So, I've realized recently that I originally started this blog with the intention of exploring/discussing new things that God was teaching me about himself, or that I thought perhaps I was learning about God. At times I have gotten off of this course, at times I have stated things a little more emphatically than they should be if I truly see myself on a path of learning, but I realized today that the very thing I've been struggling with recently, the very thing that I've been contemplating and questioning, I have not posted about at all. So here goes. This will not be a well constructed, beautifully worded, eloquent post, because this will be a post of questions, not answers. These have been recent thoughts and struggles in my head.
Question raised by a friend - "How could God, if He is love, create the world knowing beforehand that people would go to Hell? And not only foreknowing this, but actually predestining it, actually planning that it should be so?"
This question has in some ways plagued me in the past few months. It has been addressed numerous times by many great thinkers and theologians. I know the "answers" to it, but it still in some ways plagues me. I have listened to John Piper on the topic, and have read Jonathan Edwards' "The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners". I have considered Ephesians 3 which says "I became a servant of this gospel...to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. his intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." So we know that this mystery was kept hidden IN God for ages past. I feel that one could contemplate that for a lifetime. And we know that God created ALL things.... wow! And this tells us His intent, His eternal purpose (what! Wow, this is God's ETERNAL purpose!!) that through the church (!) the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities [of the world. Right? NO!] in the heavenly realms!!!
So, I've gotten thus far. God has called the elect, the church, and in so doing his wisdom is displayed to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. And this was His eternal purpose and the reason as to why he created all things (both the elect and those who will perish).
Ok, so I know WHY God created the world with the intention of some going to Hell. He did it to display his wisdom. Ok, great, let's move on. But wait a second.....how could he do that without compromising his love? How can God be loving and also wise in this kind of way? Here John Piper's words ring in my head. It is because the most loving thing that God can do is to be God. Our only satisfaction is in God, so he must reveal himself and be true to who he is, and since he is wise he MUST display this and it is the LOVING thing to do. Ok, makes sense. I get it....but I still struggle.
WHY?? HOW??? How could God devise such a plan? Isn't there another way? Couldn't he have shown his wisdom and love some other way?
Ok, enough for today. More thoughts later.