The God of creation made an astounding offer to mankind in Isaiah 1:18 of the Old Testament when He volunteered, "Come now, and let us reason together "
The Lord has not asked man to trust in Him with blind faith only, but with his ability for reason to recognize his limitations and the necessary role of faith. Mankind can only benefit from his gift of reasoning when he meditates with faith upon the foremost of questions which are, "Why am I here?" "Where did I come from?" And, "Where am I going?"
Without considering the significance and weight of the answers to these questions life has no true meaning and becomes void of absolute moral truth.
When mankind ventures occasional thoughts as to what his purpose might be in existence it is inevitable that he come to a place where answers remain elusive. For prideful man this can be difficult to accept, especially when the formation of an idea is very basic, but the understanding is impossible to obtain within the confines of ones limitations. Thus Philosophy is introduced.
An abiding example is the heaven which surrounds us. Where does it begin or end? How can one declare it is infinite if no mortal can ever produce the final evidence of such a concept?
If heaven does in fact have an end with an obstruction or curves back on itself, as some scientists theorize, then what is to be found beyond the obstruction or the curvature?
God had in mind the futility men would experience when attempting to answer these questions when He used mans limitation of ken to express His unlimited love for Israel in Jeremiah 31:37. We quote, "Thus says the Lord: If heaven above can be measured, And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says the Lord."
The point so strongly being presented is that no sin of Israel can ever come between Gods eternal love for her faithful remnant.
To grasp the hopelessness facing mankind in his attempts to determine the ultimate dimension of heaven, consider that Voyager 2 launched in August, 1977, has traveled outward from the earth about 5 billion miles, according to University of California, Los Angeles, astronomer Luca Beret. Yet this distance corresponds only to about 8 hours light time (186,000 per second) when it takes light 4 years to reach the nearest star, Proximal Centaur, 25 trillion miles away. (Colo. Spgs. Gazette, "Strange but true," 3/8/99).
Or let us consider the little knowledge mankind has uncovered regarding the releasing of energy and its unwavering propensity to inevitable decline. No one has ever been able to put forth from science even the most remote hypothesis where energy originated from.
A scientific foundation of thermodynamics is that no new energy is being created. According to the laws of this discovery, all the energy that will ever exist has already been created and is destined to continually dissipate from loss of heat. Not only is it not known where energy came from, but also there is no hope of regeneration for that which remains!
In helping Job to understand his frail mortal limitations in comprehending the limitless power of God, the Lord presented the question of the nature of energy in Job 38:19-21, "Where is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, that you may take it to its territory, that you may know the paths to its home? Do you know it, because you were born then, or because the number of your days is great?"
To a scientist these questions are not just abstract musings, but are foundational questions concerning all that exists from the basic building blocks of the atom to the realm of antimatter. The point is that mankind does not have the ability to answer every question that confronts him, nor can he remedy the problems facing the universe. His only hope is to turn with his ability to step out in faith to God and trust Him in faith for the answers that lie in the unreachable domain of eternity.
Where man often stumbles is when he rejects Gods revelations on spiritual matters involving creation. Instead of admitting his limited ability to understand a certain matter and seeking Gods answers in faith, mankind more often than not goes beyond reasonable deliberation and rebelliously manufactures ideas contrary to Gods Word.
God addressed this evil tendency when He spoke to Job in verse 2 of Ch. 38 while asking, "Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?"
Man can understand that energy and the materialized universe had to have a beginning, but are confounded by their own limitation when they realize before there was anything, everything had to have been created from out of nothing! The Big Bang theory is nonsense when there was nothing to explode. This ridiculous idea is used to justify the rejection of God the Creator.
In the exclusive spiritual realm intellectual understanding is even more hopeless. How can God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit be distinct persons as revealed in the Bible, yet be only one God?
Here we have a spiritual concept which isolated three dimensional beings cannot comprehend within themselves. Some may argue that the face value of this concept disproves itself because the components are understandable. But what if someone was asked to imagine the concept of "absolutely clear?"
We can understand perfectly what is being expected. The formula is simple; the components are basic, yet it is impossible to embody in thought. We will automatically put a color in or mind or else the perception will be clarity with something placed in the distance.
Why is this? Because even with such a simplistic formula which can be explained without difficulty, we are being asked as finite beings with limited range to imagine an infinite concept. It is simply beyond the capability of mankind to envision what would in fact be an infinite void.
Our inability to envision a concept outside our grasp in no way diminishes the eternal fact that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God.
Other perplexing questions are, "How can the Bible teach that freewill and predestination are both in operation at the same time?" And, "How could God always have existed?"
By Gods unlimited ability, predestination and freewill are both co-existing truths (see Rom. 9:11-23). Both of these terms are spiritual in origin and must be understood by spiritual ability given by God through faith.
God demonstrates the existence of freewill by holding accountable every individual who fails to come with faith to His Son Jesus Christ to have their sins forgiven (I Cor. 6:9-11), and by His declaration in II Peter 3:9 that He is, "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
It would appear that the final decision of freewill a person makes regarding whether or not to put their faith in Jesus Christ, falls into an incomprehensible area of human understanding which entails predestination.
