170: Is God Sovereign

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If by sovereign you mean that God is above everything else, with no one having authority over Him, then yes. If by sovereign you mean that God decrees, or decides, everything that happens, then NO. God is not to blame for murders, rapes, human trafficking. He is not to blame for bribery or lies or extortion or a multitude of other sins. The Bible clearly says, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed” (James 1:13-14). Man is the problem. None of us can say, “God made me do it.” God is NEVER an accomplice to our sin.

Some would ask, “If God is at the top of the heap, then how can anything happen without His permission?” Giving permission and causing something to happen are two different things. God has sovereignly made the decision to give people the freedom to make their own choices. From grabbing someone else’s toy to grabbing a package off someone’s porch, people are accountable for their wrongs. God is not to blame. Just because God KNOWS everything that will happen, it doesn’t mean that He DECREES or FORCES it to happen.

There are times when God has sovereignly chosen to change His actions based upon what man decides. Jeremiah 18:7–10 says, “If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.”                

There are other times God has sovereignly chosen to pursue a course of action regardless of what man does. Such was the case with sending His Son. He chose to bring Him into the world at the perfect time. To redeem man, God wanted Christ crucified, but He did not force the religious leaders to do it. Acts 2:23 says, “This man [Jesus] was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross.” The fact that God set the time and place for Jesus to be born and to die could not be altered by any decision of man. Yet, God bore none of the responsibility for the sin of those who crucified Him. The passage above clearly puts the blame on them. They had freedom of choice, and they chose to hate Jesus.

When the Scripture speaks of God’s elect, I believe it has more to do with God INITIATING the plan of redemption. No one forced Him or came up with a plan besides Him. He set it all in motion. He is the One who does the drawing, or wooing. Some accept Him; others resist His wooing. But it’s not God’s fault if they don’t believe the gospel.

If you have wondered what God thinks of you, He loves you and wants you to become one of His children. A few Bible verses declare this truth:

1 Timothy 2:3,4 “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who WANTS ALL PEOPLE TO BE SAVED and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

2 Peter 3:9 “He [God] is patient with you, NOT WANTING ANYONE TO PERISH, but everyone to come to repentance.”

John 3:16 “For God so LOVED THE WORLD that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”                   

God is not limp-kneed, but neither is He a mean-spirited bully. If you have YET to put your faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, remember, He loves you and wants you to be one of His children.

Marlon Furtado

I regularly went to church as a boy, but I was not exposed to the Gospel until I was nearly twenty years old. Hearing that God loved me in spite of my behavior was new to me. In response, I received Jesus Christ and became one of His followers on September 12, 1971. I practiced chiropractic for eight years before becoming a pastor from 1986 to 2018.