Suffering | Victor Tey

Preached by Victor Tey

 

Questions:

  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • How can a loving God allow so much suffering in the world?
  • If there’s a God he’s either a monster or asleep at the wheel. Why isn’t he doing anything about it?

When we look at the world we’re not seeing it as God created it. God created a perfect world but man sinned and brought in a curse.

  1. Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
    1. If God used evolution(death and suffering) to create the world then how could he say it was “very good”?
    2. If abiogenesis is true according to evolutionary theory then God is a monster.
  2. Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
  3. Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
  4. ILL – You don’t look at a wrecked car and think “why did they make a smashed up car?”

There is none good so no one receives God’s favour and blessing by works.

  1. We don’t like the thought of bad things happening to good people.
    1. The reality is bad things are happening to bad people.
    2. Matthew 19:16-17 – there is none good but one, that is, God.
    3. Romans 3:10-12 – none righteous, no, not one.
    4. Isaiah 64:6 – righteousnesses are as filthy rags
  2. False Example
    1. Bad person who believes on Christ
    2. Good person who does not believe on Christ
      1. Scenario 2 does not exist, there is none good according to God’s standard.

God doesn’t owe any blessings to the unbeliever that rejects him. In fact he has done more for them than they even care to acknowledge.

Q: “if God is real why doesn’t he do this or why doesn’t he do that for me?”
A: He’s God. He doesn’t exist to serve you. You exist to serve him.

ill. young man out soulwinning complaining about how bad his life was…

Matthew 5:43-48 – he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Q: But I work hard for my money?
A: Who gave you your life? you abilities? your strength? you health? etc.

Deuteronomy 8:18 But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

  1. God has provided salvation for them
    1. 1 Timothy 4:9-10 – Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
    2. 1 John 2:1-2 – but also for the sins of the whole world.
  2. God keeps them alive
    1. Daniel 5:22-23 – the God in whose hand thy breath is
    2. Hebrews 1:3 upholding all things by the word of his power
  3. God is the one that gives them the authority they might have in the world
    1. Romans 13:1 – the powers that be are ordained of God.
    2. John 19:10-11 – Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above

Q: If God knew I wasn’t going to believe, why did he create me?
A: This is an attempt to blame God for why you are in hell.

  1. God didn’t create you to damn you, your rejection of the Saviour will damn you (John 3:18).
  2. God created you to bless you
    1. Genesis 1:26-30 – blessing, dominion, be fruitful
    2. Aren’t you enjoying being alive?

Q: Why did God create man with free will if he knew we would use it to hurt people?
A: God created you to love him but true love requires the freedom to not love.

Why do bad things happen to God’s people?

  1. Realise the false presupposition behind the question.
    1. “Can God make a rock so big that he can’t lift it?” – said rock cannot logically exist (eg. square with 3 sides)
    2. “Who made God?” – God is eternal (outside of time) and has no beginning.
  2. False presupposition: A loving God would not let bad things happen to his people
    1. Philippians 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Not all bad things are caused by God directly.  

