Archive for September, 2015

On a wooded hilltop overlooking a farm where my family once lived is an abandoned graveyard. Most of the markers are just flat stones with nothing written on them, dug up from some field nearby. Trees had already grown amongst them when I was a boy. I remember looking at the dates on a few of the stones which are carved, but I have no recollection of reading anything else.

Recently, when some of my family revisited our old farm, we stopped by the graveyard, but a particular epitaph yet went unnoticed. For some reason however, I took some digital photos of the markers. Looking through them later, I noticed the writing and was able to read it. It is on the marker of a child who was born in 1866, and died in 1872. The dates are etched very deep.

There is no name, for the top of the stone has broken off, but in faint, weathered writing below the dates are the words, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can not heal.”

That saying is from a song by Thomas Moore (1816). David Crowder does a modern revision of the song. Leaning against this marker, setting upon what is probably the fragment with the missing name, is the broken top from another stone. All I can read from this stone is, “Born Sept. 2, 1846.”

The stones are shaped the same, and I have to wonder if someone has set the top from the marker of the mother, or another family member, against that of the child. The dates would be right for that. The good Lord knows. Life is not always good, and death is not good, but God has not forgotten those graves on the hill.

There was a time when death did not exist, but the possibility existed, for God warned the first humans of it. Now, it may appear as if there is no escape from it, but according to the Bible, Jesus holds the keys. God was telling the truth in Genesis 2:17, when he warned Adam, and he is telling us the truth in Revelation 1:18.

If we could experience life and creation without the devolution that has since occurred in this world, it would be easier to understand that God is good. Genesis 1:31 tells us that God made everything good. Then, according to Genesis 3:1-5, the first humans believed the lie of a fallen angel (ref. all posts in my Dec. 2011 archives).

The lie was that we would not “surely die,” but that by knowledge we could “become like gods,” interpreting all knowledge, and answering all moral questions for ourselves. The implications were that man would no longer need God, and that God should not be trusted to make all moral judgments. This rethinking of all things has progressed to the extreme that “educated” people can now believe that life evolved from lifeless matter, which in turn evolved out of absolutely nothing.

These two incredible points, usually lie buried and ignored beneath countless pages of evolutionary propaganda, but if “something” existed to begin with, where did that “something” come from? An atheist may as well admit the existence of God, as to think that in the beginning, “something else” existed. The idea that “nothing” must suddenly have become “something,” is equally inconceivable. It’s certainly no more difficult to believe the Bible than to believe inĀ evolution, unless you just don’t like thinking about God.

The theory of evolution allows human beings to view themselves as gods, the highest form of intelligence in existence. Man was created with freedom of will. So were the angels, and the possibility of the creation of a lie would inherently exist in the mind of intelligent creatures. Freedom is good, but the abuse of freedom is not. The deception was framed in such a way that Adam and Eve did not think it all the way through.

How could they? The tree of knowledge continually grows, and only God could foresee the consequence of each thought and action. Adam didn’t suddenly “just know” all right from wrong, but he began to think that he could make that determination. Eve, of course, didn’t always agree with Adam’s every moral judgment, and argument was born.

If that sounds like a stage that all cognizant human beings now go through, I think that it is. Life, with all its moral struggles, now forces us into that state. Not everyone may remember making a conscious decision, but when I was around 11 years old, I clearly remember thinking, “this is my life. I will decide right and wrong for my own self.”

That sounds fair, but the problem is that we make many mistakes which involve other lives around us. Ripples from the wake of our lives flow onward affecting events that we may not see. I don’t think this would have become a forced issue if it were not for man’s original choice, but now we must decide what is good, and who is good. We must decide between things which we hardly know anything about, and that are much bigger than we are.

Who is lying? Who is mistaken? Is John 8:44 true? Are we really as smart, and as good as we think? Does science possess omniscience? Who, or what, are we going to believe?

We don’t have forever to make these decisions. I think it’s wise to call on the good Lord to help us. If the good book is telling us the truth, all the enemy must do to defeat us is cause us to wait out the clock. If we had forever to “make up our minds,” wouldn’t most of us take forever? Wouldn’t most of “forever” be wasted?

Though we turn it into an endless struggle, our freewill is actually evidence that God is good. He wants more for us than a robotic existence. He must eventually judge our abuses of freewill, but God is not the tyrant that man is. It is a good thing for God to be fair, and to establish justice in the earth. Rulers like Hitler can’t hide in death and escape judgment (Isaiah 28:18&20).

We encounter a problem there because none of us are always good, not even those who live the most sacrificially, and sometimes terrible tragedies stem from small indiscretions. We should also take into account the fact that some people are born into more difficult circumstances. Some lives are not as easy as others. It is a good thing that God is merciful, because ultimately, justice cannot save us. Though we may not yet understand or admit our need for forgiveness, God’s offer of mercy is evidence of his goodwill toward us.

I have given a lot of evidence for God in my writings, but it would do us little good to prove the existence and identity of God if we didn’t also understand that God is good. I hope to find time to write a little more about this.

We must not allow a world that is devolved from the perfection of its created state to fool us. “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can not heal.” Except for the precious hope of heaven, the lives of the mother and father of that child may have been utterly ruined in the year 1872. Someone who loved that child yet believed in the good Lord, or that writing on the stone would not be there. God has given us this hope.

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