1999-05-15 - Sin
Last week we concluded with the statements:
"God cannot tolerate sin. This being true, He permitted sin to arise in His kingdom. God foreknew when he created Lucifer, and made him the anointed cherub, the highest of His created beings, that he would pit his will against divine authority and corrupt his own nature, and that in his fallen state - as Satan - he would lead others into rebellion. God also foreknew when He would create man that he would rebel against Him and bring untold misery, sin and suffering upon all his descendants. Although God foresaw all - Satan's rebellion and the subsequent acts of disobedience and their consequences -- both on the part of angels and men - He brought into being these creatures whose willful acts were to bring the curse of sin upon the universe."
God cannot be coerced or forced by anyone or any power. His sovereignty is absolute and he exercises His will according to His pleasure, maintaining full control over all things. His choices are always in accordance with His dominant characteristics: truth, love and holiness. He is a moral sovereign and his government is purely ethical in nature.
When God brought into existence creatures that were to be dependent upon Him - and this includes all of creation - He stamped each personality with His own character. He created man " in His own image" (Gen. 1:27) It is reasonable to believe that He endowed all of His all of His intelligent moral creatures - including men and angels - with the characteristics of His individuality, freedom of will and power of choice. Satan exercised his freedom of choice when he exalted his will above that of the Almighty. For this he was deposed from his high position of authority:
Isaiah 14:12-15 How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations! And thou saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to Sheol, to the uttermost parts of the pit.
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are also the beast and the false prophet; and they shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Those of the Angelic host who followed Satan are likewise being held responsible for exercising their wills ageist the Almighty:
2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
The same is true with respect to man:
Rev. 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne; and books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead that were in it; and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death, even the lake of fire. And if any was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.
Gods sovereignty over His moral government is set forth in:
Psalm 103: 19-22 Jehovah hath established his throne in the heavens; And his kingdom ruleth over all. Bless Jehovah, ye his angels, That are mighty in strength, that fulfill his word, Hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless Jehovah, all ye his hosts, Ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless Jehovah, all ye his works, In all places of his dominion: Bless Jehovah, O my soul.