prowl the earth looking for whom them might crush and cut off. Though his intentions to destroy us are often concealed in false promises and organized to look like protection and benevolence, they all operate under the authority of the Master Magician also known as Satan, the devil, and Lucifer, the Fallen.
We will also include in our examination of God’s goodness, the “exit plan” option called salvation. This plan is granted, through the mercy of the One True God, to “whosoever will” accept His Son’s death in their place, for the payment of their sins, (a very good deal)!! It is His gift of grace, free and equally available to all. Now let us begin…
Who do you serve?
If the answer is “no one” or “myself”, then you are your own god. If you are your own god, why do you find fault with any other god, including the One True God, for not favoring you and your self-righteous cause when you have chosen to reject the grace of God and taken control of things for yourself? You have no grievance against anyone but yourself.
Do you have a plan to save yourself?
You may have chosen to use one of the standard post-life exit plans like reincarnation or “When you are dead, you are dead!” but, since neither of those plans give you much hope for the future and don’t leave you with much to look forward to, you might still be shopping around for a better deal.
Just make sure you haven’t overlooked what is right in front of you because of your preconceived ideas, assumptions, and old soul wounds, especially the bitter taste left from all the hypocrites who have tried to cram a gospel message they call Jesus Christ, down your throat.
Equating Jesus Christ with those who say they know Him but really do not may cause you to make a deadly mistake. Deadly mistakes are best corrected as quickly as possible. Repent means to “change your mind.” Changing your mind about something you are wrong about is okay, even if you have been believing it for a long time.
Let Him speak to you for Himself. It is okay to reject what is not true, but a tragedy to throw away the only thing that holds the key to your eternal happiness just because you are sick of being told what to do.
Being mad at those hypocrites who preach what they do not practice and manipulate the Good News of God to serve their own ends can be irritating to the point of throwing out the true gospel. Throwing out the Gospel of Grace because it is preached (sometimes) by hypocrites, is like starving while you boycott the grocery store because hypocrites go there too. Maybe you should just check around a little more before you give up on God or judge Him by those who claim to know Him and don’t!
In any case, you might want to seriously consider how your plan to save yourself is going to work since you have no real power to make things work after you are dead. You might want to consider the question about where you will be when your natural life here on a planet ends. Seeing as we do not own this planet or have an eternal lease option to continue to live here once our time here is up, this could be the most important question you will ever have to answer.
Do you have hope?
Hope is optional, but nice to have, especially if you want to live a purposeful life down here. But, if hope is not high on your priority list right now, just be sure you know what to do when your “luck” runs out.
Are you content to live only in the moment, content to agree with the new standard, random-chance, pat-answers for who you are and where you came from and where you are going?
So, if you are still happy believing in the possibility that you came here as a result of random chance or alien pollination, or some other unexplainable act of creative force other than the One True God, then you are good! Right? You can always decide the details later, whether you came from a monkey, or alien DNA, or some other as yet undiscovered generating force.
So, if you are okay with the possibility that you could be wrong and you are willing to live forever with the consequences of that decision, you are all set! Right? But if you are not quite content to “close the case on God” and His existence, His story, His love, and His goodness, and His invitation to adopt you into His family, because you are still not totally convinced you are right, go to part 2 of our discussion.
Is it fair to base the truth about anything, including the existence of God and or His goodness, on our own set of individual experiences seeing they are completely personal and different from everybody else’s?
That would leave us drawing conclusions about the One True God based on the generalized assumption formed out of our own experiences and disappointments, which may be different for all the rest of us. This could easily leave us with a vast number of different ideas not to mention skewed and wrong conclusions about; Who God is, who you are, where you came from, and why you are here. We cannot all be right and all have it our way at the same time.
So, with that possibility in place, let us go on to the next question.
If God is so good, then why do bad things still happen to good people? And how does it work to blame God for all the bad things that are happening if he does not exist.
Obviously, if you are struggling with the question of God’s goodness, you may already believe that God is conditional in His commitment to us and unreliable. In fact, you may have found Him to be irresponsible, if not, indeed, a failure for not fixing the many bad things that happen to you and your friends. However, no one would blame everything that happens to them on something or someone that does not exist.
So, the very fact that God is blamed for every bad thing at least proves He exists, though for some of you, His “goodness” might still be in question. Someone who gets blamed for everything must surely, at least exist, wouldn’t you agree? No doubt the bad things Hitler did could never be used to prove he had never existed!
So, now that we agree that even our judgment of God as bad or not good, or only sometimes good, has nothing to do with the fact that God exists, let’s go on to examine the next question. Is God good? Let it be established the if God is not good all the time, then He is not good at all, because if He is only good some of the time, His goodness is unreliable. If His goodness is contingent upon time and circumstances, then God is not good all the time.
Let’s do the definitions first…
What is your definition of “good things”?
Sometimes what appears to be a “bad thing” works out to be a “good thing,” like not being able to get a ticket on the Titanic on its maiden voyage.
