Can We Blame Them?

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And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hades: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day (Matthew 11:23).

Why, then, were those mighty works not done? Is it not the will of God that none should perish, but that all should come, through repentance, unto life? Does not He Himself plead with men, saying, “Why will ye die?” (cf. Ezekiel 18:31; 33:11). Yet the Lord Jesus, Who knew what might have been as well as what had been, solemnly declares that even the guilty inhabitants of Sodom and of Tyre and Sidon would have been brought to repentance and life had they witnessed the mighty works wrought in the favored cities of Galilee! Why were they not permitted to witness them, then? Can we blame them; will God condemn them, and condemn them to an eternal death or an eternal misery, because they did not see what they could not see, because they did not repent, when the very means which would infallibly have induced repentance were not vouchsafed them?

Samuel Cox (1826-1893)
Salvator Mundi
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Salvator Mundi: Is Christ the Savior of All Men?

by — Samuel Cox (1826-1893)

(New Enlarged Type Edition) “Salvator Mundi” means “Savior of the World.” First published in 1877, the main object of this book is to encourage those who “faintly trust the larger hope” to commit themselves to it wholly and fearlessly, by showing them that they have ample warrant for it in the Scriptures. Reprint of the 1899 Eleventh Edition.

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Accidental Life?

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If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents – the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts – i.e., of materialism and astronomy – are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)
The Business of Heaven, p. 97
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The Poetic Beauty of Creation

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The transcendent wonders of the heavens, the phenomena of the atmosphere, the insoluble mysteries of the underworld are held together in glorious order by His creative hand, and ruled by His rod. Now He rides through the heavens, binds the cluster of the Pleiades, looses the bands of Orion, guides the signs of the Zodiac in their season, leads the Bear with her train, establishes the ordinances of heaven on the earth; now He walks the fathomless deep, delves in the recesses of the sea, traverses the realm of shades, cleaves a channel for the waterflood, scatters the wind, enters the abode of light; and while thus revolving the wheel of nature’s mechanism with amazing regularity, He reserves the treasuries of hail against the day of battle and war.

Vladimir Gelesnoff (1877-1921)
The Book of Job
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The Origin of Evil

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The desire to see the origin of evil in Satan is the equivalent of a deep-seated denial of the absolute deity of God, and is a great hindrance to a life of victorious faith, because it throws a dark shadow on the glorious consummation at the very beginning. … In reality, the adversary only carries out the intention that was deeply anchored in God’s love, and he is what he is in order to fulfill the high purpose of the divine affections.

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things (Isaiah 45:7).

M. Jaegle
The Pre-Creation Era of the Universe (1950)
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Dwindling

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He made Himself of no reputation (Philippians 2:7).

Oh, that each of us would learn the sacred art of dwindling! That we might just dwindle and dwindle until in the end we just dwindle away into nothingness, that nothingness of self-esteem which alone makes room for His being “All in all.”

Alan Burns (1884-1929)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 8 (1916)
The Unexpected in John’s Gospel
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God’s Sure Purpose

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It is God’s will, and I delight in it even when it disappoints my hopes. As for God, His way is perfect; He has a purpose which He is steadily carrying out, and He is making all things work together to accomplish it. That purpose is that we may be conformed to the image of His Son, and – with all our perverseness and unbelief, and the thousand other things that we are ashamed of as we look back on our past lives – that purpose will one day be completely accomplished. How fine we shall be then!

J.G. M’Vicker (1826-1900)
Selected Letters with Brief Memoir of J.G. M’Vicker
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No Creature Can Hinder God’s Plans

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I no longer believe that God ever did create a being that was capable of hindering or frustrating any of His loving plans or purposes, and they that believe Satan ever accomplished anything along that line know not God, and many, very many, who profess to love and serve Him are actually ignorant of His wisdom, power, and love.

Thomas E. McDaniel
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 22, 1931
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Vengeance

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Recompense to no man evil for evil… Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay,” saith the Lord … Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17-21).

God reserves all “vengeance” to Himself, not because wrathful revenge is a temper or quality that can have any place in the holy Deity, but because the holy supernatural Deity, being free from all of the properties of nature, whence partial love and hatred spring, and being in Himself nothing but an infinity of love, wisdom and goodness, He alone knows how to overrule the disorders of nature, that the highest good may be promoted by it.

William LawWilliam Law (1686-1761)
The Spirit of Love (1752)
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Our Disappointments Are His Appointments

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He delights to show His mercy (Micah 7:18).

Seeing God’s sovereign hand in all things turns our regrets into an amazing appreciation!

Our remorse will esteem His almighty plan. Every heartache will be seen as a part of the divine tapestry, meticulously embroidered for the purpose of making known – to every single individual – His unconditional love and mercy.

Disappointments this side of resurrection create the backdrop that is critically important. Otherwise, we would never be able to see clearly the benevolent and generous intent for all of His creation.

Mike Owens
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Free Will?

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Baby Moses, tucked away in his cradle, floating on the water, cried. Was it God’s will, or the baby’s will?

It was a cry that originated in heaven. The king’s daughter was attracted. The child’s life was spared. He entered a palace and eventually became the greatest leader of men this world has ever known. He was entrusted with the commandments; he talked with God on the mountain top.

Is any son of God restless or over-anxious? Then let him think of this minute event and its consequences, and let him watch for the Divine Hand in even life’s smallest events.

Here lies peace. John the Baptist arrived exactly on time to behold the Lamb of God, and be labeled the greatest of all men born among women. Saul was at the right spot when our Lord Jesus visited him.

All is of God. Life’s minutest circumstances are under His control. Therefore, be anxious for nothing. He knows. He loves. He cares. One Captain is competent enough for any ship. We are all only passengers.

Joseph A. Freeman
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 26 (1935)
(abridged & edited)
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