A Personal Strategy for Facing Consequences

I am facing today the consequences of all I have done in my life up through yesterday.  I’m also facing the consequences rippling through the world brought on by other people’s behavior up through yesterday.  Today, we all have the opportunity to live some more, causing new consequences both short and long term.  It’s one thing to know that all behavior has consequences; it’s quite another to be able to track it.  I don’t even try to track it all.  I just keep trying to sow the most good I can, one day at a time.

There’s no telling what might come on me today.  This could be a day of drama, or it could seem boring.  We can trust, however, that God will give us the strength to handle whatever comes.  And that even if it’s a day of devastating destruction, we can still find life in it by seeking to love at every opportunity.

Perplexed, but Not Despairing

I remember when our oldest daughter was stricken with diabetes.  We thought she had the flu but she was actually in the initial stages of the disease.  We finally rushed her to the hospital where she went into a coma.  My lowest point was seeing my eleven-year-old daughter flat on her back and unconscious in a huge scanning machine.  Did I have the strength to make it through that day?  No, but extra strength came.  It came from friends, family…and from God Himself into the deep recesses of my heart.  She later came out of the coma and has been doing fine with insulin in the many years since.

Why was she stricken?  I don’t know.  I certainly don’t believe it was a random act of the universe.  I believe it was a consequence of something – maybe a consequence of multiple things.  Just what, I don’t know.  Was it my behavior?  Someone else’s?  I don’t ponder its causes often because few answers come.  While I’m open to understanding, I don’t dwell on the mystery.  Instead, I focus on how courageously she has lived with this disease and how she has kept it from being a burden to anyone but herself.  The whole experience has humbled me, though I still wish for her sake that it hadn’t happened.  And who knows?  Maybe I’ll gain more understanding of the root causes before I get to heaven.

The apostle Paul wrote about being “perplexed, but not despairing.”  If we examine our conscience and find nothing that would explain the calamity, we are perplexed.  If we are not careful, that perplexity can lead into despair.  This is the mistake of Job’s puzzle (if you haven’t already, see the essay Job’s Puzzle in this series), and the Bible is telling us to avoid it.  We can live without all the answers, but we can’t live without hope.  That means we have to learn to face the troubles of each day – whether it’s a life-threatening disease or someone cutting us off in traffic – with a conviction that God will face those troubles with us…even if we brought it on ourselves.

Facing Consequences with God

Most of what will happen today is beyond my ability to control.  Therefore, the Bible promotes the idea of self-control.  And the terrible difficulty we have controlling our own behavior reveals how foolish it is for us to try to control anyone else’s.  God can’t even control human behavior.  He responds to it.  He seeks to influence it.  But that is a far cry from trying to control it.  If God doesn’t try to control things, how much more we should resist the temptation.

We can know that our behavior has consequences but we can’t manage those consequences.  Whatever they are, they are.  We, and everyone else affected, will have to live with them.  That means facing up to the day, even when it all goes wrong.  There is no use crying over spilled milk.  However, there is value in cleaning it up.  There is value in trying not to spill anymore.  There’s no value, however, in trying to act like the floor’s not sticky or that something else is causing that terrible smell.

One of the most wonderful things about God is that He faces the consequences of life with us.  Even if we have brought disaster upon ourselves, He lives with us and feels our every pain.  I am fully persuaded that God not only feels our every pain, but that He feels each one more sharply than we do.  He knows every part of our hearts, where the worst of pains are felt.  His sensitivity keeps Him feeling pain that we can no longer tolerate.  When my daughter was close to death, He kept hurting for me while I went numb.

The suffering of God is staggering to contemplate.  Have you ever been on a picnic where the weather is beautiful and the scenery is idyllic?  You savor every bit of the food that’s prepared.  Afterward, you lean back and breathe in the fresh air and wonder what could possibly be wrong with the world.  Plenty.  A few miles from you some guy is beating his wife, some kids just bought drugs, some bank is being robbed, and some lonely person wishes they were dead.  God has to keep up with all this bad stuff in addition to your picnic.  But does He bother you with it?  No.  He lets you soak in the goodness and fills your heart to overflowing.  He bears an awful lot of suffering without a word of complaint.

