West Monroe, Louisiana
| If God knows the future...|
I was thinking (which is dangerous)
If God knows the future, and I believe He does...
then how, for example could a preacher be annointed on Sunday...and Monday commit Sin.
I know this sounds rather harsh...and it is purely hypothetical, but if God knows that a Man is going to Sin on Monday for example...how can he have such an annointing on Sunday?
I realize that God is full of grace and mercy...but this just blows me away. The more I think about it the more I'm confused.
Again, the above is just an example.
| 2006/5/12 10:07||Profile|
| Re: If God knows the future...|
I have some thoughts on this.
First, let me refer you to a post by Compton (MC) in this thread. It's third, on the first page.
The way I see it is that God knows the hearts. That doesn't mean it's ok to sin, if one has power not to sin, but, my own experience of understanding what Jesus died for, for me personally, has been a growing revelation of my sinfulness, rather than a diminishing one.
So, the fact that a person may be seen sinning, is not in itself a worry or a problem, as long as they intend to stop, and can be seen moving in that direction. The most important thing is the person's inner relationship with God, in that they must be engaging with Him.
If a person is engaging with God, He will use them for His glory. They don't have to be outwardly perfect, as long as they are believing into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for their salvation, and genuinely seeking to please Him.
So yes, He knows some of the people who exercise gifts of the Spirit, and lead churches, are going to sin, but, He also knows what their heart-set is.
Having said that, the appearance of spiritual gifts can be deceptive. God's nature will never change, and the word which comes through the various speaking gifts (charismata = graces), must not be at variance with the spirit of scripture, in any detail.
However, it is surprising how God manages to speak through our very fallible attempts at sharing our knowledge of Him; because when the spirit of a person's offering is pure, their search for exactly the right words is much more a matter of faith that He can use what we choose, than an exact science.
And yes, I am suggesting that not all 'spiritual gifts' are from God.
| 2006/5/12 12:43|
Boy... this is one of those questions that will make your head explode if you dont first wrap your head with duct tape.
When it comes to thing like this, it is impossible for any of us to give a clear correct answer. Why? Because who can know the mind of God? None of us, to be sure.
I think it's perfectly acceptable to consider questions like this, but I would caution folks from spending a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to find an answer. One day we will know everything there is to know... but for now we just have to accept that God has not chosen to reveal everything to His for His own purposes.
And anyone who claims to have an true answer for your question is not being honest.
On that note... I have four sons. I know for a fact that as they grow up they will sin. I know that once in awhile one of them will break one of my tools. Does that mean I wont ever let them use my tools and learn how to fix things? No. I know my 1 yr old son will sass me. Does that mean I dont teach him to talk? My two older boys love to play football, but I know between now and college they will end up at the emergency room after getting injured in a game. Does that mean I dont allow them to play?
And God knows we're all gonna sin. Does that mean He doesnt use us and teach us and guide us? Nope.
| 2006/5/12 13:10|
Santa Clara, CA
Well said Krispy.
Even the attempts at explanations can be wrought with problems and misunderstandings.
Maybe the ridiculously simple answer to this question and so many like it, is to just leave the future to God.
[i]Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.[/i]
| 2006/5/12 16:25||Profile|
Well said and mind if I add one little bit? We humans like to place people on a pedestal who have blessed us and before we know it we start to displace God with this other person which is idoltry. Methinks we need to see the humaness of gifted persons to prevent this from happening. Now when there is a blatant act of sin or a sinful lifestyle, you can mark it down the man may be a false prophet. If this person blesses you, thank God, but know and live, that God is the ultimate authority and not what anyone else says.
| 2006/5/14 23:28||Profile|
| Re: If God knows the future...|
We could ask the same question of all Christians, if they truly have been saved from sin and death, then why do any sin?
Obviously, we come to Christ because we discovered a problem within us. We were overcome with sin, and could not stop by our own power. We could not save ourselves. We needed a deliverer, someone who could forgive us, and then transform us. When we are born again, Christ enters into us and does the work in us, which is then manifested externally.
