Does God create people for destruction?

Jesus warns us there are three things Satan wishes to do:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy

(John 10:10a, NIV)

In this passage, Jesus calls Satan “the thief” and those Satan works through are “thieves and robbers”.  But why?  What is Satan trying to steal?

“I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

(John 10:7b-10, NIV)

What would a thief entering the sheep pen try to steal?  A sheep.

That would mean that Satan is trying to rob God of His followers.  Does Satan succeed?

the sheep did not listen to them (from v. 8)

The quality of being a sheep in this passage seems to be listening to the voice of the Shepherd, and not listening to the voices of others.

“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (John 10:1-5, NIV)

He calls his own sheep by name (from v. 3)

The words “his own” would seem to suggest that there are sheep who are not “his own”.  These sheep who do not belong to Jesus do not follow His voice because they do not know Him.

Here are surely the worst words a soul can hear on the Day of Judgment:

‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ (Luke 13:27b)

Jesus’ people hear His voice and follow Him.  This is exactly what happens when someone comes to salvation.  The person hears the voice of Christ in God’s Word or a pastor’s message or a friend’s testimony or a website or article or book or tract or television program or radio show, etc.

When we hear Christ’s voice through God’s Word, we are hearing His perfect voice.  Many people first hear His voice through an imperfect voice, like a pastor or website.  How is that possible?  God’s Spirit is using that source to convict the person of their sin and call them to repentance.

Door-to-door evangelism is rarely done anymore and highly scoffed.  However, one day in the 70’s a man knocked on my dad’s door, talked with him, and gave him a tract.  My father read the tract and became a Christian.  From that point forward, the Word of God was the treasure of my father’s life.

God gives us His perfect Word to hear His voice, and that alone would have been above and beyond what we deserve.  But God did not wait for people to go to a library or bookstore to read His Word.  He has given His people as witnesses of His Word to spread the Message of salvation throughout the world.

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18b-20, NIV)

Does God “make” some people evil?

For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; No evil dwells with You. (Psalm 5:4, NASB)

“The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.” (Psalm 92:15b, NIV)

 Now I am certain that God treats all people alike. (Acts 10:34b, CEV)

Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. (Psalm 25:8, NIV)

“The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He. (Deuteronomy 32:4, NASB)

The LORD says:

   Don’t brag about your wisdom

   or strength or wealth.

    If you feel you must brag,

   then have enough sense

   to brag about worshiping me,

   the LORD.

   What I like best

   is showing kindness,

   justice, and mercy

   to everyone on earth. (Jeremiah 9:23-24, CEV)

“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.” (2 Samuel 22:31, NIV)

“Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (Proverbs 30:5, NIV)

Who is a God like you?  You forgive sin and overlook the rebellion of your faithful people. You will not be angry forever, because you would rather show mercy. (Micah 7:18, GWT)

“for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.” (2nd Chronicles 19:7c, NIV)

“For the LORD your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed.” (Deuteronomy 10:17, NLT)

God told us to announce clearly to the people that Jesus is the one he has chosen to judge the living and the dead.  Every one of the prophets has said that all who have faith in Jesus will have their sins forgiven in his name. (Acts 10:42-43, CEV)

When we were unable to help ourselves, at the right time, Christ died for us, although we were living against God.  Very few people will die to save the life of someone else.  Although perhaps for a good person someone might possibly die.  But God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners.

 So through Christ we will surely be saved from God’s anger, because we have been made right with God by the blood of Christ’s death.  While we were God’s enemies, he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Surely, now that we are his friends, he will save us through his Son’s life.  And not only that, but now we are also very happy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we are now God’s friends again. (Romans 5:6-11, NCV)

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

Does God create some people for destruction?

What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all!  For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.  For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”  Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?”  But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?” (NIV)

Instead of “for common use” (also in the NASB), other translations say “for dishonor” (KJV, ESV, ASV, Douay-Rheims, Darby, ERV, Webster’s WEB, YLT, HCSB), “unto dishonor” (TMB), “less honorable” (Weymouth New Testament), “for shame” (BB), “to throw garbage into” (NLT), “disposal of refuse” (TNIV), “into despite [or low office]” (Wycliffe), “menial or ignoble and dishonorable” (AMP), “dishonorouble use” (CJB), “menial use” (RSV), “for garbage” (CEB), “for ordinary use” (ISV, NRS), “for daily use” (NCV) “for everyday use” (GOD’s WORD Translation), “plain bowl” (CEV).

What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? (Romans 9:22, NIV)

Why would God bear

“with great patience the objects of his wrath”

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Does God hope they do more and more evil so He can make their suffering in Hell worse and worse?

This is the message we have heard from him [Jesus] and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5, NIV)

How did He reveal Himself through Israel’s history?

But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” (Romans 10:21, NIV)

Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.’ (Ezekiel 33:11, NIV)

When I say, “As surely as I live”, who cares?

But when God says “As surely as I live” we should lock hold of whatever He says next!

But God has a way to make people right with him without the law, and he has now shown us that way which the law and the prophets told us about.  God makes people right with himself through their faith in Jesus Christ.  This is true for all who believe in Christ, because all people are the same: All have sinned and are not good enough for God’s glory, and all need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift.  They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ.  God gave him as a way to forgive sin through faith in the blood of Jesus’ death.  This showed that God always does what is right and fair, as in the past when he was patient and did not punish people for their sins.  And God gave Jesus to show today that he does what is right.  God did this so he could judge rightly and so he could make right any person who has faith in Jesus.  (Romans 3:21-26, NCV)

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Jesus, quoted in Matthew 7:7-8, NIV)

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9, NASB)

What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? (Romans 9:22, NIV)

My “what-ifs” are not like the “What if” asked in Romans 10. Mine come from an impaired mind and limited understanding.  And yet God, in His grace, has given us a “what if” here so that we may deepen our understanding of His depth!

From the springboard of God’s “what if”, I wonder what ifs about Him, stupefied by His marvel, flawed by my personal misconceptions, limited by my finite understanding, and yet still given by God the grace to explore, knowing He is trustworthy, His Holy Word.

  • What if God denies His mercy to some, thereby hardening their hearts, allowing them to suffer the consequences of their sin?
  • What if the wrath God gives some-the wrath we all deserve–is so that others, who would not otherwise have turned to Him– others who are given mercy–will turn because of the example of those not shown mercy?
  • What if God denies His mercy to some, because He desires them to suffer so that they may turn to Him to be saved from eternal damnation?
  • What if the objects of God’s wrath are people God knows–and He knows all our motives–will not turn to Him unless they experience a taste of His wrath for sin–or people He knows will never turn to Him . . . but God gives them every chance possible?
  • What if the objects of God’s wrath, when we see them on Judgment Day, will either be thankful because of the very wrath poured out on them that caused them to turn to a patient, merciful God . . . or they will be condemned with no excuse having been given every chance possible?
  • What if God knows that those people He has set to be objects of wrath will never turn to Him, but He shows them “great patience” because of His very nature, that they may have every chance to turn if they wish?

My what-ifs are fallible because I am fallible–and I have “falled” down many times.  But God’s “what if” remains forever, because it is a part of His Word (see Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33).  One day, He may reveal to us the answer, but, until then, we have the everlasting assurance that He asks the best questions of all.

What if God, choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? (Romans 9:22, NLT)

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Scripture taken from the Contemporary English Version © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission.

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.