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Thread: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

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    Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    We know that God in His sovereign will causes awful disasters like what happened in Haiti, for His own glory. Can we discern the reason for such happenings other than acknowledging (perhaps reluctantly) than that it is His will or that ultimate blessing (temporal & eternal) may result in the future?
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    We know that God in His sovereign will causes awful disasters like what happened in Haiti, for His own glory. Can we discern the reason for such happenings other than acknowledging (perhaps reluctantly) than that it is His will or that ultimate blessing (temporal & eternal) may result in the future?
    I don't have an answer for this, I hope that there is some discussion about it. With the disaster in Haiti all I hear is that it was God's judgment on the people there. How can someone who says that know without a doubt that that is the reason. How do we go about discerning a reason?

    I agree of course that God in His Sovereign will is the ultimate cause of ALL things.

    Eileen~
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    This is a tough one indeed; simply because God, as far as I know, does not ALWAYS clearly tell us His reasons. We know that "...nature groans..." as per the Holy Spirit inspiration to Paul in Romans 8, but the direct reason from God, it is a tough one. In my blog I wrote about what I believe to be the correct question...

    If we look as all the tragedies and disasters that Jesus faced in His days, all the storms, the death of a friend, some personal tragedies in people's lives, we only know of one, the blind guy, where Jesus declares that "his blindness" was for the manifestation of God's Glory. On the death of Lazarus, it was to bring about His deity and inspire belief and Glory to God as well, but Jesus does not go on trying to teach us "why Lazarus had to die", or "why the disciples had to face a storm", or why a "poor widow had to lose her only son". He just used the challenge to promote His power and to evince His ministry and Deity.

    I could be writing here forever, but would like to know, other than saying that "...our sins separate us from the hand of God... (Isaiah 59) and other scriptures that ascribe to our sinfulness as provoking the wrath of God, if anyone would have a definite answer for this one!

    One point that I think is pertinent: Do not forget FAITH; Faith is the God given ability to continue to believe God entirely, even in death, that what He is doing is right, just and Holy. Jesus, amid all the suffering and anguish of the cross, when even Himself cried "...why has Thou forsaken me...", said at his last breath: "In Thine hands I commit my spirit..." Habakuk also gives an example of this kind of unshakable faith. So whatever God does in Haiti, in America or anywhere else, it behooves us to continue to commit and trust Him.
    Grace Ambassador
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    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Thinking of Sodom: Then he said, "Oh may the Lord not be angry, and I shall speak only this once; suppose ten are found there?" And He said, "I will not destroy it on account of the ten."

    Could this possibly be the reason? Maybe I'm way off here.
    Col 2:9, (NASB), For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Great discussion so far! Trav, on the question of Sodom, I think many would argue that Sodom was annihilated 100% in God's judgment with no survivors, whereas most other judgments are partial in scope (i.e., there are more survivors in Haiti than dead). But I think the comparison is only partially valid. I'll 'tip my hand' on this one shortly!
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Rom. 1:18-20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.

    When the scriptural witness is considered as a whole, any major disaster indicates the commencement of the final wrath of God upon CERTAIN people. When the earthly lives of non-elect souls are ended, they enter the beginnings of the wrathful judgments of the hereafter. Any time that God threatens destruction in the Bible (such as to Ninevah) it is a threat of this very reality: ending the earthly lives of a company of reprobate souls and sending them on to the start of future retribution. In apocalyptic terms, the seven last plagues or the completion of God's wrath comes when all temporal earthly wrath is over and it is time for final wrath.

    Now we know that any elect persons destroyed in any disaster go on to be with the Lord. In this case the Lord uses an event that typically brings wrath for many to take some home to Himself.

    In considering the Luke 13:1-5 passage, which often comes up in this context, Jesus is NOT saying that those destroyed by Pilate or by the tower (a natural disaster) were righteous. The implication is that, generally speaking, they perished in the wrath of God (with perhaps one or more exceptions). What Christ IS saying is that any time God brings certain souls to wrath prior to the final eschaton, it is not necessarily the reprobates who have committed or are committing the most heinous of sins at that point. The warning given is that all who do not repent and believe the gospel will suffer the final wrath of God in His appointed time--as did those whom Pilate slew or on whom the tower fell and killed.

    I do believe that large geographies of this world are spared judgments like what happened in Haiti--for many generations at least. This is not because of the rightness of the governments ruling their countries. It is because God has elected in His sovereignty to preserve His elect who live there in blessing. This does relate to the promise of God to Abraham to spare Sodom for 10 elect souls living therein.

