Robert Morris - Why?
The title of the series, by the way, is, Eternity: Your Choice. So, I want to nail it down that God did not choose some people to go to heaven and some people to go to hell, that it is completely your choice where you spend eternity. So we talked about, Whosoever Will, Where and How. This weekend, the message is, Why? And what I'm going to do is take some of those tough questions, and we're going to answer those.
For instance, why would God send someone to hell? Why would a loving God, is the way it's phrased many times, send someone to hell? Why did God even create hell? Why did God create two trees in the garden? And of course, there were many trees, but I'm referring to the Tree of Life, the Tree of Knowledge and Good and Evil. Why did God even give Adam and Eve a choice? I mean, that's a question a lot of people have. Why?
Okay, in order to answer these questions though, please hear me. You can never answer a difficult question about God without making sure that your answer is congruent with His nature and His character, and we know His nature and His character through Scripture, and the whole of Scripture. It's very important you understand it's the whole of Scripture, because there are some Scriptures that would tend us to believe some way of thinking that might cause us to think, Well, God might do that, and God is justified to do something like that.
But if you try to answer difficult questions about God without taking into consideration His character, if you begin going down a line of thought, and this is very, very important to me — again, I'm not trying to pick a fight with someone who believes that way. I'm really not. But, it is so difficult for me to believe that people can believe that and not believe God is good. In other words, I don't know how you can believe some of these things if you believe God's good, God's a good God. So, we're gonna look at some attributes of God today that are extremely important, because here's the reason. When I read something in this book and I think, "Now, I don't understand that, that sounds like God might be harsh, or mean, or cruel", I always go back to, "Well, I may not understand it, but I know God's good, and I know God's character", and I've studied the whole of Scripture to know God's character.
So, we have to answer difficult questions in light of God's character. It has to be congruent. Any way of thinking you have has to be compatible with Scripture, the whole of Scripture. All right? So, three points today. Number one, I've already alluded to, God is good. He is good. Psalm 119:68 says, You are good and do good. You are good and do good. By the way, if you told yourself that, reminded yourself of that Scripture every morning, it might change your day. You are good and You do good. Now, this is the reason I really love this Scripture, You are good and You do good.
Now, listen carefully to what I'm gonna say, okay? God isn't good because He does good, God does good because He is good. Do you follow me? Let me say it again. Him being good is not dependent upon Him doing good. He does good because He is good. See, it's like God is truth. He is truth. Jesus didn't say I know the truth, he said I am truth. I'm truth. Okay, so because God is truth, He can't lie. He can't lie. This is what, and it's a real big problem with most people's definition of the sovereignty of God, because what they think that it means is that God can do anything He wants to do. No. What it means is... I wish you'd study it. Sovereign means He's the supreme ruler of the universe. But because He is who He is, you say, Well, God can do anything He wants. No, God can't act outside of His character. He can't. Are you all following this?
Am I making it clear, because it's not that you follow me, it's me saying it clearly. God is truth, so He can't lie. He's not a man that He shall lie. Okay. In the same way, God is love. So, everything I read in the Scripture, I have to put within, does this fit in the basic that God is good? We're gonna talk about God's love in minute, but God is good. Okay.
So, let me explain something about how good God is. Moses asked God to see His glory. Now, glory is this huge word. I could tell you the Hebrew and the words it comes from. I could tell you the Greek and the words it comes from and explain, but that wouldn't help us much, okay? So, I'm gonna give you a practical definition. Glory is what you're famous for. It's what you're known for. Okay, so Moses, when he said, Show me Your glory, here's what he was saying: show me what You're famous for. Show me what You're best at. What do You do best, okay? Look at this. Here's what he said, and we'll get to Isaiah 5 at the very... along time from now, okay? Just, all right?
Exodus 33:18, And he, Moses, said, Please show me Your glory. Then He, that's God, said, okay, I'll make My goodness pass before you. I love that Scripture! Show me what You're famous for. He said, Oh. Well, I'm famous for being good. That's what I'm famous for. I'm known for good. Okay, so because I know that, anything I read in the Bible has to line up with the goodness of God. And what happens is we read something in the Bible, and we think, Man, that sounds like God's being mean.
So, let me show you one. When Adam and Eve sinned, God drove them out of the garden, and He gave a reason why He drove them out. But when you understand He's good, you understand why He drove them out. Okay, let me read it, Genesis 3:22. Then the Lord God said, Behold, the man has become like one of Us, Us: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, To know good and evil. And now, watch, lest he put out his hand and take also of the Tree of Life, and eat, and live forever, and then notice the sentence stops there, even though that's not a complete sentence.
Watch, and that's very important, why I'm telling you this. Therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim, that's really big dudes. That's what that means in the Hebrew, really big dudes, angels, at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword, watch this, a flaming sword — it doesn't even say anybody was holding it. A flaming sword which turned every way, north, south, east, and west, to guard the way to the Tree of Life.