  1. Some are self-inflicted
    1. Galatians 6:7-8 – whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
    2. Some people’s trials are caused by foolish decisions they have made in their life
      1. Bad habits (eg. smoking, alcohol, drugs)
        1. If you get sick because you don’t look after your health, is that God’s fault?
        2. ill – people who make fun of organic, supplementation, not eating candy etc. then as they age they start getting degenerative diseases.
      2. Family breakdowns
      3. Poor financial decisions
  2. Some are caused by other people
    1. Sins of others
      1. Family breakdowns
      2. Drunk driving
      3. Drug abuse
      4. Molestation
      5. Murder
      6. Theft
      7. Adultery/Fornication
    2. Jeremiah 32:35 – neither came it into my mind
      1. The weird sick evil things that happen in this world
    3. 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil
      1. eg. wars, poverty, starvation, food, water, vaccinations, corrupt medical system
      2. Money is not evil
      3. Not the root of all sin
      4. Not the cause of all evil,
      5. The root is what provides sustenance and strength.
  3. Some are caused by the Devil and his demons
    1. Job 1:18-19 – deaths, loss of wealth, natural disasters, sickness
    2. 1 Peter 5:8-9 – your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
      1. Don’t let Satan devour you
    3. Revelation 2:10 – the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried
    4. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 – the messenger of Satan to buffet me
  4. Examples of negative things caused by God directly
    1. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 – If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy
    2. Hebrews 12:5-11 – For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth
    3. Acts 5:1-11 – Ananias & Sapphira
    4. 1 Corinthians 11:23-24 – Breaking bread unworthily
  5. Ultimately God is responsible even though he is not always the cause because he has the power to prevent it but he allows bad things to happen.
    1. Nothing happens without God’s permission.  Even Satan cannot operate outside of God’s authority.
    2. Matthew 10:29-31 – one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father..

Why doesn’t God prevent the suffering? Suffering makes us better people.

Hebrews 2:9-10 – perfect through suffering

ill. Parents sometimes allow a child to hurt themselves or make a mistake – Why? to learn (Don’t mollycoddle your children).

Examples of positive outcomes from suffering:

  1. Learn to value your life.
    1. Ecclesiastes 7:1-4 – better to go to the house of mourning
  2. Grow in character
    1. Job 23:10 – when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
  3. To look forward to the resurrection
    1. Romans 8:19-25 – waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
  4. To not be too attached to this world.
    1. 1 John 2:15-17 – the world passeth away
  5. To be conformed into the image of Jesus.
    1. Romans 8:28-29 – conformed to the image of his Son
    2. Philippians 3:9-14 – being made conformable unto his death;
  6. Other examples:
    1. An undesired outcome to teach you patience.
    2. A broken promise to teach you to only trust God.
    3. A disappointment to teach you how to love unconditionally.
    4. A mistake to teach you how to do it correctly.
    5. A failure to teach you how to succeed.
    6. An uncontrollable situation to teach you to pray.
    7. Failure to teach you consistency in season and out of season.
    8. A loss to teach you priorities.
    9. A trial to teach you how to comfort others.
    10. For the unbeliever – to make them rethink their beliefs
      1. eg. lady we spoke to last week who was bitter at God for allowing her niece to have such a hard life. She ended the conversation by saying she didn’t really care about God and spiritual things. So I reminded her that maybe this is one reason why God allows these things to happen in her life.

Have an eternal perspective (suffering will only seem fair in light of eternity)

  1. God has blessed us with more than we realise.
    1. 1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
  2. God will make sure eternal rewards are fair
    1. Luke 12:42-48 – whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required
      1. Differing degrees of punishment in hell
      2. Ignorance is not an excuse for not being prepared
      3. A disabled person who does little may be rewarded more than a fit person who does much.
    2. Matthew 25:14-30 Parable of the Talents – ability
    3. Luke 19:11-27 Parable of the 10 Pounds – productivity
  3. Suffering is nothing compared to the eternal rewards.
    1. Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
  4. Life is brief compared to eternity.
    1. 2 Corinthians 4:18-18 – For our light affliction, which is but for a moment
    2. James 4:14 – For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
  5. Biblical example shows us the outcome is positive.
    1. James 5:10-11 – and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

God goal is not to fix this world, but to create a new one.

  1. Matthew 9:16-17 – No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment
  2. Hebrews 1 – as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed
  3. Revelation 21:1-5 – the former things are passed away.

Re-visit Questions:

  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • How can a loving God allow so much suffering in the world?
  • If there’s a God he’s either a monster or asleep at the wheel. Why isn’t he doing anything about it?

Short Answer: Suffering makes us better people and it is fair from an eternal perspective.  God’s goal is not to fix this world, but to create a new world without sin.

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