The natural mind refuses to believe the Bible. This is understandable. The Bible makes plain statements that will send our socks screaming down the sidewalk while we are left standing barefoot on the pavement in a cold sweat. The only real choice we have is to stand still while our feet warm on the foundation of God’s grace.
Unbelievably, the Bible states that God is love. He chose to forgive, love, and bless us through Jesus Christ completely apart from our good deeds, Ephesians 1:3-2:10. Someone once defined G.R.A.C.E. as God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. We cannot do one good thing to make God love us any more. We cannot do one bad thing to make God love us any less. Moreover the most amazing news is that Jesus became a man and so died for all mankind without exception and so has won the title of Savior of all Mankind. His love for his people is constant whether we are believing or unbelieving, though believing is much better for us, I Timothy 4:10. Our birth nature simply cannot believe that God loves us unconditionally, but God gives new birth.
Also unbelievably, the Bible states that God is God. He is sovereign over both creation and providence, including sin. While it is true that we are amazing creations, free moral agents who make volitional choices and are responsible for our actions, it is also true that the power and wisdom of God has willed everything that has ever happened or will happen. Our natural minds revolt at the thought that the will of God has decreed atrocities such as rape, abortion, murder, world war, or simply our latest embarrassing blunder. How can this be when God’s own loving command urges us not to sin? Even so God is God, and his sovereign will has ordained every sinful act. One explanation is that God, though not double minded has two wills, his prescriptive will which defines right and wrong for us, and his perfect will which is his sovereign action throughout history. Whatever you do with these facts don’t sin and blame God expecting to get his praise!
Regardless, rapes and wars are nothing compared to the greatest crime in the history of the world, mankind’s crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Regarding that crime the Scriptures are clear, God willed that man crucify Christ and man is guilty of the crime. Acts 4:27-28 (WEB), says,
27) For truly, in this city against your holy servant, Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28) to do whatever your hand and your council foreordained to happen.
Likewise Acts 2:22-23 (WEB), says,
22)Men of Israel, hear these words! Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved by God to you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him among you, even as you yourselves know, 23) him, being delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by the hand of lawless men, crucified and killed.
It is impossible enough to accept responsibility for our hatred of God, but impossibly impossible to read that God willed it. What possible purpose could God have in ordaining sin? Do we really know him at all? The rock bottom objection from any clear thinking unbeliever is that either God is not love or God is not God. But the Bible teaches and we believe that God is love and God is God.
Some believe that God gave free will to Adam, thus creating the possibility for him to choose to sin. Yet this view is short sighted, for God called Adam good and his good nature was incapable of even desiring sin. Adam was created good, but he was not good when he gave way to temptation. Adam sinned because his good nature had become bound to disobedience, along with every one of his descendants, including us. In fact Romans 11:32-36 (WEB) tells us exactly who bound Adam and us to sin and why.
32) For God has bound all to disobedience, that he might have mercy on all. 33) Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out! 34) 'For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?' 35) 'Or who has first given to him, and it will be repaid to him again?' 36) For of him, and through him, and to him are all things. To him be the glory for ever! Amen.
God willed that all men sin so that he could demonstrate his loving grace to all men, Ephesians 2:7. So God is love and God is God. So Praise God and how warm are your feet?