Daily Archives: November 21, 2010
In this thread, my (currently empty) website that will eventually refute Why Won’t God Heal Amputees is being lampooned since it’s currently empty. I decided, against my better judgment, to open a discussion with these guys. It’s been more pleasant than I thought it would be, at least so far.
In the thread, I discussed the huge difference between morality and ethics. The believer, I said, is moral meaning that he won’t do wrong. The unbeliever is merely ethical, which means that he doesn’t do wrong. There’s a big difference.
I qualified that by discussing what a spiritual battle is. In Romans 7:X-X, Paul brings the spiritual battle milieu to the forefront. Believers still do wrong because our flesh fights a battle with our spirits. The law is spiritual, but the needs of the flesh are more immediate. Therefore, the believer will still do wrong (i.e., sin). One of the atheists in the board asked me, then, what’s the difference between a believer and an unbeliever?
I simply answered, “Hope.” The believer has it, while the unbeliever dies without it.
That’s true, but there’s an even better answer. In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon writes:
Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity. Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him. But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God. (Eccl 8:10-13, emphasis added)
The trick is that, very often, since the punishment for sin isn’t seen immediately, the tendency is to think that there is no ultimate justice. But with God, holy and just to perfection, that isn’t the case. There’s an ultimate punishment down the line somewhere. Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.
Same with the reward.
But it comes back to hope. How hopeless our existence would be if there was literally no justice for the sinner, nor reward for the righteous. As the bumper sticker says, Jesus is our strength for today, and our hope for tomorrow.