From: Jamie Smith
According to Scripture, humanity is a lump of clay. Let’s say we have two equal clods of clay portioned out by the Great Potter. Let’s name one Annette Funicello and the other Adolph Hitler. The Potter leaves them alone for 50 years.
According to Christianity, each clod will make free will decisions and make themselves into whatever vessel they desire. Whatever they are, it’s their own damn fault or it’s to their credit. As in the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley: “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” Thus is the motto of the American Christian.
But the Potter could leave the clods alone for millions of years. They would not transform.
The Potter molds each clod into a vessel of honor or dishonor depending on His needs. The clods are placed by the Potter in different times, places and circumstances. The clods have no options. They were not consulted.
We will be both vessels of honor and dishonor at different times to bring us to crisis after crisis in our lives. We go from one turning point on to another. Just when we think we have made a free will decision about something, that is the point at which we have yielded to the Potter’s hands.
Clay can only resist. It cannot transform itself. It must be forced to transform. We don’t transform through uninfluenced and independent decisions. Each decision is caused.
Why then does the Potter judge His vessels since He is responsible? That is a good question. Paul was often asked that question.
Ro 9:19: You will be protesting to me, then, “Why, then, is He still blaming? for who has withstood His intention?”
Judging means “setting right”. All of our hearts were intentionally made crooked. We aren’t sent to hell because we were made that way. We are set right.
Have you seen the bumper sticker “God’s not done with me yet”? God is not yet done with Adolf Hitler and Annette Funicello. All of their acts, good or bad, will be judged after their resurrection.
All the vessels, believers and unbelievers, will be set right through judging. Some vessels will be judged harshly and others mercifully. Each vessel was created in love, but judging is part of their molding.
Evil is only temporary. It will not be preserved and quarantined in hell. It will cease.
Evil is a necessary tool used by the Potter in forming His vessels. We learn good through experiencing evil. Evil is one of the Potter’s tools. He will destroy that tool. The final remaining tool will be love.
Religion has a problem with evil. It tries to protect God’s character by assigning evil to Satan or something in the cursed world. That is actually blasphemy.
All comes from the Potter. Once we are all completed in love, then we will see the wisdom in evil and in our present situation.