The Plan and Purpose of God for Everyone
One of the biggest misunderstandings within Christianity is that the notion that God has a plan for every single person. Christians and Atheists both misinterpret this idea in ways that the Bible does not teach. God does have a plan for everyone, but it isn’t as commonly heard or is just outright ignored in favor of the other so–called plan of God. What I’m referring to is the mentality that God wants all his children to be financially, socially or physically successful.
Misinterpretations at Fault
As with most doctrinal issues misinterpretation is the issue. The most commonly over–quoted passage used is Jeremiah 29:11. I already wrote an article for focusingonthemarkministries regarding the logical fallacy of Jeremiah 29:11 but I’ll give it a brief overview here. The passage reads, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” –Jeremiah 29:11 The problem is when you put it into context and read Jeremiah 29:10 it reveals the recipient of this message are the Jews about to go into Babylonian exile not modern–day Christians.
Earlier I referenced Atheists having a misunderstanding of this idea. Well they rightfully mock Christians who teach this idea. Why? Because there are starving children in Africa. In America there are children and teenagers dying of cancer. Men and Women are dying at wars overseas. Paul makes an important statement on this topic in 1 Corinthians 15 when talking about the importance of believing in the resurrection of Christ. “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” –1 Corinthians 15:19 (ESV) Our hope is not in worldly things in the present life.
God’s Plan for All.
So where is the hope for the starving children, those with cancer and those dying at war and pretty much every human being suffering the curses of this world? It is in Christ. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” –John 3:16 (ESV) This is God’s plan for all. In Revelation 4:11 and Acts 17:26–27 it further teaches that all of humanity is to seek God.
Paul teaches in 1 Timothy that God wants all of humanity to come to the knowledge of him. “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” –1 Timothy 2:3 (ESV) Whether or not you are successful or a failure; rich or poor is irrelevant to the Gospel. All people will face death at some point. What matters and what God has planned for all people is that they come to a knowledge and faith in Him and the atoning sacrifice of His Son on the cross. That is the plan and purpose of God.