That God suffers doesn’t mean He’s victimized.  He overcomes through it all.  For when He designed this creation to be a creation of consequence, He determined from the beginning that He would live with every bump in the road, never turning away from humanity for even a moment.  Do you think you’ve suffered some things unfairly?  I tell you that no one has ever suffered through more consequences of other people’s bad behavior than God – and He’s doing great!  You can, too.

Just take God’s approach.  Live each day as if everything you think, say, and do will have consequences.  Don’t approach the day as if your day is meaningless.  Also, determine that you can’t control what anyone else will do.  Just determine that you will endure – and rise above – all that comes your way.  When all the consequences have played out, you’ll be in heaven with God.  And there’s no greater consequence of living than that.

Thinking Too Much About Consequences

It’s possible to give too much thought to the consequences of our actions.  A wife who refrains from discussing a certain subject with her husband because it may upset him may be refraining from a discussion that would ultimately help him.  As a general rule, it’s a good idea for spouses to avoid upsetting each other.  An atmosphere of peace is wholesome for relationships.  Peace, however, isn’t the only virtue in life.  If we have to give up other virtues – such as honesty or love – to obtain it, then we’ve paid an unwarranted price for the peace.

Jesus had some things to say that upset many people.  His condemnation of hypocrisy, for instance, greatly troubled the religious leaders of His day.  Some of them took the criticism personally and began a campaign against Him.  Jesus could have relieved the pressure against Himself by toning down His message and speaking in a way more politically correct for His time.  Surely, this possibility was running through His disciples’ minds as the controversy surrounding His ministry grew more intense.

The night before He died was an opportunity to take the easy way out and make peace with His critics.  But Jesus loved His critics too much to make peace with them.  Their myopic vision of God was leading people to destruction and despair.  Even as He struggled to carry His cross to Calvary, He warned the women who wept for Him, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me; instead weep for yourselves and your children.”  He foresaw the coming destruction at the hands of the Romans and continued to look out for the interests of others even as He Himself was dying at their hands.  He kept to His course, enduring negative consequences to Himself, that He might spare others the negative consequences of not heeding His message.

Indeed, many Jews did heed Jesus’ warnings and escaped the destruction that came on Jerusalem in 70 A.D.  They found the peace that He had forfeited for Himself on their behalf.  Put another way, they reaped a harvest of peace from the seed He had planted on their behalf.  Had Jesus kept the peace that was being offered Him – a reprieve from the cross if He would soften His message and, say, deny He was Israel’s Messiah – these believers would not have heard the instructions that enabled them to survive destruction and  find life.

Jesus shows us, therefore, that simply avoiding troublesome consequences is not the very best way of living.  His way was to toss the pebbles just right…and trust that all the ripples in the pond would take care of themselves.  In other words, He kept paying attention to His motives.  Let us, therefore, knowing that the promise of heaven frees us, do the same.

(Return to the Table of Contents for this series of 21 essays)
(This is a series of essays on the implications of Everyone Is Going to Heaven)

27 Responses to A Personal Strategy for Facing Consequences

  1. Anonymous says:

    Your statements seem to lack consistency. The bible says clearly in John 3:16 ……that whosoever believeth in Jesus should not perish but had ever lasting life. In Romans we read that…. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. The parable of the 10 virgins demonstrate the loss to those who are not prepared for Jesus coming-and what seems the saddest of all is that you have some really powerful essays on here (I read a couple) but you seem to unwilling- based on a conversation I just read to look at the bible again point by point line by line and let the bible teach you-nowhere does any bible say we will all be in heaven

  2. Mike Gantt says:

    If the Bible did not teach that everyone goes to heaven, I would not believe it.

