God’s plan for you

new year 2016

As 2015 ends, and 2016 is about to being, folks are putting together resolutions and plans for the new year. But, have you ever considered what Godly planning looks like? As you make your New Years Resolutions, let’s consider a Godly formula for making plans. 

BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF PLANNING… The Scriptures show us many folks planning, some good and others making evil plans…..

EVIL PLANS – The Psalmist said, “Who plan evil things in their hearts; They continually gather together for war. (NKJV) [Psalm 140:2]. Solomon warned his son not to go with those who plan evil, “If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood,” [Proverbs 1:11]. Jesus Himself told a parable of a man who planned fraud against his master [Luke 16:4 ].

Clearly, the scriptures condemn the making of evil plans, rather we should be making Godly plans….

GODLY PLANNING – Paul was planning to visit the church at Corinth to encourage them, “And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit; 17 Therefore, when I was planning this, did I do it lightly?” (NKJV) [2Co 1:15]

When MOSES was leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, he was working without much of a plan as he decided matters between one another. Jethro, his father-in-law, taught him a better way. “Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:” [Exodus 18:19]

DAVID faced Goliath with a plan. “This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” [1Samuel 17:46]. If you’ve ever wondered why David, a man of faith, needed 5 smooth stones, this is the reason, he needed one to kill Goliath and with the others he planned to route the Philistines!

There were others plans made as well. As men moved to fulfill commands of God to build the Temple, they made plans and set aside materials to ensure an expedient completion. [1Ch 22:1-19; 28:14-18; 29:1-5; 2Ch 3:1; 5:1]. Then Nehemiah also made plans as he oversaw the rebuilding of the Temple, after their return from the captivity. [Nehemiah 2:7, 8]

[Since God has ALLOWED MAN TO PLAN, ought you plan your life to serve Him?]

GODLY PLANNING FOR OUR LIVES – As we’ve seen, God has allowed and approved of man to make plans to serve Him. Looking at additional scripture, we find that planning is wise.

IT’S RIGHTEOUS TO PLAN – The book of Proverbs teaches us to make plans, by telling us to give thought to our steps, and that the plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance. Included is a warning to those who fail to pause and plan that living impulsively only leads to poverty. [Proverbs 14:15; Proverbs 21:5]

Our Lord commended planning when He told how the wise count the cost before building a tower [Luke 14:28], or when a King goes to battle [v31, 32]. Let us never forget that obedience to Him is like the wise one who built his house on a rock [Matthew 7:24-27].

The Prophet Isaiah wrote, “But he who is noble plans noble things, and on noble things he stands [32:8 ESV]. Shall we not, as children of God, make noble plans? The question then becomes, what are noble plans and how do we make them?

Using scriptures, let’s look at a 7 step formula for making Godly, noble plans.

Step 1 – KEEP GOD’S WILL IN MIND – The first, and most important step is to begin with God’s plan / will. Before making any choice or plans ask yourself, “Is this what God would want?” We should always consider whether or not our plans are involving sin, if so, it no longer qualifies as noble.

Looking again to the Proverbs, “There are many devices (plans) in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand” [Pr 19:21]. By committing our work to the Lord, our plans will be pleasing to the Lord [Prov 16:3].

“If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that,” ought to be our beginning attitude. [James 4:13-15]. Along with faithful obedience to the commands of God [Deuteronomy 28:1-68; John 14:15; Matthew 28:20].

Step 2 – SEEK WISE COUNSEL – “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed,” [Proverbs 15:22]. We need to seek advice, but seek it from the right sources.

We need to ask GOOD PEOPLE, folks that are already living a Godly life. “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils,” [1Corinthians 10:21; Ephesians 5:11]. Remember that Paul taught, “Evil company corrupts good habits,” [1Corinthians 15:33].

We should make plans by seeking advice, [Proverbs 20:18]. Even something like building a house, and filling it with our stuff, needs wise plans and advice or it will fail, [Proverbs 20:18; 24:3-4].

