Index by Subject

“God’s Will Be Done”

A phrase often heard from Christians referring to sickness and tragedy…desiring to bring comfort, conclude “God’s will be done”. If they were simply wishing that in the future God’s will be done, that would be fine. But sometimes it appears as though the well meaning brother is referring to the event itself when he says with a perplexed look on his face: “God’s will be done…”. On the contrary, God’s will is that we remain faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10)…not that we get sick or do not get sick or die! After all “…it is appointed for men to die…” (Hebrews 9:27). One may be reading more into the statement than the brother means, but words and phrases have meaning. We ALL need to be as articulate as possible for we will all be held accountable for our words (Matthew 12:37)!

Paul wrote: “…we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28). From this verse the encouraging brother will say something like this: “I know that (situation x) is tough, but you know God causes all things to work together for good for those who love God, so something good is bound to happen from this….” In this context is it true? Is it God’s will that we suffer through illness? Is He responsible for our sickness? Will something good always come from troubles? Admittedly something good MAY occur: humility through weakness can soften a hardened, prideful heart leading one to He who is strong. Yet sickness may very easily drive a weak Christian from God. Certainly God will cause a good hereafter for a sick but faithful Christian who may die before others wish it, they will be with the Lord everlastingly! But the notion that God’s will is involved in every event or trouble, attaching some noble purpose of good further down the road that ‘we just can’t see yet’, is totally without scriptural backing. Show the scripture if this is so.

Are all things a consequence of God’s will?

An example may be useful: Was the Class 5 Tornado in Oklahoma (5/20/13) God’s will? Did He directly purposely  choose those 9 children to die along with other 15 adults in that chaos? Would you conclude “God’s will be done”? The truth is good and bad may happen to everyone. The preacher proclaimed: “I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all.” (Eccl 9:11).

Was the brutal attack by Islamists running down an off duty British soldier and then hacking him to death (5/22/13) God’s will? Does “God’s will be done” include such acts of evil? Certainly not! The soldier perished because those blinded by Islam were doing the work of their father Satan: “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning…”(John 8:44).

But…God “causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). Yes, God set the world in motion, with what we refer to as “Laws of Nature” which determine the weather and temperature etc, but nowhere in scripture does it indicate God directly sends tornadoes to hurt individuals personally, “…time and chance overtake them all.” When someone jumps off a skyscraper and hits the ground, GRAVITY…which God’s will created, accelerates the individual quickly to his doom, but God did not tell him to jump! Jesus did tell His disciples to pray “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10). but nowhere did He indicate everything that happens IS God’s will!

Unfortunately some have idly said “God’s will be done!” when something negative happens…perhaps as though He willed it. This concept of God’s will makes Him responsible for everything good or bad. Believing God does not have a direct hand in everything does not mean He is somehow less powerful or will not interact with mankind OR that there is not a reason why something happens. There is just no Biblical basis to attribute a negative event to God. Brethren, we need to be careful of misapplying scripture and accidentally through our speech attributing something horrific to a matter of God’s will. Remember what the prophet Amos said “Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7). Without God speaking to us through divine prophecy, is it pure speculation to connect God’s will to any action or event that happens today. It may be His direct interaction, or it may not, but be very careful in giving God ‘credit’ for troubles that come your way.

We know God is almighty (Revelation 1:8), all knowing (Psalm 139), the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13). Our God is an awesome God. But some from this erroneously conclude that He controls every single action and event that takes place on earth. This is FALSE. Just because God is omniscient does not mean He controls every single event or action taken here on earth. Along with this false idea stems the concepts of ‘fate’, false beliefs about ‘predestination’, and ‘destiny’…all ideas which remove from us any personal decision making or responsibility. These beliefs create an existence that has already been determined, and therefore we can do nothing about, it is “God’s will”. Examples of this line of thought include: “Whatever will be will be” and “Nothing happens unless God decrees it”.

