WHY BELIEVE? ENGAGING TOUGH QUESTIONS ABOUT GOD
Part 2 – Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
January 21, 2018
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor
“An apologist is a person who defends the truth about God by developing reasonable and rational explanations for the objections people have about God.”
The Case for Christ (Lee Strobel)
1. THE BIBLE ADMITS LIFE IS NOT FAIR.
A. Innocent and powerless people are abused by others.
Ecclesiastes 4:1 Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed–and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors–and they have no comforter.
B. The wrong people seem to succeed.
Ecclesiastes 8:14 There’s something else,… righteous men who get what the wicked deserve and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve.
2. THERE ARE REASONS WHY GOD ALLOWS PAIN AND INJUSTICE TODAY.
A. God allows injustice because of His desire to give us freedom.
1. Without choice there is no genuine love. But, any time there is choice there is the ability to choose wrong.
2. People make wrong choices that result in suffering.
a. We don’t live on an island of one. Because we are in community, our wrong choices also hurt innocent people around us.
b. Injustice happens because it is the downside of the freedom of choice. We can’t have it both ways: choice and the absence of evil.
3. Even many natural disasters can happen because of our choices.
B. God didn’t create pain but He does allow pain to produce a greater good in our life.
1. James 1:2-4 Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.
2. We always learn more from pain than we do from pleasure. It’s in the tough times that we develop character, not the easy times. God is interested in molding and making us.
3. Hebrews 5:8 Even though Jesus was God’s Son He learned to be obedient because of His sufferings.
C. God allows pain to show us that we need a rescuer.
1. “What is the meaning and purpose of suffering in history? The meaning and purpose of suffering in history is that it leads to repentance. Only after suffering, only after disaster did Israel, do nations, do individuals turn back to God.” (Peter Kreeft – Christian philosopher)
2. “God whispers to us in our pleasure. He speaks to us in our conscious. But He shouts to us in our pain. Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” (C.S. Lewis)
3. 2 Corinthians 7:10 For God sometimes uses sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek eternal life. We should never regret His sending it.
4. “I would rather be in this wheelchair knowing God than on my feet without Him.” (Joni Erickson Tada)
D. God allows injustice only for a season.
Since God is all-powerful, He can defeat evil.
Since God is all-good, He will defeat evil.
Evil is not yet defeated because it now serves a greater purpose.
In God’s timing, evil can and will be defeated.
Action Steps I will take…
* I will be back next Sunday as we address: Aren’t All Religions The Same?
* I will invite someone to come to church next Sunday.
* I will obtain a copy of today’s message and give it to someone I know.