What is your definition of “good people”?
Those who don’t hurt anyone else, or those who follow the ways of the One True God?
But what about good people getting beat up, lied about and treated unfairly? If they are good, why isn’t God helping them? He is! There is more going on here than meets the eye. Those who follow Jesus are being conformed unto His image, being made into His likeness.
The image stamped on the coin comes from the heat and the pressure on the molten liquid which causes it to take the form of the mold it is poured into. Those who follow Jesus are being molded into His image. The heat and pressure of the fiery trials are used to refine and purify them.
Following the One True God will set you up for trouble, testing and persecution. His followers are being allowed to enter into the fellowship of His sufferings in order that they can also walk in the power of His life. Through death to self and obedience to God, His followers are eligible for His promise. The promise of God is that He is faithful to complete the work He has begun in us, (Phil. 1:6) and that “all things work together for good to those who love the Lord.” (Ro. 8:28)
God binds Himself to His Word to keep His promises. If He is bound to His promises and does not keep them, He is a liar and no longer good. But for His righteousness’s sake, He is obligated to follow through on His Word for those who have answered the call to follow Him.
Everyone God foreknew, which is “everybody,” has been called to eternal life. Only those who accept the invitation, the call to the wedding, however, get to enjoy the celebration. Eventually these trials qualify Jesus’ followers to rule and reign with Him and receive an eternal reward of being forever in the presence of God’s peace and goodness without the interference of the Evil One.
Are you one who doesn’t like to take directions because you believe you can figure things out on your own?
Most people make a decision about God while under the influence of countless other things. Many of the unseen and unidentified forces that clammer for our attention are malicious, seductive, hidden and unknown. Many of us are not convinced that the things we see going on all around us are that dangerous, however.
We make the assumption that we are in a position to the tell the Potter how to shape the vessel. We believe we own the Pottery Shop, when, in fact, we are the vessel being shaped by the Potter’s hand. Jesus said when the blind lead the blind, they will both fall into the ditch. Sounds reasonable, to me.
If you are willing to live with your decisions up to this point, stop reading and give this note to someone who might need it. If you are not quite okay and totally comfortable with the way your life is going and where your path might end up, keep reading…
Okay, back to the question of:
Where will you live forever?
Do you have an eternal kingdom? “Don’t know”? Are you an eternal being? “Not sure”? Well, what if you are an eternal being without an eternal kingdom? Then it is logical that you will have to spend eternity in someone else’s kingdom. There are only two to choose from. One belongs to Satan and the other belongs to God. The eternal kingdoms that exist are Heaven or Hell.
So how do we know for sure that we will be with God forever if we think it is all about being perfect here? Is never sinning and being perfect the standards God holds us to? A lot of people have been misled into believing they have to be good to get to heaven. That is NOT possible and NOT true!
We get into heaven because God is Love and He is good. Because He is Good and cared about what had happened to us, He made the way for us to join Him. If you will simply accept the death of His Son as payment for your debt to sin and repent by confessing your sins of unbelief and trying to do things on your own, you will be saved. Repentance means to turn away from your sin and follow Jesus.
How hard is that? Only a deceived, proud, stubborn or pretty blind person would find fault with, or miss out on a deal like that.
To establish your life in the Goodness and faithfulness of God, He only asks that you believe in Him, that He is good and loves you. He does not lie or lay guilt trips on you. You can come just as you are, because He already knows all about you and loves you just the same. He is willing to wait for you, even suffer, until you choose to believe Him and come into the safety of His protection.
God suffers because He loves. Can you believe that His love for us makes God the greatest sufferer in the Universe? He sees what has happened and is happening to His precious creation. He sees how they are being stripped away from Him by the insidious and pervasive lies of the Evil One who has twisted the truth into making God look bad and uncaring, and himself look good and kind.
The final question: Why is it the hardest thing in the world to convince people of the best thing in the world?
Ask Jesus Christ to reveal Himself and His truth to you. Do not delay or be stubborn. Resist the temptation to put this off. If you believe in your heart and can say with your mouth, that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, and that He rose from the dead, and that He is coming again, you are already saved! Romans 10:9-10.
What is the point of lying to yourself? Are you really okay with betraying yourself to make your friends feel comfortable? And where will your buddies be when you have to give account to God for the reason you didn’t believe Him or accept the gift of eternal life? Can you think of anything that you could have now that is worth being separated from God forever? Fun, or fantasy worlds, cheap wine, or foolish friends?
But wait, your friends can have eternal life with Jesus Christ too! God is no respecter of person, and does not hold your history against you. The promise of salvation is made to “whosoever calls upon the Name of the Lord. (Ro.10:13) If you have ever called upon the Name of Jesus, now is the time to claim the blessings of salvation, hope, peace, and eternal life.
If you have not yet called upon His Name, now is the acceptable time, today is the day of salvation.
“For He says; In an acceptable time, I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation. (II Cor. 6:2)