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AVAST! IT IS HIS MAST, WHO IS MASTER OF ALL
NOT THE PRESUMPTION OF SERENDIPITOUS HOPE
BUT THE PEACE OF PREDESTINATIVE PRECISION
It was not yet time as we have it. Nothing waited. God acted and it was done, before time clad the earth with its dawns and sunsets. It was settled before the foundations of the earth were so much as laid down, before man so much as existed, before the stars in their courses had their ways appointed, or the universe had its multiple layers of logical fabrics, time, space, gravity, electromagnetism, minor and major nuclear power, before life with its inscription from the Writer, of its ways, had so much as peered into the realm of earthly flesh, or the spirit of man had been settled in its base, to use this magnificent machinery, this vital tissue, to the glory of God - or otherwise.
GOD CHOSE those who are His before our 'when' had so much appeared on the outlined horizon.
THAT is what is indicated in Ephesians 1:4.
HOW did He choose us ? Firstly, it was NOT in some kind of hopeful enthusiasm, as if all would be well, a sort of sloppy quasi-divine non-diligence. He KNEW and FOREKNEW those who are His, like a sketch before a painting (Romans 8:30ff.). Did His love not quite make it to the rest of mankind, was He tired when He had found some and did He shirk the real labour intensive study of all ? Such a concept of the Almighty is merely pathetic, for if tiredness of mind or triviality of power were His lot WHO gave Him such a lot but the LORD! In other words, such an imagination concerns an imaginary being, irrelevant to the point; and could not be God*1.
It is not serendipitous hope in some sort of lazy or inert or mystically pulsing universe, that is the criterion of this acutely and mathematically constructed physique, this logically ratiocinative mind and this acutely perceptive spirit of man. It is not this that is rational, reasonable or revealed. Hope the next car who offers a lift, after an accident, is not a needler if you will; but this is small pretence of any security! It is the God of truth who has the power, not the psychic yearnings of the forlorn that moves the final outcomes, or even forsaken heart of man! (cf. Ephesians 1:11, Isaiah 43:13).
No, then, God chose in knowledge, and having made peace through the blood of the Cross (which He foresaw and determined as in Revelation 14:6, for it is an everlasting Gospel which is preached - Genesis 3:15, I Peter 1:10ff., Romans 5, 8) in heart and wisdom first, He unveiled our history itself. In this, with justice' requirement, in its time met at Calvary, it pleased Him to bring out a putative cover of all. What is the meaning of this ? It simply indicates what I John 2:1ff. shows and what I Timothy 2:1-6 and 4:10 with John 3:16-19 indicate*2.
What is that ? It is that God in His love would like to have all saved but in His truth does not violate what is the essential nature of love by either circumventing fact, and making robots out of man implicitly, or forcing him explicitly, but is satisfied with the remnant whom He freely receives. Though it be with the grief which love entertains towards the lost, yet it is with the joy that it has with those whom that love reaches in His knowledge and foreknowledge, neither violating the will of any, nor imploding the reality of man's being, created in the image of God and so inviolable in spirit.
To be sure, man's pathological state means he cannot now choose God (as in John 1:12); but it does nothing to obliterate the other sites in the word of God which indicate that though His own choice is (of course) sovereign, who KNOWS ALL, yet that sovereignty is not mere whim, wilfulness, caprice or a detachment of desire. WHAT IF with much patience He endured the lost who would not come (as in Matthew 23:37ff., Luke 19:42ff., Romans 9:32)!
The putative cover, then, is the vision of His outwardly extending love, not short of any; but the actual limited attainment, which is the basis of the limited atonement, this is another thing. It is other in RESULT, but not in premiss; in realisation, but this not through any love shortage, lack of ebullience or flow, any wandering in its impartiality (for God is no respecter of persons), its grandeur or its scope. He knows His own, foreknows them: that is the basis.
The practical result, known before this world was even founded that it might in due course founder because of the arbitrary and gratuitous misuse of the gift of liberty, which makes of man such a plaything for folly and such a site for sainthood as the case may be in outcome, in the light of the income of the love of God: it must be faced. It is both triumphant and grievous, but in different respects. For the saints, it is the former; for the flesh favouring many, it is the latter.
