Like Button

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Known by God

It may just be me, but I was blown away by this thought the other day and thought I'd share, just in case.

I was reading in Matthew and came across Jesus's response to the "many" who think they're in -- "Lord, Lord, look what we've done in Your name" -- but aren't. "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'" (Matt 7:23) It's a stunning phrase, really. "I never knew you," says the Omniscient Savior. And, of course, He wasn't talking about "never had knowledge of your existence." He was talking about an intimacy, a personal relationship, a real connection. And then I read in Paul's letter to the Galatian Christians about their change of status from slaves to sin to free and saw this.
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? (Gal 4:9)
Paul makes a point of turning the phrase around. They didn't become free from the slavery of sin by coming to know God; they became free by being "known by God". The reverse of the same concept Jesus was using. In the case of the "many" who were lost, He "never knew" them. In the case of the saved, they are saved because God "knows" them.

And then it struck me. Here, let me start small. I went to work for a company back in the early '90's whose president thought that the company's best asset was its people. The second day after I started there, the president walked by me in the hallway and said, "Hi, Stan. How are things working out?" I spoke with him briefly, but walked away amazed that the president of this not-very-small company knew my name. That's what struck me in these passages I've listed. I imagined that (unbiblical) moment when I stood before Saint Peter at the pearly gates and he started checking the books to see if my name was there. Jesus -- the ultimate authority, the Creator of all, the one in Whom all things consist -- walks by and says, "Oh, hey, Peter, I know him. That's Stan. Oh, yeah, let him in. He's a friend of mine. In fact, he is my adopted brother."

I can't imagine that. I can't fathom it. The God of the universe knows me. Not just that I exist. Knows me in an intimate, personal way. The same can be said for everyone who has a genuine relationship with Christ. Like David, I say, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot grasp it." (Psa 139:6) It is beyond my comprehension.

13 comments:

Marshall Art said...

A truly wonderful post, Stan. Thanks.

Antichrist said...

Hi Stan - I'm really impressed. This is a very nice blog site. It's design is clean and simple and you blog every day. That's quite an accomplishment. It's a shame that you're not getting more comments. Have you considered hooking your blog into Facebook?

As for myself, I'm thinking of starting my own blog. So I'm just looking around and seeing what others are doing. I probably won't bother you for long.


You wrote, "I can't imagine that. I can't fathom it. The God of the universe knows me. Not just that I exist. Knows me in an intimate, personal way. The same can be said for everyone who has a genuine relationship with Christ."

I don't know why that's so mind-boggling. That's what all-seeing and all-knowing means. That's part of God's definition. And it's not just Christians he's seeing . It's EVERYBODY and EVERYTHING!

1. Every time you're eating, sleeping, picking your nose, chewing your toenails, farting, scratching your nuts, picking your pimples, taking a dump, having wild, crazy monkey-sex, etc, the Lord is sitting right next to you and watching every moment. After all, that's what all-seeing means. For example, as Jesus said at his Sermon on the Mount...

27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell." - Matthew 5:27-30

I hope you're not into Internet porn. But if you were, then it's time to carve out some body parts... or else. For as Jesus said just seven verses before...

20"For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." - Matthew 5:20

Chop, chop, eh?


2. Billions of years before there were such things as years, the biblical Lord knew that he was going to create the earth, and that his human creation would immediately disobey him, and then he would punish them and their unborn descendants . But in his kindness, he created them anyway. He also knew that by chapter six that he was going to destroy 99.99999% of his human, animal, and fish creations. But in his kindness, he created them anyway. He also knew that he was going to punish the descendants of Canaan, along with the descendants of Lot's two virginal daughters (that "righteous" Lot impregnated). But in his kindness, he created the Canaanites, the Moabites, and the Ammonites anyway. Yet if he hadn't, then the Good Lord wouldn't have had to order their genocide. Etc.

He also knew you. Long before you were born, he KNEW whether you'd be saved, or if you wouldn't. Yet he created you anyway knowing EXACTLY what you would do. In other words, that decision was predetermined. It's your predestiny and there's not a thing you can do about it.

So what's the point of being born at all? Why not just create the saved group in heaven and don't even bother creating the others? Wouldn't that be the sane thing to do for a supposedly all-loving super-being?

Antichrist said...

Hi Stan - Apparently, one can't post more than 4,096 characters in one reply. So let's continue where we left off.


3. Here's another ramification of being all-seeing and all-knowing. God has no choice. He has no free will choice. He HAS to be all-seeing and all-knowing whether he wants to be or not. That's because it's his nature. He can't help it. It's out of his hands. He's a powerless prisoner of his own omniscience, and there's not a darn thing he can do about it.

That, my friend, is just one of Yahweh's many paradoxes.

Now what I can't comprehend is why anyone takes this stuff seriously. That's what makes me scratch my head.

Peace.

Stan said...