Sometimes NATURE provides us wise counsel. “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest,” [Proverbs 6:6-8]. Job said to “ask the beasts” [Job 12:7], “and they shall teach thee.” God’s own creation can be a source of wisdom and counsel.

But God gives us a warning about FALSE INFORMATION. There are silly myths, false and selfish desires which cause us to seek teachers to tell us what we want to hear, [1 Timothy 4:7; Proverbs 19:2; 23:4; 2Timothy 4:3]. You’ve met those folks. They ask for advice but seldom take it, doing what they had intended from the beginning as they chase their own lusts.

Step 3 – SET THE RIGHT PRIORITIES, Sometimes we make nonsinful plans, but we’ve neglected other areas of our lives. Jesus condemned the Pharisees for this very thing. “..ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith:” Note that He wanted them to do the “WEIGHTIER MATTERS” but He also wanted them “not to leave the other undone” [Matthew 23:23].

Our first priorities are always to seek the kingdom of God, [Matthew 6:33], then the others things will be added to you. We also need to be mindful of giving, being benevolent, and taking care of our family’s needs [2Corinthians 9:7; 1Timothy 5:8]. If we seek our own selfish ambitions, we’re no longer making noble plans.

Step 4 is to PUT THINGS IN THE RIGHT ORDER, to do the things that are expedient to complete our plans. “.. get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house” [Proverbs 24:27 ESV]. We’re commanded our worship be done “decently and in order [1 Corinthians 14:40], should our lives, which is a service to God, be any less?

Step 5 is to DO IT, we need to get busy with our plans. Without work, no plans ever come to completion. When we work, let’s do it with all our might, [Ecclesiastes 9:10], without being slothful with our business [Romans 12:11], and to “do it heartily, as to the Lord” [Colossians 3:23]. God wants us to be active, not to be thieves, rather, “labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” [Ephesians 4:28].

Step 6 is to EVALUATE the successes or failures of our plans. Are you still doing the right thing? Has your work changed making it sinful? Paul told the Corinthians to examine themselves, whether they be in the faith [1Cor 13:15], which must include our work activities as well as spiritual. If we stray away from the noble, Godly plans then let us bring ourselves back to the right.

Step 7 is to EXPECT TROUBLE and to prepare for it. This is a realistic view of life and many of us want to avoid or ignore trouble. Unfortunately, it is a part of life and the scriptures teach this. “time and chance happeneth to them all” [Ecc 9:11], is a reminder for us that things happen. Some good, and some bad. Look at the weather, God causes the rain on the just and the unjust, but sometimes floods come with the rain. [Matthew 5:45; 7:27] Consider the recent flooding in our own area.

Because of sin, and the broken world we live in because of sin, life is sometimes a struggle and we ought to expect it. We’re going to sweat, we’re going to get cut by thorns, but god has given us the strength to endure it. [Genesis 3:17, 18]

Even the people around us will sometimes be against us. Be it for jealousy or envy, they will be obstacles to our success [1Pe 4:4]. But don’t let the ungodly of this world, keep you from doing noble things.

CONCLUSION: With Godly planning, we can make the best of this world. God wants joy for us, but not just for this life. He has bigger and better plans. He has made a plan of SALVATION, which He made even before He created the world [Ephesians 1:4; Romans 16:25, 26; 1Peter 1:20].

His plans meant that His son, Christ Jesus, would be slain. This too was determined before the world was made [Revelation 13:8; Titus 1:2, 3].

His plans include for us to be a thinking people, [John 14:26]. His plans include for us to be obedient to Him [Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:14; Matthew 28:20], to obey the Gospel [1 Thessalonians 1:8].

Finally, His plans include for us a FUTURE HOME which Jesus has gone to prepare [John 14:2]. A place that shall have no death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain and God shall wipe away all tears [Revelations 21:1].

We can make all the plans in the world, but if we fail to plan for eternity, we’ve lost it all. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” [1Peter 4:17]

Spencer

Advertisements

The Force Awakens

star wars

It’s been 32 years since Return of the Jedi, the final episode of the Star Wars trilogy that began in 1977 with episode IV A New Hope. Since the announcement of an episode 7, adults and children alike have endured a 2-year, Christmas like anticipation for the movie to finally arrive in Theaters, of which I am one.

