Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Could He Have Failed? I Don't Think So. And Scripture Backs Me Up!

Recently I visited a Christian blog that was reviewing a book by a noted theologian.  No, I am not going to name the book...suffice it to say that one of the chapters began with a statement in regard to the temptation of Christ (wherein Satan offered him the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would only bow down to him).   

Now I want to say that I have not read the rest of this book and am not going to name the book.  You can find it easily enough if you google portions of the following sentences therein.

The topic of the book is "how to deal with temptations" (or at least that's what I got from the review).  The author used the following  impossible scenario as an intro.  

"If Jesus had accepted it (the devil's offer of the kingdoms of the world) Satan would have surrendered his reign of terror.  Jesus could have directed the kingdoms of the world however he wanted.  No more babies would be miscarried. No more women would die in childbirth. Ended immediately would be all human slavery, all genocide, all disease, all poverty, all torture, and all ecological catastrophes."

This scenario IS IMPOSSIBLE, theologically speaking. 

The author's premise of what might have transpired IF Jesus HAD accepted Satan's offer is true only IF following are true:
  1. ...if Satan is NOT a liar and can (or even will) deliver what he promises
  2. ...only if Satan is willing to forego the TOTAL destruction of humankind, sinners or no, and allow man to live in "earthly" peace once Jesus stepped back from his appointed, fore-ordained, all-empowered work.
  3. ...ONLY if Satan has full power over the things of this world. We know that he does not (Job Chapter 1).  He can do only so far as God allows. There is nothing in the Bible that infers Satan has full control over earthly matters, including kingdoms, neither then nor now. God is the One who sets up and tears down.  Yes, Satan works and works mightily. My point is that the kingdoms were not HIS to GIVE!
  4. Lastly, it is true only if it were POSSIBLE for God's ordained plan of salvation to fail. God is all-powerful. What He ordains, He brings about. And He ordained that the Son would not fail.
None of these four prerequisites is possible. NONE!

Could Jesus have failed? Could He have yielded to Satan's temptations?  Let's take a look at what Scripture tells us.
  • Luke 22:22 "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined.."
  • Acts 2:23  "this man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge  of God, you (men of Israel vs.. 22) nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put him to death." 
  • Acts 3:18 "But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
  • Acts 4:28 "...to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur." 
  • Acts 10:42 "...this is the One who has been appointed by God a Judge of the living and the dead."
  • Acts 17:31  "He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
What God ordains He brings about.  He does NOT TRY something only to have it fail.  He sent the Son into the world, knowing that what He planned the Son would accomplish.  It was foreordained (ordered from the beginning) and predestined (destined to happen exactly as ordained).

To think anything less is to question the complete sovereignty of God and to denigrate His redemptive power to nothing.



Debra said...

Yes and Amen.

Debby said...

You know, sometimes I am just absolutely blown away by the clarity of your thinking. Today is one of those days.

I found myself pondering the end of genocide and miscarriages and all the evils of this world and I thought to myself, Christ came into this world to save us. If bowing to the devil would have saved us, he would have humbled himself, just as he humbled himself to the cross. But Satan is a liar. Christ knew that bowing to Satan would NOT save us. You hit that nail on the head.

Persis said...

Good points. Whatever hypothetical situation we might imagine is moot because it didn't happen. So how much can we infer from what didn't happen?

I have the book in question which I started and haven't finished. :)

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi White Stone,

Intriguing....! I hadn't heard of this book, or this argument. I agree that I think the evil one is the father of lies and plus he didn't have all the power. Hmm, curious to ponder also how he lies to us, trying to get us to sidestep God's plans for our lives or to circumvent the hard stuff, looking for "easier" solutions.

Have a great week. Nice to pop in again.

Jennifer Dougan