WHY will you die! God laments (Ezekiel 18:30-31, 33:11). It is not because He would have it so: for as He declares, HE for His part has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but absolutely to the contrary, would that the wicked rather turn from his evil way and live. He exhorts (Proverbs 1), pleads (Matthew 22:27-30), challenges (Isaiah 1:15-20), reviews and extends His mercy in great draughts (Judges 10:15-16, Ezekiel 20); but He takes no short cuts in principle. Each case is secure only because secured, and secured only when His mercy reaches the heart in His knowledge and foreknowledge. With this magnificent restraint, which love always knows, for we are in His image, He moves whose own heart weeps for the lost whose wilful way remains forlorn (Jeremiah 48:26-31, Luke 19:42ff.).
He would have all (Colossians 1:19ff., I Timothy 2). He saves some. Love is like that, not binding lust but moving mountains to attain its splendid object.
His declaration of love is therefore not some foundling thought of a moment (if that were, contrary to fact, here possible), for He declares (Ezekiel 33:11), of this: AS I LIVE, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, just as He goes on to show what He does rather desire, BUT THAT HE SHOULD TURN FROM HIS EVIL WAY. There is more: turn and LIVE! Even that is not all: Turn from his evil way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! He pleads in this self-same verse.
Is there then some difficulty in reading, in comprehension, that the glorious sovereign over all, God Almighty, has heart and love and understanding and pleads and exhorts, challenges and reviews, seeks the lost and takes only His own because love is like that! It loves and it weeps, and it is ready to lose if need be, when the only other option which His own creation leaves, is this, that it be compelled contrary to reality. That, it is what He will never do. But what He has done in all this, it is known beforehand; and that same Jesus Christ whose love is shown in complete parallel in Matthew 23:37, being the precise personal expression of God as in His definitive image, is He who showed forth in eternity the heart of God, as He did likewise in this world. He does not change; nor does the Word of God falsify, but rather only expresses justly the reality of the divine nature!
If then the Almighty is thus, what blasphemy to pronounce against Him as if this were not true, were not the case, did not impel and propel all facts and the ultimate beyond all ultimata! Christ WEPT for this very reason, that in the day of their visitation when the scope was present simply to receive Him, that city of Jerusalem did not do so, and HENCE had to be destroyed in its sins, in due course (Luke 19:42ff.).
What Christ, the exact image of the living God, then, showed in His tears is what God has always had in His heart, that longing of love, to lodge in man His truth and peace, that he might live, and not be a counter-design mangle of madness of spirit, destruction of mind and a logical corpse, moral mess and personal disaster area. Spiritual death is not just an ... event.
Before we then consider why missionaries should go to preach the Gospel in the light of such love, let us further emphasise it.
Take Jeremiah 13. There as so often, the Lord gives to Jeremiah a message (13:1), this time starting, "Go and get yourself a linen sash" and again, "Take the sash that you acquired ... go to the Euphrates and hide it there." It is direct intimation, order, command, revelation, and response as the prophet acts. He does not address, God does; he reflects.
In v. 12, we read, "Therefore you shall speak to them this word" and it is given.
"I will not pity nor spare, nor have mercy, but will destroy them" comes the result of the unresponsive callow callousness of heedless continuance in Israel, from the mouth of the Lord. That however is just the beginning in this episode. It continues in v. 15: "Hear and give ear: do not be proud, for the LORD has spoken. Give glory to the LORD your God before He causes darkness and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains and while you are looking for light, He turns it into the shadow of death..."
While Jeremiah might reflect on the calamities to come in his tears (Jeremiah 9), which he may shed for the lost Israel, yet this is not divorced from the heart of the Lord. Indeed, even in Jeremiah 9, where the prophet in verse 1 is in deep and tearful distress (as the people were when their folly led on to physical ruin later) at their rush in riot to judgment, and even when Jeremiah has desired "that I had in the wilderness a lodging place for travelers, that I might leave my people, and go from them...", yet in a very little, it proceeds thus:
" 'For they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me,' says the LORD."
There is without doubt such an affinity, an intimacy of sanctified grief in the prophet and revelation of the Lord's own grief (as in Judges 10:16, or in the New Testament as in Luke 19:42ff., or again in Jeremiah 48:36), and this in the midst of the outstanding principles of His heart (as in Ezekiel 33:11), that it becomes partly revelation direct of His grief who made man, of His sorrow, sadness at their folly because it both is ruinous and should be. At other times, it becomes apparent as that sorrow wrought by His Spirit in the prophet.
