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October 23, 2020 2:00 am
If God is so good, why is His world so messy? Where is the evidence of His power and love in a suffering world? Skip answers those questions for you as he shares the message "The Dark Side of God."
This teaching is from the series The Biography of God.Links:
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Here's the problem. If God is so perfect and so loving and so knowing and so powerful why is his world so messed up. If all of the things that we have uncovered about the character and nature of God of all of those are true, then why can't he stop evil. And why can't he stop paying now. Think about the things you most thankful he rarely tops the list those times of suffering and hardship for probably the last thing on our minds today on connect with Skip Skip looks at the problem of pain and what this issue reveals to you about God's character before we begin to let you know about a resource to help you get to know God personally so you can experience richer for can you imagine reading a biography about your life, only to find details about your life that were wrong felt it would be frustrating, wouldn't God's nature, character and motives have often been poorly portrayed, and even intentionally misstated. That's one of the reasons I decided to write the book, the biography of God to open your eyes and heart to a larger picture of God. I hope you will go on this journey with me as we ask and answer the universal question.
Can we know God.
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The more people request your copy when you give online securely connectwithskip.com/offer or call 800-922-1888 John chapter 9 for today study celestial in Skip type this last week I found myself on an airplane sitting down a little bit of time to kill and turn your phone off at a certain point speak. I couldn't play biopsy on my little phone anymore. I turn it off so I resorted to grabbing the magazines that are sitting in the seat in front of me and there's always a catalog and every airplane ride that I've been on and there's a little section and not on flight catalog that has a section of the motivational posters and motivational plaques and typically it said extolling the virtues of success or determination or achievement or greatness or imagination. I got to thinking about that I thought you know I have never seen yet. A poster or a plaque extolling pain. If you are suffering.
I've never yet heard a song about how great suffering is no statues erected in honor of pain.
No pain day. That is part of our calendar.
Philip Yancey in an excellent book, where is God when life hurts rights if you pin them against the wall in a dark secret moment.
Many Christians would probably admit that pain was God's one mistake. He really should've worked a little harder and invented a better way of coping with the world's dangers. We've been doing several weeks on what we call the biography of God, and we have kind of gone from general to specific.
And we learned that there is definitely really a God who exists and reveals himself and God reveals himself as one who is holy, perfect, just all knowing, all loving everywhere present, which according to some presents a huge problem there's a problem. If God is so perfect and so loving and so knowing and so powerful, then why is his world so messed up.
If all of the things that we have uncovered about the character and nature of God of all of those are true, then why can't he stop evil. And why can't he stop pain now. Have you ever had the experience of driving in your car and have a little rock fly up from the pavement and strike your windshield and cracked it made it small at first. Maybe it's fractures. The whole thing at one time I remember happening that happening to me. I was driving an older vehicle is a flat windshield and a pebble's bucket and what was right and clear and clean was now fragmented and distorted. It was difficult for me to see what I can also happen with God where God at one time is bright and clear, and we have a packaged clean theology, about God. He is in our minds very predictable. You see everything you know it all you got it down pat, and that a pebble strikes the windshield could have been some catastrophe. Someone dies, someone leaves a diagnosis of the doctor that is devastating to you and your family. But suddenly what was once clean and bright and clear to you is different. Your view of God is changed.
It's not as bright and predictable and clean any longer for me. A pebble struck my theological windshield when I was 22 years of age and I got a phone call from my father that my brother was instantly killed in a motorcycle accident.
It took me completely off guard and something nobody ever expects to hear. I remember going through that things were a little bit fragmented and distorted another pebble hit my windshield sometime later when on exactly the same day. In the beginning of the second trimester. My wife miscarried a second child that we were carrying in on exactly the same day my mother called to tell me my father had died. Those with pebbles that struck my windshield.
It wasn't that I didn't believe in God it was that I didn't trust God any differently but the view was different. The view was different was CS Lewis who wisely said one of his most famous things God whispers to us in our pleasures and God speaks to us in our consciences. God shouts to us in our pain pain St. Louis is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world that's true God shouts and suffering.
What is he saying exactly and how are we to interpret episodes of pain-and-suffering or evil in the world.
I taken out of John chapter 9 look at the first seven or eight verses in a message I call the dark side of God. This is not to imply an any way that there's any darkness in the character of God, but simply from our very limited human perspective, we don't see the whole picture and what we think is dark is sometimes very bright now as Jesus passed by, he saw a man who was blind from birth and his disciples asked him, saying, Rabbi, who send this man or his parents that he was born blind. Jesus answered, neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day, the night is coming when no one can work as long as I am in the world I am the light of the world. We had said these things, he spat on the ground made clay with the saliva and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.
