For those of you actually listening to the sermons and reading my monstrously long posts, thank you. I hope the word of God preached in by Stuart Olyott gets you thinking about your life, whether you’re a Christian or not!
Here is the sermon on Ruth 3. What a chapter of godly, pure, honest relationships.
“Can you see what’s happening? God is working out a purpose. The purpose is to bring Christ into the world, the kinsman redeemer. He’s got to be born of Ruth, because that’s in God’s plan, through Boaz, who is the son of Rahab, so that there are two Gentile women who are the ancestresses of the Lord Jesus Christ, to show to us that even Gentiles can be incorporated into Christ. It’s all part of the plan, isn’t it?
…But God does not only work out His plan through coincidences. He also works out His plan through human initiative. [Naomi] is taking something, and doing something. So don’t be paralyzed. Do things. Biblical Calvinism believes in full-blooded initiative being taken by young men and women.”
Reformed, Calvinist people tend to look at John 10, where it speaks of God’s elect, and think, “Well, if God decides who is saved and who isn’t, then why even go out and preach? Why go on missions trips or visit the prisoners in jail? Why write letters to little children in unreached regions and shine the light of Christ in their world? Why invite your co-worker to church? Why do something terrifying like inviting an ex-homosexual to a Reformed Baptist church?? Why?
Because while God is 100% capable of bringing people to Himself through so-called random circumstances, He also works in human initiative. When His people do things, He works through them, and He does powerful things, things His people don’t even expect from one simple action.
It’s crazy to think the plans that God has for us, for both believers and unbelievers, for His entire creation. Such little hinges that the big door of God’s universal plan swings!
“There are constant setbacks. It will always be like that. Listen, the Lord is with you with the traffic lights go red. Or when they go green. Or when they don’t go at all, which is the worst. Setbacks are also part of God’s providence. Why? Because sometimes our Christian duty is simply to sit still and to know that you can do nothing, but that if it’s going to be worked out at all, God will do it. But you’ve got to sit, and pray, and trust Him. That also is taught to us by the book of Ruth.”
This smacks the whole “health and wealth” idiocy in the face. Good, too. God never promises a life that sails right on through with no waves, no holes in the hull, no broken masts, no torn sails. God simply promises to bring it about for good to those who love Him. So when the storm starts up and beats on your little life boat, are you going to scream, throw a temper tantrum, claim that God has forsaken you? Well you shouldn’t. And neither should I.