Vol.IX No.V Pg.5
July 1972

Has God Failed?

Robert F. Turner

To ask the question is to answer it—if we refer to failure due to lack of power. All-powerful is an essential part of the nature of God in the true sense. In the same vein, deceit is no part of the true concept of God, hence, God cannot lie. Childish efforts to trap God in self-contradicting absurdities only show the weakness of the querist.

But God wills things that do not come to pass. In 1 Tim. 2:4 Paul says that God will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly, — etc. (Titus 2:11—12). God wills something, makes it available to all men; but what He wills calls for an exercise of our will — and we do not always do what God wants us to do. Many are lost.

We are discussing a most profound subject — not just the nature of Cod, but also the nature of Gods creatures, made in His own image. God willed that man should have a will and He respects our power of choice.

The will of Christ is contrasted with that of His Jewish brethren, in Matt. 23:37, — how often would I have gathered thy children . . . and ye would not. I would, ye would not. Jesus failed with these people — to their ultimate sorrow. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. (Vs. 38)

God is — not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Pet. 3:9) Here again, the will of God is denied by mans will God wants something men do not give Him. True repentance can not be forced upon anyone; and men will remain stubborn, and perish, even while God wills it otherwise.

Certain Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him. (Lu. 7:30) God wanted them to accept Johns preaching — they would not. Obedience, to be valid, and to glorify God, must be from the heart of man. To force such upon man would deny both the nature of God, and the nature of man as God made him. So, God sometimes fails with man — to mans ultimate sorrow and loss.

=When certain Jews rejected the gospel of Christ Paul said, — seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. (Acts 13:45-48) With this for contrast, we should have no difficulty in seeing that certain Gentiles were ordained to eternal life because they willed to accept that same gospel. (vs. 48)

In all of this the sovereignty of God is established, rather than denied. It was Gods will in the beginning that man should be made in His image — having a will. God fails with men on the same basis that He is incapable of lying. He would have to deny His very nature to do otherwise.

It is foolish indeed to continue to sin that grace may abound. God has provided salvation for all; but we must face our own responsibilities and obey Him. (Rom. 6:1-5; 2 Thess. 2:8)