However, if this is true, if it is Christ in us that defeats sin, then why do Christians still sin? Why do they not walk without sin? Is because they are not Christian? If that was true, then who could possibly be saved? Is it because Christ is not strong enough? Certainly not!! He has all power and authority. Is it because our will is greater than God's power to work in us? If that is true, then what hope do we have for Heaven? Will we never be perfected?
Christ certainly is powerful enough to remove all our sins. When we were born again, we sacrificed our will to the Lord, and became one with Him. This is not a problem of will, because our will is for the Lord. What Christian ever says, "Yes, I sinned. I did it willingly." If it is our will to sin, then we never did repent of our sin, and never did give ourselves to Christ. A Christian falls into sin because they stumble due to a weak faith. They may consciously make the choice to sin, but their heart was never to hurt the Lord. Rather, in that moment they fell weak. They stopped trusting in the Lord.
But how? Do we not have Christ who is all powerful? Why does any Christian fall weak?
The answer is simple. Why does evil exist at all? It is because God allows it to exist. This is true for Christians too. We sin because God allows us to sin. He does not deliver us into sin and He does not tempt us. However, He allows for us to be tempted, and He also allows for us to fall weak. There are times temptation comes knocking on the door, and Christ does not give us the power to overcome. And so, we fall into sin.
Why would God do this? There are several reasons, but the most important is this: God is keeping us humble. Imagine if we had victory over sin every time. After awhile, we would forget we even needed Jesus. We would think too highly of ourselves. We would begin to think we were God. Rather, the Lord allows sin as a form of discipline. He uses it to keep us in check.
We walk by faith and this is key. Faith is a matter of trust. The Lord wants us to trust Him. He wants us to obey Him in faith. If the Lord says, "I want you to jump," then we will jump instantly not because we are forced, but because we know in our heart God is asking this because He loves us. This is faith. We obey God in trust and love.
Sometimes, our faith becomes weak and we don't even know it. We stop trusting in the Lord and start trusting in ourselves. This can especially happen after an awesome or great event such as an annointing. We are annointed on Sunday morning, and by Sunday night we think we are great in and of ourselves. We begin to think that we have glorified ourselves by our own power, rather than recognizing that our glory comes from God. We think, "by my work, I have earned this." We stop trusting in the Lord, and forget our need of Christ. And so, we sin on Monday. God rebukes us by not giving us victory over that sin, and disciplines us by allowing us to face the consequences of sin.
I have met many Christians who experience this continually but don't even know it is God working in their life, including myself. I will see a Christian become weak in faith, fall into sin, and then be humbled. They repent and draw close to God. This is how we grow in faith, through these trials and tests.
In Hebrews 11:1, it says faith is the "conviction of thing not seen." The greek word for conviction used here is "Elegchos" which means "a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested." How is it that faith is proven? Our faith is proven through tests and trials. Now, many people will be quick to point out that our faith is proven when we overcome tests and trials. But, our faith in God is NOT proven when WE overcome, but rather when Christ overcomes. We trust in God more when we face a trial and Christ is proven in us.
However, Christ cannot be proven in us if we think that we are doing the work. If our faith falls weak, and we think, "I have the power to overcome sin" then God allows the sin to take us. Then, we face a second trial. Will we repent? Will we be humbled? Will we seek the Lord?
And so, when we are faced with tests and trials such as sin, the true test is not whether we will sin or not. The true test is whether we continually trust in Christ through the whole testing. If we don't sin, it is because Christ gave us the power. If we do sin, it is because we are being disciplined. If that is the case, will we trust in Christ? Will we give God the opportunity to forgive us and love us? Or will we deny God's love?
I have seen many Christians sin, and refuse to accept God's forgiveness as if they didn't deserve it. They become trapped in this pitiful state of rejection for months or years, falling farther and farther away from God. Sometimes, we can be really stubborn and it can take a long time for us to be humbled again. However, Christ never gives up on us. The Lord is continually calling us to repentance, so that we may draw near to Him.
