Q. I read the answer where you said some things are predictable consequences of our own actions or the actions of someone else, while others are coincidental. My pastor always taught us there is no such thing as coincidence or luck, just God. If God knows everything down to the numbers of the hairs on our head then explain what is coincidence to your way of thinking as I am confused now. If there can be such a thing as coincidence then that tells me God can’t be in charge of every little thing and I want to believe He is and that there are no accidents in life or things that can’t be explained.
A. It’s popular for pastors to say things like this to encourage us to form the habit of thanking the Lord for the blessings we receive. But to believe every little thing that happens is part of a divine plan that God controls means you’re a fatalist who doesn’t think anyone has any influence over the details of his or her life. The Bible doesn’t support this view. In fact, 1 John 5:19 tells us although we’re children of God, the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
For example, in Romans 7:18-20 Paul lamented over his inability to stop sinning, which he attributed to the sin nature that dwells within him, and not to God. And in James 1:13-14 we’re told that God doesn’t tempt anyone to sin, but that each of us is tempted by our own evil desire (our sin nature). It doesn’t make sense that God, who sent His son to die for our sins, would also be the cause of them, and these verses agree that He isn’t.
1 Tim. 2:1-4 and 2 Peter 3:9 say God doesn’t want any to perish but for all to be saved. But 2 Cor. 4:4 says that the god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of those who are perishing. 2 Thes. 2:10 says this happens because they refused to love the truth and be saved. Would God, Who wants everyone to be saved, prevent some from believing the only gospel that can save them, or did they reject His offer of pardon?
Would the same Lord who gave His life so we can be healed also give us the very disease from which we need healing? Would the Author of Life oversee the murder of millions of His unborn children?
Would the Creator of the clean air, fresh water, and wholesome food necessary for our survival cause these essentials to be poisoned to the extent that they diminish both the quality and duration of the life He gave us?
And did God bring all those people to that theater and then bring the gun man who mowed them down for no logical reason? Or was it a tragic coincidence that they happened to be there?
God’s creation did not begin this way, and when He restores it, it will no longer be this way. But in the mean time things which God never intended happen on a daily basis. Many of them are the consequences of our own behavior, and others seem to happen for no reason at all, other than this world has become an evil place. These are the ones I call coincidence.