Yesterday, I was having a small scale panic attack in response to some verses in Romans 9.
21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and another for ordinary use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath that are made for destruction; 23 and what if he has done so in order to make known the riches of his glory for the objects of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 including us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
I was freaking out because I didn’t understand why God would create people to be destroyed. But then I read Romans 10:
6 But the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
I suppose God anticipated my question. I really shouldn’t be all that surprised.
Romans 10:6-7 is saying, “Hey, human get off your high horse! It’s none of your business who goes to heaven and who doesn’t.”
And here’s what we were all waiting for. We’re still in Romans 10, NRSV:
9 because[b] if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11 The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”
I still don’t know all the answers. But I do know that God is merciful. I know that He saved me, and I was a sinner. I think that is the main message, and the technicalities that Paul brings up are only supposed to support that message. Just because it doesn’t make sense to me doesn’t mean that it doesn’t make sense. Apparently financial accounting doesn’t make that much sense to me either, but it is a “thing” after all.
You can call it a copout to admit ignorance. But is it really? Do you want to be responsible for the fate of souls? Do you really think you can handle that responsibility, make those judgment calls?
I am relieved that I don’t.
Newsflash! Man is not the center of the universe.
You had to hear it sooner or later.