“The Sovereignty of God, Re-visited”
The Rev. Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
All Christians affirm the sovereignty of God. Yet all Christians hedge on God’s sovereignty on some aspect of life. You may hear, “God is sovereign but I chose Him and was saved” Or, “God is sovereign but the He has nothing to do with the evil that we see.” I’ve forgotten who originally said, “If there is one molecule of Creation outside of God’s authority, He is not God!” As a believer in the Lord, Jesus Christ, I have found that the issue of God’s sovereignty is the primary means that God uses to change me. As I live my life in Christ, aspects of my own perceived autonomy are broken down by God.
The obvious one, one that occurred early in my life in Christ is the sovereignty of God in my salvation. I initially thought that my salvation was based upon my choice of believing in Jesus. It didn’t take very long before God broke that down. He convicted me of my pride of ownership. He showed me that my choice was a response of God choosing me. His word states clearly that He chose me before the foundation of the world, Ephesians 1:3-4. He also convicted me that His choice of me was not based upon anything in me. His choice was solely based upon His electing grace. My salvation, my security, everything that I am and have been made is due to the God who is sovereign. He alone is God and besides Him there is no Savior, Isaiah 43:11
Concerning the evil we see all around us, God has said that nothing occurs outside of His ordained plan. He is not the author of evil, yet evil done by others is part of His plan. The word also declares that God’s plan is good. Evil is not good. But, its place in God’s plan will be used for good. The Apostle Paul wrote, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
Reasonable men and women know that evildoers exist in the world. The recent event in Orlando, FL was done by an evildoer. An adherent to radical Islam planned and implemented his plan for doing evil. The evil done was not caused by guns or any other weapon. This evil act was not about homosexuality. This evil and all evil are done by individuals. This particular evildoer in Orlando, FL was motivated by a false religion that expresses devotion to a false god. Let me say as an aside, that genuine Christians grieve along with the families of the victims of this evildoer. There is no joy or rejoicing over the taking of human life. Those who call themselves pastors of Christian Churches that teach otherwise are what the Bible declares as deceivers and false teachers. They are promoting evil as much as is radical Islam!
Our hope is in a sovereign God. God is sovereign over evil. He will crush all evildoers.
God is in charge! By the plain meaning of the word, “God”, He must be in charge or He’s not God.
God revealed His sovereignty with declarative statements, Genesis 1:1, Matthew 28:18. He also revealed it through historic narratives, E.G. Daniel 4: 34-37. Daniel, a faithful worshiper of God, recorded an incident that involved a pagan king. The king’s name was Nebuchadnezzar. He was a ruthless man, king of the ancient Babylonian Empire. This king had a very confusing dream about a huge tree that “a holy one from heaven” ordered to be chopped down. God empowered Daniel to interpret the dream. Daniel’s interpretation predicted that the king would be humbled until he acknowledged the one true God.
God drove the king mad. He made him act and appear animal-like. When God restored the king’s senses, Nebuchadnezzar said these words about God, “His (God’s) dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and He does according to His will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?”’
When it comes to salvation, evil or any circumstance of life, God is in charge, He planned them and will use them for His glory and our good.