Answers – The Compass

This morning we are starting a series on Answers.

We have received a number of questions throughout January and we are going to attempt to answer as many of them as we can.

Next week we have put together a panel of experts to answer  a number of them.

This morning, I am going to attempt to answer a number of similar questions that have come through.

  1. Why did God allow the holocaust?
  2. How much can we interfere with the will of God
  3. How much is God really in control and how much does man’s free will take over
  4. Are people out of God’s will by who they marry or by taking birth control

Look at compass points that will give us direction so we know where we are going.

  1. Debated Questions

The questions about “Free Will” = we can do what we want and God’s Sovereignty = He is in total control of everything, have been debated for thousands of years and I don’t plan on ending that debate this morning.  I am going  to look at some Bible verses that will kind of guide us so we can respond in a godly manner.

What is a godly manner? Run away from anything that stimulates youthful lusts.  Instead pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love and peace.  Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.  Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights.  A servant of the  must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone be able to teach and be patient with difficult people. 2 Timothy 2: 22 – 24

Any discussion that inflames others to the point where we cannot teach is dangerous ground to be walking on.

EXAMPLE: We are not of this world, so we are hated so when sharing the truth that there even is a truth, there is going to be a rage against christianity.

2. God is Sovereign.

•Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (Psalm 147:5).

•’I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted'” (Job 42:2).

•”The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters” (Psalm 24:1-2).

BUT

The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to mankind Psalm 115: 16

God is over all, but not everything that happens is His will because he has given it to man.

3. Whose Will?

Your Kingdom come your will be done Luke 11: 2

Not my will but your will be done. Luke 22: 42

EXAMPLE:  Leaders of nations. Romans 13: 1 all authority comes from God (The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it)  (Jesus to Pilate, you have no authority unless God allowed it.) And all those placed in authority have been placed there by God.  The only reason that people can rule is that God shares his authority with them. BUT Hosea 8: 4 They have set up kings, but not by Me.  They have made princes and I did not know it.  Not every ruler is God’s will.

So when it comes to the holocaust or the horror of Allepo, This is not God’s will and he never desired rulers to bring mass genocide on their own people.

4. God’s will  interacting with People

  1. Times God’s will is enacted and man can’t stop it.
    1. Acts 4: 27, 28 Pilate and the Gentiles killed Jesus according to your plan and what you wanted to happen
    2. It is better to suffer for doing good if that should be God’s will than for doing evil 1 Peter 3: 17
    3. Nobody can fight against his hand or say what have you done Daniel 4: 35
  2. Times we can fight the will of God
    1. God is not willing that any should perish but that all would come to eternal life. 2 Peter 3: 9
    2. This is God’s will that you abstain from sexual immorality 1 Thessalonians 5: 18
    3. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will concerning you 1 Thessalonians 5: 18
  3. The Holy Spirit conquers us and our sin by his mercy John 1: 13 Romans 9: 15, 16 yet he can be quenched, grieved, and angered Ephesians 4: 30 1 Thessalonians 5: 19

5. Compass points

Spent 25 minutes still inadequate

What are the compass points that help us navigate our lives? They don’t tell us what rivers we cross

  1. Sometimes God’s will is revealed to us. Deuteronomy 29: 29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God but the things that are revealed belong to us.

2.  Obey those revealed things as we understand them. Birth control, marry this person, take this job.

3. Keep Pursuing. Solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil Hebrews 5: 14 Practice makes better.

4. Keep a clean heart Most actions (greed, anger, jealousy, love, joy) are not ordained but come from a heart. Matthew 12: 34 – 36

God create in me a clean heart so I would bring out a good treasure.