1 Corinthians 15:20-24
The word cemetery is translated from the GREEK word KOIMETERION, which is the word for ‘A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE SLEEP’.
Norman Geisler “Chosen But Free” (1999)
“Sovereignty and free will. Is it one OR the other, or is it both one AND to other? The Bible says BOTH. God is sovereign over all things, including human events and free choices. Nothing catches God by surprise, and nothing is outside His control. On the other hand, human beings, even in their fallen state, have the God-given power of free choice. This applies to many earthly things here “below” as it does to heavenly things from “above”, namely, with regard to RECEIVING God’s gift of salvation.
The mystery of the relationship between divine sovereignty and human free will has challenged the greatest Christian thinkers down through the centuries. Unfortunately, the extreme Calvinists have sacrificed human responsibility in order to preserve divine sovereignty. Likewise, extreme Arminians have sacrificed God’s sovereignty in order to hold on to man’s free will. Both of these alternatives are wrong and lead to inordinately extreme actions.”
Michael Heiser “Unseen Realm”
“There is no biblical coherence to the idea that God factored all evil acts into his grand plan for the ages. This is a common, but flawed, softer perspective, adopted to avoid the notion that God directly predestines evil events. It unknowingly implies that God’s ‘perfect plan NEEDED to incorporate evil acts because – well, because we see them every day, and surely they can’t just happen, since God foreknows everything. Therefore (says his flawed perspective) they must just be part of how God decided best to direct history.
God does not need the rape of a child to happen so that good may come. His foreknowledge didn’t require the holocaust as part of a plan that would give us the kingdom on earth. God does not need evil as a means to accomplish anything.
Evil does not flow from a first domino that God himself toppled. Rather, evil is the perversion of God’s good gift of free will. It arises from the choices made by imperfect imagers, not from God’s prompting or predestination. God does not need evil, but he has the power to take the evil that flows from free-will decisions – human or otherwise – and use it to produce good and his glory through the obedience of his loyal imagers, who are his hands and feet on the ground NOW.
All of this means that what we choose to do is an important part of how things will turn out. WHAT WE DO MATTERS. God has decreed the ends to which all things will come. As believers, we are prompted by His Spirit to be the good means to those decreed ends. But the Spirit is not the only influence. The experiences of our lives involve other imagers, both good and evil, including divine imagers we cannot see.”
John Lennox “Against the Flow”
“At no stage in history should the grim elements in the prophecy be taken as a fatalistic argument to detract us from working for the good of our fellow-citizens, and sowing peace and truth where we can. Even in the worst of times it is possible for men and women to turn many to righteousness, and shine like the stars for ever and ever.”
John Lennox “Against the Flow”
“Jesus saw the danger of them placing their confidence (rejoicing) in the abilities he had given them, so he told them that their confidence should not be in what they could do, but rather in the knowledge that their names were written in heaven.
And how could they know that? Only by trusting in Jesus’ word. Here, once more, is the crucial issue. We humans have a tendency to put our trust in anything other than God; our deeds, our merits, or even our spiritual gifts, as in this case. Like Abraham, we have to learn to trust what God says. Everything will ultimately depend on it – including the quality of our life and works. God is deeply interested in our works, but the secret of being able to do them does not lie in those works themselves but in placing our trust in God. I repeat: salvation is from God – it is his gift apart from any merit we have. And God has given us the wonderful capacity and freedom to receive the gift of salvation by faith.”