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The phrase "sovereignty of God" has been coined to legitimise the teaching that when God "saves" a person, he cannot go back on his word. No matter how bad the person is after that, God has no choice but to let that person into heaven.

What is most repulsive about this teaching is its attack on the true sovereignty of God. "Sovereign" means "king" or "ultimate authority", and yet the teaching which has been given this label makes its inventors sovereign over God. God is left powerless to change his mind, or at least to go against our pathetic understanding of what he has said.

The Bible gives several accounts of people who made promises, and the evil consequences that came because they were too proud to back down from ill-conceived decrees.

The Hebrew prophet, Daniel, was thrown into a pit with wild lions by a king who had been his friend, because the king had been convinced that "no decree nor statute which the king establishes may be changed." (Daniel 6:15)

In another Old Testament story, Jephthah made a promise that ended in him sacrificing his own daughter, rather than going back on his word. (Judges 11:30-35)

Jesus taught that his followers should not make vows. (Matthew 5:34-36)

No wonder that St. James said, "above all things" do not make promises. (James 5:12) We always seem to lose sight of God when we become focused on promises, whether they be our own promises or his.

One of the most powerful revelations of the Apostle Paul was that God is greater than the "law". The true purpose of the law was to establish that God is the boss. He is sovereign. When he says something, we need to listen humbly.

But legalistic nit-pickers tried to take isolated phrases and make them sovereign over God himself, and over everything else that God had said. They tried to replace God with their own private interpretations of the law.

For these legalists, their interpretation had become sovereign, and they convinced themselves that they had dethroned God. God, they said, had made certain "eternal" promises to the Jewish people, and they believed that God had no choice but to bless them even if they rejected him. They had God nicely packaged up in a box, from which they believed he could never escape.

But then God "changed his mind". Okay, so he knew all along that they were going to do it, and it had already been taken into consideration when he made the promises. Nevertheless, from the human point of view, God broke the rules, by taking the blessings away from the Jews and giving them to the followers of his Son.

But he did it because he is sovereign... even over his own promises. In fact, he did it to prove that he is sovereign. All the promises which had been made to the Jews were taken away from them and given to a motley group of individuals with humble, childlike faith in Jesus alone.

Jesus said of the Jews that they would see people coming from all corners of the world to enter the kingdom of heaven, and yet they themselves would be cast out.

But if he could do that to the Jews, the Bible warns us that he can do the same to professing Christians who think they have it all sewn up. (Romans 11:17-21) If you think you know it all, you can be sure that spiritually, you have already blown it all. (See Lest You Fall.)

The "sovereignty of God" teachers of today, say they have "eternal security" worked out to the point where they no longer need to even try to obey God. These people who teach that the ultimate heresy is to teach people to obey God are themselves the world's worst heretics, guilty of teaching worldwide rebellion against God in the name of religion.

The "name it and claim it" Pentecostals are a slightly different manifestation of the same heresy. They teach that you can take God to court on the basis of your selfish understanding of any isolated promise in the Bible, and "command" God to keep his promise; he will be forced to bow to your decree.

How presumptuous, and how wrong! And what a paradox that they call such an attitude belief in the "sovereignty of God"!

God spent the first two-thirds of human history and the first two-thirds of the Bible teaching people that he is the boss. He makes the rules, and he breaks the rules if he so chooses. That lesson was fundamental before people could ever begin to appreciate the higher revelation of him as a loving God.

In the first book of the Bible we read that "It repented God that he had made man." (Genesis 6:6) As a result, God destroyed the whole earth, with the exception of Noah and his family.

Here is this God whom our theologians say is infinitely loving, and whom they teach cannot change, "repenting" and destroying almost all life on earth. They say he can't do it; but he did! And one day soon he is going to "repent" of having told people of his love, because of the way they have used it as a club to try and take away his sovereignty.

When people say, "If God is a loving God, why does he do such and such?" they are trying to make themselves the ultimate authority over what is or is not loving. But beware the wrath of a loving God. If there seems to be a contradiction in your mind between whether God is loving or whether he is sovereign (in the true sense of the word), then the safest bet is to forget all your thoughts about love. He is, above all, sovereign. He dictates the terms, and if wiping out the world is how he chooses to express his love, then so be it. Until you can accept him as sovereign, you have no right to even open your mouth about his love.

We who have chosen to submit to the will of God even when it goes against our human nature are the only ones who can truly appreciate his infinite love. And we are the only ones who have access to his infinite grace. For many of you, he is coming, not as your Saviour, but as your Judge. He will make the flood look like a Sunday School picnic by the fierceness of his wrath. You and your families will be slaughtered without mercy, for not having submitted to the almighty will of God.

You can hate him for it. You can say that he has no right to do it. You can condemn us for teaching such a thing. But it will not make God's judgment on you any less real.

You who call evil good, who justify the wicked, who condemn God's prophets, will experience the sovereignty of God on that day. Your war against truth will be exposed, as will be the lies and cover-ups that you now use to convince yourselves and your followers that you are acting in obedience to God.

They say the fiercest wars are civil wars, where brother fights against brother. The reason for this is that those whom we have loved most have the most ability to hurt us.

It is because of God's unfathomable love that he has been hurt so infinitely by your rejection of his role as your sovereign. In the name of freedom, in the name of tolerance, in the name of love, you have gone your own way and turned against those who have brought you God's truth. There is still time to repent. But it is quickly running out. Until you let go of your own smug teachings about your own sovereignty over God, and until you come before him in abject humility, begging for his mercy, you will not have a snowball's chance in hell of escaping his wrath. The choice is up to you, but the consequences will be in God's hands. Don't delay.

(See also Reject Us, Reject God.)

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