Monday, August 20, 2012


For over forty years, I have heard of the two facets of God's will:  His "sovereign will" and His "permissive will."  His "sovereign will" was described as His determining the order and the outcome of His plan for each individual and the collective whole of mankind, while His "permissive will" had to do with God allowing man to have a free will.  Yesterday, I heard an awesome sermon from Pastor Tibbs in which he described the two facets of God's will as being His "sovereign will" and His "pleasing will."  At first, I thought he was simply using a different term to describe "permissive will," but I soon realized that he had a whole different view of man's free will.  He had my full attention.

In 2 Peter 3:9, we read, "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."  But is that verse to be taken by itself as truth, or should it be taken in the context of what the entire Bible has to say?  Obviously, since Scripture is inspired of God, and therefore, cannot contradict itself, what the rest of God's Word has to say on the subject must determine what this particular passage means. 

Men do perish.  Unsaved men do die and wait in hell for their sentencing at the Lord's Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:11).  So, while it does not please God that any should perish, yet according to His sovereignty, men who reject His Son will do just that:  perish!  His "sovereign will" has determined their end. 

Perhaps the best example of the difference between God's two-faceted will is the Crucifixion.  You and I know that it did not please God to see the sin of the world placed upon His Son during the six- hour torture of hanging on a cross.  And yet, when Jesus prayed, "O My Father, if this cup may not pass away from Me, except I drink it, Thy will be done" (Mt. 26:42), it is obvious by the outcome what God's "sovereign will" was.  He gave His Son to pay for our sin!

We can only please God when we act according to His sovereign will!

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