    As for the future of close to 9 million who remain alive in Haiti, it is hard to imagine that whatever is rebuilt to replace the rubble will not make it a better place than what it has been in past centuries!
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Bob says: Now we know that any elect persons destroyed in any disaster go on to be with the Lord. In this case the Lord uses an event that typically brings wrath for many to take some home to Himself.

    I FULLY AGREE!
    Allow me, however, to ask some genuine questions, without any desire to cause controversy, although it automatically will:

    If we all believe that God's wrath-full disposition was and is never directed toward the elect, then why would the elect suffer the tragic consequences of His Wrath when it is directed toward the reprobates?

    Disclaimer: I know that God will use disasters and catastrophes He sent because of His wrath to take some of His own home. The elect will die after all and will die of something, even natural causes or disasters.

    But, why would God, who has no wrath against the elect, as I think WE teach here, would use such a "method" to take some of His own to be home with Him? I guess what I want to ask is a question similar to one that is in the Book of Ecclesiastics: "what is the advantage of the righteous?" So... what then is the TEMPORAL blessedness of the ELECT if they are subject to the same consequences of the wrath of God?

    How can we be consistent with our own teaching that God has never had any wrath toward the elect?

    Can we say that the advantage of the ELECT is ONLY and MERELY going to heaven? (that would be enough for me).

    Can we say that the wrath is toward the reprobate but the ELECT "is in the wrong place at the wrong time"?

    Can we say that the ELECT are not to enjoy, hope or rely on TEMPORAL blessedness and protection?

    Can the ELECT enjoy or, is the ELECT assured of God's temporal protection of him and his loved ones against His wrath?

    I will stop here.

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    There is one fact I believe we can all agree on--destruction resulting in the end of this temporal life is ONLY the wrath of GOD if it happens to non-elect persons and is followed by continued wrath in the hereafter. So however an elect soul dies in this world, even if it is in common with non-elect souls in a disaster, the wrath of God is not abiding on the ELECT person. For such a person temporal death is only the transition into fullness of life everlasting!

    I know there are a whole lot of questions raised in what Milt has raised and many others implied. How can we be confident of the protective providence of God promised to His own if believers can suffer robbery, assault of person causing serious injury, rape, murder, tragic accidents, etc. I think this needs further discussion and I would encourage such.

    Gospel blessings! --Bob
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    How can we be confident of the protective providence of God promised to His own if believers can suffer robbery, assault of person causing serious injury, rape, murder, tragic accidents, etc. I think this needs further discussion and I would encourage such.

    Gospel blessings! --Bob
    My 2 cents says this is answered in many places, but I'll add this for starters:

    Quote Originally Posted by The Apostle Paul
    Romans 8:28: And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose.

    Romans 8:29: For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren:
    Romans 8:30: and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
    Isaiah 45:7, (KJV), I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R. Higby View Post
    How can we be confident of the protective providence of God promised to His own if believers can suffer robbery, assault of person causing serious injury, rape, murder, tragic accidents, etc.
    --Bob
    I don't presume that just because I belong to God that I won't suffer any of the above mentioned things. In fact, I think the list could be lengthened of tragic ends that many saints have faced. Just because we are Gods elect, we aren't promised a life without suffering or a death that won't be painful. The only thing we are promised is that nothing can take out of the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.
    Col 2:9, (NASB), For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Quote Originally Posted by trav View Post
    I don't presume that just because I belong to God that I won't suffer any of the above mentioned things. In fact, I think the list could be lengthened of tragic ends that many saints have faced. Just because we are Gods elect, we aren't promised a life without suffering or a death that won't be painful. The only thing we are promised is that nothing can take out of the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.
    Amen and ditto to Travís response and to Gregís as well. I think of John 17: 15-16 and how Jesus asks that the disciples (and all saints) be not taken out of the world. We are here IN the world, just not of it. The world, the evil, Satan and all the disasters, afflictions and tragedies that are in the world cannot do any damage to or touch our soul; we are forever protected in Christ Jesus and have eternal life in Him. He never leaves us nor forsakes us.

    I donít find a promise that our natural bodies will be protected from these things (please point me to one if Iíve overlooked it) and we find the reactions of godly saints pointing us to the Sovereignty of God in severe afflictions. Joseph knew his brothers meant evil against him but was comforted that God meant it for good. Job who was afflicted more than anyone, questioned God, his friends tore into him and though he was still expecting that the worst was yet to come said; ďThough he slay me, yet will I trust HimĒ.

    Eileen~
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Thanks Trav And Eileen!

