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Page 287

As studied in Chapter Six regarding God's providence, God has decreed to permit sin, to use it for His own good purpose and end. In so doing, however, sin remains a crime and the sinner a criminal. Scripture forbids us to ever view sin as a good thing.

God decreed from eternity and prophesied hundreds of years before that Judas Iscariot would betray the Lord Jesus Christ. God would use this sinful action for His own good and wonderful purpose - the salvation of an innumerable multitude of elect sinners. But Judas' sin remains a crime and he a traitor, for God did not persuade nor force Judas to commit this sin. From his own sinful motives of hatred and revenge, Judas freely chose to betray Christ. When committing this sin, Judas' motives were different from God's reasons for permitting it. Therefore Judas is fully judged for his crime, while God's prophecy is fulfilled and His eternal purpose stands, as Jesus states, "The Son of man goeth as it is written of Him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born" (Matthew 26:24).

This same truth applies to our view of the fall. While God used the fall of man to fulfill His own purpose, we may never speak of the fall as a "good thing" or Adam's sin as a wonderful happenmg." Adam's sin was and remains a rebellious crime. He willfully chose to plunge himself and all his posterity into sin with its terrible consequences. The truth of a person's remaining fully guilty for his own actions, despite God's using it for good purposes which he never intended, is clearly illustrated in the following remarkable story.



    After traveling for two hours on an interstate freeway, a family with two small children stopped for a ten-minute break at a rest area. In their haste, they left their keys in the car, and it was stolen.

    As upset as they were at the moment, so thankful they were later; for a few miles from the rest area, at exactly the time they would have been there, a terrible accident involving seventeen vehicles took place.

    The car thief was apprehended and his lawyer, at his trial, told the jury the previous remarkable story, of how this theft preserved the lives of a family. The judge intervened, however, and asked the thief, "Did you know that this accident would be taking place? Did you steal this

 

Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

- Psalm 41:9

Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,

And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

And from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

- Matthew 26:1-16

The Son of man goeth as it is written of Him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

- Matthew 26:24

 


Why is it very important to keep both of the following truths in balance? All things are included in God's decree and providence and yet, God does not persuade or force sinners to sin; a sinner freely chooses to commit each of his sins.

How are both of these truths taught in Joseph's words to his brothers in Genesis 50:20: "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day to save much people alive"?


  • Consequences - Results; effects; outcomes

  • Apprehended - Caught; seized; arrested

  • Intervened - Came between; interfered; stepped into a matter to clarify factors that are involved

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