When People Cannot Comprehend the Trinity

May 1, 2017 at 8:25 AM 6 comments

I was going back and forth with a Muslim on Twitter this morning regarding whether or not Jesus was God. He wanted to know exactly where in the Bible Jesus said He was God and that people should worship Him. Unfortunately, the Bible is far more nuanced than that and doesn’t come right out and give him the answer for which he’s searching. Of course, if the Bible did do that, he would most likely then argue that the text had been changed or corrupted over the centuries.

The subject of the Trinity came up and his responses were what I expected. He views the concept of the Trinity as being three completely separate “gods.” This is also what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe as well and I’ve gone back and forth with them over this issue. People like this often become incensed because to them, it most certainly appears that Christians worship a multiplicity of gods, not one God in three Persons. Because Christians are viewed as worshiping multiple gods, we are often ridiculed and accused of being polytheists. Christians know this is not true. We do not worship more than one God. We worship one God who is simply three distinct personages while remaining one in essence and deity.

I certainly realize this is difficult for the average person to grasp, but then again, we are dealing with the God of the Bible, who is all-powerful, all-knowing, eternal, etc. How is it possible for puny human beings to even begin to comprehend the mystery that is God?

I recall several years ago a husband and wife team of Jehovah’s Witnesses came to my door. I engaged them for a few minutes because I thought that God might use this to open their eyes at some point. The doctrine of the Trinity came up and I tried to explain it from Scripture and I then provided an example. I spoke of the chicken egg, how it has three separate and distinct parts, but all three parts together make up the one egg. It is the same with water even though it can be a liquid, a solid (ice), and a gas (steam). It’s all water.

Their answer to me was “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” which had absolutely nothing to do with the example I provided. Granted, the example of the chicken egg is finite at best, but it serves to show that there can be a multiplicity of something while still be one thing.

The Muslim on Twitter was of no better mindset. Of course, I’ve never seen any discussion on Twitter end in “converting” anyone to anything and this goes for politics, religion, sports, or something else. Twitter, and social networks like it, are often “echo” chambers because people search out others of like-mindedness. Every once in a while, a person with an opposing opinion will make a comment to someone opposite them and either a dialogue or argument will occur. It usually ends with someone muting or blocking someone else.

Of course, any conversation on Twitter is difficult at best because only 140 characters are allowed for each tweet. Creative spelling and abbreviation is required and even then, people have taken to numbering their tweets for continuity.

I place little hope of anyone changing their minds on Twitter, but if I can plant a seed or water something that’s been planted, I’ll take the chance. If I see it’s going nowhere, then I know the other person isn’t really there for honest inquiry. They simply want to argue and I have no time for that. In fact, the Bible warns us about arguing (Titus 3:9), for the sake of arguing as it becomes simply noise. Instead, our lives should prove our Christianity as a testimony to all. This does not mean we should never express our beliefs. We absolutely should do that but we also need to know when to stop and let things go. This was also true of how Jesus instructed His followers as they entered new areas to spread the gospel. If people refused to listen, His followers were to shake the dust off their feet as a sign to those rejecting the truth (Matthew 10:14).

Christians should present the gospel. We should know what we believe, why we believe it, and should always be prepared to give an answer to someone who asks (1 Peter 3:15). But there are times when people need to be allowed to wallow in their own erroneous beliefs. They need to be allowed to walk away. This does not mean that once they are out of sight, they are out of mind. We need to continue to pray for these people as often as we remember because we have no idea how God might work in their lives.

The subject of the Trinity is a difficult one for non-believers to appreciate. Dare I say it is a difficult one for believers to comprehend and I’m quite certain that due to our finite nature, we will never be able to fully appreciate the Trinity. God can certainly provide greater clarity as we study His Word on this and other subjects/doctrines, but to expect to understand fully how the doctrine/concept of the Trinity works is arrogant on our parts. Those who deliberately misunderstand it think that Christians worship three gods. They are deliberately missing the point and failing to grasp even the most cursory understanding of the Trinity as revealed in Scripture.

Titus 2:13 states the following and directly teaches part of the doctrine of the Trinity.

