Does believing the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God lead to laziness in the life of the believer?
Perhaps better stated: does insisting on the sovereignty of God in all things, in evangelism, in prayer, in salvation, in holiness and sanctification have a practical outcome of inactivity and passivity in the life of the believer?
I'm not planning on answering this question today, but wanted to get us thinking.
The answer is either (1) YES or (2) NO. Let's break that down a little.
IF WE SAY YES:
YES, believing the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God does lead to apathy and sloth in the life of the believer.
THEN THERE ARE TWO BRANCHES WE COULD TAKE:
YES BUT IT IS TRUE:
(1) YES it does lead to laziness, yet the doctrine is true. Therefore we ought not to over emphasize this doctrine or make too much of it. Let's keep this as an inside secret. Keep it on the down-low so to speak. It's true and occasionally it would be right to make that point but we don't want people to fall under the influence of this truth and kill all pursuits of holiness and evangelism.
YES AND ITS FALSE:
(2) YES it does lead to laziness, the doctrine is not true. God is pretty powerful but he is not SOVEREIGN over all things. The final decision lies with man who has free will. And therefore to prevent apathy and laziness let's teach in such a manner as to dispel this pernicious doctrine.
IF WE SAY NO:
No, believing the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God does NOT lead to laziness.
THEN AGAIN THERE ARE TWO BRANCHES TO CONSIDER:
NO BUT IT'S INDIFFERENT.
(1) No, believing the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God does not lead to laziness. But it is an indifferent thing. The doctrine is true but it does not change anything. Unless they hear, they cannot believe, and how can they hear unless someone preaches. The duty of the believer remains the same. God commands us to make the gospel known and so we should whether this doctrine is true or not. The doctrines' truth matters not to us. We must strive after holiness, and so run as to obtain, and preach the gospel EVEN though God is Sovereign. (In this answer what is meant is that though the doctrine does matter to us yet it doesn't matter to us in the affairs of diligence.)
NO IN FACT THE OPPOSITE:
(2) No, believing the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God does not lead to laziness. In fact just the opposite is true. The doctrine is true and is the very ground for evangelism. We preach knowing that even though men are dead in sin, blinded by Satan, yet success is promised for God has his elect. We pray knowing that God is in Control. He can turn the heart of men for even the heart of kings are in his hands. We pray believing God is sovereign and our confidence in prayer is only possible because this is true. We strive after holiness knowing this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us. We run so as to obtain, knowing that it is God who works in us both to will and do of his good pleasure. This doctrine is true, and believing the doctrine of the sovereignty of God quite contrary to promoting laziness is an encouragement to preach, and run, and witness. Not only should we not suppress this truth and keep it on the down low we must express it showing where our confidence truly lies: not within ourselves but in Him who called us with perfect calling.
So what do you think?
Does believing the doctrine of the Sovereignty of God promote laziness in the life of the Believer?
A. YES, though the doctrine is true. We ought therefore to minimize our exposure to this truth so as not to be overexposed into slothfulness.
B. Yes, in fact this doctrine is false and should be exposed as such in order to promote diligence in the life of the believer.
C. No, it does not promote laziness. It is an indifferent thing. Our duty remains the same whether we believe such is true or not.
D. No, it does not promote laziness in fact quite the opposite is true. It is the foundation of all diligence.