    See The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven.

  3. Gfuller79 says:

    your statements seem to lack consistency. The bible says clearly in John 3:16 ……that whosoever believeth in Jesus should not perish but had ever lasting life. In Romans we read that…. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. The parable of the 10 virgins demonstrate the loss to those who are not prepared for Jesus coming-and what seems the saddest of all is that you have some really powerful essays on here (I read a couple) but you seem to unwilling- based on a conversation I just read to look at the bible again point by point line by line and let the bible teach you-nowhere does any bible say we will all be heaven

    • Gfuller79 says:

      It isn’t so much your believe that’s in question it’s the lack of biblical reasoning I’m questioning especially for those who may simply take your word rather than Jesus own words which are very clear. John 3:16 ‘for God so loved the world that he gave his only bettoten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus’ words are very clear Mike???

      • Gfuller79 says:

        English Standard Version (©2001)
        For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

        So above we have The first resurrection from the 1st ‘mortal’ death.

        “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ’ (Revelation 2:11 NKJV).
        So The second death referenced here is the end of life after Gods final judgment and once again these are Jesus’ very own words.

      • Tim says:

        And who is whosoever? Everyone will believe someday. There is no time limit place on that statement in John 3:16. We have to read a time limit into it, as many of us have been taught to do. The problem isn’t so much with what the bible says, but rather whether we believe that, or instead believe what we’re TAUGHT it says.

        • Tim says:

          Also, as Mike says below; this is primarily talking about the kingdom of God, rather than going to heaven when you die.

  4. Mike Gantt says:

    I have written out a book-length biblical case for my position: The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven. It doesn’t just pull a single verse out of the Bible to try to make the point, but rather looks across the Scriptures to find their overall message in context.

    If, however, you want a single verse, see this one:

    “As in Adam all die, so it Christ shall all be made alive.” – 1 Corinthians 15:22

    John 3:16 is talking about the choice facing each of us today in this life: that is, will we embrace the eternal life that Christ offers or live out our days among the perishing. In case you hadn’t noticed, most people are perishing for “broad is the path that leads to destruction and many are those who take it while narrow is the path that leads to life and few are those who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

    • Gfuller79 says:

      The more we read the bible to more it proves itself, Mike as I said previously I’m more interested in the bible than positions-as Christian in a difficult period of earths history I feel compelled to share with what seems so clear please read the follow Bible text:

      We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed. (2 Thessalonians 1:3-10 NKJV)

      Not everyone goes to heaven Mike-only those who have chosen to-by their actions and by living according to the light they had.

  5. Mike Gantt says:

    You are equating the kingdom of God with going to heaven when you die. This is not what the Bible means by the kingdom of God. Go back to the book of Matthew where John the Baptist and Jesus first start preaching about it. Especially study the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. The kingdom of God is how God wants us to live here on earth in this life. How well we do that will determine exactly where in heaven we land when this life is over.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Actually Mike I do agree that we can have a freeing experience right he on earth, as Paul describes a peace that passeth all understanding which will guide our hearts and minds to christ Jesus.

    What seems to be a re-curring thing however is that when presented with something very clear scripturally:
    i.e. The Clear references to permanent Judgment both in ” thessalonians and Revelation-in my posts above( and there are many more ) you seem to go back to the writings of your document rather than addressing them biblically. I do feel however that this is your blogg and I really had no intention of writing anything this morning-I just felt impressed to speak out on an area which is so dangerous that people in a time at the close of earths history can almost be encouraged to continue however they want because all roads lead to heaven-this cheapens Jesus’ sacrifice and also contradicts the bible. If I have misunderstood the purpose of your sight I am sorry, but if you are leading people to Jesus they need to know that Jesus says: “he is the way the triuth and the life and no man comes to the father but by him”.If you feel that you would like to continue a dialogue I would welcome that but incase you don’t I have a final text from Revelation below which should hopefully clear up the hades issue, the fact that the second death is the death of Judgment and also the fact that unless your name is written in the book of life ( due to you living according to the light you had while here on earth ) you will not enter heaven.

