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October 26, 2020 2:00 am
We can't just deal with the problem of pain and evil theoretically or academically. On a practical level, we have a spiritual obligation. Skip talks about what that is as he wraps up the message "The Dark Side of God."
This teaching is from the series The Biography of God.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Suffering in the hands of a loving God can produce great. Now, never getting personally to all of us suffering pain even evil in the hands of a loving God bring about great.
David said before I was afflicted I went astray.
But now I keep your apostle Paul said that our trials produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs the last and today on connect with Skip Skip bring some clarity to the problem of pain encouraging you to take your faith to a practical level before we begin. Here's a great resource to draw on philosophy and science to help you understand how you can know him on a deeper level. Thomas Jefferson Martin Luther King Jr. Winston Churchill CS Lewis. All are outstanding men with amazing life stories in all of history one biography stands out above the rest. I'm excited to announce the release of my new book, the biography of God which gives an in-depth look at God's character and nature, diving into the theological and personal profile of our heavenly father, I invite you on the journey to search the Scriptures to discover who God is and how sensitive he is to the human condition.
This process will both lift you up and humble you to get your copy of my newest book, the biography of God skips the book is our thanks when you give $35 or more today to help keep this ministry only air, call 800-922-1888, or give online securely connectwithskip.com/offer John chapter 9 as we get into the teaching with skip-there is today. As I handed out here that a false theology and see if you recognize says that if you're a Christian, you're not under the curse that everybody else in the world is under and thus if you're Christian and you have enough faith, you will never experience illness. You'll always walk in perfect health and for you to experience diseases because of sin or Satan. It's an oversimplification of a very complex issue, but essentially, this group of people will look at you at their second asked the Saturday Night Live question from years ago. Could it be Satan.
That's what they want to 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. But then his friends came along member they said basically the same thing they can 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 wouldn't have this or if you have faith how 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. Another time, so 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 a God. This proves there is a God because how could a God who is all-powerful and all loving, and all-knowing allow evil to exist and is 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. Whenever somebody says there so much evil in the world.
It presupposes there must be a standard of goodness for you to say people were did you get the idea that there was supposed to be goodness see in a test taken in a classroom. If a student gets 90% and another student gets 70%. Another student 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's 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 that believe in God as all good and all perfect.
There's 1/3 explanation, and that is what I 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 is 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 and 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 is not the same gutters will be tomorrow. He's learning things that God sent not 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. He's 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. You 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.
He 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 choices, but that the works of God should be revealed in him melena you couple points that speak to this number one God did not create evil. He never created evil. He only enabled the possibility of evil to exist how to do that because he created people with free will, and create evil he created or allowed the possibility the potentiality of evil by creating people with free will man comes along and actualize is the potentiality following day make reality. What is just a possibility, and they choose to go against God, which brings up the inevitable next question when God why would God create anybody with free will. If that's the case, knowing that, why make a creature with free will simply this, you can have a world where people have genuine freedom unless there is the potential for evil and sin if there's no free will.
There's no genuine love and of love is the greatest and highest man can achieve, then a loving God couldn't create a world unless he gave creatures the freedom to choose anything they wanted God and created over to want to point out here suffering in the hands of a loving God can produce great good. Not now were getting personal.
Here, to all of us suffering pain even evil in the hands of a loving God can bring about great good. David said before I was afflicted I went astray. But now I keep your word. I give an example. Something that I read the really make sense to me was like philosopher named Peter.
Retrieved of the Yale University's okay. Imagine a bear caught in the trap.
Hunter comes along, sees the bear and the trap is concerned for the bear and wants to set the bear free so he tries to win the bear's confidence unsuccessfully lack of communication. The hundred tribes reveal himself to the bear is sweet even make happy sounds and dispense time and gives a little bit of food but it doesn't really help the bear in that cage so he knows he has to shoot the bear with a tranquilizer gun shoot with drugs to sedated to move it out of the way so he shoots at the bear and the Bears automatically in attack mode thinking. This is an enemy of God to destroy it. You want something that's harmful to me. Furthermore, the hunter has to push poked the bear back in the cage because he's on the mechanism that keeps the door shut so all of these overtures make the bear think this guys out to kill me. He's my enemy. Why is the Bears in the human the Baird and understand the motivation of the hunter. He has no faculties to understand in the same way. We cannot comprehend all of God's movements or allowances in our lives anymore than a bear in a cage can understand what a hunter wants who's trying to set them free and that's why you and I must be careful whenever we designate something is bad when God is actually using it as something very good. We say it's wrong we say it's unjust we say it's evil we say it's bad and it might be actually very good. This is seen in chemistry. You can take to harmful substances when combined in the right way become a blessing.
Sodium and chlorine both in and of themselves, poisonous, combined him sodium chloride that salt do people a lot of good music and flavor your food.
An awful lot more than it would be for didn't have it can be actually good. This is all theoretical right up to this point.
Let's get practical.
God plays by his own rulebook.
He tried this on himself see God took what most people would say is the very worst thing that ever happened in human history and turned it into something that was the very best thing that could happen in human history.
I'm speaking of the cross.
What could be worse than the death of God. When Jesus was nailed to that cross people around thought. Who knew who Jesus was, that this is the worst thing ever. Not knowing that it was the best thing ever that that would open the door for the salvation of millions of people from that point onward. Salvation. So if ultimate evil can bring about ultimate good with Jesus when we suppose that that could happen elsewhere like in our lives so that if things are happening that are bad and painful and were suffering the gods behind all this actually working out something good. We don't understand it but God's in control. I could list several benefits but limit is give you a couple number one the development of character people that you've met who impressed you the most, who in your life that you've met at the deepest character. The most to offer the best perspective, but those who have suffered the most. If you would ask Corrie 10 boom was in a concentration camp. While she was in it was God. She might be tempted to say first I do know she came to know and later on she looked back on.