Further, in Isaiah 48:16, we see that the Lord, having initiated a revelation in 48:12, beginning, "Listen to Me, O Jacob...", which proceeds to indicate that He has created the earth (48:13), asking them to "assemble yourselves and hear," proceeds in a remarkable manner. He continues in 48:16, "Come near to Me, hear this: 'I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, I was there, and now the Lord God and His Spirit have sent Me." He continues: "Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer..."
Here the word who was with God was and is God, declares as in Proverbs 8, in John 1, makes a declaration. It is that He being eternal and God, is yet sent; and moreover that the Spirit of God also has sent Him, in infinite alliance with the Father, so that the trinity shines clearly through like the sun through clouds. The Holy Spirit, inspiring Jeremiah, then, appears to move in him to show his godly and heaven-sent grief, just as it also urges the grief of God. At times we seem to move from the direct word of deity concerning His own grief, to that of the Holy Spirit moving in Jeremiah to reflect it, while at times the second Person of the Trinity speaks out, in grief, very much as the pre-incarnate word about to become man, as in Isaiah 48:16-17. Indeed, in these contexts, the grief and words very much relate in the most intimate fashion to such texts as Luke 19 and Matthew 23 in the New Testament.
So in Jeremiah 13, we move from the commands in Jeremiah 13:1, 4, 9, 12, to this at verse 15:
"Hear and give ear. Do not be proud, for the LORD has spoken.
Give glory to the LORD your God ... "
The sense of awesome command, direct diction from God continues, and yet at times the term 'He' may be used as in v. 21, "What will you say when He punishes you!"
Nevertheless, while it continues without pause in style or impact, we find in v. 24: "Therefore I will scatter them like stubble." It is not Jeremiah who plans such an action! Thus the trinitarian splendour in suffering is shown, the Spirit of God inspiring Jeremiah at times with command, at times in an intimate empathy, while sometimes the word of command is spoken, as in Isaiah 48:16, where the Lord, the word, is sent and this amid such longsuffering grief as is shown in Isaiah 48:17ff.. The tenderness is undistortable, the grief is from the heart as is the desire expressly so in Ezekiel 33:11, and the immovable sincerity, integrity, breadth and scope of the love of God, even to the point of desiring so that He tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2:9 cf. I John 2:1ff.), is unshatterable, unscatterable. It is a profound sorrow that so many for so long have either extended this reality, avoiding rightly Calvin's decretum horribile*3, which is a horrible distortion, against which Wesley rightly inveighed in principle, to a universal redemption which is the other folly, while others prefer to make a limited atonement, not a limited attainment because of the integrity of love and the reality of man being made in the image of God, but a cut-off in the love of God in salvation mode!
Both disadorn reality. The intemperance of fighting corners has come, where the noise of conflict in dusty and dismal needlessness, displaces the light of truth. Being accurate to all the word of God as much precludes universal redemption as it does any mystery of horrible decree in some aloof predestination where the love of the Saviour is strangely virtually parodied into absence.
Naturally, the love does not pay for what it never took, did not choose before the foundation of the world, for how would He pay and be delivered up to take the rap and wrap up the sins of those who preferred to retain them! As Christ said, "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins," John 8:24. Christ does not take what man keeps. Moreover, as in Romans 8:32, those for whom Christ is actually delivered up, these have "all things" and rest assured, heaven is not missing by oversight in this 'all'! As in the sacrificial system in Israel, the animal is killed for Israel, but it has NO RELATION in its action to those who do not believe (as in Deuteronomy 29:18ff.), except to induce increase to the judgment due for such trifling!
Therefore there is neither need nor truth in expanding the love of God into a formulation which has it lack wisdom and reality, nor crimping it into a characterisation which lacks breadth and universal scope (as in Colossians 1:19ff.), nor again, allowing this to form a barrier for false faith which like all falsity, has no reality in itself or in its true attainments: here truth being that it is fraud!
Away from such nether pre-occupations, then, we return to the biblical characterisation of the love of God, and to missions in terms of it.
