Items posted on 20 January 2011
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John 3.17-19, 12.37-41
The God whe determines the destinies of men
Posted: 20 January 2011 in John

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.

A theme to be found in all four gospels is that Jesus will bring division. Some will recognise him for whom he really is, and respond accordingly, whilst others, afflicted with some sort of spiritual blindness, will reject him; thereby bringing judgment on themselves.

It may be wondered, from whence does this spiritual blindness arise? and the second passage quoted above gives the answer. It arises, ultimately, from the will of God. He who governs all things, according to the good pleasure of his own will, has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts. Why God should do this is something known only to himself (although the New Testament contains clues). If this is felt to be an unwelcome truth, that is understandable. But a God who did not have control over all things, essentially leaving Creation go its own way, would hardly be particularly awesome, or worthy of our worship.

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