Lucifer was once an honored angel, a cherub. He was perfect in beauty, full of wisdom, and was admitted to the holy mountain of God, where he walked in the midst of the stones of fire. He was in Eden, the garden of God, of which the one on earth was evidently a copy. His ways were perfect, and God gave him the work of "covering," and also anointed him.
But Lucifer was not satisfied. He was envious of God, he became lifted up because of his beauty; he corrupted his wisdom because of his brightness, and decided upon a course which he hoped would make him equal to God. He went so far that he said, "I am a God, I sit in the seat of God."
From a merely human viewpoint it seems that God is running a terrific risk in attempting to save humanity. How can He be sure that if He takes a million or two million people to heaven, or a billion or two, they will live together in harmony and peace! Men are not doing it here. Christians are not doing it. There is constant struggle and strife, and the future does not hold out hope for anything better. If God gives men eternal life, so that they will never die, will they not have a longer time to hatch out their evil plans, and will not this make matters worse!
But, says one, will not all the people who are saved be good people! If so, there will be no danger of any kind, and God rum no risk. This is just the problem. How can God be sure that all the people He selects will stay good! How can He be sure that throughout the long eternity sin will never again occur! This is a vital question, for no one has any inclination to repeat the history of this earth with all its sorrow and misery. When sin is ended we want it to be ended forever.
We are likely to think that this is God's problem, not ours. And this is true. But we are vitally interested in it, nevertheless, for if a rebellion should ever start again in heaven or on earth, we would suffer with the rest. For this reason we are, ,should be, greatly interested in the kind of people who are to be saved. If God permits any to get to heaven who are not fit, all will suffer. Although we cannot be as interested as God is, we should be vitally concerned, for we have much at stake.
It is evident that if any are saved who have the least taint of sin, there is danger of the infection's spreading. Sin is like leprosy or cancer. If the least bit of diseased tissue is left in the body, the danger of recurrence is ever present. The only safety is to have all offending matter removed. Even then there must be great carefulness.
Selfishness is one of the deep roots of sin. There are many degrees of it, and its complete eradication is not easy. In its milder forms it appears quite innocent, and some are inclined to believe that it should not be entirely rooted out. They seem to think that a certain amount of selfishness is necessary for existence, and that if it is not carried to extreme, it serves a good purpose. It may be well to explore this subject.
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