The grief of God at the folly of men is intense, immense, His longings and pleadings, exhortations and repulses when necessary, His intimations of reality and His appeals, this come direct, through the Second Person, through spiritual inspiration in the prophet, in such a sally of beauty that the grief becomes almost a love letter to one in hospital, refusing an operation and therefore awaiting an operation not from the surgeons, but from the cancer, in this case, that of sin.
The love of God then is intensively extensive, and finds all whom He so moves, as known to Him before they so much as existed in the flesh (Ephesians 1:4), and loses none (John 13:1) of those who He acquires in truth through grace and mercy alone (Romans 8:29ff.); nor can time or tide, folly or power, corruption or eruption sever His people from Him, whether before they come, in that they will come, or after it, in that He will keep them (John 10:27-28).
Why then should missionaries go forth to preach the Gospel ?
This is no problem for theology, as if it had invented the word of God, for its office is to show its pith, point and comprehensibility and meaning in association of all of it. They go firstly because the love of God is such: it is painfully grievous NOT to go, whether at home or abroad, to seek the lost. WHO wants them lost ? HOW may they be saved ? HOW will they come if they do not hear ?
Does this mean that God failed in His foreknowledge, on which predestination is statedly based (Romans 8:29ff.) ? That is not theology but innovation contrary to reason (cf. Sparkling Life ... Ch. 4, Barbs ... 6 -7). Rather it means that where and how He pleases, and in the beginning it is wrought in infinite security, God saves and INSTITUTES that salvation: He saves WHOM He will and in the mode He will, but by the only means of the GOSPEL. THAT is His will, and so He expresses it not once, not twice, but directly and indirectly constantly. This being so, the yearning for all is transmitted through the Gospel for any, and Proverbs 1 shows just the confluence of offer and pity, opportunity and reality, leading on in that case to corruption by man of mercy leading on to judgmernt.
Therefore just as He declared (John 15:21ff.), in discussion of ultimate destiny, that they would not have had sin if they had not heard the words no one else had heard and seen the deeds no one else had done, but that these things now being so, therefore now having seen and heard, there was for them no excuse for their sin: so is it in fact. God never changes. What Christ shows in principle is true of all divine practice. He, let us be clear, IS the Lord (John 8:58) in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, with unsearchable riches (Colossians 2:3, 9, Ephesians 3:8), and in Him dwells in all the fulness of the Godhead in bodily form. HE knows. WE learn, and do not teach; are the recipient, He the donor of wisdom and truth. His word rules (Matthew 24:35, 5:17-20).
To His own satisfaction, therefore, as a principle, God does not in spirit condemn what has not met with the ultimate in truth and rejected it. It may be confrontational, it may be hypostatic; but it IS. Nothing escapes His eye, nor do 'technical troubles' distort the issuance. Infinite never bows to the impossible, but rather creates it where reality may not be transgressed by His own will. Indeed, the ultimate in action is achieved BEFORE the world was so much as founded, and the pivot is the Gospel, which also supplies the price of liberty, to make it applicable (Galatians 6:14ff.). Just as God by His Spirit can convict and bring repentance to salvation, so in truth, for His is the Spirit of Truth, does He bring forth not a subterfuge or a centrifuge of doubtful application, but as trophies of grace, all who may in integrity be brought from the whole bundle of life.
Hence the missionary does not leave a soul in an eternal hell because he slept in; that is theology asleep. He is responsible if disdaining the need; he is not the determinant of destiny (Ezekiel 18, 34, I Samuel 15:29, Numbers 23:19). God is. The Gospel is the pivot, the wisdom of God is the turning, and the love of God is the finale. It does not obtrude; it acts. His wisdom is not second-hand, it knows. His people are not pseudo-robotic in demarcation, but won. He who wins them is wise.
1) The love of God then is the first reason why missionaries should go. The illimitable love of God (not lust, not indulgence, but aglow with pity and profound in compassion) moves all obstacles; He paid the price of sin to the extremity, not only in personal involvement (Hosea 13:14), but in flesh as man for man (Hebrews 2). From the divine heart and source there flows such a protevangelium as in Genesis 3:15, such a profundity in the Psalms (as in Psalm 2, 16, 22, 23, 40, 41, 55, 69, 72, 110 for example) and in the prophets (as in Isaiah 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 22, 32, 40-55, 59-61 in parallel, or Micah 5-7, Zechariah 4, 6, 9, 12-13), presenting the Saviour to come, already embraced in the love of God eternally, His Word which was to become and did become flesh, that it spurts like a race-horse through the pastures, a planet through space, a vast rain covering a whole valley as by a hand.