    My question, however, was not whether we are subject to disasters or if God ever promised we wouldn't. I am relating, or making a relationship, or associating, the theme of this question with our own teaching here that God NEVER had a "wrathful" disposition toward the Elect. I will try once again:

    Must I, henceforth, teach that "God NEVER had a "wrathful" disposition toward (or against) the elect, but watch out: when He is dispensing His wrath against the reprobates, the elect had better watch out, because he will be subject to such wrath even though God has NONE against them (the Elect)?

    When God causes those things that Trav and Eileen mentioned to come upon the elect, if it is not because of His wrath against them, (which we teach here as impossible), then, why it is? If God causes these things to come upon the reprobate (which we believe is possible), why then the elect has to suffer the bounce back of what God is sending upon the reprobate?

    My quest here is for consistency in teaching! I think it is inconsistent to say: God NEVER had wrath against the elect, but when demonstrating it to the reprobate the elect will suffer the same consequences. My experience in the world of churchianity is that I heard many preachers preaching one thing in the morning service then preaching in the evening service something that totally contradicts what they preached in the morning service... So, I am, in a childish way, OBSESSED in avoiding any signs of inconsistent teaching (or speaking with to sides of the mouth).

    I believe that what I teach when I teach is more akin to biblical teaching: God never changed His disposition in being good, showing Grace and saving the elect, but as long as the elect is living in this side of heaven, in this portion of eternity, even after being regenerated, they will be subject to all the evil contained in it and God will deliver them (the elect) if He chooses and has demonstrated in the Bible that He will do so in some occasions and in others He will not choose earthly deliverance; however He will grant Grace so the elect will escape anything that His faith can't endure, and promised that He will NEVER dispense anything that their faith can't endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13) God will protect the elect's faith against suffering, injustice, rape, disasters and all the evil inherent to this world to the end .

    Nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ! Nothing can separates, or, prevent us (the elect) from being loved by Christ: neither death, sword, disasters, earthquakes, etc. et al.

    I humbly confess that I may be making something out of nothing...

    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador View Post
    Thanks Trav And Eileen!

    My question, however, was not whether we are subject to disasters or if God ever promised we wouldn't. I am relating, or making a relationship, or associating, the theme of this question with our own teaching here that God NEVER had a \\\\"wrathful\\\\" disposition toward the Elect. I will try once again:

    Must I, henceforth, teach that \\\\"God NEVER had a \\\\"wrathful\\\\" disposition toward (or against) the elect, but watch out: when He is dispensing His wrath against the reprobates, the elect had better watch out, because he will be subject to such wrath even though God has NONE against them (the Elect)?

    When God causes those things that Trav and Eileen mentioned to come upon the elect, if it is not because of His wrath against them, (which we teach here as impossible), then, why it is? If God causes these things to come upon the reprobate (which we believe is possible), why then the elect has to suffer the bounce back of what God is sending upon the reprobate?

    My quest here is for consistency in teaching! I think it is inconsistent to say: God NEVER had wrath against the elect, but when demonstrating it to the reprobate the elect will suffer the same consequences. My experience in the world of churchianity is that I heard many preachers preaching one thing in the morning service then preaching in the evening service something that totally contradicts what they preached in the morning service... So, I am, in a childish way, OBSESSED in avoiding any signs of inconsistent teaching (or speaking with to sides of the mouth).

    I believe that what I teach when I teach is more akin to biblical teaching: God never changed His disposition in being good, showing Grace and saving the elect, but as long as the elect is living in this side of heaven, in this portion of eternity, even after being regenerated, they will be subject to all the evil contained in it and God will deliver them (the elect) if He chooses and has demonstrated in the Bible that He will do so in some occasions and in others He will not choose earthly deliverance; however He will grant Grace so the elect will escape anything that His faith can't endure, and promised that He will NEVER dispense anything that their faith can't endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13) God will protect the elect's faith against suffering, injustice, rape, disasters and all the evil inherent to this world to the end .

    Nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ! Nothing can separates, or, prevent us (the elect) from being loved by Christ: neither death, sword, disasters, earthquakes, etc. et al.

    I humbly confess that I may be making something out of nothing...

    Milt
    Milt,
    I donít think you are at all childishly obsessed with avoiding speaking out of both sides of your mouth; I for one appreciate it and know that is one of the same reasons that I like to study and to think upon these things because I want to see consistently where they lead and what they affect. Truth is always a noble desire!

    I donít however see that we are so far apart in what we are thinking, perhaps just saying it differently. Living this side of heaven is the same as not being taken out of the world and being IN the world then yes, we are subject to the evils of it. I think we have all stated that in what we have said and we agree. And I also think we are all speaking of our physical being as being subject to the evils of this world, not our spiritual well being, our faith//our souls.

