Today in Sunday School, we talked about the Pre-Existence and fore-ordination.
At one point, a guy in the class raised his hand and asked, “Okay, so let’s say you’re fore-ordained to do something. But you fall away from the church, stop believing in God, and totally miss your chance to do it. Then you come back 10 years later. What happens to you?”
There were a variety of answers, from “God would find another way to get the job done” to “you miss out on blessings during that time, but you can still come back to full fellowship,” and so on.
I raised my hand and said, “You know, I think the amazing thing about God is that He’s so big and His grace is so wonderful that He uses our good choices to bless us AND our bad choices to bless us, if we let Him.”
A pretty basic comment, I thought — until I got this response: “Well, we have to qualify that by remembering that, in this instance, we’ve set ourselves back 10 years.”
And I’ll be honest, that frustrated me. The teacher is a good friend, one I’ve opened up to about my beliefs, and I know he meant to be helpful and kind with his reply. But if we’d been out of church and in a private setting, I would have responded with this question:
Why do we have to qualify it?
Why is it so terrible to think that God might be able to take something ugly and messy and turn it into something truly wonderful and beautiful — even more wonderful and beautiful than if we’d never fallen?
Why do we have to place limits on God’s grace?