Okay. Here's why I said, you know, I want you to notice the sentence says, God said, Hey, man has become like Us now. He knows good and evil. We'd better drive him out of the garden, lest he take from the Tree of Life and live forever, and then it doesn't go on. Lest he take from the Tree of Life and live forever, da dada da, what? What does that mean? Okay, so many people have said, See, that just shows God was mad at Adam and Eve, and in His temper, He just drove them out. No. God's good.
Here's why He was saying it. He said They are now - Adam and Eve - are now in a fallen state. They're in a fallen state. They are now separated from Me, and if they eat from the Tree of Life now, they will live forever in a fallen state, separated from Me. Get em out. Get em out right now, and put a flaming sword down there so they don't eat from that tree in a fallen state, because they'll live forever, separated from Us. You all see that? See, that's God's goodness, but people don't pick that up if you don't have it rooted in you, God's a good God.
By the way, three Scriptures in Revelation tell us that that Tree of Life is in heaven, and you can eat from it all you want because you're in a redeemed state, and it's fine for you to eat from the Tree of Life in a redeemed state, but He doesn't want you to eat from it in a fallen state. He doesn't want you to stay fallen. So, God's a good God, and that's the first thing I want you to know. Here's the second thing, God is just. He's just. It's not just that He does just things, He is just.
Isaiah 45:21, There is no other God besides Me, this is God speaking, a just God and a Savior. A just God and a Savior. There will never be injustice with God or any of His judgments, never. Because I know that, see, I can't go along with this thing that God chose some to go to heaven and some to go to hell, cause that's not just. That's not justice, and I know God. I know God. I don't know if you all know this, I've met Him personally. I'm saved! Are any of you all saved? Anybody here?
Okay, so you've met Him, too! I'm not special, you met Him too! And I talk to Him every day! Do you talk to Him every day? I talk to Him every day. And, He wrote me a love letter, and I've read it, multiple times! So, I can't believe anything that doesn't line up with this book! I cannot believe it, cause I know this God! I know He's good, and I know He's just. So, we have these questions, though. Well, would a loving God, or how could a just God, send anyone to hell? And I'm gonna answer that, okay?
But, here's another question. Would God send someone to hell who's never had a chance? Never heard the gospel, never had a chance? Okay, let's answer by the Bible - not our opinion, by the Bible. Romans 1:18, For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest... now, let me just tell you and then I'll go in a little deeper. The word manifest means to make known. That's what it means. I know it sounds like a big word, but it means to make known.
So, watch this Scripture. Because what may be known of God is made known. In other words, God makes it known to every person. Watch. In, underline that word, in them, for God has shown it to them. I want you to remember in and to. For since the creation of the world, now, watch this. This is kind of tough to explain, but it's good. Listen, watch. His invisible attributes... now, what's the word invisible mean? You can't see Him, right? Okay, watch. What can't be seen about Him, watch, His invisible attributes, are clearly seen. Kind of a play on words, isn't it?
In other words, His character, His goodness, is clearly seen. His love is clearly seen. Being understood by the things which are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they, that's the people who live in unrighteousness and won't accept Him, so that they are without excuse. Okay. So, God manifests Himself to every person internally and externally. That's what it's saying, internally and externally. So again, let me give you a little moral manifest. If I said to you, There is a multi-billionaire in the service. I just wanted everybody to know that. And then, I'd just go on, and you'd think, Oh, okay, big deal. But if that multi-billionaire got up and began to do what only a multi-billionaire could do, and that is give every person $100.000... are there any multi-billionaires in the... No, I was just joking, just joking, just joking.
Okay, but if he did, and he gave to every person what only he could do, he did for them what only he could do for them, he'd be manifesting his presence. He wouldn't just be in our service, in our presence, he'd be making his presence known. Listen. This is why I love worship, because it's not just the omnipresence of God, it's the manifest presence of God. He gets up during our worship, and He begins to walk around and give to every person what only God can give to you. He's the only one that can give it to you. He makes Himself known, all right? So, how does He make Himself known, according to this, internally and externally?
Let me say it this way, all right? God manifests Himself to every person on the inside, because we have a conscience. Every person has a conscience. He manifests Himself to every person on the outside, because we have creation. Conscience and creation. Your conscience tells you there's a God, and creation tells us there's a God. Think about this. Why did God create a universe this big? Stars, as far as right now, as far as our telescopes can go, this is what I've been told, 300 million light years away. Light years. If you traveled the speed of light, 186.000 miles per second. That's pretty fast. 300 million... why in the world would God create a universe that big, except He wants us to walk out, look at the stars and say, There's got to be a God. There's got to be God.
And here's what's amazing to me. People say that that takes a leap of faith. Okay, here's the other one. Nothing collided with nothing, and all of this came into being. You want to talk about a leap of faith? It is crazy! By the way, it is still called the Big Bang Theory. Okay, but why? Why did God do this? Let me tell you something. God put eternity in every person's heart. God has put eternity in every person's heart. Think about this. No person can ever say, No one told me. Here's why. Because God can come and say, I told you. I came to you when you were a child, and I put it in your heart to wonder about Me. I want to just take a little poll at every campus, all right?
