evil

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Why

I’m sure we have all heard the question, or maybe even asked the question: Why do bad things happen to good people?

This is a question that the world wrestles with,  with some even using this reality (that evil exists, and that good people suffer) as a proof that God doesn’t exist…

But what would you say if I told you that in our world, bad things DON’T happen to good people.

Now, some of you might scratch your head at that. “What do you mean? I know good people that have died before their time. I know good people that suffer. I know good people that experience tragedy. I read or see on TV all the time how good Christians are suffering for their faith! Chris, what do you mean that bad things don’t happen to good people.”

Let me just say, yes…when we compare people to people…yes some are good, and some aren’t. Yes, some people are more evil or wicked than others…

But other people aren’t the standard for comparison. God is the standard. When we compare ANYONE to God, they come up short. The Bible almost seems to go out of its way again and again to make sure we know that there are no good people. (Romans 3:10, 3:23 for instance)

Folks, there is only One who is good, and that is God. And I think this ought to put the problem of evil, and this idea of righteous people perishing while the evil prosper in its proper perspective.

In contemplating this question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” R.C. Sproul, Jr. answered it like this: “That’s only happened once, and he volunteered for it.”

He’s talking of course about Jesus. There has only ever been one man, one person, who could truly say that He was good. That was Jesus. Jesus, the Son of God who was God Himself, He took on human flesh, became a man and lived a perfect sinless life even though Scripture says he was tempted in all things as we are. Yet, he did it without sin. This One who was the only truly “good” person who has ever lived went to the cross and suffered and died.

Why did He do it? So that you and I, “bad” sinful people might be forgiven of our sin and saved…saved to live forever with God.

Folks, this is the Gospel. The world asks why bad things happen to good people, but the Gospel says that there was only one time a bad thing happened to a good person, and it happened so that good things can happen to bad people.

We are the bad people, we are sinners. But Jesus took the punishment that we deserved so that we might be saved from our sin and the wrath of God that those sins deserve. God is holy, and because He is, He must punish sin. So Jesus, the perfect, spotless, sinless lamb of God took our punishment for us.

The Gospel is very good news for sinners, and that includes everyone reading this.

So, how does this apply to us, and the reality of suffering. Well, we have to keep it in its proper perspective. Yes, bad things happen in this world, but those bad things happen because of sin. We live in a world in which sin is a reality. We live in a world in which we ourselves are sinners. Since this is true, we can’t ever say, “I don’t deserve this!”

This may sound harsh…but what we deserve is hell. So, if God through Jesus has saved us from hell, friends we have much more, and much better than we deserve.

When tragedy comes, we can’t say, “God how could this happen, why did you do this?” We “deserve” much worse.

Suffering, difficulties, tragedy…these things are never fun. We don’t want to go through them. But I believe there is comfort in the Scriptures as we face these realities. I personally find comfort it in a verse that I quote quite often:  Romans 8:28, “All things work together for good, for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

For the child of God, even the “bad stuff” we go through, God is using for our good. I heard a question this week, and it was a question Pastor James Boice asked his congregation as he suffered from stage 4 cancer some years ago. He asked, (I’m going to paraphrase) “If you could take your suffering and disabilities and difficulties away…would you?”

Most of us would probably say, yes. But, James Boice said if we did, or if we could, it wouldn’t be nearly as good for us as what God is doing for us AND in us through them.

This is hard for us to wrap our mind around, but this is the truth and the meaning behind Romans 8:28, this is why we have to trust in God when we don’t understand what is happening. This is why we have to rest in the Gospel and rest in Jesus.

So if you are reading this, this is my plea to you. Trust in God and trust in Jesus your Savior…

Because this God, and this Savior, Jesus Christ…He is our only hope, our only salvation, and our only goodness. Don’t reject Him, and please don’t try to live apart from Him. Receive Him, trust Him, and rest in Him.

