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Archive for the ‘Godhead’ Category

Predestination: How God Sees Time

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 17, 2009


We are temporal beings.  We see things in terms of chronology.  So when it comes to eternity, we have a psychological problem.  It’s a hard thing to grasp.

Consider this… Eternal life means you will never cease to exist.  EVER!!! Take a few moments and try to think a million, billion, trillion years down the road.  Well, you have just looked at the first seconds of eternity.  As difficult as that is, try this on for size.  God never had a beginning.

I can sorta imagine never ceasing.  I can’t, for all my attempts,  put my mind around never having a beginning.  My problem is that “time” is a factor that I just can’t let go of.

Scientifically speaking, time is a property of matter.  This was part of Einstein’s postulations, but God is spiritual, so how would time affect Him?  Actually, it doesn’t because He invented it.

Let me help you realize the difficulty you have by looking at the three dimensions we live in.

The First Dimension

1D

1D

Imagine for a moment, you saw a one dimensional world.  That one dimension would be a line like the one to the left.  Now look at the dots (1,2 and 3); they represent people in that world.  When person one looks at person two, what do they see?  A Dot.

Do they see the line?  No.  They have no depth perception in that universe, they can only see the dot.

Now what is dot two tells dot one that dot three exists.  Dot one would have to take dot two’s word for it because dot one and three can’t see each other because dot two is in the way.

Confusing?  Try being the dots.  But you have an advantage… you can see the linear component to their world.  They are a line of dots, but they don’t know that and have to take it by faith if I told them.

Now, try to describe to the one dimensional person a two dimensional world like the one to the left.  The one dimensional person can’t even fully understand their world, how can they even conceptualize a two dimensional world?

Looking at the two dimensional world we see two people (illustrated by the stick figures).  When the stick figure people look at each other, what do they see?  A line.

The limitations of their world present challenges similar to the one dimensional world.  But like the one dimensional world, they too cannot fully grasp their own world.

2D

2D

 

Lets add a third dimension to the equation.  With the third dimension, many new things come into play.  I can see all around an object and get a pretty good idea about what it happening, but even here, I am limited.  I can only see one side of an object at a time, so I have to walk around it to get a better understanding of exactly what I’m seeing.

With each dimension, we gain a little more understanding, but we still have struggles understanding.

When a three dimension being intercects the world of a two dimensional being, how does the two dimensional being interpret it?  As a line.

If I took a piece of paper and put my finger through it, only the part inside the paper would be visible to their world, the rest of me is invisible because it is outside their world.

I, in my three dimensional world, have a much better handle on their world and can give them greater insight than they can even dream.  What they think is reality, really isn’t.  But with my insight, they can grow in understanding beyond their limitations.

That’s what God did with us through Jesus.  God intersected our world through the physical manifestation of Jesus Christ.  God is always here, but we don’t see him because we only see in three dimensions.  However, the reality is that He operates outside our sphere and understands how it works far better.

3D

3D

He can see the end from the beginning because he is beyond time.  He can see things in our world like we can see in that two dimensional world.

So how does God see time?  He sees it as an obstacle for us to overcome.  He isn’t concerned with it.  We are the ones that struggle day in and day out with hurrying up, waiting in lines and rush hour traffic.  We are the ones that think God isn’t working fast enough.  We just don’t get that time doesn’t affect Him or His plans.

God’s sacrifice of Christ took place before time began (run that through your cranium). And yet he died in our world too.  He preknew who would be saved, yet He fights for every one of us.

He knew Judas would betray him, yet he gave him every opportunity to stop… He made Judas the treasurer; he told him he would betray him to his face; and he sat him right next to him at the last supper.  That’s the kind of God we serve.  One who knew all about you, yet died for you anyway.

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Predestination: How it Works

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 16, 2009


Predestination – a fancy word for God deciding things before they happen.

There are some that believe that God has gone so far in predestination to already determine who will be saved and who will not be saved.  I take some issue with this because that defeats the purpose of Love.  (See the first article)

There are only a couple Scriptures (2 Thessalonian 2:13; Romans 8:29) people use to support the teaching that God predetermines who will be saved, but I think they are simply reading too much into it.  The actions of Jesus were enough for all to be saved.  Anyone who wants to receive the gift of salvation can (Revelation 22:17).  According to the 2 Thessalonians passage, we are simply all chosen, the Spirit of God does the work of Christ in us after we accept the offer of being chosen by believing in the Truth.

So the message is that salvation is available to all – period.

Remember the old TV series, Mission Impossible? Ethan Hawk would receive  a tape, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…”  Ethan was chosen for the mission, but it was up to Ethan to receive that calling.  In the same way, the message has been left in your hands, God has chosen you for a mission…  should you choose to accept it, your life will never be the same again.

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Predestination: Showing Love

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 15, 2009


When you try to figure out God, you will quickly discover that you are inadequately equipped to see things from his perspective.  Of course He is everywhere, all powerful and all knowing, yet he seemingly give us free reign to make choices that affect our lives.   How does God who knows all give us free choice?

I want to throw my two cents in on this never-ending question and look at two things – Why He does it and How it works.

I see the “why” as the easy answer… Love.  Actually, unlike most things, this love is not only about God’s love for us, but our love for Him.  Let me explain.

Choosing Love

Love can only be love if the choice not to love exists.  How do you know if someone loves you if they never have the option to walk away?  And without this critical choice, how are you sure your love is strong?

God knows your level of love without this process, but you don’t.  Temptations, options and opportunities create environments where we can put our love to the test.  We learn more about our condition when we are confronted with choices and can learn where we need improvements.

God showed this love to us in the garden through Jesus’ prayer:

Abba, Father”everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will. – Mark 14:36

Jesus made a choice that day to love His Father through obedience.  In so doing, the Father showed His love toward us (c.f. 1 John 1:4-9)

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