…as we wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. (NET)

Notice Paul, in writing to Titus, in this one statement indicates the Jesus is God and Savior. This is very clear. Paul is not pointing out two separate individuals here. He is referring to Jesus with both appellations. It would be like introducing the president by stating, “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the president and commander-in-chief of the United States of America.”

We would recognize that the person doing the introduction is speaking about one person, who has more than one title. In this case, Jesus is God, He is Savior, and He is Messiah (Christ). This means that Paul’s reference in Titus 1:3b to “God our Savior” is also a direct reference to Jesus as both God and Savior.

We see the same type of thing in 2 Timothy 4:1.

I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom…(NET)

The fact that Jesus is the One who will judge the living and the dead speaks to His absolute authority over all Creation. While some argue that God is simply allowing Jesus to play this role of Judge, the Bible tells us very clearly that God is God and no one who is not God will share in His glory.

I am the LORD! That is my name! I will not share my glory with anyone else, or the praise due me with idols. – Isaiah 42:8 NET

God is speaking of idols here and referencing anything that seeks to remove glory from Him. If Jesus is going to Judge, then He is Judge. In John 17:5, we learn that Jesus was alive before the Creation.

And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created. (NET)

The term “world” here references any aspect of God’s Creation, not just this globe upon which we live. Before God created anything, Jesus existed. Isn’t this what John 1:1-5 tells us as well?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (NET)

Notice Jesus (the Word) was with God before anything was made, implying that Jesus is not a created Being but always existed with the Father. Notice also that Jesus is the One through whom everything was ever created. If Jesus is not God, then God is actually “guilty” of sharing His glory with Jesus, something He said He would not do.

To grasp these truths, God must open a person’s eyes. They also must be willing to see the truth. If they are neither willing to see the truth or God never opens their eyes to these spiritual truths, they will never see that truth. So for them, they will reject whatever is presented to them as absolute hogwash. They will ridicule it and joke about it because it makes absolutely no sense to them.

It is impossible to change a person’s mind through argument. They will have either been prepared to see the truth through something God has done within them, or they will not. The human mind cannot even begin to fathom the mysteries of the Godhead. It is too wonderful, too high, too impenetrable for puny man to realize.

So what is the takeaway from this? Clearly, Christians need to understand God’s Word. We need to be able to point out the truth to people and we need to understand that we can preach all day long with our words (and hopefully our lives), but unless God prepares the soil of a person’s heart, they will never be in a position to embrace anything we say. This is good news as well as bad. It’s good news because it helps us understand that we can never convince anyone of anything. That should cause some relief knowing that it’s not “on us” if someone rejects salvation. The bad news of course is that many will go to their earthly graves having rejected Jesus because their eyes were never opened to the truth. Why were they never opened? Most likely because as we learn in Romans 1, they were never willing to have their eyes open to the truth.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. – Romans 1:18-19 NET

God has already lit the fire in each and every person. He has done so by showing them “plainly” that He exists. How? Through Creation. This provides the reality of God but it doesn’t provide too many details. Yet, in spite of this, most people – because of their inherent wickedness and godlessness – suppress that truth within themselves. They do so by chasing after wickedness; living that is the exact opposite of how God wants His Creation to live.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. – Romans 1:21 NET

The above verse informs us that people know that God exists but can convince themselves that He does not exist. Over time, their constant effort to deny His existence brings them down to a place where their thinking literally becomes “futile…darkened.” Once they reach this point, it is extremely difficult to help them change.

What is the natural progression or result of this futile and darkened thinking?

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. – Romans 1:24-25 NET

God literally throws them over to their own devices. They have consistently worked to reject God, to come to a point where they simply take it on faith that He does not exist. Once there, they begin to live a lifestyle that is diametrically opposed to godliness. They sink lower and lower and lower. They have little to no capacity to understand or appreciate the truth of God.

The Trinity is a very difficult doctrine to even begin to understand and there are limits to our understanding in this life even among the most well-studied of us. For people whose minds are futile and hearts darkened, there is no ability to grasp the truth of the Trinity.