Nonetheless, the choice to be forgiven and counted among the predestined remains available and obtainable by all or else the warnings and invitations of the Bible are without purpose.
As for God the Father and Sons eternal existence, while speaking of the hidden origins and fate of Melchizedek in Hebrews 7:1-4, Melchizedeks biography is compared to Jesus Christs infinite being. The Scriptures record for us, " without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made life the Son of God remains a priest continually."
God can only tell us of Himself that "I AM that I AM" (Ex. 3:14). There is nothing more for us which can be understood. The components of language are basic and the formula is simple. We who cannot envision unending clearness for even a brief moment must accept the eternal greatness of God by faith. Praise God that He is love (I Jn. 4:8).
In Isaiah 55:8-9 God rightly maintains that there are things of Himself that man as a corrupted finite being can never understand. We are told, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts."
Man is a being with paltry, measurable limits while God is Perfect, Almighty, Immeasurable.
Earlier in our message we shared Gods declaration of His infinite love for Israel. "Why has Israel been chosen to be so special to Him?" - might be one other question frustrating men of other nationalities.
In Jeremiah 31:7 when God is speaking of the remnant of Israel which shall be saved we read, "Sing with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations."
When looking at modern news reports its obvious that the other nations do not believe in the slightest that Israel is destined to be their chief. Israel is the only member of the UN, a dues paying member since 1950, who is not allowed to rotate on the Security Council.
Even nations branded as terrorist states, 7 in all, are permitted to rotate.
According to Deuteronomy 28:13 once Israel is obedient in faith, God will make her the head and no longer the tail.
Why did God choose Israel? He has not offered any explanation as to why He has created or chosen one of the nations to be the ruler over all others, but His promise to Israel is immutable. "Why do birds fly and fish live under water?" - we might as well ask of God.
Because of Israels special place the world will soon gather in force to destroy her according to Zechariah 12. It makes one think of Cain in Genesis plotting to kill Abel because God would not grant Cain acceptance on invalid terms. Israel finds itself in a similar situation at present regarding Salvation and the Church.
God has raised up another people to surpass even the greatness of Israel. God spoke of this nation which He would raise up in Deut. 32:21 and how He would use it to provoke Israel to jealousy.
The Apostle Paul explains in Rom. 10:19-20 & 11:13-14 that this provocation is to bring Israel to desire the same relationship with God that this new nation is experiencing.
It is a nation of believers who are to come from out of all the peoples of the earth and whose country is Heaven (see Heb. 11:12-16). This is the triumphant church of Jesus Christ which will one day very soon leave this fallen planet to go Home (see I Thess. 4:15-18).
A group of people who were once not a people of God, but are now a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, Gods own special people called out of darkness into His marvelous light. Sojourners and pilgrims on earth proclaiming the praises of Him who saved them (see I Pet. 2:9-11).
In Isa. 1:18 we quoted where God asked man to come and reason together with Him. The conclusion of the verse reads, " though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow, though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
Why has God chosen to offer men to use their ability to reason when seeking forgiveness? Why has salvation come to the redeemed only by the sacrificial shedding of His only Sons blood? Why is a persons forgiveness so easily obtained from God by just believing in His Son?
The answer to all these questions can be summed up in "Gods Perfect Will." His knowledge is flawless and as imperfect beings our reasonable faith in His revelations should be a treasure recognized as one of infinite worth.
John the Baptist was an obedient follower of God, as much as possible for an unredeemed man. He could be compared to Israel in its prophesied role of future chief of the nations. Though esteemed as being one of the greatest prophets who had ever lived upon the earth, Jesus Christ revealed that even the least of those in Heaven was greater than John in Luke 7:28.
After Jesus paid for the sins of the world on the cross Johns faith was imputed to him through Christ as righteous standing before God.
When John passed over to glory, according to I Cor. 13:12, his knowledge in God was perfected, as it will be for all who are a part of the nation of God in Christ. We quote, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known."
Faith must be exercised for now in the things of God, which are unable to be understood in any other way.
One day very soon Gods Church will be at one with the mind of God. Israel will then undergo her time of testing during the time of Jacobs Trouble" and will come through it victorious as the chief of the nations after they turn in faith to Jesus Christ as their Messiah. The Church will return with her Lord from Heaven to share in the restoration of the earth under Jesus the King of kings (see Jer. 30:7, Zech. 12:9-10, Zech. 14:5 & Rev. 19:11-14).
Israel will need to see miraculous demonstrations of the Lords power before she will come to believe and take her proper place among the nations. But to Christs beloved Church who make up the holy nation of Heaven, Jesus said in John 20:29, " Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
With faith in Christ a person need not be bound by limitations (Mark 9:23).
Put your faith in Jesus Christ this moment. If you have been hesitant, then go in faith and reason with God and your belief will enable you to be counted among the blessed. Its really only a question of faith.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of tings not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Heb. 11:1-3 & 6).