He acted once for all, to win all who, in His knowledge, would not remain in thrall; and incarnate, met the Cross as portrayed a millenium before (Psalm 22, 16), that He might in death separate sin from the sinner and life from its death warrant, that men might marvel, and the splendour of His salvation might rest like gold in a quarry. The love of God cannot be contained by man, for it passes knowledge (Ephesians 3), but it must be received! You walk by a vast lake, and you do not drink it all, but you drink it all in with your eyes and marvel!
2) The love of the lost is the second reason why men act in the Great Commission, at home or abroad. If you love God who made and loved man, how could you possibly NOT love to find them, even at cost towards whom He love moves! He paid enough, even infinitely. It is sufficient for all, adapted for all, and paid for those who receive it (Romans 8:32).
3) The pity for their plight is the third reason. It is not merely economic (sometimes) or physical (often), or moral (always, with pride or lust wonderful options, the former a sort of spiritual lust), but it is the horror, the pure abject deluge of spirit which comes to those who ignore, bypass or make light of their Maker, or double-cross or betray Him. Jude is eloquent here.
He knows this too, in advance; but in the liberty He loves and has, allows the evil to show itself and all things to be tested in the LIGHT, and so is there shown for all time, the things that are, people, ideologies, ideas, idols, for what they are. HIS is authority with wisdom, love with light and certainly not with Him is that shabby and shameless totalitarianism that man in his superficial seeking to substitute for God in power, so often shows.
4) The fourth reason why mission work is done (and speaking to your neighbour can be part of it) is this. Even though God knows from before the day when day was, who are His, we do not. Hence lest any be lost, we love to put to the test with the Gospel, what may be saved, as much as we can.
How else ? Will they live a day longer than the love of God allows, since we are here, continue thus without Him ? Will we show our contempt in this way! Moreover, if we love them, do we not feel for them in their debased plight, like those left in the basement when there is a lift working nearby, even that of the Gospel! If any is to be lost, is that time enough, and does not love impel us to seek to distance that day, or show it absent! Do you watch an operation on a child and not long for its success ? or do you not even take it to the hospital, being not diligent ? If this is so physically, how much more spiritually! If perhaps some may be saved who never heard (as in John 15:21ff.), being predestinated to be covered by the Gospel from the first, then that is fine; but some may say: Do not tell me the Gospel, for then if I reject it, I have no hope.
This is not valid. If the Gospel is rejected in the divine foreknowledge of God, then this day will come for THAT REASON! In the interim, love would expend itself, not amending the Gospel or the driving power of the mercy of God, not absenting from presenting the unsearchable riches of Christ which paid for the salvation of all who receive Him as He is for what He has done, but in seeking if this or that one may come, and verifying the victory in finding any. We do not wait 20 years for a house if one may be found tomorrow or even today. If it is sure to be found in 10 years even, do we ignore the facility to fabricate sooner ?
The lost who in the precise foreknowledge of God is going to be so, is known to Him, but not to us; and this does not change. OUR TELLING THE GOSPEL to anyone does not create (through rejection) the condemnation of that person (as occurs when it is so rejected, without repentance - John 3:19, 36): it exposes it. The situation is not created as if a novelty, as if this were a new event. It is the exhibition of the fact experimentally, which was before time known to God.
It is ALREADY known to God before all time entered its stakes, before this world was even founded. Such is Ephesians 1:4, with Romans 89:29ff.
WE in so acting, in the love of God, merely illustrate and apply the mercy of God in all historical passion, if by any means - just as it is true in His heart and bosom, so it being shown through our mouths and lives - they might live.
5) There is then, is the sixth reason for going. There is nothing to be lost but everything to be gained. Yet one may say, The gain is nothing new; God knew of that too. This is so but not actually relevant. Love is in us without the knowledge of the ultimate destiny: some thief in prison may be won two seconds before, in the foreknowledge and conformity of history to the will and word of God, he is executed. Love here visibly intervenes. Will a shadow of a possibility, much removed where the Gospel is well-known, be traded for certainty ? Will desperation and desolation be needlessly left alone ? Will the glory of that knowledge above all knowledge be left untaught when thousands of topics are shown continuously ? (John 17:1-3).
