Wednesday, 22 May 2013


It amuses me somewhat that in a culture that ridicules spiritual things, especially Christian things, but most especially the notion of an all-knowing/all-powerful God, that the idea that history is heading along aninevitable course, is so widely used as the reason for social change. It strikes me thatinevitability and destiny are distinctly Theistic (Christian) concepts. After all, in an atheistic worldview, there is no God guiding history - therefore nothing is inevitable! Yet this word, inevitable, is being used with such regularity, it may be inevitable that it will one day dawn on those who use it that (because they are using it) their social agenda is actually not what the Sovereign Law Giver has decreed at all. But what really makes something inevitable?

Some of us are old enough to remember people who claimed that their right to rule the world was inevitable. In the 1930s there was a man who claimed that it was inevitable that his empire would conquer the world and last a thousand years! Fortunately he was wrong! I believe in inevitability - because I am a follower of Christ. Inevitability can be positive (change for the better) ornegative (change for the worse). The Bible teaches this. In Romans 1, for example, it says that when people "supress the truth" it is inevitable that people's thinking "becomes darkened" and that eventually it will inevitably lead to grossly immoral behaviour-
¶ For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Romans 1:26-27
Because I am a follower of Christ and believe the Bible to be God's Word to all of mankind, I think it is inevitable that if the Church wisely and boldy proclaims the love and forgiveness of God, more people will be converted to becoming followers of Christ and society's morals and laws will increasingly reflect respect for our Maker. It is also inevitable for a church to be healthy and blessed when it courageously carries out the Great Commission of our adorable Saviour-
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:19-20
Yet Romans 1 also pronounces a solemn warning that God's great displeasure will come upon those who not only practice such things as listed in Romans 1:29-31, but upon those who do nothing about it and thereby lend their approval to such vile conduct.
Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Romans 1:32
It is of course inevitable that when followers of the Christmas Child point out to a society that their behaviour is sin, that they will be ridiculed. Ridicule, of course, is not an argument - yet some who are desperately attempting to supress the truth have no real justification for their sin, so they are forced to ridicule and name-call. I listened intently for the particular argument that swayed a former Australian Prime Minister into announcing a nonsensical backflip on a previously sound position. "My daughters thought I was a dinosaur for still believing that marriage was only between a man and a woman." That was it. No swaying argument. No new evidence. No real reason. Just a capitulation to ridicule. When people are swayed more by the opinions of others it is inevitable that they will relinquish common sense and adopt foolishness. This former PM went on to say that Same-Sex Marriage was "inevitable". Romans 1 agrees with him if you appreciate the "if" underlying Romans 1.
¶ And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
Romans 1:28-31
But what if the conditions of Romans 1's "if" are not met? That is, the truth is not supressed. Rather than people becoming darkened in their thinking, they become enlightened in their thinking? Rather than people refusing to acknowledge God or give Him thanks, they begin to honour Him and thank Him? Rather than people worshiping creation (the "environment") they worship the Creator? Then Romans 1 presents us with an entirely different inevitability. This can only happen when a church, prayerfully, earnestly and boldly proclaims the Gospel of God's power to save (Romans 1:16). It is this message of the light of God's love that not only shines on darkness and exposes it (see Eph. 5:11) it also dispels darkness! And unlike any other form of darkness, this is a darkness of the human soul that is felt in the heart.
Today there are so many people who gripped by darkness. It clouds their thinking. It hurts their conscience. It nags at them. When Jesus Christ was executed on the Cross He experienced the eternal weight of guilt's darkness and conquered it! It is now only through Jesus that people can find forgiveness of their sins, freedom from their fears, and cleansing from their guilt. If you surrender your life to Christ, it is inevitable that He will not only forgive and cleanse you, He will reassign you into a live of meaning and purpose. It's inevitable.
¶ Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
First Corinthians 6:9-11
I suspect that our Maker considers it inevitable that when His image bearers attempt to declare their own version of inevitability by resorting to (re)defining for themselves the Laws that govern life and matter (Laws which we can only best describe not redefine) they will discover to their shame and hurt that such attempts are utterly foolish (and arrogant). We may not like gravity. We may even consider that gravity is rather intolerant. We may even declare, because of such sentiments, it is inevitable that gravity will have to be redefined in order to keep up with the times. We may even encounter reasonable and caring people who point out to us that we can only describe gravity and not redefine it. Never mind these dinosaurs! They simply belong to a by-gone era where truth was once objective and people thought that we were all created by a God who also established the Laws that govern people and matter. Dinosaurs!

You may feel that your life is heading an inevitable direction - which you realise is not in your best interests. Jesus Christ has demonstrated in countless millions of lives that He does not share the view that your doom is inevitable. He has radically redeemed the course of many lives seemingly headed toward an inevitable demise who turned to Him and were graced with His favour. In the Bible we think of Joseph, Moses, Daniel, and others who faced inevitable doom but discovered that the One who rules what He has made has His own version of inevitability. If you feel empty, or guilty, or like your life is doomed, there is hope. You may have had a negative experience in your childhood. You don't have to end up like your father, mother, or even continue your family history. It's not inevitable! But what is inevitable is that if you seek (God's best for your life) you will find it. If you knock (on the door of God's redeeming grace and forgiveness), it will be opened to you. You are one prayer away from changing what was inevitable if you do nothing about it.

Ps. Andrew

No comments:

Post a Comment