John Calvin (1509-1564AD) used this false concept of God’s sovereignty to dissolve any responsibility for mankind’s actions. Calvin claimed, as many blindly did before him, that since God is omnisciently sovereign, we have no control over any portion of our lives. Hence the system of Calvinism was born. Being a ‘domino style’ theology, each idea builds and is contingent upon the previous assumption. Total Depravity is built upon the false concept of God’s sovereignty, followed by Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints. These components together are easily remembered by the acronym TULIP. Calvinism has fooled many into complacency with the false notion that we can do nothing, there’s nothing to be done, God has done it all already, therefore live life, and realize it’s all been decided already! Concepts of fate, destiny, individual personal predestination, “what will be will be” play a big part in Calvinism. Most denominations have swallowed this unbiblical teaching, and unfortunately, many brethren have absorbed some of these ideas of fate and destiny unknowingly. Beware the error of Calvinism and erroneously attributing a loved one’s troubles to “God’s will”. Remember “…time and chance overtake them all.” (Eccl 9:11) and “…it is appointed for men to die…” (Hebrews 9:27).

David wrote concerning God: “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. 3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all.” (Psalms 139:1-4). As David pointed out God IS aware of everything we say and do. But He does NOT approve of everything OR actively manipulate everything around us. To assume such is to go beyond the scriptures and attribute events and deeds to God which at best is disrespectful, at worst blasphemous. This does not mean God never interacts, God hears prayers of those striving to please Him, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much…” (James 5:16). Why would James encourage us to pray if God’s will is already made up?

When we acknowledge “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” (James 4:14-17). we simply concede we are appointed to die, the humble, feeble creatures that we are…and should not boast (v16) falsely thinking we are all knowing about tomorrow (v14).

This is God’s will: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

God does not desire nor plan our grisly death, nor that we be blown away in a tornado. But, we must realize “you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14). God’s will is that we be prepared no matter what tomorrow brings! Are you prepared? “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:17-18).

God’s Will Be Done – By Kristofer Gardana

Was the Class 5 Tornado in Oklahoma God’s will? Did He purpose those 10+ children to die along with other adults in that chaos? The “God’s will be done” crowd would probably admit God is responsible for such disaster saying: “There’s a silver lining we just cannot see yet.” Was that brutal attack by Islamists killing an off duty British soldier outside a London military base God’s will? Does “God’s will be done” include such acts of evil? Certainly not! The preacher proclaimed: “I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all.” (Eccl 9:11). Jesus in showing His disciples how to pray included the phrase “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10) but that did not mean everything that ever happened IS God’s will! Yet we find ourselves mouthing, sometimes openly “God’s will be done!” when something negative happens… a concept that basically makes God responsible, since “He is in control”. Some have a false idea that everything that happens, happens for a reason, and possibly that reason is God’s will…

When someone gets sick, I’ve even overheard brethren in announcing such an ailing member say “God’s will be done!” No, God will is that we are faithful unto death…not that we get sick or do not get sick! Is it God’s will that we suffer through illness? Is He responsible for our sickness? Because we are sick…is something good going to come from it? I admit something good MAY occur, humility through weakness can soften the heart leading him to He who is strong, but the notion that God gave the sickness to us, with some noble purpose of good further down the road ‘we just can’t see yet’, is totally without scriptural basis. Show the scripture if this is so. Believing God does not have a direct hand in everything does not mean there is never a reason why things happen, just that you cannot scripturally attribute it directly on God. When someone jumps off a skyscraper and hits the ground, gravity…which God’s will created, accelerates the individual quickly to his doom, yet God did not tell him to jump!

Some quote Romans 8:28 “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” The phrase will go something like this: “I know this (situation x) is tough, but you know God causes all things to work together for good for those who love God, so something good is bound to happen from this….” Is this true? When a drunk driver swerves into oncoming traffic, colliding with other vehicles, mangling those who survive…is there something good about this?

Brethren, we need to be aware of such false application of scripture in actually attributing something horrific to God’s will. When something bad happens, either from an evil act or a natural disaster, some have the notion that God’s will WAS involved. But remember what the prophet Amos said “Surely the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7). Without God speaking to us through divine prophecy, is it pure speculation to connect God’s will to any action or event that happens today.