How many of you remember wondering about God when you were a child? Can I see your hands? That's because God put it in your heart. And let me tell you something else, so this may blow you away, and I'm just gonna list a few of the Scriptures, just because of time, okay? Just a few. Every person - this is what the Bible says - every person - every, every person who seeks after God will find Him. Every person. Let me just show you a few of the Scriptures, all right? Proverbs 8:17, I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me diligently will find Me. Not might, not should, not hopefully - will. They will. If they'll seek Me diligently, they will.
Jeremiah 29:13, And you will seek Me and find Me. You will find Me. The verb still applies to find. When you search for Me with all your heart. Jesus Himself, Matthew 7, Sermon on the Mount, 7 and 8. And ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. And Acts 17, this is the way Paul put it in his sermon on Mars Hill. Verse 26 and 27, And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that, so that, because, therefore, so that they should seek the Lord. He's done this for every person.
He's put it in every person's heart to seek Him. In the hope that they might grope for Him, that's the hope, and if they do grope for Him, and grope, by the way, means to make an effort. That's all it means, just make an effort. Watch. And find Him. God put eternity in your heart so you would look for Him, and if you look for Him, you'll find Him, because He is not far from each one of us - though He is not far from each one of us. So, God's a just God. He's good, He's just, and here's number three, God is love. 1 John 4:18, He who does not love God does not know God, for God is love.
Okay, so this question, why would a loving God send anyone to hell? Well, I'm gonna get to it, but just for a moment, could we just look at that, that issue, from a biblical perspective, okay? First of all, you need to know something about hell. God did not create hell for people. People say, Well, why would a loving God even create hell for people? He didn't create hell for people. He created hell for the devil and his angels. Jesus' own words, Matthew 25:41. Then He will also say to those on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared - the root of this word in the Greek means built. Built for the devil and his angels.
So, He didn't prepare hell for you. He prepared heaven for you. I go to prepare a place for you. He didn't prepare hell for you, and He built it for the devil's angels, but men became evil. And so, watch what happened. This may be something you've never seen in your life. By the way, I'm now at Isaiah 5. I got there. Okay? And we'll read something after this also in Isaiah 5, so you can stay there. Verse 11, Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may follow intoxicating drink; who continue until night, till wine inflames them! The harp and the strings, the tambourine and flute, and wine are in their feasts; but they do not regard the work of the Lord, nor consider the operation of His hands. Therefore my people have gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge; their honorable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.
Watch 14 carefully. It uses the Old Testament word for hell, which is Sheol. Therefore Sheol, watch, has enlarged itself. Hell added on. The devil added on to hell. Therefore Sheol... God didn't do it. Sheol has enlarged itself and opened its mouth beyond measure; their glory and their multitude and their pomp, and he who is jubilant, shall descend into it. Hell was enlarged by necessity, not by design. I'm gonna say that again. I'd love for you to never forget that. Hell was enlarged by necessity, not by design, and hell enlarged itself. Satan added on to it, because he got a third of the angels to follow him, and then he got people to follow him. That's why.
So we say, Well, why would a loving God, you know, send anyone to hell? It's normally asked very rhetorically, very angrily, very... I had a really good word somewhere in my notes. Accusingly, that was a good word. All right. You all just edit that part there. Let me just give you three, the three major. There are many more stories of rejection of God in the Bible. I want to give you the three major stories of the rejection of God. The first is in Isaiah 14 and Revelation 12, also Ezekiel 28. Lucifer was the worship leader in heaven. He led a third of the angels to rebel against God.
Here's what I want you to remember about that. They weren't born into a bad situation. God never abused them, never treated them bad, and a third of them rejected God. That's the first rebellious story, rejection of God. The second one is found in Genesis 3. God creates Adam and Eve - perfect bodies, perfect health, perfect garden, perfect marriage, perfect relationship with God and perfect relationship with each other, and they rebel against God. The third one's even worse than that. He sent His own Son to this earth, who explained to them the Scriptures, who did nothing but good for 33-1/2 years, 3-1/2 years in public ministry. Healed people, raised people from the dead, loved on people, had dinner with sinners, never acted prideful or arrogant. And we rejected Him so much that we tortured Him to death, the inexcusable rebellious rejection of the loving God.
Okay, do you want me to answer the question, why would a loving God send anyone to hell? It's a simple, simple answer. He wouldn't. He wouldn't. People send themselves to hell.
There really is a heaven and there really is a hell, but here's the good news. There really is a Savior who gave His life so that we could spend eternity in heaven, and the choice is yours. I don't believe you're watching today by accident. I believe that God's drawing you today to give your life to Him. He's trying to draw you to Himself, and that's why you heard this specific message today. So, I'd like to encourage you to simply give control of your life to Jesus right now. Give Him everything. Don't hold back anything. And we would love to help you any way that we can. Please let us know. You can contact us. We'll send you some material to help you in your new life with the Lord. But, you're watching today because God loves you and He wants you to spend eternity in heaven with Him. So, give your life to Jesus today.