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The Rev. Canon Charles Fulton The Rev. Canon Charles Fulton

The Rev. Canon Charles Fulton is a retired Episcopal priest and the former president of Acts 29 Ministries, based in Atlanta, GA.

Member of:

The Episcopal Church

Representative of:

St. Jude's Episcopal Church, Marietta, GA


Things God Doesn't Know

Based on several scriptures and lessons

January 18, 1998

There are four things that God doesn't know. That may catch you by surprise or even theologically blind side you. Because you and I both know that God is omniscient which means he knows all. He is omnipresence. That means he is everywhere all at once. Likewise let me suggest to you that every person is a theologian. Even if that person has no theological idea that is a theological position. And so we need to be dramatically interested in our God. So back to my topic there are four things that God doesn't know. God doesn't know a person he doesn't love. Now that is quite different than you or me. You may hate others and others may hate you and you may even have some self-hate. But none of those characteristics are part of our God. God loves you. In fact He loves you so much and he loves me so much that if you were the last person on the earth he would have gone to the cross for you. Simply put, God is love. We read that in 1 John 4:16 the B part of the verse.

Think about God as a parent. He loves us. And we as parents love our children. It doesn't mean that we always like what our children do but we do love them. And I think about creation as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis and God saw what he made and it was very good.

Now the second thing that God doesn't know is the sin that He doesn't hate. You know that S word. Carl Menninger in his little book "Whatever Happened to Sin" underlines this whole thought. I picked this up in the fifty-first chapter of Psalms. "Have mercy on me O God according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion blot out my transgression. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sins. Against you and you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight." Yes, God hates sin. In the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, it says there is a time to love and a time to hate evil. In Amos 5:15 we are to hate evil. You see one thing that God doesn't know is a sin He doesn't hate.

Next is the third thing that God doesn't know is any other way to deal with the problem of sin except through His son the Lord Jesus. Over in the New Testament in Hebrews the second chapter let us read together this: "For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God. And that he might make atonement for the sins of the people." Continuing in the seventh chapter of Hebrews and verse 27, we would read this, "Unlike the other high priest he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself." You see there was no other way to deal with the sins of the world. It wasn't that God didn't love His son. He loved His son so much and loved us so much that he was willing to sacrifice his son.

Yes, the third thing that God doesn't know is any way to deal with the problem of sin except through his son.

The fourth point that we are looking at today us that God doesn't know any other way to get the news out to the world except through you and me. In the tenth chapter of St. Paul's letter to the Romans read this. "How then can they call on the one they have not believed in. And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard. And how can they hear without someone preaching to them. And how can they preach unless they are sent. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news to you. And you and I are either bearers of good news or bad news." Yes, God doesn't know any other way to get the good news out to the world except through you and me. If we are silent then there is no message. For you see it's important to realize that we are always one generation away from extinction as the Christian community. Without proclaiming the good news and without people realizing how much God loves them then the church is in serious trouble. O yes, and picking it up and realizing that God wants to use us we think of the 28th Chapter of the Gospel according to St. Matthew. Let's look at verse 18, "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 that I have commanded you and surely I will be with you always to the very end of the age." Yes, in verse 19 it says. "Therefore go and make disciples." That's an imperative. The subject and the imperative is you. It's as if it says you go make disciples. You know it's like that famous automobile Yugo. You go make disciples. That's the imperative and that's the way the Lord wants to deal with his creation and the way he wants to communicate. Simply put, we are the mouth piece anointed by the Holy Spirit for God today.

Yes, the fourth thing that God doesn't know is any other way to get the news out to the world except through you and through me.

In the book of Acts, the first chapter, verse eight, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit will come on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth." You will be my witnesses. Not necessarily a preacher in that it will be far more effective for you to witness to your own faith than to preach to anybody. Certainly not your children. Yes, a witness is an account of what happened and we are to witness to the presence of God.

I'm thinking of a story told by Dr. Billy Kim who is a pastor in South Korea. He was in the Korean conflict. In fact he was a part of the assault on Heartbreak Ridge. It was in the early morning, probably one or two a.m., and the American GIs were working their way up the Ridge. One of their fellow soldiers got hit and they could hear him in no man's land. You know that's the land between the friendly lines and the enemies. And he was out there on the ground moaning and grasping his right leg. And they could hear him but they couldn't get to him. In fact they were actually pinned down in the foxhole. And then finally a young nineteen year old, after several hours, jumped up and ran out on to no man's land and pulled his fellow GI back to safety. The sergeant came to the young, now hero, who had saved his buddy's life, and said why was it for two or three hours when you heard the moaning but you wouldn't get up and go out and do it. If you were going to do it why didn't you do it. He said, well I'll tell you. My mother in Kansas back in the States prays for me at 9:00 a.m. and I waited until it was 9:00 a.m. her time to get up and make my run for it. Because I know one thing that her prayers are answered and God would be with me.

Yes, it's important to know what God knows and what He doesn't know. He doesn't know a person he doesn't love. He doesn't know a sin that he doesn't hate. He doesn't know any other way to deal with the problem of sin. And God doesn't know any other way to get the Good News out except through you and me.

God bless you.


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