Despite the mystery and the unanswered questions, God is worthy of our trust. Do you believe He will finish what He begun—to take you all the way to the finish line and beyond?
“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.”
- 1 Chronicles 29:11
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Transcript: Hi, welcome to Five Minutes With Pastor Lutzer. Thanks again for joining us as we continue the study on the attributes of God. And as you have frequently heard me say that in God’s presence, we should always be humbled, repentant, and we should worship. And today as we contemplate the omnipotence of God—that is, the fact that God is all powerful—indeed, we should worship. We should be in awe of God.
The text I have before me actually comes from First Chronicles. First Chronicles chapter 29, and I’m beginning here in verse 11: “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the Earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.” By the way, I also like the fourth chapter of the book of Revelation, verse 11: “Thou hast created all things and for Thy purposes, for Thy will.” I love the King James. It says, “For Thy pleasure they are, and were created.” Wow.
Let me ask you a question. Is there anything that can impede or stop God’s purposes? Well once again today, we’re going to jump into the deep end of the theological swimming pool. Most evangelicals believe this: that God had Adam and Eve in the garden, and He kind of hoped that they would obey Him. And when they didn’t, He came along and kind of cleaned up the mess, and He brought us Jesus and redemption and so forth. So He went from plan A which man ruined, to plan B.
Well I want you to think about this for a moment. I think that the whole fall was actually plan A. How else could we read in the Bible that Jesus Christ was crucified from before the foundation of the world? Or for that matter—the book of Ephesians, we read that we were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. Perhaps you’ve heard me say it before, but I believe that God created in order to redeem.
You say, “Well, what about free will?” Well there we go again. It’s the kind of discussion I wish that we could have in a classroom. But let me tell you that God’s purposes are never thwarted by Satan, or even the free will of man. Now that is, theologically, something that we need to be able to assess.
Maybe I can give you an illustration that will help. There is a story about a nobleman who loved trees, the trees that grew on his land. And everybody knew that he loved them. But he had a very evil neighbor who wanted to do some destruction. So he climbed over the fence, took one of the trees—several of the trees—and cut them down. Now mind you, when the trees fell, one of the trees fell on this evil neighbor. In the morning, the nobleman came out to see his trees, and he had a man with him. And there was the evil man, who was pinned under a tree, who said, “Well, you know I’m pinned under this tree, but notice that I have wrecked your forest.” And the man said, “No you haven’t. As a matter of fact, the man who’s with me is actually a builder. I intend to build a house, and I wanted to have some trees cut down. Thank you so much for doing much of my work for me.”
Now, of course, the evil man would be judged for what he did, but he did not know that he was actually furthering the nobleman’s purpose. As a matter of fact, there’s a verse of Scripture in the Bible, in the book of Acts chapter 2, that says that. It says that “Evil people were gathered together against God to do what Thy hand predetermined would be done.” So they will be judged by God to be sure, but ultimately it was God’s will that Jesus die in Jerusalem. He got Himself crucified.
I know that there are all kinds of questions that you might like to ask about that, but I want you to simply bask in the fact that God’s purposes are always accomplished. If you ask, “Well, how does this relate to the problem of evil and so forth?” We can’t go into that today, and the simple fact is we don’t have all the answers. We have to approach these issues with great humility. We have to ponder them, but not think that we can read the fine print of God’s diary and find out everything that He is doing.
But first of all, God accomplishes whatever He desires to accomplish. Secondly, He finishes it. He’s not like Rafael the great painter in Rome, who died at the age of 38 and had a painting that was half finished. And when his coffin was taken through the streets of Rome, they had the coffin; on the coffin was a half-finished painting as a reminder of the fact that many of us die not having accomplished what we set out to do. But God always finishes what He set out to do. That’s why the apostle Paul says, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”
Bottom line, God is omnipotent. He is all powerful and He does everything that He can get the consent of his entire nature to do. What is the best thing for us? Despite the mystery, despite the unanswered questions? Let me give you some very good advice. And that is, let us put our lives in His hands. Wicked hands crucified Christ. And yet when Jesus died on the cross, what did He say? He said “Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit.” There comes a time when evil people can only do so much, and the hands of God take over. And we are trusting the hands of an all-powerful God, who always finishes everything that He begins. Best advice: let us trust Him to take us all the way to the other side.
So glad that you have joined us, and next time we’re gonna be talking about the unsearchable nature of God. I’m so glad, because I have found that God, in many respects, is unsearchable as we continue to probe His nature. Thanks for joining us. I sure hope that you join us again next time. And as for today, go with God.