Revelation 3:19 (NASB)
Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.
We must becareful, however, because the Lord's discipline can be used against us by the Devil. Let us say the Lord allows for us to fall into sin. The Devil will surely come and start to make us doubt our salvation. You will hear thoughts like, "You are worthless. Look how the Lord has blessed you, and what have you done!! You don't deserve to be saved. How can God ever forgive you now."
We must always, always repent of our sin and accept God's forgiveness, even as Christians. We must always be humbe. Additionally, it is always a good practice to ask God what He is trying to teach us. Ask Him to show us the problem we are having. The sins we see, like lust, are a sign of a bigger internal problem in our relationship with God. Thus, it is good to ask God to reveal the sin in us, and ask Christ to continually change us.
Jesus said in Luke 9:23, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me."
He uses the word "daily." Every day we should die and be renewed in Christ. Even Paul said that he does this in 1 Corinthians 15:31. Thus, everyday we should repent of our sins and give ourselves to Christ. Everyday, we should seek the Lord. Everyday, we should call our for salvation. Our relationship is one of complete need of God. We should draw the source of our entire life from Him. We need Jesus to be our bread, our sustenance. In the model prayer, Jesus said we should ask God to give us our daily bread. Jesus said He is the bread of life. We need Jesus. Everyday, we should ask God for Jesus.
You asked, "I know this sounds rather harsh...and it is purely hypothetical, but if God knows that a Man is going to Sin on Monday for example...how can he have such an annointing on Sunday?"
Is the answer not obvious. Because God loves us despite the fact we sin. He is willing to bless us even though we don't deserve it. He also disciplines us in love even though we don't listen.
Isn't God awesome!!! God truly is our Father.
I hope this helps,
May the Lord bless you,
| 2006/5/15 9:53||Profile|
| Re: If God knows the future|
I have noticed you put forward this thought before, and this time, I want to resist it, as I don't agree with it and I don't think it's the answer to the question.
Quote:'After awhile, we would forget we even needed Jesus.'
There are several reasons, but the most important is this: [b]God is keeping us humble[/b]. Imagine if we had victory over sin every time. After awhile, we would forget we even needed Jesus.
I don't think so, because there is plenty of condemnation going on in the Christian's life, too, which turns us towards the Lord all the time, to walk in the light, and trust His blood to be cleansing us from all sin (1 John 1:7), and to be refreshed in His presence.
I believe Romans 6.... that I have been baptised into His death - that 'our old man' was crucified and I can now walk in newness of life.
My [i]perception[/i] of what pleases God is changing all the time. We are [i]given[/i] victory over sin, according to Paul
1 Cor 15:56
The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law.
57 But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
but we still have to bring every thought, and every high thing which exalts itself against the knowledge of God in our lives, into obedience to Christ. Until that has been completed, we will continue to experience times (from moments to days) when we know we have not yet brought an issue completely into the obedience of Christ.
According to Oswald Chambers, despite being saved, there are whole 'tracts of human nature' of which the believer is unaware, which God will bring to his attention, to be brought into line with God's Spirit and God's will. This might be called 'putting off the old man' or, 'putting on the new man', but, all are in the doman of Christian living. They are not a sign that a person is not a Christian.
There may be some who tend immediately to a sin of pride, but taking pleasure in a job well done, or in earning enough to feed one's own family, are not in themselves to be stumblingblocks. It is the [i]love[/i] of money which is the root of all kinds of evil. Money, like a car, is a tool .... not an object of worship.
If we are worshipping God as we should, and breaking bread with fellow believers to remind us of Christ's death (when Paul says we should judge ourselves that we be not judged - 1 Cor 11), then it should be as difficult for pride to overcome us through victory over sin, as it should be a constant wonder that we have come to know His power to save from sin.
Called to worship the Lord in spirit and truth, also should cause us to bend the knees of our hearts to Him, and it should be a joy to do so, not, a climb-down scenario.