Stories abound of fans scrambling to purchase tickets, pilgrimaging to theaters in droves, to be witness to the first public viewings. Folks have called in sick, one website offered a list of plausible excuses to use when you call off work, so as to be a part of this momentous event. Threats of “unfriending” folks from Facebook if they reveal any spoilers to those of us who have yet to navigate through the sea of people for one of the early showings.

This article shall neither bash those among the masses who make the trek to the early movies, adorned in their Jedi regalia, nor those who couldn’t give a rip that a new Spock movie just opened. (laugh if you got that joke.) No, just a comparison shall I draw. (laugh at that one too.)

I am curious about a few things, have we as a church ever posted online, for any amount of time, displaying our excitement for the coming day to worship our Lord and Savior? Or even better than that, the breathless anticipation of the Return Of The Christ? Oh how I long for the day we could anticipate the 1st day of the week, or His wonderful, triumphant return.

____________________________________________________
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. [Hebrews 10:25]
____________________________________________________
I can’t believe you missed it!

Has anyone ever excitedly said to you, “I can’t believe you missed it!”, when referring to the Sunday worship that you had to miss due to illness or work? Have they ever gushed out every single line from the sermon, every emotion and every point drawn? No? Yeah, neither have I. What I HAVE heard was, “Missed you on Sunday”, in that tone as if they were really saying, “what kind of sin kept you from the worship?” Worse than that are those that say, “missed ya on Sunday”, but really saying, “I had to be there, why weren’t you?”

To be sure, If I were given a $200 million budget and 3 years, I may be able to produce a sermon entertaining enough to draw in the numbers comparable to Star Wars. But alas, I do not. I have 6 days to produce 4 lessons (2 sermons & 2 bible Classes). Not counting the myriad of other personal Bible studies, calls and questions I receive. No, my budget is far less.

We have no authority to do anything of the sort. We are to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:” [Matthew 28:19-20] We have no authority to draw anyone by any carnal lust whether it be food, entertainment or money. No, we have the Gospel to draw folks in, drawn in with a “true heart in full assurance of faith” [Hebrews 10:22].

Our Lord warned us about such things. “Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” [John 6:26-27]

He was pointing out that some will only come if you feed them with food, but they should be laboring for the spiritual food that brings about everlasting life. A preacher once said to me, “what a person is converted with, they are converted to.”

I have nothing against Star Wars or many other forms of non-sinful entertainment. The question I must ask myself, and you must ask yourself, is this; Do I care as much about the worship of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and His Triumphant return as I care about a movie?

Spencer Blackwelder
Evangelist, Borger, Tx

If I only

 

THERE ARE LOTS OF ALIBIS for a weak church, but very few reasons. Churches that are weak have one distinguishing trait in common. They know all the reasons they’re weak, and have what they believe to be air-tight alibis to explain away their own weaknesses.

Some of the alibis are even clever, and quite a few are justified by the facts. Unfortunately, an alibi won’t be heard at the judgement [Mat 7:21-22]. All the Lord will want to know is, “HAVE YOU DONE THE WILL OF MY FATHER?” [Re 2:5]

A character analyst compiled a list of the most commonly used alibis. Though this was in context of business, I’ve learned that these alibis are used in any context, even the church.

As you read the list, examine yourself carefully, and determine how many of these alibis, if any, are your own property. Consider this, the teachings of the scripture makes every one of these obsolete. [Ge 3:12,13; Ex 4:1,10-14; 32:22-24; De 30:11-14; Jg 6:12-17; 1Ki 19:19-21; 2Ki 5:10-14; Jer 1:1,4-10; Mt 8:21; Lu 9:59-62; 14:18-20; Ac 24:25; Ro 1:20; 2:1]

