Reading the book of Revelation, it occurs to me that the greatest thing we can take away from it is that God reigns over everyone and everything for all of history. For instance, He certainly has Satan under His control…
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. Revelation 20:1-3 (ESV)
And beyond that, He has all of humanity under His control…
And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15 (ESV)
There was an interesting theology that developed 15 or 20 years ago called Open Theism. It was popularized by a professor at Bethel College in the Twin Cities named Greg Boyd. The simple take on Boyd’s theories was that it is illogical for anyone, including God, to know the future.
Dr. Boyd was worried that a God Who knew the future would destroy free will, something Boyd himself was anxious to hold on to. In essence, if God knows that I am going to wear my new red button-down shirt tomorrow, can I do otherwise than wear it? More importantly, if God knows that your aunt Betty is going to accept the free offer of eternal life in the Gospel, can she do otherwise? Is she truly free?
So Boyd and others found a way to tweak Scripture and say that God doesn’t know the future. And as you might imagine, this required some serious tweaking, for Scripture definitely says again and again that God definitely does know what you and I are going to wear tomorrow, just as He knows that one day, Satan and everyone whose name is not written in the book of life will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
He is absolutely sovereign. But whereas Boyd and his ilk found this bad news, we should see the opposite. When we pray, we pray to One Who is actually in control of history, the same One who is able to make a difference and answer our prayers. We pray to the One Who holds history…and all of the future, in His hands.
For Wednesday, December 30: Revelation 21