    Revelation 20:11-15
    New International Version
    The Judgment of the Dead

    11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

  7. Gfuller79 says:

    Sorry the post above was me again Gfuller79 -not really used to all this mailing conversation stuff

  8. Gfuller79 says:

    Actually Mike I do agree that we can have a freeing experience right he on earth, as Paul describes a peace that passeth all understanding which will guide our hearts and minds to christ Jesus.

    What seems to be a re-curring thing however is that when presented with something very clear scripturally:
    i.e. The Clear references to permanent Judgment both in ” thessalonians and Revelation-in my posts above( and there are many more ) you seem to go back to the writings of your document rather than addressing them biblically. I do feel however that this is your blogg and I really had no intention of writing anything this morning-I just felt impressed to speak out on an area which is so dangerous that people in a time at the close of earths history can almost be encouraged to continue however they want because all roads lead to heaven-this cheapens Jesus’ sacrifice and also contradicts the bible. If I have misunderstood the purpose of your sight I am sorry, but if you are leading people to Jesus they need to know that Jesus says: “he is the way the triuth and the life and no man comes to the father but by him”.If you feel that you would like to continue a dialogue I would welcome that but incase you don’t I have a final text from Revelation below which should hopefully clear up the hades issue, the fact that the second death is the death of Judgment and also the fact that unless your name is written in the book of life ( due to you living according to the light you had while here on earth ) you will not enter heaven.

    Revelation 20:11-15
    New International Version
    The Judgment of the Dead

    11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

  9. Mike Gantt says:

    The reason I refer to documents that I have written is because they take pains to deal with the subject in a thoughtful and comprehensive way, addressing all the relevant scriptures in logical sequence. Such an important subject deserves such treatment.

    As for encouraging people to continue as they are, I most certainly do not. See We Must Repent to Righteousness! and Judgment Is Upon Us, among many other posts.

    As for the book of Revelation, you should remember that whatever it prophesied occurred long ago. In this regard see All Bible Prophecy Has Been Fulfilled in Christ and Dating the Events in the Book of Revelation.

    • Gfuller79 says:

      Sorry for my delay Mike-I actually felt it best to leave this but I guess the reading I’ve just done of your Revelation document has me here again. Just to point to more scripture from the mouth of Jesus illustrating that a permanent end is waiting for those opposed to God…(just so anyone seeing today’s dialogue and or the following text is clear-God is love, his ways are judgement, he is merciful and kindhearted, which is why he sent his son to die in our place-even though we didnt deserve it-so we may then have the hope of eternal life if we believe in his sons sacrifice and allow that belief to change us into willing servants for his cause. The text below is referring to the end of time when judgement is cast and the planned fate of Satan who has caused all pain and suffering is shared by those who have not accepted Jesus or lived according to the knowledge he blessed them with)
      “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46 NKJV)

      Mike-from the bible is the best way-I read your document on the prophesies in Revelation with eagerness and was surprised when basically suggested that they-the propesies-should have happened by now simply because you saw the words Soon Quickly etc…… I also noticed the subtle ridiculing of other faiths in their positions on prophesy and again this felt very opinion based… Please help me and others understand especially after the variety of texts that God has brought mind referencing this and earlier debates today: Are you sharing your opinions on this site or are you helping people understand biblical truths. Even as the architect of the site surely it’s possible that God still be a teacher for you as he will continue to be for all who accept. If if have offended you with my approach I truly do apologise but as I mentioned earlier-I’m more interested in biblical truth than opinion-and if we’re both sincere we’ll accept that God does not want to be misrepresented either. Mike it’s all there in black and white-The only opinion that counts-Gods.

      • Brandon E says:

        Hi brother,
        I just got done with a month-and-a-half’s worth of conversations with Mike on his blogs, and thought I might be able to save you further time and energy.

