The Rev. Zack Keuthan, associate pastor of Reformation ARP Church in Hendersonville, N.C., and a 2011 graduate of Erskine College, spoke at an Erskine chapel service Tuesday, Oct. 3. His message was entitled “Murphy’s Lie” and was based on Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Murphy’s Law, the idea that “Everything that can go wrong will go wrong,” is for the Christian “a lie,” Keuthan said. He cited several examples from scripture, including the story of Joseph and his brothers, as well as some personal experiences, to show that God is merciful and “takes terrible things in your life and makes them work for good.”
The Lord even “has mercy on our stupidity,” Keuthan said, recalling an incident in high school in which he totaled his car—while several friends were passengers—by causing the vehicle to fishtail. In God’s mercy, neither he nor his friends were killed.
Turning to the story of Joseph, Keuthan observed that “home life was hard for Joseph.” Although Joseph was mistreated and misunderstood, the scriptural account stresses that “the Lord was with Joseph,” a phrase indicating God’s favor during Joseph’s difficulties. Sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, he is taken to Egypt, where he is eventually raised to a high rank. Despite false accusation and imprisonment, he is eventually able to save Egypt as well as his own family from famine.
The story of Joseph illustrates the truth of Romans 8:28, but the passage “is not just true for Joseph—it’s true for you who believe in the Lord Jesus,” Keuthan said.
“Joseph had no clue what God was doing. You may not know what God is doing. If Jesus is with you, he can take whatever is bad in your life and do something really good with it,” he said.
Keuthan came to the Christian faith from an ‘unchurched’ background while in high school. Soon afterward, he said, “My family fell apart.” Just before his senior year, his parents decided to divorce and he had to move to another state, starting his senior year in a high school where he knew no one.
He asked “Why?” as he went through this trial, but looking back he sees the good that came out of the trauma: he was introduced to the ARP Church, in which he is now a minister; he learned about Erskine College, where he ended up majoring in Bible and philosophy; and he met his future wife, Elly, whom he married shortly after graduation and with whom he completed a two-year Reformed University Fellowship internship at Erskine.
“Do not listen to lies about God—lies that say God is not for you,” Keuthan said, adding that whatever adversity we experience in the world, we can say to that problem or situation, “You’re going to work for my good.”
“Rather than being controlled by fear and anger, your life can be one of faith, hope, and love,” he said.
Offering his “prayer and hope” that each student “entrust your life wholly to the Lord Jesus,” Keuthan issued a challenge: “I lay before you two paths. Which will you take?”
The chapel service was conducted in the Due West ARP Church by Chaplain Paul Patrick. Professor of Philosophy Dr. David Reiter read an opening call to worship from scripture and the Chapel Music Ensemble led the music.
Photos by Paul Patrick