Questions usually arise from roadblocks we encounter as we are gathering information on a subject of interest. If we are merely curious about the subject, a shallow answer may suffice. But, if we really need accurate answers for some driven need, the questions are usually of higher quality - with much thought preceding the inquiry.
I recently received these questions from a website visitor: "Why didn't God just create us perfect to begin with? And how does a perfect God create imperfect beings? At the end of time, He will make us all perfect beings - those that have accepted him - so why not just do this to begin with ...?" These questions are the product of ... thought.
When God calls me to stand before Him, the forthcoming material ... may not. But, then again ... it might.
The Perfect God
The Bible declares we have a perfect Creator (Deut 32:4, Mt 5:48, and Heb 7:28). When He was by Himself, sin did not exist. "In Him there is no sin" (1Jn 3:5). This "Being's" capabilities are immeasurable. Somewhere along the way, He decided He wanted to reveal things about Himself to morally sentient beings. So, ... He created some. Now, I have some questions for you. If all those creatures were perfect for eternity, how well would God actually be known? For example, we know from the Bible that God can be angered. But, how would that ever be exposed if eternal obedience surrounded Him? Or how could His justice, patience, or mercy ever come to the fore? You already know the answer. These traits would be hidden forever.
I believe God decided to reveal aspects of His character that would only come out if there were morally accountable beings in rebellion to Him. In that setting, many complexities of his character - some subtle and some not so subtle - would be revealed for all to see.
Created Innocent ... and with the capacity to sin.
God created two orders of beings with the capacity to sin - angels and man. Had they been created perfect, they would never have sinned. They were created innocent - and then sinned. Most believe this passage refers to Satan: "You were in Eden, the Garden of God ... You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created - until unrighteousness was found in you ... You were internally filled with violence and you sinned ... Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty (Ezek 28:13, 15-17). "You said in your heart ... 'I will raise my throne above the stars of God ... I will make myself like the Most High'" (Isa 14:13,14). Thus, sin number one. It did not surprise God. He declares He knows "the end from the beginning" (Isa 41:21-23, 42:9, 44:6-8, 45:21, Rev 1:8, 22:13).
God made Adam in His own image (Gen 1:26,27). Initially, he was free of sin. God allowed Satan access to an innocent Adam and Eve in the Garden. If they had been perfect, they would have rebuffed Satan's advances. But, the fallen angel prevailed. With Adam's rebellion, monumental changes were ushered into this world. Here are a couple. God decided that Adam's "gift" to billions of descendants would be ... to inherit a sin nature. But, there was another "gain." Satan was granted enough dominion by God to be called, "the god of this world" (2Cor 4:4). And, he brought his legions.
Catastrophies were allowed by God in both created orders ... but, He Himself remains guiltless. "God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lusts" (Ja 1:13-15). Every sinful creature will acknowledge this at The Judgment - "even he who did not keep his soul alive" (Ps 22:29 and Isa 45:23,24). Our Creator will emerge from this ... perfect.
More On The Angels
Many believe a third of the angels were infected by sin. Satan is the dragon in Revelation 12 whose "tail swept away a third of heaven." Many think this means that one third of the angels rebelled with him (Rev 12:3-9). My guess is that God created a finite number of angels and they do not reproduce (Mt 22:30).
It may be that all the angels could have joined the rebellion ... but only some did. If that is correct, we may find that God confirmed the uninfected angels - in righteousness - somewhere along the way. On the other hand, Michael, Gabriel and the rest, may have been locked in as righteous from the start as "His chosen angels" (1Tim 5:21). In either event, I am confident that the angels who remained in righteousness, credit God for keeping them from Satan's insanity. It is doubtful they consider themselves "superior angels" (Jude 9). Do you think they believe they can keep their own selves free from sin - by their own power - for eternity? But here's my main point: Satan's angelic ranks are full. There will be no increase.
With this setting and reality, God made some determinations. As the Ultimate Ruler, He can still impose His will - when He wills. "Whatever the Lord pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth ..." (Ps 135:6). For starters, it appears the fallen angels are so heavily accountable that no remedy for their rebellion will ever be extended. But, not so with man. God planned, and executed, a "rescue operation." But, how could He navigate in this sea of sin and righteously work with fallen man, redeem him, and yet not violate His own demands for justice? How could He work in this environment and come away with no blame or sin - and yet deal with rebellious creatures in a powerful and dominant way? These are "things into which angels long to look" (1Pet 1:12).
God has revealed a multitude of complexities - about Himself - in this scenario. But, some of these "scenes" are one time events. For instance, I do not think He will ever again enter one of His created orders - and allow them to murder Him. But, that is exactly what occurred in Jesus Christ. Mercy could now be extended through that death - with justice being satisfied. He requires life for sin - and when He gave His own (that had no guilt of sin upon it), He could apply it against my guilt. That is why I say, "Jesus died for me." He died to pay for my sins. He acted in mercy toward me - undeserved ... and needed. The act of the cross is permeated with God's righteousness, justice, compassion and power - and I believe its inexhaustible depths of wisdom will be on open display ... forever. But the act itself will be a once in eternity event.
This fallen creation offers many opportunities for God to expose some things. For example, as "the god of this world" how did Satan's rule go? Perhaps his "rule" will be an eternal warning - showing what is produced when a creature attempts to displace God. And look at the children he fathered ... us! You know, the Pharisees did not like being told their father was the devil either (Jn 8:44). Moral creatures operating outside the moral jurisdiction of the living God - create an age of injustice, oppression and death.
"I Don't Like This! I Never Asked to be Born!"
Well, I'm not so thrilled either. But, if my suspicions are accurate, can you stop God? He alone can stop, or restrict, His actions. " ... He does according to His will in the host of heaven (angels) and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His Hand or say to Him, 'What have You done?'" (Dan 4:35).
"For the Lord of Hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His outstretched Hand, who can turn it back?" (Isa 14:27).
"Even from eternity, I am He; and there is none who can deliver out of My Hand; I act and who can reverse it?" (Isa 43:13).
"I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted" (Job 42:2).
"... our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases" (Ps 115:3).
Also read Job 9:1-12, Isaiah 45:9 and Romans 9:10-22.
I believe this situation of fallen moral creatures will prove to be a once in eternity, limited event. Only the fallen angels and man will ever be infected by sin. Other orders of sentient beings - assuming others do, or will, exist - will never experience sin. I know the views presented here may not sit well with some of you. But, if you have a better explanation for why imperfect beings were created by a perfect God ... well, I'm listening.
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