As a new creature in Christ (1), God's plan for mankind seems so logical to me. Sometimes it amazes me that the unsaved can't see it but the Holy Spirit has opened my heart to Him and that's why it's so clear (2). Most unsaved people don't even realize they are rebelling against God (3).
I find it uplifting to meditate on the Lord's divine logic (4). As a completely hypothetical mental exercise, try to take God's perspective. Of course none of us are qualified to do this (5) but learning about Him helps us be more like Him (6). So, just for fun, what would you do if you were omnipotent (7), omniscient (8), omnipresent (9), and found yourself in the conditions described in Genesis 1:2? You'd start by creating beings in your image to fellowship with and a place for them to live (10).
You would want friends who recognized your authority and followed you (11). But they'd be given a free will to chose you (12) for a personal relationship as in the case of true friends (13). The problem with a free will is that it is a two-edged sword. Not only will beings with a free will chose to be your friend, there will be those who reject you (14). Since they are your creations (15), you know which of them will respond in your favor and which will not (16). Those against you would be banished from your presence and condemned to eternal punishment (17). Why eternal punishment (18)? What better everlasting reminder to your friends of your amazing grace to them (19).
You'd institute a period of testing to identify your friends from your enemies (20). And you'd even create a special being with limited powers that you know would rebel but still serve your purpose in leading astray those who would not be your friends (21). Since all are your creations, you would not want any to perish (22) but this is necessary for the greater glory you'll have from your friends who come to know the truth (23).
Your grace would be demonstrated to mankind through revealing your righteous standard to them (24). Those who would be your friends would come to know that without your grace, they would be lost (25). A special people would be chosen to bring your message to the world as long as they followed you (26). There would be prophets in which the people would know spoke for you because of the miracles they performed and their foretelling the future (27) which only you know (28). You'd have no reason to lie to them because you've defined the truth (29). Many would reject you even though they see fantastic feats (30) but this is all part of the process of identifying your friends (31) and those who deserve special rewards (32).
Your grace would extend so far as to visit the people you created in their world to tell them the truth in person (33). Your love for them would be demonstrated by suffering the ultimate sacrifice for their sins (34) then returning in a permanent body like the one you will give them so that they might have a blessed hope (35). Would you come as an conquering hero by the world's standards to give this message? No, God can do all things (36) so what better way to show mankind you identify with them than by assuming the station of a lowly servant (37)?
You wouldn't leave your friends alone but indwell them with your Holy Spirit (38) to give them a head start on fellowship (39) with you while they are still in the world. You'd give them a means to identify your truth through a reference document (40) that your Holy Spirit helps them understand (41). You'd speak to them through this document and by planting thoughts in their mind that draw them in the direction you'd have them go (42). Their faith would grow through subtle circumstances, coincidences that are too unexpected to be random, and your answering their prayers that are consistent with your will (43). With free choice, some will follow you and some will not (44). But even the exercise of man's free choice can not keep an omnipotent God's will from being done (45).
How would you end this period of testing? Remove your friends from the world (46) and show everyone that if they are left to their own devices, they'd make a mess of things (47). Then return in glory as the conquering hero you are to put things in order and keep the promises you made through the prophets of your chosen people (48). To conclude this period, you'd re-create the world (49) and provide a permanent home for the faithful to enjoy your fellowship forever (50).
The world believes there are many paths to life after death if it exists at all. If the "many paths" hope is true, Christians will be there as well. However, if Christians are right and the only way to have eternal life is through Jesus Christ, then those who are betting their eternal lives on "many paths" are headed to hell (51). Why can't they see it? (52) They see tolerance as the ultimate good yet are mercilessly intolerant of things they see that are in opposition to their philosophy. Don't they see the dichotomy? Thank God for His logic!
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(1) 2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (back)
(2) John 14:26 - "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." (back)
(3) Matthew 7:14 - "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." (back)
(4) Psalms 1:2 - But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. (back)
(5) Deuteronomy 3:24 - 'O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds? (back)
Psalms 71:19 - Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high, you who have done great things; O God, who is like You? (back)
(6) Romans 12:2 - And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (back)
(7) Jeremiah 32:17 - 'Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. (back)
(8) Psalms 147:5 - Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; his understanding is infinite. (back)
(9) Psalms 139:7-10 - Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. (back)
(10) Genesis 1:26 - Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." (back)
(11) John 15:14 - "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. (back)
(12) Titus 3:11 - Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. (back)
(13) 1 Corinthians 1:9 - God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (back)
(14) Job 24:13 - "There are those who rebel against the light; they do not know its ways nor abide in its paths." (back)
(15) Colossians 1:16 - For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (back)
(16) Romans 8:29 - For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (back)
(17) Revelation 21:8 - "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (back)
(18) Revelation 14:11 - "And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name." (back)
(19) Romans 5:20-21 - Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, (back)
(20) 2 Corinthians 5:10 - For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (back)
(21) Isaiah 14:12-15 - "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit." (back)
(22) 2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (back)
(23) Ephesians 2:4-7 - But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (back)
(24) Galatians 2:21 - "I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain." (back)
(25) Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (back)
(26) Genesis 12:1-3 - Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." (back)
(27) Hebrews 1:1-2 - God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; (back)
(28) Isaiah 46:8-10 - "Remember this, and show yourselves men; Recall to mind, O you transgressors. Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,'(back)
(29) Deuteronomy 32:4 - He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He. (back)
(30) Deuteronomy 29:3-4 - Now Moses called all Israel and said to them: "You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land-- "the great trials which your eyes have seen, the signs, and those great wonders. "Yet the LORD has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear, to this very day. (back)
(31) James 2:23 - And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God. (back)
(32) 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 - each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. (back)
(33) John 1:14 - And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (back)
(34) Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (back)
(35) 1 John 3:2-3 - Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (back)
(36) Matthew 19:26 - But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (back)
(37) Philippians 2:5-8 - Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (back)
(38) John 14:16-17 - "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (back)
(39) 2 Corinthians 13:14 - The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. (back)
(40) 2 Timothy 3:16 - All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (back)
(41) John 14:26 - "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." (back)
(42) 2 Thessalonians 3:5 - Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. (back)
(43) Hebrews 11:1 - Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (back)
(44) John 10:27 - "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." (back)
(45) Luke 18:27 - But He said, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." (back)
(46) 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 - For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (back)
(47) 2Thessalonians 2:6-8 - And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. (back)
(48) Revelation 1:7 - Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. (see also Rev 19:11 - Rev 20:6) (back)
(49) 2 Peter 3:12-13 - Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (back)
(50) John 14:1-3 - "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (back)
(51) John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (back)
(52) 1 Corinthians 2:14 - But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (back)