Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of evangelist Billy Graham and an evangelist in her own right, has declared that God is hiding from us.
Why? The desperate wickedness roiling the earth, from homosexual marriage and transgenderism, to the destructive, ongoing onslaughts of ISIS in the Middle East (and against Christians), the world is more than turning topsy-turvy.
The world is mired in evil and the worse are getting worse.
But is God really hiding from us? Has he withdrawn His loving grace, the same unmerited favor which takes fallen man from death to life?
If the sins of this desperate world could repel God’s grace, then Jesus would have never come in the first place!
But let’s consider Graham-Lotz’ comments in context, as reported in the Christian Post:
Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of famous evangelist Billy Graham, has warned that God might be purposefully hiding himself from America in preparation for a coming judgment on the nation.
He “might be” hiding himself? We can have certainty about God and His love for us, can’t we?
“Our nation is in a mess. Why? Could it be because America is losing God’s blessing? His favor. Could our sin be provoking His judgment? Judgment that is not necessarily in the form of a nuclear dirty bomb, or another ISIS attack, or an economic collapse. But a Romans 1 judgment as God backs out of our national life and turns us over to ourselves,” Lotz wrote on her website Wednesday.
God does not favor nations, as much as His favor, His grace has appeared to all men.
Yes, that’s right!
In one of his sternest pastoral letters, Paul reminded Titus about God’s wonderful grace through Jesus Christ:
“11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2: 11-14)
The question remains: will you receive His grace by believing on His Son Jesus?
That is the one work, and yet so many people simply refuse to do it:
“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6: 28-29)
Now, there are references of God hiding from His people … in the Old Testament, under the Old Covenant, where the blood of bulls and goats atoned for man’s sin, but never wiped it away.
We are no longer under that Old Covenant, but under the New, in which He is a God to us, and we are His people.
What? and Why?
The writer of Hebrews explains:
“10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
“11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
“12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 8: 10-12)
He remembers our sins no more.
Every sin has been put away forever. How? Through Jesus!
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1: 3)
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2: 13-15)
So, God is not hiding from us.
He has shown His grace to all men. Either they believe on Him or they do not.
Still not convinced? Consider the brave and blessed example of Abraham before God, who pleaded for Sodom and Gomorrah!
“22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. 23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?” (Genesis 18: 22-24)
God listened to the prayer of that one righteous man.
Today, for those who believe in Jesus, who seem Him as their righteousness (1 Corinthians 1: 30), who live today under an open heaven, a New Covenant, in which all our sins are purged away forever, do we not believe that our prayers can effect as much–if not more than Abraham?
No, Beloved, God is not hiding from us today.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13: 5)
God Himself has granted this assurance to us believers!
Let’s not forget what Paul preach to the Athenians, none of whom had called on Jesus as Savior:
“For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” (Acts 17: 28)
No doubt, there is a judgement coming, and there is a hell to reject, but God is not hiding from this world, and He is not taking away His favor from all men.
Jesus paid for it! He did a good and perfect work, and from now until forever, He serves are our mercy seat, not just for our sins, but the sins of the entire world! (1 John 2: 1-2)
In closing, I recall one pastor who was teaching about Christ and Him Crucified. He declared that if God were to take away His favor from all men, He would have to apologize to His Son Jesus, as though His work at the Cross was limited or ineffective.
Not so! Not at all!
God is not hiding from America. There will come a Day of Judgement. There is a hell to shun and a heaven to receive, but God is not hiding! His hands are open and ready to give, if men will call on Him and believe!
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.