Many of my website’s readers might be wondering what I have been doing recently. While continuing to pursue my theological degree, I took a few days’ free time to write an article on the subject of injustice from the book of Ecclesiastes. (You can read it here.) The following email, which touches on a related topic, might be helpful to some of my readers.
Hey _______! I contend that the free will / sovereignty debate is a false dichotomy. God is a sovereign King who cannot be dethroned. In the end, He will judge justly. This, however, does not mean that, at this moment, there aren't people who are criminals in His earthly kingdom. It is written in the Gospel of Luke that the pharisees rejected the will of God for their lives and in the Psalms it says that the Jews thwarted God's plan. Does God punish stubbornness/unbelief with disease? Yes. We have the example of Nebukadnessar. But we don't have many examples of this in the Bible. This seems to be rather the exception than the rule. Madness was given to Nebukadnessar, not that he should perish but that he should repent so that the glory of God might be revealed through him. The same goes for the blind beggar of John 9. The goal was the healing which would bring about the glory of God. The devil comes to kill, steal and destroy. On the opposite, God does not want that any should perish. So sickness, disease and death were NOT in the original plan of God. God is not in some sort of secret conspiracy with the devil but they are sworn enemies. It is not God who betrayed the devil from before the foundation of the world but it was the devil who betrayed God on a certain moment in time. As concerning your friend, does God want him to be sick? Most probably not. God does not get glory from someone dying from cancer or from a child getting molested (to use an extreme example). It is the greatest insanity to claim that God gets glory from the Nazi's gassing millions of Jews (to use another extreme example). Your friend's dangerous theology might actually keep him from seeking healing from God. Having said this, sometimes tragedies just happen and it is not God who is behind this. God has revealed His plan to us, through which He will deal with His final enemy, which is Death. Kind regards, - Tom T. Ps. You might be interested in this great lecture which couldn't explain my view in a better way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28-9TF0cpiI Or you can read/listen to my sermon: https://crosstheology.wordpress.com/gods-lordship-and-mans-free-will/ You can also check out Gordon Olson on many valuable issues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zhucVVGEtQ&list=PL6Jl06-WGj2IYEIzp1zDmeIhLiHr62F9Q