Some falsely conclude, from reading the scriptural descriptions of God (all powerful, all knowing, omniscient, the Alpha and the Omega)…that He is in control of every single action and event that takes place on earth. This is FALSE. Just because God is omniscient does not mean He controls every single event or action taken here on earth. Along with this false idea stems the concepts of ‘fate’, false beliefs about ‘predestination’, and ‘destiny’…all ideas which remove from us any personal decision making or responsibility. These concepts create an existence that has already been determined, and therefore we can do nothing about, it is “God’s will”. Examples of this line of thought include: “Whatever will be will be” and “Nothing happens unless God decrees it”.

John Calvin used this false concept of God’s sovereignty to dissolve any responsibility for mankind’s actions. John Calvin merely consolidated the ideas of Augustine and others. They claimed that since God is omnisciently sovereign, we have no control over any portion of our lives. Hence the system of Calvinism was born. Many denominations have swallowed this false teaching, and unfortunately, many brethren have latched onto some of these ideas unknowingly. We need to be aware of the dangers of Calvinism, recognizing it when we see it or erroneously think something negative is “God’s will being done”. Let’s consider some erroneous conclusions of Calvin based upon the false premise of God’s sovereignty:

Total Depravity: The false idea that we are totally depraved, ie unable to do anything good, completely corrupt from conception, inheriting the sin of Adam. “The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and works, to faith, and calling upon God; wherefore we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God!” [Methodist Discipline (Creed of Methodist Church); Article VIII]. Yet Ezekiel writes: “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.” (Ezekiel 18:20).

Unconditional Election: “By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestined to everlasting life, and others are foreordained to everlasting death” (Westminster Confession Of Faith”,p.3). Accepting the first condition, Calvin needs a way for some of mankind to be saved, hence “Unconditional Election”. Since we can do no good, unable to do anything righteous or spiritual, God made the choice to choose us unconditionally. Some He predestined individually to be condemned to hell.

Limited Atonement: “LIMITED” – confined within a certain range, narrow, restricted. “ATONEMENT” – an act done to amend or make up for wrongs done. This has reference to the blood of Christ. In other words the blood of Christ is not for everyone…He only died for the “elect”. If a man is lost, it is because Christ did not die for him. This concept contradicts what Peter wrote: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). Paul told Timothy: “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

Irresistible Grace: This false concept builds upon the previous false ideas, in contending that since God is sovereign and in control of everything, we cannot resist His divine election of us. However we may choose or desire to be wicked, God has IRRESISTIBLY given us His favor. We are elected no matter what we may wish or desire. Since man can do nothing to save himself, God does the saving and man can do nothing to prevent himself from being saved. It believes in the direct operation of the Holy Spirit, complete separate and apart from the word of God. This contradicts what Stephen said shortly before he was stoned to death: “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did.” (Acts 7:51). According to Calvin, resistance is futile.

Perseverance of the Saints: Better known as ‘once saved always saved’. “They whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally or finally fall away from the state of grace: but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved ” [Westminster Confession (Presbyterian Church); Chapter XIX]. John Calvin’s systematic theology requires that once one accepts the above concepts about God’s will and our inability to do anything at all, we must then realize we can do nothing to be lost once God has unconditionally, irresistibly, arbitrarily elected us. The concept is that we cannot do anything to be released from God’s electing us. Many denominations have rejected or modified the previous parts of Calvinism, yet have maintained the false idea that one cannot be lost after being ‘saved’.

These five points of Calvinism either stand or fall together. To accept one is to accept all, they logically have to go together to be valid on their own. We need to remember the word of David concerning God “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. 3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O Lord, You know it all.” (Psalms 139:1-4). God is aware of everything but does NOT approve of everything or actively manipulate everything around us. To assume such is to go beyond the scriptures and attribute events and deeds to God which at best is disrespectful, at worst blasphemous. Be very careful idly speaking “God’s will be done” when something negative happens. This is God’s will: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3-4). When we quote James “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” (James 4:14-17) we merely acknowledge we are appointed to die, humble creatures as we are and should not boast (v16) falsely thinking we are all knowing about tomorrow (v14). This does not mean God desires our grisly death, or that we be blown away in a tornado. We just must realize “you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (v14).