Just to be clear, responding to a "I'm really happy about something about God" with "You're all crazy and have nothing on which to stand" isn't helpful and doesn't actually contribute to the discussion. If you're not happy about knowing God and you're not happy that anyone else would be, feel free to keep that to yourself until you come up with a positive alternative.

Clearly you are not "known by God" (because you clearly don't know God). If you ever would like to change that status, feel free to ask.

David said...

I wonder what the goal is. Coming to a blog written toward Christians and telling them they are wrong and foolish for believing in God without any substantiating information or anything to further a conversation.

Stan said...

And with nothing better to offer. I don't get it either. Nor do I understand why they think that Christians alone deserve their attention. I'm sure the Muslims and the rest would love to hear their banter.

Antichrist said...


Hi David - You asked, "I wonder what the goal is."

Well my goal was spelled out in my first two paragraphs. Unfortunately, Christians can't read.

You mentioned that I was, "telling them they are wrong and foolish for believing in God without any substantiating information "

I'm curious. What specific "substantiating information" would convince you that it's "wrong and foolish for believing in God?"

Antichrist said...

Hi Stan - You wrote, "Just to be clear, responding to a 'I'm really happy about something about God' with 'You're all crazy and have nothing on which to stand' isn't helpful and doesn't actually contribute to the discussion."

Well just to be clear, you originally wrote, "I can't imagine that. I can't fathom it. The God of the universe knows me. Not just that I exist. Knows me in an intimate, personal way. The same can be said for everyone who has a genuine relationship with Christ."

So I then pointed out (at least) five different discussion points having to do with that one ending paragraph.

1. The biblical God knows everybody and everything "in an intimate, personal way."

2. What 'all-seeing' really means. For instance, we know that God will be sitting right there, looking over your shoulder, as you formulate your next reply to me.

3. What 'all-knowing' means. For instance, God already knows what your next reply to me will be. After all, you're just a puppet following your predestined path.

4. I next asked the relevant existential question, why are we even born at all? I mean, God, being all-knowing already knows the outcome, so what's the point of any of this?

5. And I ended by giving proof of Yahweh's non-powerfullness.

I contributed a LOT of intelligent discussion points. You and David just don't seem to like them.

Stan said...

I intentionally differentiated between knowing of and having a relationship with. If that doesn't make any sense to you, feel free to say so. Don't feel free to attack. Don't hunt down people with hope and say, "Bad news, folks, you have none. Sorry. Everyone loses. Peace."

Oh, and when David asked what the goal was and you pointed him to "I'm thinking of starting my own blog and wanted to see what's out there", surely you can see that this doesn't answer the intent of the question about what haters of theism feel the need to assault theist beliefs. Further, "Unfortunately, Christians can't read" would not fall in the "Let's keep it friendly" category, just about the only rule I have regarding commenting.

It's sad. I generally try to write on Sunday things that are uplifting, reassuring, not confrontational or controversial. I do it for Christians who honor Sunday as "the Lord's Day" and recognize it as a celebration of His resurrection. You decided that this would be a good one to fight over. This trip was not necessary.

Stan said...

Antichrist, you've made Bob's point. You claim there is no God AND you claim that it is impossible to prove a negative.

Feel attacked? Feel? Is the name "Antichrist" not intended to suggest that you are ... oh ... I don't know ... anti-Christ? Have you even looked at the evidence I offered for God? No, you simply complain because "Christians can't read."

This is not a dialogue. It is "You're wrong and I'm right and until you respond in the format I require I'll just keep hitting you with what I believe about how very wrong you are." (No, not your words; it's the gist.) You can make a blog about the Bible you don't believe in all you want. You're not helping by coming into Christian blogs to ridicule and belittle and complain that they have a "persecution complex". And speaking of not reading, I said on my last comment to your last comment that I was done posting your comments. That's why this one and anything hereafter is missing.

Stan said...

Readers, why is it that there is this group of people who hate Christianity and decide to try to "help out" by attacking their beliefs? They don't offer an alternative. They don't suggest a better way. They don't even listen to the responses. Oddly enough, they also don't visit Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic or any other religious groups to do the same. Why is that? I think I know.

David said...

The accusation of not reading what's written is pretty weird since it's clear he didn't read what you'd written. You made a clear distinction in your post between God knowing you in His omniscience and God Knowing you relationally. And yet, he completely skipped over that distinction and claimed that (the God he doesn't even believe in) God knows everyone and everything. And of course he brought out that favored "puppet" accusation since if there is predestination the can't be free will for some reason.

He did seem to be anti-religion, but with his chosen name, clearly he has some special hatred for Christianity. With a name like that, he clearly didn't come here to foster conversation.

Stan said...

Dear Dan, agreeing with the anti-theist regarding the reasonableness of Christianity and the Bible or, rather, the lack thereof does not speak well of someone who claims to be a Christian who believes the Bible.