Summary: The created turn against the Creator
IN GOD'S IMAGE 4 - THE HEAVENLY REBELLION
This message is part of a series of 90 sermons based on the title, “In God’s Image – God’s Purpose for humanity.” This series of free sermons or the equivalent free book format is designed to take the reader through an amazing process beginning with God in prehistory and finishing with humanity joining God in eternity as His loving sons and daughters. It is at times, a painful yet fascinating story, not only for humanity, but also for God. As the sermons follow a chronological view of the story of salvation, it is highly recommend they be presented in numerical order rather than jumping to the more “interesting” or “controversial” subjects as the material builds on what is presented earlier. We also recommend reading the introduction prior to using the material. The free book version along with any graphics or figures mentioned in this series can be downloaded at www.ingodsimage.site - Gary Regazzoli
Last time we looked at God’s mission statement, “Let us make man in our image.”
• First, God’s goal in the whole process of making man in His image is the creation of a bride who will respond willingly to His love by saying “yes” to Him.
• Second, if love is to be genuine it must be freely chosen.
• Love by its very nature cannot be forced or coerced, it must be chosen.
• Choice by its nature implies an alternative, and this involves a risk, the possibility of the created agent saying “no” to God.
• This in turn opens up the possibility of evil.
• However this evil arises solely from creaturely freewill and cannot be attributed to a holy God.
• All evil proceeds from wills other than God’s.
• Then we talked about the age-old question that has plagued theologians and philosophers for millennia, “If God is all-powerful, all-knowing and yet Omni-benevolent, why doesn’t He do something about the problem of evil?”
• Well, as we discussed, there must be something that is more important to His purpose besides the elimination of evil.
• God’s wish is to share His triune love with humanity, but love requires a response that is freely chosen.
• God is unwavering in His commitment that love will prevail despite the heavy cost of evil.
• If the free agent willingly chooses to say “no” to God, the path to God’s goal becomes more torturous for both the free agent and for God, but that doesn’t mean God abandons His plan.
• The story of Christianity is the story of God’s response to humanity’s “no”!
There is a second aspect to this question of moral evil that now needs to be addressed as this too plays a critical role in understanding the process.
• In preparation for the creation of the man who would be in God’s image, God created other supernatural spiritual beings, angels.
• We know from the book of Job that the angels were around prior to the creation event, as they sang for joy when it happened.
• Job 38:4–7 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone— 7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
• These “morning stars” were supernatural agents or as their name implies “messengers”.
• God created them with specific functions.
• They are there to worship God – Psalms 148:2 Praise Him, all His angels; Praise Him, all His hosts!
• They are there to render service to humans. Hebrews 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
• They guard believers Psalms 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.
• Watch over children Matthews 18:10 Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
• So scripture reveals they were created for at least two important tasks, to praise God and to minister to humans.
But it appears from what subsequently happened that they too were given free will, because scripture reveals some of these angels exercised their free will and rebelled and sinned against God.
• 2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
• If God is perfectly good and He created these angels, how is it then that they have the capacity for evil?