Who's In Charge?

A parent who had an occasion to visit her child’s middle school was startled to hear shrieks and bumps coming from one of the classrooms. She looked through the window into the room. What she saw was a class entirely out of control. Children were shouting, running around the room, pushing and shoving one another, throwing books and chalk and who knows what else? She opened the door, and went in. The children were shocked in to silence when she loudly asked, “Who’s in charge here?” The fact is, no one was in charge. Answering an urgent call to visit the ladies’ room, their teacher had left them five minutes ago.

Looking at the confusion, the tragedies, the cruelty and the bloodshed in our world, many are asking the question WHO’S IN CHARGE HERE?

If they believe in a God at all, these people picture one who created the world and then walked away. Or, if they think their god is present, they believe He doesn’t have the power to rule human beings; they have gotten out of hand. They picture a world much like the one in the incident related above. After all, with all of the confusion, the purposelessness, the sorrows and heartaches, how could there be a good God in control?

That is an important question. It needs a good, biblical answer. The answer is simple: GOD IS IN CHARGE HERE!

“But that’s difficult to see. Apparently, there is little order, much confusion and tragedy on every hand. And, it seems, that has always been the case. The wicked so often prevail, and those who try to do right are frustrated. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to existence,” you say.

Ah! Thank you for an analysis that so clearly sets forth the problem. It is, perhaps, the central difficulty many have in believing that there is a good God Who is in control, since immorality, violence and all sorts of scandals are the order of the day. “If God is not in control, then we should do everything that we can get away with.” That’s the only logical conclusion to come to. After all, if God is not in charge, then we have no one to answer to but ourselves. “Whatever I want” becomes the standard of right and wrong, of good and evil. And if death ends all, then “get all you can get now, while the getting’s good!” That too, is logical. If there is no heaven or hell, if no eternal rewards and punishments, then you should try to make your life as easy as possible here and now.

But what if there is a God Who is in control? What then? The logic just expressed must all be reversed. It would be logical to seek to please Him, to accept His standard and to live for eternity rather than simply for time. If He is in control then, behind the seeming chaos and tragedy we experience, there must be a divine purpose that we, limited in time and knowledge, cannot comprehend with our unaided, human minds. If God is in charge, then we must find out what He expects of us—or we may be in dire straits! That, too, is logical.

So, then, how will you decide? How can you know that God not only exists but is at work in His world? That He knows all about you, is concerned about what you think, say, and do, and is going to judge you some day? If He is in charge, then you are not. Indeed, you are in danger of trying to assume His prerogatives. You are alienated from Him. You are in trouble. That is also logical. In short, if God is truly God, it is important to find out all you can about Him and how you can get on good terms with Him.

Now, the Bible assumes the existence of the God that it sets forth. It never tries to prove His existence. If it did, then faith would not be necessary. God wants you to believe in Him and in His Son, Jesus Christ, Who came to die for guilty sinners like you.

“But how can I believe this if there is no proof, and if the world seems out of control?”

I'll not attempt to prove that God exists and is in charge, but, rather, I shall explain why you should believe what He says in the Scriptures about Himself, about the world, and about yourself. No other religion, or non-religion, explains the situation that we find in the world today. That is why you should believe.

“What do you mean?” Simply this: all of the things that you have raised as objections—tragedy, wrong seeming to triumph and the rest—are precisely what the Bible teaches is man’s lot. God tells us there that since he wanted to do so, God has allowed man to live his own way—with all of the terrible consequences that you have sketched above. The Apostle Paul put it this way:

God’s wrath from heaven is being revealed against all sorts of godlessness and unrighteousness among people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness…they are without excuse, because although people knew God, they didn’t glorify Him as God or thank Him. Instead, they became involved in futile rationalizations and their senseless hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:18-21)

To put it in plain terms: since man gave up on God, and wanted to live as if He didn’t exist, God gave man up to his desires. And, as a result, you see what an unattended and disordered classroom man has turned this world into!

It is precisely because of the problems that you see in this world that you should believe what the Bible says. It teaches that Adam and Eve wanted to be autonomous, to go their own way rather than God’s, that there is such turmoil. It explains that the conditions that you abhor are the consequence of man’s desire to be independent of God. In other words, it is because there is bloodshed, rape, heartache and sorrow you ought to believe the Christian explanation of how things got so bad. Man is the culprit.

“Supposing that is true, what hope is there for us? If we are out of favor with God and He has given up on us, then what can we do?”

I said that man gave up on God and He handed them over to their own ways; but I didn’t say that God gave up on man. It was a loving, gracious act on His part—something totally underserved. Something almost unimaginable to us. Certainly something we would not have done. He sent Jesus Christ into the world to die for guilty sinners. And all who believe that He died and rose again from the dead, taking the wrath they deserve, are forgiven by Him. So, the good God, in a sinner’s evil world, is definitely in charge! The world is not His uncontrolled classroom. The turmoil and tragedy is what God, in full control, gave man over to when He allowed him to go his own way.

I suggest that you compare any other system—religious or secular—to the biblical one and see which best explains the condition of the classroom. And, having concluded that it is the Bible alone that measures up to all of the facts, and it alone which offers hope, I urge you to put your faith in Christ.

Jay E Adams

Institute for Nouthetic Studies

100 White Meadow Ct
Simpsonville, SC 29681

(864) 399-9583




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