Summary: Who controls the affairs of the earth, God, Satan, or man?
Who is controlling the affairs of humanity today, God, or the Devil? Professing Christians agree God reigns supreme in heaven. However, in the world today, including many areas in backsliding Christianity, if not directly, then indirectly, the sovereignty of God over this world is denied. Through their philosophizing and theorizing men and women are trying to push God from the creative works of His hands. Not only is it denied that God created everything by personal and direct action, but few believe that He has any immediate concern in the affairs of humanity. Through willful ignorance and denial of the sovereignty of God, the impersonal and abstract laws of nature have replaced the Creator. Since, according to fallen humanity, the laws of nature have replaced the moral laws of the Creator we should not be surprised our nation is ruled by the degrading lusts of the hearts of mankind.
Throughout the Christian community, with an almost negligible exception, the theory is held that Satan is to be blamed for much of the evil that is in the world. This theory ignores or denies the responsibility of man, by attributing to Satan, what, in fact, proceeds from the evil hearts of mankind (Mark 7:21-23).
Let us take a moment and consider the existing condition of the world under the laws of nature, confusion and chaos confronts us on every side. Sin is rampant; lawlessness abounds; evil men and seducers are increasing (2 Timothy 3:13). Unrest, discontent, and lawlessness are increasing. Men’s hearts are “failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth” (Luke 21:26). Do these things look as though God has full control over the affairs of humanity or Satan?
After nineteen centuries of Gospel preaching, Christ is still despised and rejected of men, in the majority of modern pulpits He is dishonored and disowned. Despite frantic efforts to attract the crowds, the majority of the churches are being emptied rather than filled. In the light of Scripture, we are compelled to believe that the many are on the broad road that leads to destruction and that only few are on the narrow way that leads to life. Many are declaring that Christianity is a failure, and despair is settling in, and what about God, Does He see and hear? Is He impotent or indifferent? A number of those who are regarded as leaders in the Christian community claim the existing conditions in the world are beyond God’s control. From what is heard from the average pastor and evangelist today, the conclusion is, God is filled with benevolent intentions, yet unable to carry them out; that He is earnestly desirous of blessing men, but that they will not let Him? According to what we see in the Christian community Satan has gained the upper hand, and that God is to be pitied rather than blamed.
Everything happening in the world seems to indicate Satan has more to do with the affairs of humanity than God. However, if you are among the few that are walking by faith what is happening in the world is not based on what you see. If you evaluation of what is happening in the world is based on what is happening in the world you are not walking by faith. Walking by faith means that our thoughts are formed, our actions regulated, our lives molded by the Word of God, “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). It is from the Word of Truth, and that alone, that we can learn what is God’s relation to this world.
Let us now take a moment and evaluate our world. We are living in an age of irreverence, and as the consequence, the spirit of lawlessness is engulfing the earth like some giant tidal wave. The members of the present generation are the most flagrant offenders, and in the decay and disappearing of parental authority, we have the forerunners of the destruction of civic authority. Therefore, in view of the growing disrespect for human law it should not surprise us that the recognition of the authority, the Sovereignty of the Almighty law-giver should recede more and more into the background, and the masses have less and less patience with those who insist upon them. In addition, conditions will not improve; instead, the surer Word of Prophecy makes known to us that they will grow worse and worse. Nor do we expect to be able to stem the tide of lawlessness, it has already risen much too high for that. All we can now hope to do is warn the people of the coming judgments, an unacceptable subject in an age of irreverence and lawlessness.
If we believe the plain and positive declarations of the Word of God there is no room for uncertainty. The plain and positive declarations of the Word of God declare, repeatedly, that God is on the throne of the universe; that the scepter is in His hands; that He is directing all things after the counsel of His own will. They affirm, not only that God created all things, but also that God is ruling and reigning over all the works of His hands. They affirm that God is the “Almighty,” that His will is irreversible, that He is absolute Sovereign in every realm of all His vast dominions. Only two alternatives are possible: God must either rule, or be ruled; sway, or be swayed; accomplish His own will, or be thwarted by His creatures. Accepting the fact that He is the “Most High,” the only King of kings, vested with perfect wisdom and illimitable power, and the conclusion is irresistible that He must be God in fact as well as in name.