  • IF I didn’t have a wife and family. ..
  • IF I had enough “pull” . . .
  • IF I had money . . .
  • IF I had a good education . . .
  • IF I could get a job . . .
  • IF I had good health . . .
  • IF I only had time . . .
  • IF times were better . . .
  • IF other people understood me . . .
  • IF conditions around me were only different . . .
  • IF I could live my life over again . . .
  • IF I did not fear what “THEY” would say . . .
  • IF I had been given a chance . . .
  • IF I now had a chance . . .
  • IF other people didn’t “have it in for me” . . .
  • IF nothing happens to stop me . . .
  • IF I were only younger . . .
  • IF I could only do what I want . . .
  • IF I had been born rich . . .
  • IF I could meet “the right people”. . .
  • IF I had the talent that some people have . . .
  • IF I dared assert myself . . .
  • IF I only had embraced past opportunities . . .
  • IF people didn’t get on my nerves . . .
  • IF I didn’t have to keep house and look after the children . . .
  • IF I could save some money . . .
  • IF the boss only appreciated me . . .
  • IF I only had somebody to help me . . .
  • IF my family understood me . . .
  • IF I lived in a big city . . .
  • IF I could just get started . . .
  • IF I were only free . . .
  • IF I had the personality of some people . . .
  • IF I were not so fat . . .
  • IF my talents were known …
  • IF I could just get a “break” . . .
  • IF I could only get out of debt . . .
  • IF I hadn’t failed . . .
  • IF I only knew how . . .
  • IF everybody didn’t oppose me . . .
  • IF I didn’t have so many worries . . .
  • IF I could marry the right person . . .
  • IF people weren’t so dumb . . .
  • IF my family were less extravagant. . .
  • IF I were sure of myself . . .
  • IF luck were not against me . . .
  • IF I had not been born under the wrong star . . .
  • IF it were not true that “what is to be will be” . . .
  • IF I did not have to work so hard . . .
  • IF I hadn’t lost my money . . .
  • IF I lived in a different neighborhood. .
  • IF I didn’t have a “past” . . .
  • IF I only had a business of my own. . .
  • IF other people would only listen to me . . .

IF * * * and this is the greatest of them all * * * I had the courage to see myself as I really am, I would find out what is wrong with me, and correct it, then I might have a chance to profit by my mistakes and learn something from the experience of others. [Job 13:23; Psalm 119:59; La 3:40; Hag 1:7; 1Co 11:28; Ga 6:3-5]

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_______________________________________________

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? [2Corinthians 13:5]

_______________________________________________

We know that there is something WRONG, or we would now be where WE WOULD HAVE BEEN IF we had spent more time examining our weaknesses, and less time building alibis to cover them.

The ideas in this article are not new, [Ecclesiastes 1:9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.] We use the word excuse rather than alibi, but the meanings remain the same. The writer of Ecclesiastes also wrote that time and chance happen to us all [Ec 9:11]. We could add this to the list of alibis, but I believe this proves that every person has difficulties, albeit at different times and in different areas. Rather than use this as another reason for NOT, let’s DO despite the difficulty. Revelations 2:10, “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” means that we should remain faithful, EVEN IF IT CAUSES OUR DEATH.

Are we using excuses as a church, and if so, how can we turn that excuse into positive action? Just a thought.

What about the Thief on the Cross?

what about the thief

Folks will use many reasons to take away the command by our Lord to be baptized. The one heard most commonly by me is, “What about the thief on the cross?” This one is offered by those who have a little biblical knowledge, and by those who’ve heard it before, but have never been challenged with scriptural evidence.

THE ARGUMENT goes like this; “If, as you say, baptism is necessary for salvation, then what about the thief on the cross? He was never baptized, yet the Lord said, “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Baptism is not necessary to salvation, because the thief could not obey that command, yet the Lord said he would be in paradise.” [Lu 23:43]

The Scriptures examined: The real issue pertains to a crucial feature of Bible interpretation, are we to take all 66 books of the Bible and take everything that is said and apply it directly and equally to everyone? The Bible is literally filled with commands, instructions, and requirements that were not intended to be duplicated by people living today. People are amenable to the law period under which they lived. [2Timothy 2:15]. There are three dispensations found in the Scriptures:

