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Religion letter: Why is the world the way it is?

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Posted: Sunday, April 23, 2017 6:13 pm

Editor: Thoughtful people usually ask this question fairly early in life. When we look around at the stunning goodness displayed in creation — the immensity of the universe; the shimmering brightness of the stars and galaxies; the awesome radiance of the sun; the dazzling splendor of electric blue skies; the breathtaking, hills, plains, valleys, and mountains; the fascinating seas, rivers, and bodies of water; the amazing diversity of animal life; the exquisite and mysterious beauty of the human body— we cannot help but wonder why so much tragedy attends it all. Storms, earthquakes, violence, chaos, wars, sickness, plagues, death — wherever we look, we see good and evil, righteousness and wickedness, repentant and unrepentant rebels. Why is it this way? The answer is God's decrees.

God's decrees gave rise to creation, providence, and redemption. Before the foundation of the world, this omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent sovereign Lord decreed an unchangeable, eternal plan for everything and everyone He would bring into existence. He purposed to create an astonishing universe that included a magnificent world that would be the habitation of His image-bearers. Not only would He create that glorious theater, He would unfold throughout its ages an extraordinary plan of redemption. He is therefore, the holy Sovereign of all existing things, people, and events.

Do we really believe this? And do we live like we believe this? At one time, this was standard doctrine for and the subject of regular conversation among God's people. And while there has been a renewed interest in the doctrines of grace, do those interested really believe that God purposed and governs all things? The life we are leading, is a part of God's decree. And yet, wonder of wonders, we are not a robot: we are a thinking, feeling, volitional, and responsible image-bearer of God.

How does a supreme, all powerful, all knowing, and all present God plan and rule all things, and yet hold us accountable for the way we live? It is beyond human comprehension, but it is the clear teaching of the Scripture. It all lies in the infinite depths of God's decrees. Every day, our lives are rushing toward that great day of Judgment, according to the plan of our great Sovereign. Everything is on schedule, everything is according to God's plan, everything is under control. It is all in God's decree.

Willie Hebacker

Lodi

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