The Crucial Decision All Must Make
"For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, 'For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show my power in you, and that my Name may be declared in all the earth.' Therefore he has mercy on whom he wills, and whom he wills he hardens. You will say to me then, 'Why does he still find fault? For who has resisted his will?'” Romans 9:17-19 This is undoubtedly one of the more difficult passages in the Scriptures. When you read that God hardened Pharaoh's heart, your human reaction is "that's not fair!" Anticipating this very response, the Scripture goes on to address that: "Why does he still find fault, or who has resisted his will?" And at this point you're eagerly anticipating the answer... but here it is.... vs 20: "But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, 'Why have you made me like this?'" And that leaves you wondering, because it seems totally unjust. In fact, I was reluctant to even address this subject because I doubted that I could persuade anyone otherwise, and I told the Lord that I need to write on something else. But the Lord prodded me that no, I am to address this... The whole matter depends on one thing: whether or not a person trusts the INTEGRITY of God. To trust the integrity of God means that I have to lay aside my human reasoning and surrender my opinions to the God who I believe IS fair, IS righteous, and IS right in all he says and does, because he says that about himself. If I do not have that level of RESPECT, then the subject ends here. If you do not have that level of respect, read no further for this is not for you. If you're still with me ...let's start with the statement: "...he who does not believe God has made Him a liar..." 1 John 5:10 Is that possible? Might God be a liar? According to Scripture, God is THE TRUTH personified. "I am the way, THE TRUTH, and the life..." John 14:6 You'll say, "you're using Scripture to explain Scripture but we haven't determined the trustworthiness of Scripture." Exactly. The decision has to be made FIRST - whether or not to trust the Word of God, the Bible. Do we believe there IS a God who created the universe? And if he did, can we believe that he watches over his Word - the most important thing to mankind? If no, then the discussion is over. Go your way. This is not for you. If yes, we have to put aside our HUMAN REASONING and surrender it to the wisdom of the God who created us and gave us his Word. When we pick and choose what we'll believe, we're putting our human thinking above the wisdom of the most high God. We're saying, in effect, "That can't be right because it doesn't seem right to me." By extension, we're saying to God, "You're wrong." "You're wrong," to him who created the galaxies? To him who orders the seasons to appear each in their time? To him who designed your own DNA? If we do not believe God, if we do not have total respect for the Word of God, we might as well pack it up and move on. If we cannot come to this level of respect for the Word of God, then we have to leave him and his Word. Put him out of our lives. It is at this point that each person has to make a decision and I challenge you right now to make that decision, and make it a lifetime decision. Accept the Word of God as truth, or leave him. Don't be lukewarm. Don't be double-minded. Make the decision today and if nay, God grants you your choice; and at the end of your life it will be shown who was the liar. If we are to believe the Word of God we have to come to the place where we understand that it is not for us to select something from God’s Word and hold it up to the "light" of OUR understanding and then decide whether to accept it or reject it. When there is a gap between God’s Word and your understanding, you can be sure the fault lies in your understanding. We have to truly understand what he's saying when he says: "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways,' says the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" Isaiah 55:8-9 And that's the answer. His reasoning is not inferior to our reasoning. He gives us his Word and it needs to be settled in our minds that when we come to a passage we do not understand, we put it on the shelf - knowing his Word is true and my understanding is limited. Knowing this also: when one rejects truth, lies fill the void. The following is the greatest presentation on this subject that I've ever seen. Watch this, and if you agree, pass it on.