That is the plan of God. If you were to ask Johnny Erickson taught a became a quadriplegic right after her diving accident how she felt about it, she probably would say I feel suicidal. This is horrible.
How can God allow this to happen. Years later, she would say it's the best thing God ever allowed to happen in my life. Number two. What about repentance, how many people have we met him in times of suffering, be it a divorce. The sickness or death of a loved one has been brought to Christ by that I can think of so many one-story pops out to me a guy I had been witnessing to hear. One time in his life was a drug Lord in another country and attempted assassin of the president of that country. His mother called me and said I talked to my son about the gospel I did. He didn't want to hear. Then he developed cancer and right before his death he gave his life to Christ, so with that mother rather have a child would live on and on to become a PhD and influence the world with his great knowledge and then die and go to hell or his son that would develop cancer, receive Christ and is tonight and forever will be in heaven. God use that is my question to you.
To me, to all of us. Are you willing to embrace your suffering. If it drives you to God, and if it drives you to God, and the relationship is deepened, then is it really bad. Remember as a kid for Christmas. I get a lot of different gifts at Christmas.
Some I liked, some I did not like bicycles and trains I like those gloves and underwear. I needed both gifts. I can live on trains and bicycles. I needed other things to balance out my life and they were all gifts they were all good and that's why Job when all of the bad things that happened to him happen. He fell down is that the Lord gives the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. We can close there. We have to finish out the story leads us to 1/4 point and that is an obligation spiritual obligation. Up to this point we've just been dealing with the academic theoretical for the most part with some application, but the verse four again I must work the works of him who sent me while it is day night is coming when no one can work as long as I am in the world on the light of the world when he said these things, he spat on the ground and made Calais with his saliva. I'm sure the disciples would like.
What is he up to.
Maybe he was forming an eyeball but spit in your eye. Always wonder why a lot of televangelists don't do what Jesus did, they would be so popular you noted the eyes of the blind man with Clay and he said to him, go wash in the pool of siloing which is translated, sent so he went and washed and came back seeing is what I want you to see to Jesus Christ. This blind beggar was not an academic case to be discussed in the theology class or school of ministry.
He was a person who needed compassion. He needed to be healed and he said the day is going to wear out, that's that the time where I have opportunity and we have opportunity to help and heal in the blasts and effects. See there's coming a day when you and I will be forever in perfection in heaven and in heaven were not to be able to pray for people to be healed. Everybody will be record be able to counsel people or alleviate suffering or pass out of track and evangelize. So right now is the day.
Here is the period of opportunity so we can just deal with the problem of pain and evil theoretically or academically. That's a copout with a spiritual obligation. I saw a cartoon that to turtles why turtles on no, but the cartoon guy wanted to turtles.
So you're talking to each other and one turtle said no. Sometimes I like to ask God why he allows poverty and disease, and famine and injustice when he could do something about it and the other turtle said to him, and I'm afraid God might ask me the same question here.
We are the body of Christ, the hands, feet, the mouthpiece, the outreach, the expression of our Savior and we have that responsibility to think about it throughout history who have typically been the ones to alleviate suffering and pain and hardship spin the believers in Jesus Christ were going to war torn areas and in his name alleviate suffering.
So how do Christians deal with evil.
How do we deal with evil and pain and suffering in the world that God made by putting it all in perspective. Yes, the biblical God is all loving, yes, the biblical God is all-knowing and all powerful and everywhere present and one day he will judge evil, and he will eradicate injustice and until then until he does. I need to help alleviate it. And I need to let it work for me and not be so quick to say it's evil or bad or unjust or unfair to allow it to work for me. Let the pain work for you. I close with a paragraph. Once upon a time there was a little plant small stunted growing under the shade of a broad spreading oak the little plant value. The shade that covered it and the rest which its noble friend. The oak afforded one day a woodsman came along and with his razor-sharp acts cut down the oak tree. The tiny plant wept and cried. My shelter has departed and now the rough winds will blow upon me and the storms will uproot me nonsense that the woodsman now. The sunshine will reach you and now the rain will be able to fall in more abundance on you than ever before in your stunted form will spring up. That's really good for me to hear God looks upon my stunted Christian growth and says I've got shots what it takes to make you into a strong persevering godly well-rounded person I'm after your growth. All things point. Wouldn't it be a lot easier to believe if Romans 828 said there's a few things and work together for good or okay most things work together for good to those who love God, but remember what it says all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose.
You believe that all things remember all things next time pebble hit your little theological and all things we hear the bad news. All things the doctor calls all things, all things Skip message today from the series the biography of God right now you Skip to tell you what you support these messages coming your way connection more people to God's life. We've all experienced pain and hardship in this world, but when we have Jesus Christ. We can look beyond those hardships to our future glory and home with him in heaven and we want others to experience eternity with Christ.
That's why we are always working to share the gospel with as many people as possible, we would love for you to consider partnering and that work today so that you and many others can live in the light of Jesus love her so you can give a gift today. Visit connectwithskip.com/donate to give your gift today that's connectwithskip.com/donate or call 800-922-1888. Again, that's 800-922-1888 coming up tomorrow Skip the apostle Paul's life to show you how God guides June New York's second Corinthians 517 says for we walk by and not by sight. We walk by faith, we don't walk by sight. We don't want by a printed out agenda. We don't want by a 10 year plan to make a 10 year plan does not appear Christian God has editing right we walk by faith and that's the guidance principle is so Skip visitation of connection communication through ever-changing time