    I think of the man who wrote the beloved tune ďIt is well with my soulĒ and that is what I was trying to portray as being protected just as you are in using the idea of our faith being protected. One and the same I would think and I fully agree. It is what Joseph was in effect saying and Job as wellÖÖÖ.It was well with their soul regardless of the outward circumstances and it will be the same for every elect BECAUSE God is our protector.

    So are we getting closer to coming together in our words and thoughts? Could we just have some clarification then for me with a question? Are you saying then that the elect can/do suffer physical death in disasters that come upon nations/peoples because of Godís wrath upon them, but not suffer in their spiritual well being? I believe that sentence would sum up what Iím thinking. Good conversation Milt, thanks!

    Psalm 46:1-3

    ďGod is our refuge and strength

    A very present help in trouble.
    Therefore we will not fear,
    Though the earth should change
    And though the mountains slip
    Into the heart of the sea.
    Though the waters roar and foam,
    Though the mountains quake
    At its swelling pride. Selah!


    Eileen~
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen View Post
    Milt...

    So are we getting closer to coming together in our words and thoughts? Could we just have some clarification then for me with a question? Are you saying then that the elect can/do suffer physical death in disasters that come upon nations/peoples because of God’s wrath upon them, but not suffer in their spiritual well being? I believe that sentence would sum up what I’m thinking. Good conversation Milt, thanks!

    Psalm 46:1-3

    “God is our refuge and strength

    A very present help in trouble.
    Therefore we will not fear,
    Though the earth should change
    And though the mountains slip
    Into the heart of the sea.
    Though the waters roar and foam,
    Though the mountains quake
    At its swelling pride. Selah!


    Eileen~
    We are speaking of the same thing and nature! My concern, although overrated or not, was Bob's original proposition:

    "Bob says: Now we know that any elect persons destroyed in any disaster go on to be with the Lord. In this case the Lord uses an event that typically brings wrath for many to take some home to Himself."

    I did not want anyone to believe what Bob is not saying here, but, rather, what he and others here like me teach about God's will and disposition concerning the elect.

    Perhaps one that came from Mars and reads this post for the first time, could construe the quote in red as teaching that God USES His wrath to take some of the elect to be with Him, which in my humble opinion would cause the following problem:

    A - God sends His wrath to the reprobate and kills them in disasters or calamities
    B - God in the process of applying His wrath kills some of the elect indistinctly

    If both statements are true then God does kill the elect by wrath, which would invalidate one of our core beliefs here that God does not apply His wrath to the elect; EVER. We cannot simply say that the elect died because he was "there", since that would be the same argument of a drive-by shooter who kills some "unintended" victims in his own fit of rage: Collateral damage, "in the wrong place at the wrong time", "acceptable loss" or etc.

    To answer your question: I am saying that I don't know if God kills the elect, whereas, on the process of, or, as He is, acting out His anger against the reprobates; since God causes all things, as we believe and teach here, killing the elect in a rage against the reprobates would be directly or indirectly equivalent to dispensing wrath against the elect. We have to find another explanation for the elect who die during disasters and catastrophes if we are to be consistent with our teaching.

    The point you raise in your question is a good and worthy of acceptance one: even if God does kill some elect as dispensing wrath against the reprobate, the elect will not suffer the same spiritual consequences as the reprobate. But that was not my point and I am striving to explain it unsuccessfully. I am concerning with consistency in the consequences of our own teaching that God never had, or felt, animosity, wrath, contempt or evil disposition against the elect. If God has no wrath against the elect, He will not kill the elect by wrath. That's what I am trying to say.

    Again, I will drop the issue since my own ignorance is not permitting me to explain what I am saying beyond the three or four attempts I had here... (I'm not like Obama who blames the people for not understanding his myriads of explanation and, rather condescendingly, says that the issue is what it is too complicated for the people. I just thought I should inject this one here).

    This is for further clarification:

    The righteous suffers
    We will have tribulation
    Through much tribulation we enter the kingdom of heaven
    Paul suffered tribulations, some, as the shipwreck, the hand of God was evident in saving him and others not
    The believer will battle spiritual warfare
    God will send us temptations, except that He will not send any that is uncommon to men.
    None of the above because or caused by His wrath, in fact, for those who believe the book of Hebrews, a certain type of suffering IS actually EVIDENCE of God's Love: God disciplines, chastises, punishes WHOM HE LOVES.