However, our job as Christians is to continue to spread the gospel and to pray for people we come in contact with so that God might see fit to open their eyes to the truth. We are living in a day when the words written to Timothy by Paul have tremendous impact.

Preach the message, be ready whether it is convenient or not, reprove, rebuke, exhort with complete patience and instruction. For there will be a time when people will not tolerate sound teaching. Instead, following their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things. And they will turn away from hearing the truth, but on the other hand they will turn aside to myths. – 2 Timothy 4:2-4 NET

Do not blame yourself when people reject the truth. Tell them the truth, then continue to pray for them if they reject it. It is up to God whom He will or will not bend to His will. Don’t let an unsaved person set the conversational agenda. Stick with the basics. When I talk with Muslims (even the Muslim who wanted to discuss Jesus as God or the Trinity), I always tell them to compare the life of Jesus with Muhammad. Who carried a weapon? Who married a young girl? Who killed people? I also encourage them to read the Bible themselves as I have read the Qur’an and at least some of the Hadith. If they really want answers they will do that. Most simply want to argue though.

Our job is to tell people about the saving grace that is only found in Jesus, our Lord. If they reject it, continue to pray for them. You have planted a seed or watered one that was planted by someone else. God may very well bring someone else into their life for more watering and eventually, someone may be brought in by God for the harvest.

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Demonic, eternity, Islam, Radical Islam, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism, second coming. Tags: , , , .

What is AntiFa Really? Most Difficult Part of Being a Christian

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Andre Alexander  |  May 3, 2017 at 2:31 AM

    Your wise counsel is highly commendable.
    It’s amazing and rather tragic about the general attitude to reading and appreciating the gift, which The Bible is, by the unsaved. They consider it an affront to their liberty to do as the please and they don’t like it because it needs them to change their way of life. If they can only realise that once they yield to their Saviour, He thru the person of The Holy Spirit, will make the changes in them without them really trying.
    However I always suggest that they can believe whatever they want but at the moment of death they will come face to face with the ultimate truth.

    Reply
    • 2. modres  |  May 3, 2017 at 5:19 AM

      Thank you for your comments. I often think of the many people who enter eternity daily, many without Christ who were convinced in this life there is no God only to learn as you said instantly that they were wrong.

      Reply
      • 3. Andre Alexander  |  May 3, 2017 at 6:30 AM

        Same here. When I hear of the death of jihadists, the Luciferians , atheists and all those who follow false religions I always bemoan the fact that they continue in their way because they are oblivious of the truth for nobody, according to the account by our Lord Jesus regarding Lazarus and the rich man, can come back to warn them so those left behind continue ignorantly following their dangerous and doomed path. And there is no excuse for you just don’t blindly believe something . One needs to investigate that what one believe is true. Especially when your eternal destiny depends on it.

      • 4. modres  |  May 3, 2017 at 6:54 AM

        And according to Romans 2 they are blind because they have no love for the truth so God gives them over to lies they seek.

  • 5. rutnerh  |  May 1, 2017 at 8:25 PM

    Well said, brother, Keep on witnessing to the “many” lost who will go to a literal hell unless saved before death. True Christians are on earth to plant salvation seeds, with some prayerfully falling on good soil, not to debate difficult concepts like the Trinity that need to be accepted by pure faith. Although to me as a scientist, I see a good secular model in the three forms of H2O which can co-exist indefinitely in a container at the triple point temperature, just below 32F. Ditto for a triangle requiring 3 discrete sides to be a triangle.

    Re JW heretics, I challenge them to read their corrupt Bible version to realize that it does NOT teach the true gospel cited by Paul in Gal 1, 6ff. Instead it is another or false gospel doubly accursing the teacher, “even if taught by an angel from heaven”. My parting comments are: I would not want to be in your shoes when standing in judgment before Jesus whom JW consider a brother of Satan and also for misleading a multitude of gullible converts destined to eternal suffering in hell.

    Reply
    • 6. modres  |  May 2, 2017 at 8:13 AM

      Thanks for your comments. Frankly, I cannot even begin to fathom the terrible reality of standing before the Living God on Judgment Day without having trusted Jesus as Savior in this life. That is such a scary thought – wow.

      Reply

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