There is a common desire in people for a plot. Everyone seeks to find the rhythm to the pages their life is written upon. We all seek to understand the themes of life, whose who in the character list, and what part are we to play in the show unfolding before us.
Man’s responsibility and God’s sovereignty are often seen as opponents. But within the Bible, these two go hand in hand. The Bible does not try to explain how these two can coexist without violating one another. The Bible simply explains how man’s responsibility is directly tied to God’s sovereignty.
Problems arise amongst Christians as we discuss the relationship between man’s responsibility and God’s sovereignty when we begin to put emphasis on truths that the Bible does not place emphasis on.
Why can’t we understand God completely?
It would be a great travesty if we were able to understand God completely.
Life is more than confusing. With all its twists and turns and movements without knowing where we are headed, it is no surprise that at times we wish we could fully understand what God is doing in our lives. If only we could know what he is up to, we reason, then we would be able to trust his love for us.
Today we will be talking about Thomas. Doubting Thomas, as he has been known throughout the centuries. As we read today, I think we will see that Thomas is a perfect example of all of us at times. We all have questions about God, some nagging thought we fear might unravel our faith if we investigate it too deeply, but then we blurt it out at God more as an accusation than a question asked in faith.
So as we study our texts of John 20:24-31 and John 14:4-7, I would like to answer this question, “What should you do when you have questions about God?” As we will see by studying these passages, Jesus doesn’t have a problem with our questions. He has a problem with our doubt. And there is a big difference between the two.
Have you ever wondered why we humans think the stars are beautiful? We know they are just gases, atoms, heat and pressure millions of miles away, but why is it all so majestic to our senses?
Or what about the changing of the leaves during the fall season, why is that so stunning to us? A running horse in a big green field, galloping as it seems to shake the ground beneath your feet no matter how far you stand from it, why can’t we look away?
There is a giant hole in the universe that can be felt no matter where you turn. Every song you here, every show you watch, and every novel you read has some echo of this hole reverberating through its content.
Why is the Trinity so confusing?
It is perhaps the most important doctrine in all of Christianity. And the Trinity is probably the most confusing doctrine as well. God is one, and God is three. It sounds like a really hard math problem. But God is not an equation to be figured out, but rather our Lord to be loved, enjoyed, and obeyed.
It seems every few pages you turn in the Old Testament, someone is dying as a penalty for their sins. Compared to the New Testament, the Old Testament seems much more violent and less merciful. So why are the Old Testament laws so harsh?
Why are Old Testament laws so harsh? Why does God seem so mean in the Old Testament and nice in the New Testament? Why does God kill so many people in the Old Testament? Why is God angry in the Old Testament and then merciful in the New Testament? Why Does God punish people like homosexuals in the Old Testament? Why does God command Israel to kill other nations and take their lands? Why is the Old Testament so violent? How can the God of the Old Testament be same as the God in the New Testament?
Skeptics and Christians alike often find it difficult to reconcile how God is presented in the Old Testament compared to the New Testament. With a quick read it seems the God of the Old Testament is different than the God of the New Testament. Thus, it is no surprise that many ask questions like, “Why are Old Testament laws so harsh?” “Why does God seem so mean in the Old Testament?” “Why does God seem so different in the Old Testament?” Or “Why is the Old Testament so full of violence when Jesus seems so peaceful?”