Sunday, January 10, 2016

Does God Know When I Will Die? part 2

A friend called recently with a question about whether or not God knows when we will die and whether medical treatment can change when we die. The answer is not as simple as one might hope.

Yesterday, we considered the omniscience and omnipresence of God. 

He is everywhere at once. He knows everything.

Nothing surprises God. Nothing takes Him off-guard. Does God know when we will be born? Yes. Does God know when we will die? Yes. 

I can be certain about those two answers based on Psalm 139.

You wove me in my mother's womb...
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
the days that were ordained for me,
when as yet there was not one of them.
Psalm 139:13, 16 nasb

We are completely known, from beginning to end, by our Creator.

If all our days are known by God, can we change the time we have on this earth? Yes. We can change both the quality and the duration of the time we have on earth. 

When Adam and Eve were placed in the garden, they had the choice to obey or not. That choice brought consequences, including (but limited to) expulsion from the garden, hard labor, and difficult childbirth. The quality of their life was changed by their choice, and likely the length of it, as well.

Medical studies have shown that certain lifestyle choices are associated with shortened length of life. If we make those lifestyle choices, we can expect to shorten our lives. Our lives are not shortened because of the medical study, our lives are shortened because of our choice. 

Some lifestyles are associated with diseases that can not only shorten our lives, but also drastically impact the quality of our lives as well. (smoking and lung cancer)

If we have diabetes, we can choose to follow a strict regimen of diet, exercise, and medication. We can choose to control our blood sugars and decrease the possibility of suffering and complications from diabetes, such as blindness, loss of sensation, loss of limb, and cardiovascular disease. Who wants to go blind? No one. All those complications will decrease the quality of our lives. 

Making good choices makes a difference.

High cholesterol levels are clearly associated with heart disease. If we take medication to lower our cholesterol, it may seem that a low cholesterol is the goal. It's only part of the goal. The goal of lipid-lowering medication is to avoid the consequences of a high cholesterol, which is, ultimately either heart damage from a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or debilitating chest pain from angina. Our choice to take (or not take) medication for high cholesterol can affect the quality of our life. 

Does that mean that medical care makes changes God doesn't know about? Of course not. He is omniscient. He knows everything. He knows the choices we will make and the effect those choices will have on our lives.

Both lifestyle choices and medical choices can change the quality of our lives, but can they change the length of our lives? Yes. We'll consider how to lengthen (or shorten) our days tomorrow. 

For now, let's take a close look at the lifestyle choices we make. Are they leading to complications that will improve or worsen the quality of our lives? Even more important, do our lifestyle choices draw people to Jesus or push them away?

Our choices do make a difference. 

Choose well.


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