  • The Patriarchal Dispensation – From creation, everyone was subject to a body of legislation passed down by God through the fathers of family clans (cf. Hebrews 11:1), until the giving of the Law of Moses.
  • The Mosaic Dispensation – At Mt. Sinai, Moses was given a new Law from God and Jews were subject to that body of legal information [Law of Moses] from that time until it also was terminated at the cross of Christ. Consider the following passages:[Matthew 27:51; Romans 2:12-16; Galatians 3:7-29; Ephesians 2:11-22; Colossians 2:11-17]
  • The Christian Dispensation – After Jesus’ death on the Cross, all peoples are now amenable to the Law of Christ. [Galatians 6:2]
Now that we have this background information, let’s examine the reasons which make their argument invalid:

Reason #1– The Law of Moses was still in effect. Many folks are confused when reading the Gospels for it is commonly called, “The New Testament.” However, the majority of the gospel story in Matthew, Mark, Luke & John, take place while Jesus was alive and living as a Jew subject to the Law of Moses.

Jesus was born to a Jewish family under the Law [Mat 1; Luke 3; Ga 4:4], circumcised the 8th day [Lu 2:21], observed the Passover [Lu 2:41, 22:8-20], taught people to follow the Law [Matthew 5:23-24; 8:4], and followed the Law Himself [Matthew 5:17-18].

Under the Law of Moses, never was there a command to be baptized for the remission of sins. Sins were atoned for through the sacrifice of bulls; And he shall do with the bull as he did with the bull as a sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. (Leviticus 4:20). The word “atonement” <kaphar> literally means “to cover” and is the same as in Gen 6:14 regarding covering the ark with pitch.

Nowhere in the Old Testament is the teaching that sins were totally removed. As we study our Bibles, we find in Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. [Heb 10:11 …can never take away sins.] This system pointed to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and terminated at the cross [see above scripture references]

The thief on the cross lived during this Mosaic period, therefore was subject to the Law of Moses and it’s system of sacrifice through bulls and goats.

Which brings us to the second reason……

Reason #2 – Since Jesus lived under the Law of Moses, He followed that law. Of course, He would have no reason to offer a sacrifice on His own behalf [Hebrews 4:15] being without sin, He did teach those around Him to do it for themselves [Mt 8:1-4]

As we study, we find out that the sacrifices in the Law of Moses were pointing to the sacrifice that Jesus would offer of Himself. Galatians 3:19-27 teaches that the Law was a teacher to bring us to Christ.

The letter to the HEBREWS teaches us that it was Christ’s death that ended the Law and began the New Covenant. [Hebrews 8-10]. Paul, speaking about the death of Jesus in relationship to the Law of Moses, said “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” [Colossians 2:14]

Therefore, the THIEF on the cross never had a command to be baptized for the remission of sins. He died, having repented and placed his trust in the Christ, as EVERYONE UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES did when they obeyed the ordinances under that law.

Reason #3– The command to be baptized “for the remission of sins” was issued AFTER Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. When Jesus was on the cross, He was fulfilling the Law of Moses, ending it, and bringing in the New Covenant. It was AFTER His death, burial and resurrection that He gave the great commission, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” [Matthew 28:19]

FOR THE REMISSION OF SIN – This phrase is found in connection with baptism. It is particularly important to note how and when it was used;

  • Mt 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
  • Ac 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

These two verses show the connection between, baptism, Christ’s blood AND the remission of sins.

The other instances of this phrase are connected to the preaching of John “the Baptist”. When we study the scriptures, we find that John’s baptism never remitted any sins, for we read in Acts 19:1-5;

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.  4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

CONCLUSION:
  • The thief on the cross lived AND DIED under the Law of Moses, as did Jesus our Lord, where there was NO COMMAND to be baptized.
  • The thief, had he been able to obey the command, was not under any obligation to obey it for it DIDN’T APPLY TO HIM at the time of his death, because the Law of Moses was the covenant in force at the time of the statement, “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
  • The command to be baptized was given AFTER his death.