        At the beginning of the conversations I was attempting to reason with Mike from Scripture concerning a number of his interpretations, and he started claiming that the reason why I wasn’t agreeing with him was that I was being fleshly-minded, not spiritually-minded, not repentant, not seeking the kingdom, that I was trusting men instead of being faithful to God and the Scriptures. I asked him how he could know this, since there are many lifelong readers of Scripture, men of God, martyrs, etc. who have evidence of being at least as spiritual as either of us who strongly affirmed that the Scripture teaches something that Mike contradicts and antagonized. Especially since, according to Mike’s own admission, he is the only person that he or I were are aware of who had arrived at his set of interpretations of Scripture through their own reading of Scripture.

        After pressing him on this point, eventually Mike claimed that everything he proclaims on his blogs are not his opinions but the very revelation or word of God in the Scriptures, and he denied even the possibility that he could be mistaken about this when I asked him to simply be open to the possibility that he could be mistaken. He claimed that God has revealed all these things to him and that if he did not know that what he proclaims on his blogs was the word of God (and not simply his opinions that could be mistaken) he would not proclaim them. When I continued to ask him to simply be open to even the possibility that he could be mistaken, he advised that I should try to convince God instead of him about this, and accused me of taking the side of Satan in trying to steal away God’s word. Later, he told me when I asked him that if he were to somehow find out that he was mistaken about any of these points he proclaims on his blogs, he would no longer be able to know whether Jesus is Lord or if the Bible is the word of God.

        If I had known at the beginning of our conversations that Mike would make these kinds of claims, I probably would not have spent as much time conversing with him.

        • Gfuller79 says:

          Thanks for you words Brother I sense and I must say at certain points did share the frustration you speak of, but in all honesty I just hope someone has been able to see ( through the conversations) that this truly is error-not because I say so but because God is consistent, does not lie and has told the world in his word-The Bible what has happened, what will happen, to whom and why. Giving people easy religion with no consequences, and to tell people that they are heaven bound even if they have sided with the enemy of souls their whole life-is directly the opposite to bible truth.
          but after more reading of Mikes’ journey to where he is now I realised that these types of debates fuel the radical nature of what he has done and what he stands for it quite simply is divisive and I am so glad I read the mini bio about because I truly felt in my earlier dialogues with him that he belived what he was saying-but now I am certain that this isn’t the case. I just hope that anyone who has seen all this is encouraged to pick up there bible and find Jesus for themselves-He is the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by him-read John 14:6
          Final post from me Mike-I just pray that texts shared over the last day or so will read pray fully because spiritual things need to be broken by the spirit in order for us to truly take them in. I also pray that realise just the level of influence your are having and the responsibility that comes with that to. God bless

  10. Mike Gantt says:

    Do not let your minds be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).

    Let us return to our first love (Revelation 2:4; Zechariah 1:3).

    For He said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

    • Brandon E says:

      Mike, I say Amen! to the verses. Everyone should believe into Christ the Son to receive eternal life
      and then take Him (not mere doctrines about Him) as their center, focus, love, and pursuit that He would be preeminent in our daily life, family life, and church life.

      The problem is that on your blogs you frequently antagonize and attack the views of many believers in Christ, even if they are based on God’s word in the Scripture, and seek to replace them with your own doctrines. And you do so with such a “knowing” attitude: That is, that everyone who disagrees with you is either ignorant of the truth in Scripture or isn’t repentant or spiritual, and it can’t possibly be that they have valid scriptural basis for their beliefs, even though you are the only one both you and I are aware of who have arrived at your theological system through their own reading of Scripture. You told me when I asked you that if you somehow discovered that you were mistaken about anything you “proclaim” on your blogs, you would no longer be able to know if Jesus was Lord or that the Bible is the word of God. This is how much you cling to doctrines.

  11. Mike Gantt says:

    Brandon, I suppose you could say that light “antagonizes and attacks” the darkness, just as you could say that clarity “attacks and antagonizes” confusion. However, such language distorts what light and clarity are all about.

