authority of the believer, biblical scholarship, calamity, christianity, church, death, divine healing, faith, false doctrine, God's promises, God's will, heresies, Jesus Christ, pope, prayer, religion, sickness, sovereignty of God, spiritual authority, theology
In the last 5 posts, I’ve been making the case that the God of the Bible does not go around killing people, inflicting them with diseases, or causing disasters nowadays.
This post, we’ll continue exploring the promises of God.
In my last post, we discussed how God has sovereignly limited His own sovereignty by telling us in His Word that there are certain things He will and won’t do in general as well as His responses to our behaviors and attitudes.
Let’s explore some of these promises, specifically ones concerning salvation, health/healing, divine protection, and financial provision.
Promises of Salvation
First, let’s discuss salvation and what that entails. There are numerous verses in the OT that collectively predict that salvation would come to God’s people, the Jews, as well as the Gentiles (the rest of mankind) through a Messiah/Christ that would be born of a virgin in Bethlehem and suffer for the sins of the world. The NT also contains verses collectively stating in no-uncertain-terms that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, but these two sum it all up quite nicely:
…there is no other name under heaven given among men by which by which we must be saved. — Acts 4:12
…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. — Romans 10:9-10
No mature believer contests the Truth and validity of such verses. Indeed, all of them would shout, “Amen!!” to a proclamation that it is impossible to have a vital faith in the Person and finished work of Jesus Christ without accepting these verses as absolute Truth, quoting the verse, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17 NKJV), among others.
Promises of Healing & Protection
However, when we start addressing such verses such as where it says,
…Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by Whose stripes you were healed. — 1 Peter 2:24
These same folks will not even remotely question the first part of the verse as being subject to God’s whims to save or not, but will immediate start waffling on the second half where it starts talking about healing, saying, “Well what if it’s not God’s will to heal me?” instead of taking Him at His clearly written Word that it is indeed His will to heal us.
In The Book of Psalms, it says:
No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. — Psalm 91:10-11
Calvinists who vociferously rise to defend the Truth of salvation in Jesus would say, “Well, God is sovereign and sometimes He lets evil come our way to teach us to be humble or to depend on Him.” or some other such pious-sounding drivel. Again, why would God promise His angelic protection against evil and sickness if He isn’t going to do it?
Elsewhere in Psalms, you will find:
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. — Psalm 103:1-5
Again, many would agree that God always “forgives all our iniquities,” “redeems our lives from destruction,” and “crowns us with lovingkindness and tender mercies,” but when pressed on the issue of “heals all our diseases,” they start hemming and hawing over whether it is always God’s will to heal us.
Promises of Financial Provision
Many of those same folks would also erroneously say, “God doesn’t give me any money to keep me humble” despite the fact that dozens of times throughout the OT and NT God states that He will not only meet our needs, but actually prosper us financially. The following verse promises:
And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need, be self-sufficient — possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation. — 2 Corinthians 9:8 (Amplified)
Some would explain this away as some sort of spiritual blessing only. But if you follow proper Bible exegetical principles, the context of this verse is a monetary offering, so applying this verse to finances is a perfectly — indeed the only — legitimate interpretation.
So Where’s the Line?
Am I the only one who sees the double-standard here? These are just a few such cases. I could cite far more!
So where can we safely draw the line between where God will sovereignly keep His Word and honor His promises, and those where He is permitted to take a notion and not honor them?
Why? Because that puts us squarely in the same seats as those liberal-denomination theologians who water down the Word and say that some or all of the Bible is simply mythology and legends, or there are paths to God other than Jesus, or that Jesus saved everyone and it doesn’t matter what we believe, or that Jesus was just another great teacher like Buddha or Mohammed, or that miracles never happened, etc., etc., using human reason to determine what part of God’s Word is true and what is not.
As finite, fallible, and mostly clueless human beings, we don’t have the freedom to make those distinctions. We have only 2 choices:
- Believe all of it, or;
- Believe none of it!
Thanks for reading!