No Such Thing As Coincidence?

Q. You have said some things that happen are the predictable consequences of our own actions or those 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 you mean by coincidence, because I am confused. If there can be such a thing as coincidence 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. To me a coincidence is something that happens in the absence of a direct cause and effect relationship. In other words it can’t be explained. I know some people believe that every little thing that happens is part of a divine plan controlled by God. I don’t believe the Bible supports this view.

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?

If God decides who will get pregnant and when, does He also oversee the murder of millions of His children before they can take their first independent breath?

Does the Author of Life give people terminal illnesses, turn them into addicts who overdose, arrange for drunk drivers to run them down, for murders to kill them, or terrorists to blow them up?

Does the Creator of the clean air, fresh water, and wholesome food necessary for our survival cause these essentials of life to be poisoned to the extent that they diminish both the quality and duration of the life He gave us? If He does any of these things He’s breaking His own commandments.

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 for us happen on a daily basis. Many of them are the consequences of our own behavior, but others seem to happen for no reason at all, except that this world has become an evil, sin infested place.

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