 

“Psalm 1” A Poem

My personal poetic interpretation of the first Psalm…

How blessed is the one who forsakes the world and all its evil ways.
How blessed is the one who seeks Your precious face.
How blessed is the one who loves Your Word, and obeys it all His days.
Oh that blessed day when I will look upon Your face.
Help me Lord, for without you, this is an impossible race.
I beg You Lord, please teach me Your ways.

I will absorb Your Word. I will drink Your living water.
Through life’s storms I cannot fall. You are my Father.
Plant me firmly in Your Word, In Your streams of living water.
Let the fruit I yield be proof to the world, that You are my Father.
Your Word says the wicked cannot prosper.
Yet ALL things work together for good, for Your sons and daughters.

How blessed is the one who forsakes the world and all its evil ways.
How blessed is the one who has called You Lord and felt Your precious grace.
Oh that blessed day when I will look upon Your face.
Search my heart and make it whole, for You know all my ways.
The wicked will perish, their ways are evil, why do they live lives of waste.
That was me before You saved me, oh who can know Your ways?

 

Interesting observations on Adams skills as a father…

I had some interesting thoughts during our church service this past week, thought I would share them with you. Sorry Pastor Will, they don’t have a whole lot to do with the message, but I was paying attention.
If you know much about the book of Genesis, you know that there were two lines of descendants that came from Adam. You had the line of Cain, which as time passed, became progressively more evil. In the fifth generation from Cain you see a guy who is a murderer and corrupts God’s plan for marriage by taking two wives. Then you had the Godly line of Seth, which we are told when his son is born, people are calling on the name of the Lord, and in the fifth generation from Seth you see a man so righteous that he is walking and talking with God, and is then taken straight up to heaven. He was so righteous God didn’t want him to die. Eventually from the line of Seth you also have Noah, whom the Bible tells us was a righteous man, who was blameless, and that he “walked with God”.
So the question came to my mind as I was sitting in church, “Why was the line of Seth Godly, yet the line of Cain was so evil?” Obviously we know the story of Cain, and we know he was a pretty bad dude. Surely this had an impact on his children and grandchildren…but did Adam’s parenting have anything to do with it? Also, did Adam’s parenting have any impact on Seth, and his children and grandchildren?
I made one interesting observation that I think can shed some light on the situation, and hopefully it will make us think. This is just my opinion, from my reading of Scripture, but look at what it says in Genesis 4 verse 1, when Cain was conceived. “Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain…” Pretty straight forward, it doesn’t tell us much about Adam or his involvement with either Cain, or his brother Abel for that matter. But now flip over to Genesis 5 verse 3, when describing the conception and I believe rearing or Seth. “When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.”
Perhaps I’m reading something into the text that isn’t there, but I find it interesting that it talks about Seth, being in the image and likeness of Adam his father, who by the way was created in the likeness and image of God. Yet with Cain, we have no such language. Is it possible that this is why we see such a difference in the two family lines? Is it possible that for whatever reason Adam was more of a “father” to Seth, and took a more active role in molding him as a man? Is it possible that those traits were passed down and learned by the proceeding generations? Is it possible that we also see Adams’s failures as a father, and as a man reflected in the life of Cain, and his subsequent generations? This is all conjecture, but perhaps at some point, perhaps after Adam’s youngest son Abel was murdered by his older brother, and then his son Cain was sent away from the presence of the Lord, he realized he was doing something wrong. Perhaps he blamed himself. What father who has had a son go the wrong way in life hasn’t wondered if he could have done something different? What father hasn’t blamed himself, at least partially for their son’s failings? Perhaps these things were going through Adam’s mind as well, and when his next son, Seth, was born he made an active decision to do things differently.
Like I say, perhaps I am reading something into the text that isn’t there, but it does make you think doesn’t it? If nothing else, hopefully this post will make the guys out there realize what an awesome responsibility it is to be a father. How important it is for us to reflect the image and likeness of God, so that our sons and daughters can do the same. I believe Adam finally came to this realization. As history tells us, Adam very rarely did things right the first time around. I think many of us are in the same shoes. But I think God redeemed Adam, both personally and through his children. Luckily God can do the same for us.
Blessings…