HENCE in love we go, each one as sent, as in the calling enabled, with the will of God surging as the surf in the seas, be there surfers present or absent.
The event of going to the lost, of coming to them and seeking: this illustrates the love of God. This induced love (Romans 5:5) would reduce the ignorance, protect the name of God from defamation by bringing light to the lost, remedy what may be remedied as soon as may be. It is not a statistical nightmare, with all sorts of psychic whims and caprices and moods and moments, this issue of salvation. God has attended to that in His foreknowledge of, and predestination concerning the ultimate outcomes (Romans 8:30 - note the sequence). We act for the earliest application of remedy, the insistent desire, as of a mother for her child, for the deliverance of the lost, and the glorious joy in heaven when one is won.
Love is elemental. God is love (I John 4:7). He is also truth. NOTHING aborts, contorts, dispels the love of God. Where in the end it is rejected, its purity desires no force, contrivance, appearance. Even at our own level this is clear. What man who is man, and not devil, would in the end want to have his loved one come to him by the use of drugs, or other mind-changing exercises. If it is not from the heart, it is not love, and nothing will ever alter that.
In truth, love never ceases to be love, and in love, truth never ceases to be truth. Love rejoices in the truth (I Corinthians 13:6), and neither distorts nor contorts, but grieving for the lost who in the final and divine analysis reject Him who loves, it yet rejoices in what may be found, and the angels rejoice with Him whose it is (Luke 15:7). This love acts at every available level, as sent, as enabled, does not stand on ceremony, is not suppressed by irrelevant theoretical issues, sallies forth, yearns, is a continual bloom on the fruit of the tree of life. It speaks to the eye, brings a touch to the heart that views it. God is very deep, and His ways are as manifold in manner as His Gospel is one in content (Galatians 1:6-9). Neither He nor His Gospel nor His Christ change; but myriadform are the expressions of the same, as we become all things (within the truth) that we might by some means win some.
One remembers a program call HUSH music, which is now being used in Australia, a special formatting of music to enable children in particular, with their parents, to be soothed and given some sort of a sense of rest and kindness as they face an operation. What else might be done ? the interviewer asked, if the child does not happen to like the sort of music involved ? Ah, much, was the reply. The doctor or medical officer or attendant might dance or sing!
The DESIRE, in this case to soothe and re-assure, but the desire itself is there. Many are the means it uses, but to one end. The operation itself, like the Gospel, THAT is fixed. That is the whole point. The operation is needed, and it cannot be changed as God does not change who paid for it; but many are the ways of inducing interest and seeking to bring the lost soul to the relief truth, able so to comfort since mercy is there by appointment of love.
Hold fast then to Him who loves, be near His mast in His ship, the Church of the living God, His body whose Head is Jesus Christ, where the flag flies, that standard which the Spirit of God raises against the enemy as He finds His own and keeps them (cf. Isaiah 59:19, 32:15).
Remember, love is neither virulent nor violent, but exhorts, entreats, seeks, does not harass nor does it contemplate in mere emotion. Enemy to force, it is like an initial shield to preclude the judgment that meets violation with vileness, by strength, and protects the truth that mercy might be shown and glory revealed. Marvellous is the love of God; miserable is the misuse of His mercy: perfect is His comprehension, gracious His use of power. Those who would muzzle love by their ‘rights,’ call them ‘human rights or other, are merely subjecting their victims, by their wrongful use of rights, to the fiendish fiddling that would distance God from others, while the sup as they will on their own choices, call them what they will.
All ‘human rights’ that start and end with man, start either directly or indirectly by excluding the God who loves, and so become the troops of anti-truth, like anti-matter and matter; except that those can destroy each other, whereas nothing can destroy the truth nor can it disrupt its joint offices of portraying divine mercy and exhibiting, where it is discarded by man, the judgment that is due. Presumptuously serendipitous man, founding his vain dreams and idle hopes on mere desire, accomplishes nothing but clash, conquest, resentment, unrelieved by truth; and each time in his governmental pre-occupations*4, he merely provides in his impious rampancy, one more instance of harassment of the holy by the self-aggrandisement of the ignorant, who neither know God nor allow His power to penetrate their plans.
