Let me state as clearly as I can the issue here and then sum it up for you. When we look at the issue of Abraham’s waivering faith, yes that is what it was: waivering faith, yet God through the mouth of Paul described it as unwaivering faith. The statement is that Abraham was fully convinced that God could do all that He had promised. Well for those of us who know the truth we know his faith was waivering. So is Paul lying? Or worse yet is God lying? I trust I showed you in last week’s Nugget that is not the case. What God does by virtue of His omniscience, is look forward to the point when your faith reaches it’s full blown potential. God saw Abraham’s growing trust and the potential that was in him, far more than He focused on Abraham’s failures. I have news for you and it is all good. God does the same for you and gives you the chance to grow in faith and trust. As I have written before and teach in Deeper Bible Level 3, the key to understanding this is all found in the power of the Present Indicative Active verb in Greek. Each time God calls on us to have faith, or better yet to trust Him, God and Jesus use the present indicative tense. The meaning is to believe and keep on believing. To trust and keep on trusting. That is what Abraham did and become the epitome of the trust that God looks for in us humans.
Now we have to look at the other end of the spectrum. How is it that God can make the kind of statement that Israel Folau quoted when He says “But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death” [NLT] and yet still be a just God when he lets Abraham off the hook with his “waivering faith”, calling it “unwaivering faith”? Is this just semantics? God choosing to name it something less than sin in an effort to cover it over? Yet at the same time comes down hard on us mere mortals who sin, commit homosexuality or deviant, immoral sexual practice and lump that in the same category as lying? Oh come on! For some chosen people (e.g. Abraham) God lets them off and covers up their sin. For others like me and you and those in the debate on Seven Sharp who confess that we have lied, God comes down heavy and hard and assigns us a life in hell. Now does that seem fair?
Once again you have to understand the use of the Greek Present Indicative verb, which expresses ongoing present continuous action. That is the verb used in the passage in Revelation 21:8. Friends, neighbours, fellow believers and unbelievers, you need to understand what is being meant here in this verse. The sins described are not punctiliar, referring to a point in time action. Where I lied once back in 2017 on the 17th of August. No, we are talking on-going sinful action of a lifestyle kind. We humans like to rubbish the Word of God with our human wisdom; little realising just what we are doing. Oh we can sit around debating the word of God on TV and rubbish the idea of homosexuality and lying being put in the same list in Revelation. But we don’t understand what is being said in those verses or the way in which the Bible consistently categorizes sin. God is not playing with words (semantics) in what He warns us. What God is talking about in Revelation 21 is the wilful on-going sin of the way we live our lives – lifestyle sinning.
This doesn’t refer to the person who lied once back in 2017. It refers to one who has lied so many times that they have become a compulsive liar, no longer able to tell a lie from the truth. They live a lifestyle of lying. In other words we would call them a compulsive liar. The same is true of the one who is living sexually in a way that God condemns. Where the adulterer has become a serial adulterer. Each of the verbs are present continuous action verbs. God must judge those who live a lifestyle of wilful ongoing sin. Oh we can reclassify sin and even pass laws in government which excuse some sin as permissible. But please understand from God the Creator’s point of view. The verses in Romans 1:22-29 make it very plain that there is wilfulness involved when mankind turns from a sexual natural act to an aberration. It is very plain but strong Greek, impossible to explain away or play semantic games in order to reclassify that which to God is sexual deviancy.
In the same way God forgives the one who lied and turns from his or her lying, God also can forgive the one involved in sexual deviancy. But when their deviancy or lying becomes on-going and unrepentant God hands us over. Especially when as Paul writes in Roman 1:32 it gets to the point when men and women not only practice the things God condemns but openly encourage others to get involved with the same practices too. So we end up with TV presenters sitting around ridiculing how lying and homosexuality can be classified in the same list little realising the truth of God’s Word, nor the degree to which we have deviated from it. We need to understand the balance between the grace of God and the wrath of God. Something we humans generally are ignorant about all the while thinking we are so wise. That is exactly what Paul was writing about in Romans 1.
I guess now people can accuse me of hate speech. Well that is nonsense. If you know me well, you will know I am not speaking from a position of hating anyone. I am however speaking the truth in love. I am simply wanting you to understand clearly God’s point of view in the words that are written in Greek in the Bible. Understand clearly, the seeming license (or liberty) God grants to Abraham in order for him to get the life of trusting God worked out is given to you too. But understand also that a life of license to sin, won’t be explained away by God with the use of euphemistic words in the end. No, ultimately God has to judge human deviancy when He has spelled out the principle so clearly. No amount of semantic games or a government edict will change the standards by which God must judge in the end. Thus I feel the need to address the issue here and counter the argument that the Bible is inconsistent. Quite to the contrary, the Bible is entirely consistent.
With all my heart I trust I have explained the situation clearly enough for all to understand.
Discuss the matter with me further if you wish in your efforts to understand the truth from a biblical perspective.