    Similarly, you’ve distorted other things that I’ve said.

    I am as confident that everyone is going to heaven and that Jesus has fulfilled His promises regarding the Second Coming as I am that Jesus is Lord and that the Bible is the world of God – otherwise I wouldn’t be declaring these things so confidently. I rejoice in the truths i proclaim. I would know none of them but for the grace of God.

    Jesus Christ is true – and blessed is he who takes no offense at Him or His doctrines. Man-made doctrines are corrupt, but the doctrines of Christ are pure as He is pure.

    • Brandon E says:

      Well, this is part of the problem, Mike. Simply identifying your specific set of doctrines as Christ’s doctrines–on the side of truth, light, and purity–and then polemicizing the views of others (those allegedly man-made, corrupt doctrines that others believe to be scriptural), and insisting that it is not even possible that you could be mistaken about this, doesn’t change that evidently you need your uncommon set of doctrinal opinions to be right in order for you to continue to know that Jesus is Lord and that the Bible is the word of God. This is evidently how much you must cling to your doctrinal “knowledge,” i.e., you could not part with one point that you “proclaim” on your blogs and still know that Jesus is Lord and that the Bible is the word of God.

  12. Mike Gantt says:

    What’s the point of calling Him “Lord” if we can’t know with any certainty what He’s said?

  13. ian says:

    I’ll be honest I’m inclined to side with Mike. I have wrestled with the idea of He’ll for a long time and many believe the same thing he does… He’ll IS thought of by many Christian scholars to be a reference to the trash burning pile outside Jerusalem. This possibility is taught in many Bible colleges. I wonder often… Why would an omnipresent, omnipotent, loving God create a man knowing full and well that he would spend eternity in suffering? Honestly, I have seen first hand the consequences of God’s judgement ON EARTH in its perfect, karmic justice. Any punishment we receive is ultimately a consequence of our own actions and is meant for us to learn a lesson applicable to daily life. I started reading Genesis last night just to test Mike’s ideas for myself and I came to a similar opinion on evils existence BEFORE the fall. We may not understand it… but God has a plan. He is incredibly surprising with an excellent sense of ironic humor, I must add. God does NOT battle evil. He does NOT battle evil, for evil cannot even so much as attempt to overthrow Him. He is perfect and completely in control. If Satan exists here he is only allowed to do to us what God will allow. There is no war, for who (Angel or not, fallen or otherwise) can challenge the might of the supreme, ultimate creative intelligence of God?

  14. A fellow disciple says:

    I am glad when I see others challenge Mike Gantt on his doctrinal positions. But I realize that, like me, we will not get anywhere that way! He is too stubbornly convinced that his own positions are right that he will not even see the error of his own conclusions! Nor will he see the need to be broken in heart, humbled, or brought to the place of having God correct him. If there was any hope that ANYONE could change Mike; that would be Jesus Christ Himself! I do not wish to dialogue with him; as it would only get me nowhere. I KNOW WHERE HE RESTS HIS HEART. AS DOES JESUS. Unfortunately, there will be no change there until the LORD Himself wills it.

  15. Mike Gantt says:

    The very way that I reached my conclusions was by being “broken in heart, humbled, and brought to the place of having God correct” me. In other words, God had to change my mind to get me to think as I do about these issues. Apart from His corrections, I’d think like you.

  16. Anonymous says:

    No, you would not! I tend to believe that you would hold on to your own doctrinal positions because it makes you feel somehow superior to others who may disagree with you on what ‘you feel’ the Bible actually says. In other words: You cling to your knowledge because it makes you feel right, secure, and unrefuted in your own eyes!

  17. Mike Gantt says:

    On the contrary, I cling to what the Lord has made known to me because I cannot in good conscience deny it.

    To please my critics I would have to displease the Lord, and that would amount to an unacceptable transfer of allegiance.

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