When God is forgotten in man’s little equations, they equate with a vacuous nullity, being baseless; but the judgment is not nullity: for what parent would consider innocent, the one who presumes to distance the love, appeal, remonstration, demonstration that is sent to the child in the hope of deliverance! With God, it is even less so; and where this is gratuitously violated by human force, as so readily happens, so much greater is the disgrace of those who so interfere, and how do they hope to escape the due judgment of God, except they repent! Tangling with truth is tangling with God; and while it is to come (Revelation 19:19), it is a grievous, a sad, a lamentable end that continues, that is to be faced by those who not merely do not enter themselves, but would (in this or other ways) hinder those who were preparing to enter, and those ready to help them (Luke 11:52).
Sparkling Life in Jesus Christ Ch. 4, Barbs ... 6 and 7.
See, for example:
The Glow of Predestinative Power ... Ch. 4, 5; The Christian Pilgrimage Ch. 3,
Christ's Ineffable Peace ... Ch. 2 (extensive), 3,
Massifs of Pure Splendour Ch. 7, Jesus Christ Defaced ... Ch. 2;
Gratitude for His Glorious Grace Ch. 2
Outrageous Outages ... and the Courage of Christ Ch. 9;
The Majestic Might of the Merciful Messiah Ch. 5 (the extensive attestations in the Bible, of the love of God for the lost, without attenuation of heart), with
Anguish, Ecstasy and the Mastery of the Messiah,
Chs. 8, 9);
Great Execrations ... Greater Grace Chs. 7 9.
See Christ's Ineffable Peace ... Ch. 2
The Christian Pilgrimage ... Ch. 3.
Aspects of the Glory of God ... Ch. 6.
Thus, let us take the type of thing which arises in such ethical nudist colonies, where no one has any cover from reality, and all is in naked absence of foundation.
No one must be hurt, annoyed, irritated, offended, you name it.
What then ? if every religious person must not be offended, it is obviously easy for the government to indulge its own fantasies, its own unfounded concept of social 'rights' and make it unacceptable to present anything as objective truth, or in such a way that it implies it, or in such a style as offends someone who thinks this must not be allowed; and it becomes a sort of pseudo-statistical gamble, to see who complains most, with most force and most political, poll or similar effect.
There IS no standard when God is omitted, but the variable winds of philosophy, stressing now this, now that, as mode and mood inflames the human mind. The callow concept that it will all work out is in the very essence of serendipity, as free of certainty and fitful as the little winds of Summer, moving who knows where or from what. Many 'gods' or quasi-gods with various, capricious concepts for their definitional basis, then are assorted like cards, depending on who is playing the political 'hand', and their rights and wrongs and whims and songs are all given a solemn approach. Just as this has nothing to do with truth, so all must be revered.
That is all except, in often found cases, the God of truth, who being the only One evidentially and logically demonstrable, is unacceptable at the outset, as too imposing.
The proponents of the secular basis, of necessity, not even HAVING an absolute truth, thus automatically from their premises (it may be said in this way or that, but the logical basis is not there, and so does not give objective input) extinguish such fidelity to reality, for the purpose in hand. As with Hitler and his 'rights' and Stalin and his wonderful liberties and deliverances, so as it becomes more international, the whiffs of cooking of concepts produce a hearty appetite for the cooks; but it is nausea for those who must eat. Indeed, millions die rather than ruin their stomachs, and have done so in many of such regimes, religious or other: that is, many who do not conform to this flummery of folly, lose their jobs, their livelihoods, reputations, are imprisoned, all as a matter of right.
An agreeable pantheon, or non-theon, it has its rights and its rules, and the One who is GOD and NOT man (who is a product bound by what he does not and cannot make), He has none. If He did, those whom He made would be averse in hordes and with every type of war, as they indeed already are in many countries, against Him. He however IS right, and so does not need 'rights'; for as Creator He has us as part of His works. That is precisely why He is not going to be countenanced, as foretold.
In this way, the State is the Conductor, and the whims, idols, fancies, philosophic projections and so forth of man become the players being ordered about. Some rights! some liberty! Some farce is this. Quite simply, whoever has the controlling hand plays God; and God is not playful with imposters, be their words ever so pompous, as the Bible predicts they will be (Daniel 7:25, II Peter 2:).