I said to him though wash in the pool of silo on which is translated, sent so he went and washed and came back seeing. Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, is not this he who sat and bade what the disciples of voice to Jesus was and is a very common contention. There's a guy suffering. Why is he suffering which leads to a larger question why is there suffering now. He was a blind beggar and there's a lot of reasons that a person could be blind, unsanitary conditions, because of poverty was very common unrestrained and unfiltered sunlight in the Middle East sandstorms that blew they didn't wear eyeglasses. As such, all of that would yield two eye diseases and even blindness, but perhaps the most common and probably what this guy was afflicted with was a disease contracted in the birth canal something called him a neonatal conjunctivitis that is there is a bacterium that can be gathered while the baby is being born and within three days plus forms around the eye and if untreated, the child goes completely blinded a very short period of time and they didn't have a rep for myosin readily available back then to counteract that.
So effectively the child was born blind and it was a hard life is a hard life because he could work families often did not support or could not support such a one, so they ended up as beggars in the city gates or in the temple gates and so the disciples see what Jesus sees and they said what's up with that were following you, you've healed people. What about this guy who Cindy's parents are himself that he was born blind. Would you agree that human suffering is one of the great roadblocks to people believing in God.
The people that I have talked to, it is a huge roadblock. It's the pebble that challenges people's faith. How can there be a good God with bad stuff that happens all the time and this enters into a realm of theological study known as theodicy TH EOD I see why theodicy from two words chaos God and TK the root word of righteousness. The idea of how can you reconcile God being in righteousness when there is so much unrighteousness around how can you defend God's all power, all loving, all-knowing when evil happens. How can an all loving and all-powerful God allow evil to exist and who hasn't struggled with this from the highest philosopher and theologian to the common street person asked this same question. In fact, a few years ago George Barna asked people if they could interview God and ask him one question, what would it be 17% of the largest percentage in the poll that I might ask God why he allows pain, suffering and evil to exist in the world and make it worse.
It's not just that there is suffering and is evil and is pain but even what we would call innocent people suffer. People 11 chosen war or chosen the living conditions that would bring them into suffering mean we might think that if only villains got broken limbs fully hardened criminals were the ones that got cancer. If only the cheaters got Parkinson's disease.
At least there be some sort of celestial justice that we could see why is it that good people what we would call good people would also suffer not just want to throw somatic check in this discussion. In the midst of this discussion you want to know that it's typically people in countries like ours that struggle with this issue in plentiful nations in hedonistic nations were the ones that struggle, you should know that in other countries.
Developing countries places with far more suffering than we will ever see. They as a whole don't seem to be so preoccupied with needing an answer to why people suffer, but in a country that has been traditionally pampered and self oriented in hedonistic, we struggle because we have deemed that suffering is the greatest evil and pleasure is the greatest good is why we struggle so much with it that the common contention. Why is there suffering that we have to come up with some explanations and there are some pretty typical explanations first one is in our text and that is the sin explanation. Notice the question. The disciples pose again verse two. They asked him thank Rabbi who sinned, and what sin must've brought this on who send this man or his parents that he was born blind to see a little trouble with the question, how could you sin if you were born blind. Wordage is sin in the womb. Some of your laughing. But that's exactly what some people believe 2000 years ago there was a belief among many of the Jews 2000 years ago and obviously the disciples they believe in something known as pre-natal sin because some rabbis taught that the impulses for evil developed in the embryonic stages that all sorts of weird stories of baby kicks its rebellion is trying to get out prenatal sin or many were influenced by the thinking of the Greeks. Like Plato, who taught that the soul was immortal. It preexisted before we were born.
All of the souls of humanity existed before creation, and they were waiting around for bodies to inhabit and they those souls could have sin before they were incarnated in the bodies or perhaps it's because they had a bad view of the Scripture that Scripture in Exodus chapter 20 verse five, or God says I will punish the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation will. Some had an erroneous view that if your great grandpa sin. He's in the past that generational curse words coming from Europe that a cast out a sort of idea goes round today that generational curse started way back when not ultimately sin is the root cause of all misfortune in the world but not personal acts of sin are always directly. The cause for evil that we see that was a question will who sin was that this fellow, or was it his parents that he was born blind. There is today. As I handed out at a false theology and see if you recognize says this if you're a Christian, you're not under the curse that everybody else in the world is under and thus if you're a Christian and you have enough faith, you will never experience illness. You'll always walk in perfect health and for you to experience disease is because of sin or Satan. It's an oversimplification of a very complex issue, but essentially, this group of people will look at you with your second ask the Saturday Night Live question from years ago. Could it be Satan. That's what they want, take it as will all one has to do is go back to the book of Job where we look at this man whom God said was perfect. Walked in integrity and there was no one on earth like Job, and yet Job suffered immensely within his friends came along member they said basically the same thing.
