Thursday, January 04, 2018

God has a wonderful plan for your afterlife

"God has a wonderful plan for your life". That's a popular theological trope. When I Google it I get nearly 27 million hits!

God's wonderful plan for your life represents his "perfect will". However, you may squander that opportunity. God's "wonderful plan" stands in contrast to his "permissive will," in case you fail to take advantage of his "wonderful plan" for your life.

From the standpoint of Calvinism, how should we evaluate this paradigm? 

i) God has a plan for everyone's life. There's no distinction between a perfect will and a permissive will in that regard. Everything happens according to his master plan.

ii) Does God have a "wonderful" plan for everyone's life? Depends on how you define "wonderful". Did Jeremiah have a wonderful life? It wasn't wonderful for him. It was wretched. 

I suppose you could say it was wonderful in terms of the contribution it has made to world history.

iii) Conversely, there are evil people whose lives are a hedonistic paradise. They have a "wonderful" life–in that hedonistic sense–while many devout believers suffer.

iv) It would be more accurate to say that God has a wonderful plan for your afterlife. Of course, I don't mean for everyone. I'm not a universalist. But Scripture stresses a reversal of fortunes. The parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man is a classic example. 

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