God’s Providence

Great Days in History: The Unfolding of the Scheme of Redemption

The fact that God’s work in creation could be finished highlights His providence. After discussing Jesus’ role in creation (Colossians 1:16), Paul wrote, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). The Greek word translated “hold together” or “consist” (KJV) is the same word that is translated “formed” in 2 Peter 3:5 – “For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water.” God “formed” this world and because of the perfect way in which He formed it, everything is held together as it needs to be.

In this perfect creation, God’s providence is ongoing. The psalmist made this point: “Your faithfulness continues throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands. They stand this day according to Your ordinances, for all things are Your servants” (Psalm 119:90-91). Because God’s word is “forever… settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89) and this word was used to bring about the physical world around us (Psalm 33:6-9), His faithfulness continues to be on display for all to see. This was what Paul meant when he told the residents of Lystra that God “did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). God’s ongoing providence is a witness to His existence and care for mankind.

After the flood, God made Noah this promise: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). To this day, God’s promise is still being carried out. Even the mockers in Peter’s day acknowledged this, though they failed to appreciate the significance of it: “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:4). These mockers were citing the fact that “all continues just as it was” as the reason why they doubted the promise of Christ’s return. In other words, they saw the ongoing providence of God but completely missed the point. God was keeping His promise that the earth would continue in its regular seasons and cycles; therefore, they (and we) could be assured that He will keep His promise that Christ would return. “All continues just as it was” (2 Peter 3:4) because that was how God designed this world to function. It will continue to work this way as long as “the earth remains” (Genesis 8:22).

The above post is an excerpt from the book, Great Days in History: The Unfolding of the Scheme of Redemption by Andy Sochor. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

The Lord Will Return When God’s Patience Has Run Out

Basic Bible Truths: Laying a Foundation for a Lifetime of Spiritual Growth and Service

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come…” (2 Peter 3:9-10).

One of the great characteristics of God is His patience. His patience was on display as He waited to destroy the wicked until after Noah finished building the ark (1 Peter 3:20). His “perfect patience” made it possible for Paul – the “foremost of all” sinners – to be saved (1 Timothy 1:15-16). The patience of God is why the world remains – He is giving us time to repent. This is why Peter said we should “regard the patience of the Lord as salvation” (2 Peter 3:15).

However, at some point God’s patience will run out. This will happen when the Lord returns. At that point, those who are unfaithful will be destroyed. Paul warned the Romans of this: “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds” (Romans 2:4-6). The thought of God’s wrath building against us ought to be frightening. His patience allows us time to avoid that wrath; but when the Lord returns, that time will be up.

The above post is an excerpt from the book, Basic Bible Truths: Laying a Foundation for a Lifetime of Spiritual Growth and Service. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

Justice for Man Comes from the Lord (Notes on Proverbs)

My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs

The following is an excerpt from the book, My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs.

Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice for man comes from the Lord” (29:26). This is possibly the most important verse to remember in the book of Proverbs about our attitude toward civil authorities. Many people seek the favor of rulers because they see these leaders as holding the power of life or death over them (cf. 16:14-15). Yet we must remember that “justice for man comes from the Lord.” Any justice from civil authorities only comes as they comply with the will of God. Any injustice from civil authorities will one day be made right by God as He is over all, even those who rule over us in this life. Rather than looking to civil authority as our deliverer and the standard of righteousness, we need to look to God for these things. We must never forget the surpassing greatness of God and the inferiority and comparative weakness of human rulers.

You can read more comments on the book of Proverbs in My Son, Hear My Words: Notes on Proverbs. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

The Local Church is Capable (Plain Bible Teaching)

Plain Bible Teaching: The First Ten Years

The following is an excerpt from the book, Plain Bible Teaching: The First Ten Years.

The local church is capable of accomplishing what God intends. The church does not need to implement man’s ideas in place of, or in addition to, God’s. The church does not need the aid of human institutions or sponsoring churches. Christians do not need to form human organizations through which they can engage in spiritual works. They have the church for this. This is God’s design. We do not need to try to improve it.

Yet some will say, “Look at the good we can do” by engaging in some unauthorized practice. But we need to remember that what is good has been defined by God. The word of God is able to make us “adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). If we cannot find authority for a practice in the word of God, we cannot classify it as a good work. If something is a good work, it has already been authorized by God in His word.

Others might say, “We can do more this way.” Such a statement indicts God as providing something that is inferior to the inventions of man. Is God’s design inadequate? “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty?” (Job 40:2). Who are we to say that we have come up with something superior to what God has given in the church?

We do not need to rely on our own wisdom (Proverbs 14:12). We simply need to trust in God that His way is best (Proverbs 3:5). Let us have enough faith and trust in God that we will not look for a better way. Instead, let us simply do things in the way He has directed, through the organization He has established.

You can read more in Plain Bible Teaching: The First Ten Years. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

Civil Government: Chapter 6 – A Minister of God, or of Satan? (Excerpt)

Civil Government - coverIn the book of Revelation, the Lord warned the church in Smyrna of the persecution that was coming. He said, “The devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days” (Revelation 2:10). This persecution was being carried out by the civil authorities (the Roman government). Were these authorities acting as the minister of God here when they persecuted Christians? On the contrary, they were doing the work of the devil. Their service to Satan is so plainly indicated here that their work of throwing Christians into prison is attributed to the devil himself.

When a government rejects its God-given role and begins to do harm to the ones who should be enjoying its protection, that government ceases to be a minister of God and becomes a minister of Satan.

You can read more about how civil authorities may act either as God’s ministers or as Satan’s ministers in Civil Government: What the Bible Says About Its Origin, History, Nature, and Role. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!