Thursday, June 11, 2009

Book Excerpt: Examine the Evidence by Ralph O. Muncaster

Book Excerpt:

Why Did God Create This Kind of Earth?

God's ultimate purposes for human beings are often mentioned in the Bible, our only reliable authority about him. Among his many purposes, God created the earth and its creatures for the dominion of human beings (Genesis 1:26-28). But his ultimate objectives for humans are that they:

  • freely love him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30)
  • worship him forever (Revelation 4:21-22)
  • enjoy direct fellowship with him (Revelation 21:3)
  • enjoy an eternal life that is beyond earthly imagination (Matthew 13:44-46)

How God's Objectives Fit with the Kind of World We Live In

1. God had to create something. Otherwise his objectives could not have been expressed.

2. God could have created a world without evil. Humans could have been "programmed" to always choose the right and holy path. This would have resulted in a world of God-directed "robots." Love would not exist, because love requires a free-will choice. You cannot program something to love you. (For example, one could program a computer to say "I love you"- but naturally that would not be real love.)

3. Since God loves perfectly, and since he desires human beings to love him perfectly in turn, mankind was allowed free will. This gave human beings the opportunity to choose to love both God and others. However, it also allowed them the choice not to love. God's decision to allow free will resulted in a perfect world- but one that has been and is being used for imperfect choices.

4. Though God created everything perfect, perfect things can be and are used for evil.

  • Fire can heat or cook, but it can also injure and kill.
  • Nuclear energy can generate electricity, but it can also be used for bombs.
  • Metal can be used for many wonderful things, but it can also be made into guns.
  • Our minds can be used to help people, but they can also be used to hate people.

5. Evil is a choice to misuse perfect things, thus bringing corrupt results. Evil is not a "thing;" it is the absence of a thing- the absence of purity and holiness. It is the misuse of things that were created perfect and were meant to be used perfectly. In other words, evil could not be defined, nor could it even exist, if there were no holy, pure things in the first place. To give a couple of rough examples, if no sight existed, how would we know the evil of someone's gouging out another's eyes with his perfect thumbs? If humans had no legs to begin with, how would we know the evil of becoming paralyzed in an accident caused by a drunk driver- the result of misusing God's perfect gift of a mind and a properly functioning car?

6. A loving God could let everyone-even very evil people-into heaven. After all, wouldn't that be perfect forgiveness and love? However, it would contradict the other attributes of God's character-his perfect holiness and justice-because evil would enter the holy place where God lives, and because it would be unjust-evil would not receive its proper penalty. Consequently, the world God created required 1) choice, so that we can show perfect love for him; and 2) redemption, so that his perfect justice and holiness can be expressed (Romans 3:21-26).

Through Jesus we can be "made perfect" (Hebrews 10:1-4). But we need to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, turning from evil, so we can gain his ultimate perfection. Jesus came to earth as a human, suffering all temptations and trails of a human being so we could relate to him. Then he allowed himself to be executed in one of the most horrible, painful, and humiliating ways ever conceived by humans- to demonstrate God's great love for us and to provide forgiveness for all who want it. Rejecting, or not accepting, this free gift of love and forgiveness is the ultimate demonstration of disdain for God.

Courage and Godspeed,

No comments: