The Official Journal of the Ensign Trust, London

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THE ENSIGN MESSAGE

CHAPLAIN’S PAGE: What’s God Doing?

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The above title of this article is often heard these days, sometimes followed by ‘If there is a God, why doesn’t He do something?’ In this materialistic age it is so easy to lose sight of the basic facts oflife. We are surrounded by people rushing about as if there were no tomorrow. It is usually when  someone loses a loved one  that they stop and ponder on the deeper things. Even then, many fail to allow sufficient time to look in the right direction. Through the centuries some  have struggled to find some sense  and purpose for life. A few have found the answer; thereafter their lives have been  transformed.  The answer, once it has  been  acknowledged brings  about  a change so profound that mere words are inadequate to express their depth of gratitude. What is this key factor which revitalises the human soul? It is something which changes us from a lost being with no purpose,  to a child of God whose spiritual eyes  have  finally  been opened.  It is the understanding of just how much we mean to the Creator.

It is a love so profound  that we can never plumb its depths. How may we be so sure that we are so special in God’s eyes?  Only by a systematic  searching of the Scriptures.  Therein we find treasures which transcend all human  knowledge. These treasures are to be found in both testaments and are promises and assurances of God’s amazing  love for man. However hard this truth may be to accept, nevertheless we can prove our case. How, some  will ask, is it possible for God to love man who is potently evil, and has transgressed His laws from the beginning of history? Every century bears record of man’s depravity. The evolutionist would have us believe that we will eventually drag ourselves up by our bootlaces and become gods of the universe.  A lovely concept if it were true!  However, such is not the case, and history bears its own testimony. Man on his own is surely a lost soul with no hope and no future.  It·is only because of God’s amazing love manifested in His Son Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death and resurrection, which bears its own testimony of that love. Is there sufficient evidence in the Scriptures which bear record  of that love, apart from His death?   Indeed  there is, in fact the more we search the more we find; the evidence is overwhelming.

Before listing this evidence it is essential to understand that His love is directed in two ways. Firstly to individuals, and secondly,  to Israel.  Firstly to individuals because they were in the world before Israel was formed. It was because of the Father’s love for man  that He brought into being the nation as a means of drawing other nations back to Him. Because of gross wickedness of the people, they were separated and went their various ways at the time of Babel in approximately 2200 BC.

As the means of drawing  them  back,  His chosen instrument  was  Abraham.  From him was  born  that nation which  was  unique in the Creator’s plan of redemption.  So vital was Israel’s role that He made an everlasting covenant  with Abraham and his seed.  This covenant had  a special feature which  ensured  its continuity in the  centuries to follow.  In God’s foreknowledge  He knew that the nation would disobey His laws, therefore He made the covenant unconditional. God for His part would honour it, knowing full well that Israel would not keep their side of the contract. Had it not have been unconditional, both Israel and Judah would have ceased to exist generations ago. There surely, is an incredible example of God’s unconditional love!

Sadly, the church believes that it has replaced Israel and is therefore the recipient of the covenant promises. This is replacement theology, and has no substance in Scriptural truth.  The church  has not come  forward to claim the cursings of Deuteronomy Chapter 28!

There now follows a list (by no means complete) of Biblical references which confirm the Lord’s amazing love for the final part of His creation, mankind. As already mentioned, this love is both to mankind individually, and to Israel the nation. The first list is to every man, woman and child.  It is God’s desire that we all come to accept His Son’s Sacrificial death and resurrection (II Peter C3:9 and Acts C17:27.) Although itis God’s desire that we all come to Christ, we have freedom of choice.  The Lord in His foreknowledge knew even before the earth was made,  who  would  accept and who  would  reject  His offer.  It should  also be noted  that in Old Testament times, individuals of the Israel nation were granted eternal life by the keeping of the law (Luke C10: 25-28.) It is recommended that you look up all the texts listed below,

THE LORD’S INFINITE KNOWLEDGE AND LOVE FOR US ALL.

Psalm C34:17-18, Psalm C139:1-18, Matthew C6:31-33, John C1:12-13, John C17:23-26, Romans C8:31, 38-39,  II  Corinthians C 1:3-4,  II  Corinthians C5:18-19, Ephesians C1:11-13, Ephesians C3:20, Philippians C2:13, II Thessalonians C2:16-17, James  C1:17, I John C3: 1-2, I John C4:10 and 15-16 and Revelation C21 :3-4.

All the above texts clearly show  that all who are in Christ (or keepers of the law in Old Testament  times) become new creatures. The promises for the future are too wonderful,  we can hardly take them  in.  Apart for the assurance of eternal  life, there are other promises which must surely thrill us beyond measure,

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  (II Peter C1:4)

There is no way we can even begin to comprehend the significance of what that will mean  for those who have overcome the world.  We can only wait and see.

It was stated earlier that God’s love for man is shown in two ways, firstly to the individual as per the above texts, and secondly  to Israel.  There now follows a list (again by no means complete) which declares God’s amazing love for His special  nation, Israel. The reason He does  so, we  have no idea,  but that He does  is so beautifully expressed in Deuteronomy C7:7-8,

The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you,  because  ye were  more  in  number than  any people;  for ye were the  fewest  of all  people: But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep  the  oath which he  had  sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and  redeemed you  out  of  the  house  of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Isaiah  C40:9-11, Jeremiah C29:11, Jeremiah C31:1-6, Jeremiah C32:38-41 and Zephaniah C3:17.

How easy it is today, with the world  situation, (especially  in the Middle East) reaching crisis point, to point a finger at God and say, ‘why  don’t you do something  about it?’ The answer is, He has, and He is! The demolition of this present order of things is the result of man’s disregard  of the Creator’s laws through  the centuries.  It was inevitable that man’s  edifice would have to be destroyed  before the new era of perfection and peace could begin.

Finally, it could  be construed from this article that your chaplain is expounding  what has become known as the Love Gospel.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Whilst the subject  of this article has been  to highlight God’s wonderful love, it should not be taken to mean  that we  can  ignore  His many  other  attributes. Sadly, the exponents of the Love Gospel ignore His wrath and His anger. This being the case, their congregations have no concept of the fact that He is not an ever smiling benefactor pouring out His Blessings on all and sundry. He is a just God, and the warnings of Scripture, both to individuals and to Israel, clearly indicate that the breaking of His laws bring their own reward.

 

 

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