My dear friend had a question. One that all of us have asked at some point in our lives. A true student of the Bible should question the Bible, the validity of it and even question God. This, my friend, is how you get your answers. This is how you may come into the knowledge of the truth. First, you question it.
My friend, Ryan, and I had one of our two-hour long conversations last week. And yes, we discussed the Bible. We talked about many things but the question that stayed with me most was the simplest. He said, “I just can’t wrap my mind around the fact that it was God’s will to allow my ancestors to be slaves. There is no justification for that. Why?”
He believes there is a God. He believes Jesus is the Son of God. But, my friend has lost interest in our faith. And guess what? He is in the perfect state of mind. Here’s why.
Ryan is starting to question his beliefs. He is searching for truth. He is not taking anyone’s word for anything in the Bible. He has asked the ultimate question. Why?
The answer is there is nothing nor will there be anything that happens in this universe that God has not already seen happen. He has a master plan for all our lives. That plan is simple: that we go to Heaven to be with Him. (Just as Jesus took the thief next to him on the cross to Heaven. Luke 23:43) Now, how this plan is carried out is completely up to each of us. That, my friend, is called free will. And God knows you better than yourself and loves you.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1 John 3:2
And He knows what things we will encounter on our journey. The detours we take on this road to Heaven is courtesy of the freedoms afforded to us by the Father.
God did not just declare slavery or any other unfortunate events to happen. He allowed these things and made them, so they would have purpose. Let’s look at some Biblical genealogy for a moment. God allowed the Hebrew people in the old testament to become slaves too. Joseph was sold into slavery by the hands of his own brothers (Genesis 37). Joseph thrived in Egypt and saved his family from a famine. His family moved to Egypt where they were later enslaved and gave birth to Moses, who was given the ten commandments. It was God’s plan to give the ten commandments to His people through Moses. Who else could possibly come up with such a perfectly crafted plan? And every stop along the way had divine purpose. And, you know what else? My friend and brother, Ryan, would not exist to now finally seek the truth of God if his ancestors had not been slaves. This too was part of the plan.
God will not reveal the details of His plan for us. God did not reveal the mystery of Christ until Paul (Acts 9:1-19). The disciples thought that Jesus had died and that was the end. In fact, one of them, Thomas, did not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead (John 20). It was not until Jesus revealed himself to Paul in Acts and gave him the gospel did we learn that we are saved by grace through faith. God’s grace and our faith secures our salvation. So, my dear friends, God will not draw a map of our lives and show us every bump in the road. First, we could not handle it. Second and most importantly, God wants us to trust Him. He warned that we will face trouble in this world (Job 14:1). But, the Lord has given us everything we need to complete out journey. We are saved by placing our faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection for our salvation. Jesus left the Holy Spirit as our comforter and companion to be with us until He returns to take us home. We place all our faith in that master plan.
Now, Ryan was quiet after I spoke. Surely, we will have another conversation this week. I encouraged him, as I urge everyone to study the scripture. Trust the Lord. When you heart is open to the truth and you seek it as my friend here is seeking, you will find it. Remember, beloved friends, it is God’s desire that we all find the truth and in turn, find a place with Him eternally.
9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.