Thanks Steven for the comment, it was encouraging and nice to hear:)
A couple more thoughts. . . .
My position I can back up with scripture; it is not just me philosophizing with feet planted in mid-air. At the same time, if I hear of or find scripture that tells the contrary then I am happy to change position. Again, I always want to emphasize that the Word of God has got to be the touchstone, the anchor for determining truth.
And at this point I don't see how it can be any other way. All that happens is by the decree--by the will of God. Nothing . . . NOTHING . . . happens outside of His perfect intention. Within that, I have to conclude that this includes all that I myself think and do. At most--and it is in itself a truly astounding, mysterious, wondrous thing--I am a loci of individual consciousness, a witness to all that God is and does, by and through me . . . by and through everyone else . . . and ALL of it redounds to His glory that HE IS and that this is HOW He is. The original rebellion . . . and all subsequent rebellion is in the complaint against Him that it all ought to be a different way. The rebel does not like HOW He is. They say things like "if the Christian God is the true God, I could never worship a God like that!"
But I go further and say even this rebellion . . . must be part of His intention as well. What we have is a DEMONSTRATION of what life and existence looks like when it goes against God and His will. The perfect, sparkling, beautiful diamond shines most and best against the dark, black background. An attribute of God is "loving relationship". As He is a Trinity, there is loving relationship between three Persons, the Son, the Spirit and the Father. To show the wonder and glory of this, He makes a creation filled with persons, with whom He intends to have infinite, loving relationships. To demonstrate and clarify and deepen the meaning of this . . . in His creation He decrees that there will be a rebellion, a falling away--a demonstration of what life and creation looks like when it goes against His character, His will, His way. . . . And it is a horrible, untenable thing to behold. But it also provides the opportunity to demonstrate other attributes of His character, which are also His glory: mercy, grace, love, longsuffering, justice. Only HE can remedy the situation, so He sends His Son, God Himself to redeem a portion of lost mankind, a remnant of the Fall, even though they do not deserve it . . . even though they are born rebels who hate Him . . . and these will be saved and perfected to become eternal heirs in His unending glory.
All of this if for His glory; although unregenerate people cannot understand this. They look at such a phrase or notion through the lens of their darkened, carnal and corrupted minds. "What is He? Some kind of tyrant who needs adulation? Isn't that a bit egotistical, that God needs everyone to bow down and worship Him or else they get sent to Hell?"
And without the aid of the Spirit, these actually are not unreasonable analyses. . . . I remember thinking the same thing when I was a young man searching and pondering. But what this comes from is a mind that is asleep, or even dead you could say.
As in all such cases, what is utterly not comprehended in the very first place is the basic, mind-blowing realization . . . that there is a God at all! And that God is a Person! It is astounding enough that there is ANYTHING at all; but that above and beyond and prior to all . . . there exists the I AM THAT I AM!
THEN, to realize that not only is there an all-knowing, all-powerful, omnipresent Being above and beyond and before all creation, Who is Self-existent . . . but that He is also a Person (three Persons actually) and that His innate attributes include things like beauty, love, justice, faithfulness, artistic creativity, holiness, honor, chastity. . . .
Just the brute fact of all this . . . should be enough--well, actually IS enough--to cause a living, sentient soul to fall to their knees in awe, righteous fear and trembling, and want to immediately shout praises of wonder and appreciation to such a Being! Anyone who says, "why would I care about going to Heaven . . . if all we're gonna do is stand around and worship God?" . . . is not alive and therefor does not comprehend the immensity and profundity of the fact of existence itself, let alone that there is a Personal, benevolent Being at the basis of it all, with Whom we can have personal, ongoing relationship!
Another problem in such cases, mentioned oft before, is that such people (the "living dead") likewise do not comprehend how perfect, holy and good God is and especially in comparison to how corrupt, debased, perverse and wicked the fallen are. We tend to compare ourselves with other people and think, "I'm not so bad. I haven't killed anyone! I haven't robbed a bank or raped anyone. . . . "
But we are not going to be judged by comparison to man's standards or other peoples' worse sins. We are judged against God's PERFECT law and character, for "no unclean thing can enter Heaven."
Besides that, regardless of whether we have committed acts such as murder or rape . . . Jesus gave the dire news in the Mount Sermon . . . that our HEARTS are what are judged, not just the acts. We are ALL murderers of the heart, adulterers at heart. . . .
Anyhow, going back to the beginning point in this writing. I can tell you the God I DON'T worship or believe in. That would be a God who created a world and peopled it, but then was surprised when things went "wrong" . . . taken aback that there was rebellion . . . and then thought up a remedy, "I know! I will send my Son!" . . . IN THE HOPES THAT . . . as many people as possible would CHOOSE to accept the sacrifice . . . with this God pacing around Heaven, hoping, wringing His hands, "pick Me, pick Me! I want ALL of you to be saved . . . but I am powerless against your free will, so pleeeease do the right thing and accept my offer of grace. . . . " --A God who creates a universe not certain how it will all go . . . who tries to intervene here and there in history to save the day, but mostly watches from afar, hands off, broken-hearted at the failed creation, trying at best to influence people to choose Him . . . but watching sadly as many choose instead to run off with the devil to Hell. . . .
No, that is not the God I see in the Bible nor one I would be excited to worship. Instead, I worship a God who is completely, wholly, righteously, perfectly SOVEREIGN! Who reigns like a KING over ALL of His creation. Who decrees from BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS of the world WHAT will be, HOW it will be, WHO will be in it and what their roles will be in HIS DEMONSTRATION OF THE GLORY OF HIS MANY WONDROUS ATTRIBUTES, which attributes and character I am deeply, brokenly moved to acknowledge and worship, for He has deigned to create me as a LIVING WITNESS to His glory, in space and time . . . and in time and time to come! AMEN!