    Thanks!
    Milt
    Grace Ambassador
    A pitiful servant of God; a pitbull guardian of the message of Grace

    My pledge to other members:
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Prov 15:1
    A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver - Prov. 25:11

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Milt

    This is for further clarification:

    The righteous suffers
    We will have tribulation
    Through much tribulation we enter the kingdom of heaven
    Paul suffered tribulations, some, as the shipwreck, the hand of God was evident in saving him and others not
    The believer will battle spiritual warfare
    God will send us temptations, except that He will not send any that is uncommon to men.
    None of the above because or caused by His wrath, in fact, for those who believe the book of Hebrews, a certain type of suffering IS actually EVIDENCE of God's Love: God disciplines, chastises, punishes WHOM HE LOVES.

    Thanks!
    Milt

    Milt,

    Thanks for the further clarification. I was the one confused as you mentioned our faith not being tested beyond what we can bear so I thought you were separating the physical body from the spiritual. I understand now what you believe.

    I think part of my confusion may lie in the word wrath and what that means. I didnít think Bob was talking about just Godís anger but about His damning wrath which is what NEVER rests on the elect, never has and never will. He has made that distinction many times and so I guess maybe he can clear that up when he has time. So if Iím taken home in a disaster where His will is His damning wrath on the reprobate that wrath doesnít rest on me in any way because I am not damned. That is how I see it anyway.

    Eileen~
    "To those who have no works-phobia, I will state that you are not trembling before the gospel" Robert R. Higby

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Perhaps there is a distinction that must be made when speaking of the wrath of God towards a person. To say His wrath will never come upon an elect cannot possibly be true when we confess that Christ Himself suffered under the wrath of God for the sin of His people. So there must be a distinction made. If the perfect God-Man, Christ Jesus suffered some sort of the Father's wrath, there must be a difference and further clarification will be needed.
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
    GALATIANS 5:22

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Quote Originally Posted by lionovjudah View Post
    Perhaps there is a distinction that must be made when speaking of the wrath of God towards a person. To say His wrath will never come upon an elect cannot possibly be true when we confess that Christ Himself suffered under the wrath of God for the sin of His people. So there must be a distinction made. If the perfect God-Man, Christ Jesus suffered some sort of the Father's wrath, there must be a difference and further clarification will be needed.
    Good point! However there are a few that will tell you that the application of God's wrath upon Jesus was VICARIOUS, or "substitutionary": He suffered it so we would not! But again, when it comes to this kind of teaching one must be very careful so as not to build something up on an "assumption" or even "presumption", but stick to the biblical limits. That's what I try to do anyway
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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Quote Originally Posted by GraceAmbassador View Post
    Good point! However there are a few that will tell you that the application of God's wrath upon Jesus was VICARIOUS, or "substitutionary": He suffered it so we would not! But again, when it comes to this kind of teaching one must be very careful so as not to build something up on an "assumption" or even "presumption", but stick to the biblical limits. That's what I try to do anyway
    I actually never heard it put that wrath was vicarious or substitutionary. I have heard His death is, but not God's wrath..
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
    GALATIANS 5:22

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Milt: A - God sends His wrath to the reprobate and kills them in disasters or calamities
    B - God in the process of applying His wrath kills some of the elect indistinctly

    If both statements are true then God does kill the elect by wrath, which would invalidate one of our core beliefs here that God does not apply His wrath to the elect; EVER. We cannot simply say that the elect died because he was "there", since that would be the same argument of a drive-by shooter who kills some "unintended" victims in his own fit of rage: Collateral damage, "in the wrong place at the wrong time", "acceptable loss" or etc.


    In my estimation God never takes His elect out of this world indistinctly. One who dies at a ripe old age is not different from one that God determines to take into eternal bliss at an earlier age (through whatever means). My current perspective is that even if both elect and non-elect die in a common event, the elect are not subjects of wrath. There is no REAL death for the elect, only a phantom one corresponding to laying down the temporal body. "He who lives and believes in me shall NEVER die."

    But some questions have not been adequately addressed here and I think that is what you are driving towards. The Lord promises to send His angel to camp around and deliver/protect His elect wherever they dwell. How does that harmonize with the notion that elect and non-elect suffer the same relative percentage of ALL human tragedies that involve the removal of God's protective providence (murder, rape, natural disaster, unjust war, etc.). Certainly there are cases where God's sovereign protection is removed but does that mean there is no distinction between the believer and unbeliever?
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: Can We Discern God's Sovereign Will in Massive Natural Disasters?

    Maybe 1Cor 5:4-6, 2 Sam 24:12-16 and Job's experience are relevant here?

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