Dealing with pride as an issue, of course is valid and necessary. Indeed, we will continue in sins until we understand how to master them, but, God sees whether we are [i]intending[/i] to master them, or just talking about it (maybe even in prayer), hypocritically.
I agree too, that there is often what feels like a backlash (from the enemy) for victory - or a proving - a stress test - to see if we truly understood the issues and really have [b]decided[/b] not to fall again.
None of this is directly about 'God keeping us humble'. It may well have the [i]side-effect[/i] of God keeping us humble, but really, it is about taking the promised land - every place that the sole of your foot shall tread shall be yours; it is about [i]growth[/i], from children into young men - and for those who determine to keep growing - to become fathers, who know the Father.
| 2006/5/15 11:32|
I do not think we disagree, it seems that it is just a matter of words. The concept seems to be the same. I may be mistaken, and you may need to clarify.
When I use the word "humble," I am speaking of this growth as you are in drawing closer to God (ie. being conformed to the image of God). The words I am using is speaking of an etching away of "self." God is constantly etching away at this thing called "self" which causes us to be selfish and prideful. Rather than accept Jesus, and submit to Him, we are seeking our own way. If we were humble, we would submit. We would be obedient to Christ by nature.
However, you are referring to this as "perception," so it seems. Your perception is the "self" God needs to change or etch away??
Indeed, we have victory over all sin. That was my whole point as established above. We have victory because we have submitted unto Christ and He has the power to conquer sin. We cannot conquer sin, but Christ can in us. Thus, because Christ is our Lord, we have victory. Who can possibly stand against Him? No one, except our "self".
Christ is our Lord and Master. He is the one who conquers sin in us. We cannot conquer sin by our own power. Rather, it must always be Christ in us that conquers sin. We have victory in Christ.
However, if we do have victory, then why do we still sin?
It seems to me that you are pointing out our failure to obey. However, the reason Christ saved us is because of our failure to obey. If we couldn't do it before we were saved, we should not be able to do it after we are saved. We were not saved by works, and neither after salvation can we live by works. Rather, we live by faith.
However, you are correct to say we should obey. How can we then? Well, we must trust in Jesus. He is the one who does all the work. He is the only one who can. We believe in Him. We put our faith in Him to give us victory and to be our Lord.
And so, when we don't have victory, is it because our will is corrupt? Is it because Christ isn't strong enough? is it because we are disobedient? Or is it because we are lacking faith?
Obviously, when we were born again, God's Spirit entered into us. Jesus lives in our heart. His perfect Spirit is in us. And so, when we fall into sin, it is because our faith is weak. We did not turn to Christ, seek out Christ, or trust in Christ. I suppose you might say "obey" but this word implies that the work is done by us. We obey. When I say "We have faith", it means the work is done by Christ, our part is only to believe in Him. The work of salvation and cleansing has and always belongs to God. He makes us righteous. We can do nothing to make ourselves righteous.
We cannot work out our own salvation. We cannot work out our own growth. Is not Jesus our Lord? Is not God our gardener? If God is our gardener, and our God, then he determines how and when we grow. We cannot make ourselves grow.
All we can do and should do is submit unto Christ so that He can work in us any way He wants. But what does this mean? One could say we should "obey" Christ. And this certainly does suggest this. However, submission is not mere obedience. Submission is about giving yourself over. It is a voluntary act. We do it willingly with pleasure and delight.
Christ displayed the ultimate act of submission on the cross. He had all the power of the universe at His command, and yet He willingly submitted unto us. We took His life and killed Him. Never once did He give in to His own "self" but rather, trusted in His Father.
Likewise, our walk and growth with the Lord is the same. We continually have faith in Christ to give us victory over sin, to be the Lord of our life, to control us and direct us, to love us and be good to us. We put our faith and trust in Him.
As such, we have victory over sin. Our sin can no longer keep us seperated from God. What keeps us seperated from God after salvation is not disobedience but rather our lack of faith. We didn't trust in Christ.
| 2006/5/16 10:37||Profile|