They couldn't figure this out. You know these wise men really showed how stupid they were. The moment they talked they were really wise. As long as they kept exempt, but chapter after chapter reveals the same thing. Job there must be sin in your life, you would've had this or if you had faith now, you would be healed.
The truth is, God doesn't automatically remove pain and he doesn't automatically heal all diseases. If you're his child, Chuck Colson puts it very clearly. He writes it's absurd for Christians to constantly seek new demonstrations of God's power to expect a miraculous answer to every need from curing ingrown toenails.
The finding parking places.
This only leads to faith in miracles, rather than faith in God and the truth of the matter is sometimes God will calm the storm for his child and other times he'll just calm his child in the storm while it's blowing in Gale force all around you remain calm. That's one explanation of sin, who send this guy or his parents. There's other explanations of evil and suffering the common one among atheists or agnostics becoming atheists is that there isn't a God there is in a God. This proves there is in the God because how could a God who is all-powerful and all loving, and all-knowing allow evil to exist and it's often put in philosophy classes in a syllogism form or a series of logical statement in here. Here it is the biblical God is loving the biblical God is perfect, the biblical God is all knowing, the biblical God is all-powerful, yet massive evil and suffering exists. Therefore, the biblical God does not exist. That's how they often put it. However there's a problem. Just in the statement. See whenever somebody says there so much evil in the world. It presupposes there must be a standard of goodness for you to say it's evil, where did you get the idea that there was supposed to be goodness is in a test taken in the classroom. If the student gets 90% and another student gets 70%. Another sin gets 50%. It supposes there's a real standard of what hundred percent. So it's the same problem here. If there is no God, then where did we ever get a standard of goodness, by which to call something evil or bad CS Lewis writes, if the universe is so bad. How on earth of human beings ever come to attribute it to the activity of a wise and good creator asked that to your atheistic friends next time they say will there so much evil. There can't be God asked him why is it that 90% of the people who have ever lived on planet Earth in much worse circumstances and suffering than we will ever know have believed in God as all good and all perfect. There's 1/3 explanation, and that is what God would like to help. He does see that there is evil he just can't do it. He wants to know be easy on God give them a break.
He loved to do it.
He just can't, God would love to be involved. God's out there somewhere. He just impotent. He's not powerful.
You might think this is laughable and it is is is wrong, but there's a whole group of people who claim to believe in God believe in Christ to hold to this called open theism or finite God is a more process theology in here.
Here it is. God is a deity in progress. They say, so that the God today is not the same God as it was yesterday, something that is will be tomorrow. He's learning things that God sitting up there going well.
I just learned that that's cool that's not cool so the God is in the process of learning is not absolutely knowledgeable and totally powerful keys growing, learning, development, just like we are. That's the basis of thinking behind a book put out a few years back by Rabbi Harold Kushner called when good things happen to bad people. He says God would love for people to get what they deserve in life, but he can't arrange it. Even God has a hard time keeping chaos in check and then in the book he tells the reader to forgive God and to pray for God. I find that very funny. We pray to God for in a God like that is certainly not a God worth believing in it all.
Sort of like having a big brother who can't stand up for you. When a bully comes around, impotent, powerless. Let's see what Jesus is here now.
He gives a very needful clarification. After that question, and that typical explanation verse three Jesus answered, neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day, the night is coming when no one can work as long as I am in the world I am the light of the world. Don't misunderstand Jesus. He's not saying that this man is sinless and his parents are sinless. Simply saying that neither of their sin directly because this malady.
One thing I really appreciate about our Lord Jesus Christ is he doesn't give Pat predictable packaged little answers to the problem of suffering what he does is he elevates it up to a higher level taking us to the level of the sovereignty of God. So whether you're suffering or you're experiencing evil due to natural causes or sinful causes. Jesus would want you to know that behind it all, God is still in control. He is still sovereign, that's good message from the series the biography of Bruce to share how you can keep these messages coming your way to connect you and others to go.
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