Have you ever been told that sin wasn’t God’s plan or that God never intended for evil and death to enter into the hearts of man? Is this the gospel we should be believing?
The corruption of the world was never part of God’s plan. This is the common gospel of the Christian religion. It is a gospel marred by tragedy and one that will ultimately end in tragedy. What caused this calamity to happen upon the face of the earth, according to this gospel? God had given man free will and because He gave man a free will He opened the door to the largest whoopsie the universe had ever known. Through the suspicion and rebellion of Adam and Eve sin, and thereby death, entered into the world. God’s amazing creation had fallen into a state of chaos and decay and thus God’s plan was thwarted by the wicked devil and the sin of man.
God’s been scrambling ever since, desperately trying to pick up the pieces and “win” souls into His kingdom. He hopes beyond hope that in the end He will get a slightly larger piece of glory than Satan and his army (if you’ve ever seen the Christian film, The Encounter, you know exactly what I mean) who, by this point, have taken millions of souls into the eternal torment of Hell.
Allow me now, friends, to share the true Gospel. One of joy, peace, love, and blinding light. It starts before the creation of the universe, at the birth of sin, before Adam ever felt the cool grass between his toes.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2)
These two verses have been read countless times by believers and non-believers alike, however, there is a profound truth in this short passage of Scripture that continually goes unnoticed. The KJV, as quoted above, blurs the image and leads us to believe that God was the one who created the earth without form and void, seated in darkness. But if God created the earth to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18) then this makes no sense. The Concordant Literal version reads this in a much clearer light,
In a beginning Elohim created `the heavens and `the earth. As for the earth, it came to be chaos and vacant, and darkness was over the surface of the abyss. And the spirit of Elohim was vibrating over the surface of the waters (Genesis 1:1-2 CLNT bold mine)
This paints a completely different picture. The earth “came to be” chaotic and vacant. This suggests that something was going on in the spiritual realm, outside of man’s woeful mistake.
I contend that the entire Genesis account presents us with a powerful analogy of God’s creation plan from the beginning. What happens after the earth becomes chaos and vacant?
And Elohim said: Let light come to be! And light came to be (Genesis 1:3 CLNT)
From darkness to light. From chaos to restoration. The example was set in the spiritual, but now it had to be presented in the natural to human beings. This, my friends, is God’s grand plan.
But does this still not affirm the existence of free will? One could say Satan’s free will had caused him to rebel against God and wreck His plans, which He then had to scramble to fix the best He can. The common wives tale is that Satan grew prideful one day and decided to rebel against God and take a third of the angels with him. However, it is never explained how, exactly, Satan came to this position aside from, you guessed it, free will. It is the otherworldly power to reject the majesty and sovereignty of God. But Scripture has another answer for us.
You belong to your father, the devil….He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 NIV bold mine)
The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning…. (1 John 3:8 NIV bold mine).
These verses, presented at one time by Jesus and another by the apostle John, are as plain as day. Satan was a murderer and deceiver from the very beginning. There was never a point of time where he wasn’t so. He was therefore created as such by God for all beginnings come from God. The profound and glorious truth is that this calamity didn’t start and end with Satan, as though He never intended man to fall into this desolation himself. He intended man to fall from the very beginning, as Paul states,
For I am reckoning that the sufferings of the current era do not deserve the glory about to be revealed for us. For the premonition of the creation is awaiting the unveiling of the sons of God. For to vanity was the creation subjected, not voluntarily (from one’s own free will), but because of Him Who subjects it, in expectation. (Romans 8:18-20 CLNT bold mine)
Creation was subjected to brokenness (vanity being the practical form of the fall) from the very beginning, not voluntarily by the hands of a man in the sphere of his own sovereignty, but by Him Who subjects it, “in expectation.” What is God expecting, exactly?
….that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfilment in him.” (Ephesians 1:9-10 the J.B. Philips paraphrase bold mine)
Friends, here is the true Gospel. Sin was an essential part of God’s grand plan from the beginning. God subjected this world to its fallen, corrupted nature (Isaiah 45:7) in order to restore it. This concept is known as the contrast principle, whereby one does not know how wonderful joy and peace are until they have experienced suffering. One does not understand or grasp the beauty of love until they have known hate. One does not understand the glory of grace until he has felt shame. God does not do suffering to us, rather He does suffering for us. Sin and destruction are merely the road to something greater.
For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. (Romans 11:32 NIV)
I just love the “all” of these verses. This is precisely why the doctrine of eternal torment and the salvation of the elect alone is so abhorrent and at odds with Scripture. If sin, rebellion, and brokenness were chapters in God’s plan from the beginning, how repulsively unjust would it be to end the majority of creation in death and eternal torment?
I’ve heard it said that God subjecting creation to evil, in His sovereign will, is something no just and loving God would ever do. However, what does the doctrine of free will believe? It believes that God, in His omniscience knowing that millions of people will find their fate in everlasting flames and turmoil, went ahead and created this world anyway with all of its pointless suffering. He had the existence and reign of evil in mind long before He set out to create, all so that man, who is bound to fail, could be sovereign even over Him. Only in the mind of the one who believes in free will does this ring true.
Christianity as we know it today believes in eternal death, eternal shame, eternal separation, and eternal evil. Atheism too nods to the belief of eternal death and eternal evil. Scripture instead notes time and time again that all of creation will find its perfection, joy, and fulfilment in Christ Jesus and that death and evil will be abolished once and for all at the end of the eons. Talk about a plan.