San Bernardino & The Problem of Evil

HOURS AFTER THE SHOOTING in San Bernardino, cries for the victims lit up social media. Political rhetoric was also spewed, yet there were also calls for prayer for the victims and for our land. Unfortunately, alongside those petitions for God’s help, shouts that God doesn’t help rang from the voices of the unbelievers. Even the New York Daily News printed a headline, “God isn’t fixing this.” Here’s just one example of many twitter complaints against prayer…. 

V1-47 12-06-15 Borger Bulletin the problem of evil TWITTER blog

V1-47 12-06-15 Borger Bulletin the problem of evil HEADLINE

Why didn’t God stop the San Bernardino shooting?

This exemplifies part of our trouble with our evangelism, the problem of evil. The argument goes like this, “If God exists, then why is there evil (like this shooting in San Bernardino)?” It is a valid question. It’s an objection that many people have and without a legitimate answer, will keep many without hope. We need to be able to answer this question. It’s going to come up for you, as folks wrestle with understanding during troubling events such as this.

We have hope, because God has given it to us [1Peter 3:15], so let’s consider some answers to this question, the problem of evil: 

Answer #1: The question itself actually proves the existence of God, rather than disproves Him. The fact that people recognize evil means that they understand good. Without God, there can be no such thing as good or evil. 

If Evil exists, as they cry against it, then there must also be a good. If there is good and evil, there must be a standard (absolute moral law) by which to differentiate the two. If there is an absolute moral law, there must be an absolute moral law giver, GOD. If there is no absolute Moral Law Giver, then there is no moral law. If there is no moral law, then there is no good nor evil. 

Answer #2: Love & free will. Love is the greatest ethic. 1Co 13:13 But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love. 

This truth is recognized by every person on the face of the planet. Paul suggested that some things had no laws against them; Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 meekness, self-control; against such there is no law. 

In order to have LOVE, you must have the freedom to NOT LOVE. This is contained in our FREE WILL. Otherwise you just have automatons, instinctually motivated animals. FREE WILL is one of the greatest gifts received from God. With the ability to choose LOVE, comes the ability to go against it. With that comes all the problems (evil) that are associated with not loving. 

When FREE WILL exists, LOVE can also exist along with EVIL, and since the original question suggests that there is an ABSOLUTE MORAL LAW, God also exists. 

God has given mankind freedom of choice. He gave Adam and Eve the freedom of choice. [Genesis 2:16-17] Their choice was plain — obey and live or disobey and die. Their choice was made through and by their own will having been influenced by Satan. Who is willing to say that since God foreknew the outcome that He forced or ordained Adam and Eve to sin? We commit evil by our own desires and lusts [James 1:13-14]. Mankind today still has freedom of choice. [Joshua 24:15] People can choose today whether or not they will serve God. [Revelations 22:17] Both the Psalmist [Psalm 119:30] and Mary, the sister of Martha [Luke 10:42], are examples of this principle. 

God’s grace has appeared to all people [Titus 2:11] yet millions reject it. Each person is accountable to the Gospel call [2Thessalonians 1:8, 14; John 12:47-48]. Those who reject the teachings of Jesus are held responsible [John 5:24; 8:24] The Bible teaches us that each person is free to choose to obey the gospel, or not to take advantage of God’s grace. It clearly shows one may resist God’s grace, His truth and His authority [Acts 7:51; Romans 13:2; 2Timothy 3:8]. 

Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
2Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 

These verses teach that man has free will to choose. With the ability to choose, we can choose evil (as this couple did in San Bernardino) or we can choose to do good. 

Answer #3: God will bring every work into judgement. God is the Judge of all [Hebrews 12:23]. All shall bow at Jesus’ feet, That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,” [Philippians 2:10; John 5:22, 27]. And every person shall be judged, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” [2Corinthians 5:10] 

_____________________________________________________

 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. [Romans 12:19]

­­­_____________________________________________________

 We as Christians can take comfort knowing that God is real, God is not dead, He is in power and that He will repay every evil. Let Him have His way with thee. [1Peter 5:6]

Spencer Blackwelder
evangelist for the Franklin St. Church of Christ in Borger, Texas