“The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”
The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble. (ESV)
The Lord works out everything for his own ends— even the wicked for a day of disaster. (NIV)
What is God’s Plan?
Do you know what has caused much division within the Church for at least the last 500 years? Really, it existed long before Jesus came to Earth as a baby.
The answer is another question: How much control does God have in the world and with our eternal lives?
The major beliefs fall into three major categories (though, I can assure you there are more, but most fall under these three), and I will use the traditional names from Protestantism: Calvinism, Arminianism, and Molinism. (And please excuse the butchering they receive in this short space)
Calvinism Calvinism’s big thing is God’s sovereignty. God is in complete control, and many Calvinists believe this to the point that He ordained from eternity who was going to Heaven and to Hell. His grace essentially is offered to those He wants to come to Him. In His sovereign power, God controls everything to this end with the goal of glorifying His Name.
Arminianism Arminianism’s big thing is God’s love and freedom. Put another way, God is in control of events in that He guides them toward His desired goal of His glorification. He goes about this by allowing us, through His prevenient grace, to freely choose whether or not to accept the offer of grace and forgiveness for our sins. He gets all the glory from those who have accepted His redemption.
Molinism A friend calls this “Calminianism”, because Molinism focuses primarily on God’s justice, His sovereignty and love working together. Basically, God was able to see all of the possible timelines, but He chose the one timeline in which His He gets the most glory. This allows for our freedom to choose, but God ultimately made the choice proving His sovereignty.
Interestingly, no matter what (except for a few sub-beliefs) God’s sovereignty plays a role. It is His plan of which we are all a part. The righteous will eventually receive glory with the Son which glorifies God, but in God’s sovereignty even the destruction of the wicked brings glory to God.
Sovereign Lord, awaken our hearts and minds to Your power and control and to Your love and grace. Help us to realize that You are the only in control. Help us to trust in You alone.