Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Far as the Curse is found. These are words from "Joy to the World" which many of us sing at Christmas, and have for years. But what is "The Curse"? What does it effect and what is its extent?
Well not to put too fine a point on it, The Curse involves -- everything. It is played out or manifests itself in many ways from pain, anxiety, excessive labor, meanness, cheating, rudeness, crime and even death. It began when man sinned and so brought The Curse. Does this seem strange to you? The Curse effects Animals - Gen. 3:14 = "So the Lord said to the serpent; 'because you have done this, you are cursed more than all the cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.'" Note that the serpent was cursed more, but all the animals were cursed.
Also Minerals - Gen. 3:17 = "Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life." And then, Vegetable - Gen. 3:18 = "Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field." "Ok, I get it - there is pain and misery due to The Curse, but Why would a loving God do that to us?" Well, "because of His great love wherewith He loved us" (Eph. 2:4). I am unceasingly amazed at how attached people can get to a Wrecked Earth. What would it be like if we lived/dwelt in perfection? You see, all the pain and sadness in the world is a constant reminder that there is something wrong.
Jesus said: "for this cause came I into the world, to seek and to save that which was lost". Later He says: "As the Father has sent me, so send I you." Or how about - God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance". 2nd Peter 3:9 Since this is God's will for you, what might He be willing to allow to come into your life, good or bad by our standards, to bring about an acknowledgement of your need? If he let you dwell in perfection, would you be looking for a change? If everybody treated you well all the time, would you be too comfortable to see that you are trading an eternity in Glory, for what the Bible calls "a vapor" of contentment? If you were never sick, persecuted or slighted in any way, what would it take then to draw you to God?
Most of the problem with accepting the sovereignty or perfect will of God would be the fact that most people think they can make heaven on earth -- or that their rewards are ultimately available here. The reciprocal of this is where Christians stand on their soapbox and demand that lost folks act like God says they are supposed to when Romans 8:7 tells us that they don't because they can't. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." In short, viewed through the lens of eternity, the best thing that God can do is to redeem or "Save" you from an eternity in hell. Therefore, whatever He deems necessary to bring that to pass is for your benefit, even when it's the last thing you would wish on your worst enemy. These things are no more intended for your evil than was the death of His son, Jesus intended to hurt Him.
Next week, we'll look at exactly what Glorification looks like.
God Bless America.