This question came to me in the past because of hearing two different views or teachings on the subject of God and His sovereignty.
I agree that God is absolutely sovereign if you mean that He is our creator, the only One true God, the only Savior, and absolute authority over all principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness.
The All-Sovereign Doctrine
Some people believe that no matter what happens to you or others on the planet, it’s all allowed by God, whether you’re a Christian or not. Because after all, since God is all-powerful, then that naturally means He’s responsible for everything. And that actually implies…everything!
If this were true, then the same God who sent His son to deliver us from evil would also have to be “the source” of evil and that’s not logical thinking, even at the most elementary level of understanding.
What I’ve discovered is that this type of thinking and believing is taught and received most often when accidents, sickness, death, loss of jobs, children getting in trouble, and a host of other unexplainable or unjustified situations occur for which they have no answer.
It’s my personal conviction that this type of teaching comes from a lack of understanding or revelation of the true source of these situations. People simply do not understand the “true” nature of God. Therefore, He gets blamed for catastrophes, sickness, death, adverse acts of nature and a host of other things.
God Gave Us His Authority
Many times Jesus spoke of suffering in the bible because He was familiar with it (see Isa. 53:3, Heb. 4:15) and He cared enough to deliver people from it. When he did talk about it, it was never from a defeated perspective of being unable to overcome it, or not having the answers or the power to defeat it.
While the suffering He spoke of involved physical circumstances many times, it was also true that Jesus made it clear what the source of that suffering was. Sometimes it was sin, sometimes natural things. But many times, it was clearly the result of demonic harassment and oppression that was allowed to continue for either a lack of knowledge, wrong teaching, or possibly a victim that was simply exhausted and too tired to fight any longer.
Many churches today don’t boldly declare that Jesus gave us “all” authority over satan (I refuse to capitalize this name). What’s worse is the fact that by them not assigning sickness, disease, and other tragic things to the enemy of our souls, they allow him to remain largely undetected and therefore he continues his destruction.
In addition, these things can also occur from a lack of knowledge in how to take care of our bodies, or simply not making wise choices in general.
Jesus Himself said in Luke 10:10 (AMP) “Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.” He gave us this authority for the purpose of using it against our enemy. Just as we would if an intruder broke into our homes to threaten the welfare of our loved ones or ourselves or property.
Sadly, there are precious people who have swallowed wrong teaching that says the same loving God who sent His only Son to die for them, is the same One that caused something destructive and tragic to enter their lives. This creates a conflict in their believing because it’s only natural to assume they can’t resist God’s will which brings this on them to teach them something, or to make their faith stronger.
The True Nature of God Always Preserves Life
A serious study of the nature of God will reveal that He is “always” the same…He is GOOD in every situation. And, He can be counted on to be stable in our world which is so unstable.
Two scriptures that I love which clearly describes God’s character, and, which Jesus perfectly modeled, are Luke 9:56 and John 10:10. The one in Luke says that Jesus “did not” come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. The Greek word save in that passage is sozo, and it means: to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health. to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue. That does not sound to me like a God who wants to destroy you with sickness, disease and tragedy.
John 10:10 (AMP) is a more popular verse that reads, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). Once again, it’s pretty self-explanatory! It takes religious tradition to disarm the power of this verse in order to be misunderstood (see Matt 15:6).
Jesus also said in John 14:9 (NKJV) “He who has seen Me has seen the Father”. And for the skeptics that may be reading this post, Acts 10:38 should settle this issue once and for all. It says “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power who went about DOING GOOD and healing ALL who were oppressed BY the devil.
So who’s oppressing people and making them sick? THE DEVIL…THAT’S WHO! That word oppressed in the Greek is kataponeo, and it means to: tire down with toil, exhaust with labor or to afflict or oppress with evils.
Jesus is NOT GUILTY!
Jesus was and is perfect theology throughout the entire New Testament. He said in John 5:19 that He only did what He saw His Father do. (By the way, the word “saw” in the original Greek means He “literally” saw His Father doing.) If we cannot find Jesus afflicting anyone in the Gospels with sickness and tragedy, (and you can’t) then what basis does anyone have for blaming God for making people sick, or bringing death and destruction on the earth through judgment.
One day this will happen, but today is not the day!
Jesus, on the cross, took ALL God’s wrath so that “we” didn’t have to experience it. So maybe, some of the destructive things that are happening on earth, including all the devastating weather patterns, etc. are the result of sin finally reaching a level that is affecting nature itself. This is also mentioned in Romans 8:19-22.
God could stop all the sin, destruction, disease, and mayhem at any time He wanted to. But, He loves man so much that He actually trusts him with this planet, the people on it, and the personal authority of His Son Jesus Christ.
As a matter of fact, the bible says in Eph. 3:9-10 that God actually intended His church, not the individual denominations, but His church, His body as a whole, to be a witness of His manifold (various expressions) wisdom to the principalities and powers in the heavenly realm.
In other words, the demons, devils, or the satanic realm, is supposed to be aware that we as Christians are here and on the scene, walking in the same authority that Jesus Christ did when He was here.
I don’t claim to have arrived! But I am pursuing it with the help of the Holy Spirit. I have a long way to go, but I know it’s God’s will and I believe I will see Him doing His signs and wonders through me one day as well.
If it seems that I’m trying to protect God’s reputation, you’re mistaken! His reputation is spotless and He sure doesn’t need my help in being His PR guy. But I’m going to take every opportunity He gives me to shoot down or attempt to disprove religious tradition that is clearly unscriptural.
If you’re a theologian reading this post and would like to debate me, you’d win because I don’t have the knowledge that you do. But I do have something that you may not have; experience in my relationship with an incredibly loving and merciful God. I am convinced beyond doubt that He loves me unconditionally, accepts me in Christ, and He is good to me at all times.
I don’t want to imply that I am an authority on any of these subjects. However, I have spent the last 25+ years seeking God for serious answers to some of these issues through prayer, in-depth study, and listening to people that I respect who are much wiser than I am and also have a great deal more experience with God as well fruit being born in their lives.