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Christian Life Church

January 24, 2024 - 7pm

January 24, 2024 - 7pm

TOUGH TOPICS DOES GOD CHANGE HIS MIND? DOES THE BIBLE ENDORSE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT?

Locations & Times

Christian Life Church Columbia

2700 Bush River Rd, Columbia, SC 29210, USA

Wednesday 6:30 PM

TOUGH TOPICS JANUARY 24, 2024
DOES GOD CHANGE HIS MIND?

SCRIPTURE
He who is the Glory of Israel (God) does not lie or change His mind; for He is not a human being, that He should change His mind.” 1 Samuel 15:29

And the Lord regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel. 1 Samuel 15:35


TO CHANGE OR NOT TO CHANGE?

The overarching theme of Scripture says God never changes.

God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19

“I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17


THE PERFECT KNOWLEDGE OF GOD

If God ever needed to change His mind, it would suggest error or lack of knowledge.

…God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. 1 John 3:20

Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. Psalm 139:4

(God)…has perfect knowledge. Job 37:16

“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’” Isaiah 46:10


THE PERFECT PURPOSES OF GOD

God does not change His mind, but He does respond to our choices.

“…You can do all things, and…no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:1-2

You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. Proverbs 19:21

(God) works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will… Ephesians 1:11


GOD IS IMMUTABILE.

“God does not change in any way.” Matthew Barrett

God can’t increase or decrease in attributes. He has no lack or need outside of Himself.


SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER

1/ We have to consider linguistics.

And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth… Genesis 6:6

This is understood to be anthropopathism.


2/ We have to consider unconditional declarations.

The Rainbow Promise is an unconditional declaration.

“I establish My covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” Genesis 9:11

The nearness of God is an unconditional declaration.

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

The peace of Christ is an unconditional declaration.

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

The return of the Lord is an unconditional declaration.

“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:3


3/ We have to consider conditional declarations.

The earthly judgment of God is a conditional declaration.

If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. Jeremiah 18:7-8

The salvation of God is a conditional declaration.

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9

The fruitful life is a conditional declaration.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

The wisdom of heaven is a conditional declaration.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt. James 1:5-6

The increase of God’s presence is a conditional declaration.

Come near to God and He will come near to you. James 4:8


TOUGH TOPICS
DOES THE BIBLE ENDORSE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT?

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

1/ Capital punishment does not violate the Ten Commandments.

Manslaughter, accidents, and capital punishment fall into the category of “killing,” while murder is the unlawful, deliberate killing of the innocent.


2/ Capital punishment is commanded for certain crimes.

“Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.” Genesis 9:6

In Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, the death penalty was applicable for at least 16 different crimes.

Note: We do not embrace this list as we are no longer under the Mosaic Law.


3/ Capital punishment is consistent with the character of God.

It should be noted that God approved of and commanded capital punishment.



CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. Romans 13:1-5

1/ Capital punishment is endorsed.


2/ Capital punishment is an instrument of God to enforce peace.


3/ Capital punishment is not revenge.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Do not take revenge, my dear friends… Romans 12:17; 19

The sobering reality of justice can lead to mercy. Mercy, then, leads to just living. Furthermore, justice for the guilty is a form of mercy for the innocent.


4/ Capital punishment is consistent with the character of God.



OBJECTIONS TO CAPITAL PUNISHMENT (SAM STORMS)

1/ “Capital punishment is not an effective deterrent to crime.”

FBI.gov reveals that from 2015 to 2020, there were 102,592 murders in the U.S. Only 2,553 people were on Death Row in the year 2020. If it isn’t a deterrent, it may be because most murderers escape capital punishment.


2/ “Capital punishment constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.“

All punishment has varying levels of cruelty, which is appropriate. The more severe the crime, the greater the punishment should be.


3/ “Capital punishment discriminates against minorities.”

According to Pew Research and other data sources, there is an imbalance of minority groups and the severity of their punishments compared to the majority. This does not prove capital punishment is wrong, but that the criminal justice system is flawed.


4/ “Capital punishment allows for the possibility of the execution of the innocent.”

As it relates to capital punishment, this is true on a micro level. Error may be committed for every type of crime and punishment. Once again, this information does not prove capital punishment is morally wrong, but places a burden of great accountability, evidence, and due process upon the prosecution of criminals.


5/ “It is logically and morally inconsistent for Christians to argue in favor of capital punishment while at the same time arguing against abortion and euthanasia.”

Infants, the elderly, and disabled are innocent victims, while criminals are guilty.

The sanctity of human life is also found in defending innocent human life.


6/ “Capital punishment terminates all hope for the salvation of the victim.”

This is true, but also applies to war, self-defense, and everyday living.

“…choose this day whom you will serve…” Joshua 24:15

Christian Life Giving Link

https://www.clcolumbia.com/give

Christian Life Website

https://www.clcolumbia.com

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