The answer to those three questions begins – and ends – with God.
God : The Father, God: The Son, God; The Holy Spirit, God – is the only living entity with no beginning and with no end. He has always been. He will always be. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow [Hebrews 13:8].
Our God of the Holy Trinity created the earth and all of the seas and land and life forms – warm and cold-blooded and vegetation – that live on earth. One of the greatest gifts He gave humanity (and the angels He created to serve Him) is the right to free choice.
We get to choose many things… where we live, who we marry, where we go to school and what career we believe best for us, our political affiliations – even what we will have for dinner. There is probably no other nation in the world where so many choices are available and there are numerous nations where people have little or no choice. We are, indeed, blessed. Or are we? Every choice we make has two possible outcomes: right or wrong.
How do we know whether a choice is right or wrong? The result of our decisions is an excellent teacher, but it can be a dangerous way to learn. A toddler has the freedom to put his or her hand on a hot burner if Mommy looks away for a moment. That’s a painful way to learn… yet it is the way so many adults choose to make decisions.
Young adults (and many older ones, too) choose to see what living life under the influence of drugs would be like. This choice ends either in early death or a very painful recovery. The same is true of alcohol. Experimentation with sexual relationships is also a poor choice as the increase of sexually transmitted diseases and emotional trauma proves. The number of abortions is one of the most abominable results of our abuse of free choice. Our attitudes toward being non-judgmental have resulted in a society that accepts sex change, pedophilia, sex trafficking, and allows males to declare they feel like a female and to enter sports competitions as a female.
God knew before creating us that our spiritual selves would be tempted to let our physical world selves dominate our decisions. He worked through Moses to give us a set of rules that would help us make wise choices. Some of us would obey and seek God’s grace. Others would choose the comforts of the physical world. Some of those worldly comforts come from God and we know he loves us because He sacrificed His only begotten Son so – if we make the right choices – we can have eternal life.
So if God loves us why are so many of the choices we make today wrong and painful?
This is where the three questions that headline this article become critical.
To make good decisions, we need access to truth. There is very little real truth in our worldly social order today. And it’s very important for us to realize that we believers have two realities living inside of us: the physical world and the spiritual world. If we do not realize our two selves, we will always have difficulty making good decisions.
In the physical world, truth is facts – not opinions but facts at a given point in time. We know nothing in the physical world is eternal and facts change with progress. The physical world is not a forever deal. We used to think the earth was flat. Only in the 20th century did we learn about the atom. The laws of Newton’s physics dominated the world for almost 300 years… and then Einstein and NASA came on the scene and said “thanks for your help, but we’ve moved beyond these old truths to new ones.”
In the spiritual world, God is Truth… an eternal Truth. As God’s Son, Jesus Christ, told us: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” Because God is eternal, His Truth is also constant. Because He does love His people, God provided rules by which we should live if we want to be in harmony with the universe He created. From the days of Moses, they have been called the Ten Commandments.
You and I and Adam and Eve are not the only ones who have difficulty following God’s rules. Even angels have a problem with the huge responsibility of choosing right rather than wrong.
God created the archangel Lucifer who was known for his beauty and talent. Lucifer made the unwise choice of challenging God for authority over all God had created. Lucifer (a/k/a Satan or the Devil) was not content with his role as archangel and wished to be worshipped above God. In truth, he lusted after God’s power, forgetting that he, Lucifer, had not created God; but God had created him. We humans sometimes forget that, too. We, like Lucifer, were created to serve God, not for God to serve us. It is a wise choice to remember that. When we live life in the physical world, we, like Lucifer, tend to seek power. When we live in the spiritual world, we control our worldly desires and because wise choices can only be made on the basis of access to truth, we seek God. As you can see, control and power are two very different things.
God gave us the freedom of choice and making wise choices is dependent upon access to the truth. If our heads are filled with untruths, it is difficult to make wise decisions.
As I said above, in the physical world, truth is facts – not opinions but facts at a given point in time. Most people are too lazy to seek facts and are too ready to accept someone else’s opinions as facts. And that’s where we get into trouble.
To make good, intelligent choices in life, people need access to truth. And, for us to have access to the truth, we must have freedom. America’s founding fathers knew how important truth was and so gave important status to newspapers (which was the only form of media available to them at the time). The Constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of the press in its First Amendment.
The problem is, today’s media has become a weapon often used to misinform us. No group of people is more in love with their power over the minds of people than newspapers, radio, and television. Some realize they are trying to replace God – to become God, like Lucifer did – and some do not. Some are just arrogant and do not realize by trying to create truth out of non-truth they take the precise opposite path of Christ who said He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” They are following the path of Lucifer.
To have choice (as God intended us to have), we must have the freedom to find truth. Only with freedom can we make choices based on truth.
According to the Bible, that’s the way God wants things to be. “On earth as it is in heaven…” In other words, the spiritual is intended to dominate the worldly.
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E-Mail Marilyn Barnewall: firstname.lastname@example.org