Things God has appointed

Posted By | March 20, 2017 7:22 am

Last Updated: March 21, 2017 at 9:24 am

By Derrick Coble, West Sparta church of Christ

The modern definition of the term “appointed” is simply stated as: to decide or establish something (m-w.com). Thus, one may talk about an “appointment” (a time for meeting that has been decided) or being “appointed” to do a certain work (a decision has been made based on a person’s capability). This definition is somewhat related to the New Testament usage of the term; however, there are at least four different Greek words used which the KJV translates as “appoint” or “appointed.”

A Kingdom (Luke 22:29) – Jesus told the apostles, “And I appoint (diatithemai) unto you a kingdom.” The term, diatithemai means, “to put apart; dispose by assignment.” Therefore, the Lord was promising the blessings of the kingdom to the apostles, which would extend to all Christians. The kingdom was not in their possession yet, but after the great Day of Pentecost (AD 33) through the present, all nations could flow into that kingdom which had been set apart (Isa. 2:2).

Afflictions for the Righteous (1 The. 3:3) – Paul indicated that no one should be moved by afflictions because “we are appointed (keimai) thereunto.” The term, keimai, means, “to be destined by God’s intent.” Thus, when difficulties and pressures arise from the world in the life of a Christian one should not be surprised—it happened to Jesus and can be expected for the faithful today (John 15:18).

A Day of Death (Heb. 9:27) – The Hebrews writer stated, “it is appointed (apokeimai) unto men once to die.” The term, “apokeimai” means, “laid away; reserved.” This is different from the modern definition by which many believe that God has decided a time in which each person will die. The false idea is that God has fixed that time, and it doesn’t matter what a person does, because it cannot be changed. The fact is that God has simply reserved death for all men as a consequence of sin (Rom. 5:12).

A Day of Judgment (Acts 17:31) – Paul stated in Athens that God “hath appointed (histemi) a day in the which he will judge the world.” The term, “histemi” means, “to cause or make to stand; to make firm, fix, establish.” Unlike the day of each individual’s death, the Day of Judgment has been determined by God already. No man knows when that day will be (2 Pet. 3:10). Preparations must be made now (Mat. 24:44).

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