Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 18 Number 1 January 2016
Page 14

I Just Don’t Believe that God Would…

Ernest S. Underwood

Ernest S. UnderwoodQuite frequently we hear someone make the statement, “I just don’t believe that God would condemn a person to an eternal hell just for…”, then they finish it with one’s own idea. We also occasionally hear the statement, “It really makes no difference whether…”, again filling in one’s personal thoughts. As an example of the latter, several years ago we viewed a program on a Mississippi television station wherein a woman who called herself an evangelist stated that it didn’t make any difference who did the public preaching, whether it was a man or a woman, just so long as God’s Word was being delivered. To such a person we would pose the question: “Who said that it didn’t make any difference?” In this article we shall notice these kinds of attitudes, and then we will compare them with some biblical accounts.

We turn back to the Garden of Eden. There we find man in sweet fellowship with his God who created him. He completely understands the restrictive law that God had given him concerning the eating of the fruit of a certain tree. Using his own subjective reasoning he thought to himself, “I just don’t believe that God would cast us out of this Garden, and then cause death to come upon all humankind that is even yet unborn, just because I would eat of that fruit.” If such thoughts had been his, was he right or wrong?

We look next down in Egypt where God’s people were in cruel slavery. They cry to God and He sent plagues upon their masters. After nine of these plagues the people were still in slavery. God then gave directions to His people concerning a tenth plague that he would bring upon the land – that of the death of the firstborn. Now, let us back off and look at this with our human reasoning. Are we so simple-minded to believe that God would kill the firstborn in the house of an Egyptian who did not even know of the requirement of the blood on the doorposts? After all, this man and his family in all probability had not been guilty of mistreating the enslaved people. Again, would it make any difference to God if one of the Israelites substituted the blood of a lamb with the blood of a dog? After all, blood is blood isn’t it? What rational, Bible-believing person would take either of these positions? None, at least of whom we are presently acquainted. We do admit, though, that we have known, and still know some pretty irrational persons.

Again, does one really believe that God would let a whole generation of people die in a wilderness simply because they did not want to go into a land wherein giants were reported to be living? Also, surely it would make no difference to God where one might get fire to be put on the altar of incense, or “I just can’t believe that God would command that a man be stoned to death just because he was gathering sticks on the Sabbath Day.” Does one really think that God would strike a man dead just because that man touched a box, especially when it seemed that the man was putting his hand on it so that it wouldn’t fall and be destroyed? From our vantage point of looking back, we can know that such statements of purely human reasoning are all wrong. God did do each of these things!

Is there any purpose of God for us in His giving of these accounts? The apostle Paul stated that there was a purpose, that purpose being that we might learn from them (Romans 15:4). Learn what? Are they given so that we can have just so many facts to store in our minds or computers, or are they given so that we can know that God’s ways and man’s ways are worlds apart? Things that man, in his own self-importance, may think are insignificant, God may place such significance upon them that a man’s life or his soul’s salvation may depend upon them. Truly, God’s ways are not man’s ways.

Let us now apply these principles to some modern day practices, both by those who are in the church and those who have never obeyed the Gospel. “I just don’t believe that God would send a person to hell just because he had never been baptized.”

“It really makes no difference if one uses the mechanical instruments of music in worship just so long as the worshiper’s heart is in the right place.” “You will just never make me believe that God will condemn a person to an eternal hell because his divorce was not for fornication, and now he has been unscripturally married and is living in adultery. After all, God wants every man who wants a wife to have one, and He will overlook the sin of adultery in such a case.” “Do you really believe that God will condemn a person, or persons, for lying, especially if that lie would seemingly benefit the person or the nation?”

Of course, there are other similar arguments about additional sinful practices of which men seem to be fond; however, the above will suffice to bring attention to the fact that men do make such arguments. Any student of the Bible who has just a casual acquaintance knows that all of the above arguments are a result of man’s subjective reasoning and have not been formed as a result of what God has said on the matter.

The Scriptures still read: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8). “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is a partaker of his evil deeds” (2 John 9-11).

May each of us develop a deep and abiding reverence for God’s sacred Word and let it, rather than the popular and emotional notions of men, be our polar star.

[Editor’s Note: The Bible alone is man’s roadmap from earth to heaven. Using the Bible exclusively, every spiritual traveler can avoid the detour and terminal destination of a devil’s hell. The emotions and human “think-so’s” are no substitute for the inspired, inerrant Word of God. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]

A Sure Direction

Russ Vickers

Russ VickersOnce there were some fishermen who set out from Texas into the Gulf of Mexico. Using the compass on the boat, they left port and headed out about 50 miles to sea into the deep waters where they hoped to catch Bluefin Tuna. When they believed they were right upon the spot they needed to be, they turned on the depth finder and saw that they were well off-course and away from where they wanted to be. One of the fishermen had discovered that a device with a magnet was near the compass, and the magnet affected the reading of the compass.

We know from elementary school that magnets can change a compass. Just as this is true, sin in our lives can change our thinking. In John 7:41-42, we see that many of the Jews believed they were going in the right direction by denying that Christ was the Messiah. “Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” However, what was the real issue? Some of the people and religious leaders had a heart problem because they were biased. They denied and resisted Jesus because He was threatening to their power structure and traditions. Surely, they would have thought to examine all the Scriptures and verify Jesus’ identity. Yet, they decided to hold on to what they believed. The result was that they rejected the Redeemer.

Often we deceive ourselves because we do not want God’s direction. We must ask the Lord to help us do away with inner thoughts and motives that would be harmful to us. Our hearts and minds can be overshadowed with impure intentions. Psalm 139:24 states, “And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” God can truly get us back on course, that is, if we let Him.

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