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Good News, Bad News (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
November 26, 2020 3:00 am

Good News, Bad News (Part 1 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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November 26, 2020 3:00 am

A commitment to follow Christ doesn’t guarantee an easy life—yet we’re often surprised when troubles come our way. How can we respond biblically when life seems unfair and suffering seems unjust? Hear the answer on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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Life isn't fair that something most of us started learning at a very early age. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. So why are we surprised when we find ourselves caught in one of life's storms today on Truth for Life Alastair Begg sheds light on the experience of unjust suffering. In a message called good news, bad. Our study begins in Genesis chapter 40 this morning were given an insight into the nature of Joseph that will help us to see that he is very much a man that obviously has never been in doubt, that we may have tended to give to him more of an elevated position than he would ever think for himself.

Our desire again this morning. What we are confronted with is not his integrity are as efficiency, but it is in large measure is human frailty is human frailty.

His willingness to accept circumstances which he so clearly did not.

As we find out in this chapter prevent 10 from trying to change them.

Joseph was not a fatalist.

He recognized that while a man's heart devises his way.

The Lord directs his steps. He recognized that ultimately all of his days, and all of his decisions were under God's providential care, but he recognized also that God had given them online with which to think that he had given them the ability to take initiative that he had made him influential in different ways and so it is that he is not unwilling to take the initiative in relationship to his circumstances, and particularly in trying to change the he gives the news to the cupbearer that within three days. His circumstances are going to be rectified and will no longer be in jail, his head will be lifted up, and he will be restored to freedom and to usefulness and the prospect of his immediate discharge from the jail obviously triggers in the mind of Joseph. His own personal interest in being liberated from this dungeon, and which normal man would not think along those lines to be given the ability to give a word of prophecy concerning this individual in the fact that he will be out and enjoying the sunshine without somehow thinking how much he would enjoy that would be to be less than natural less than normal. And so, in his humanity and in his normalcy. Look at what he says when all goes well with you. Verse 14.

Remember me, show me kindness mentioned me to Pharaoh, get me out of this prison because the facts he says in verse 15 are as stated.

I was forcibly carried off even here. I haven't done anything wrong and I don't deserve to be in this dungeon. The cupbearer must've looked at him and said well you certainly have a point there, he would have understood Joseph's request very clearly straightforward to the point.

Remember me, show me kindness mentioned me doing you can to get me out of this jail. It was an appeal to human kindness. It was a very normal thing from one man to another just cast your gaze to verse 23 and look at what a rascal. This cupbearer was the chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph.

He forgot him.

So Joseph was opposed, imprisoned, maligned and misunderstood slander falsely accused and wrongfully persecuted apart from negative same as having a very nice day, and it may be that some of those words seem to fit your bill this morning. How was your day been how is your week been to any of these words fit you, opposed, imprisoned, maligned, misunderstood slander falsely accused, wrongfully persecuted in this respect, as in many others.

Joseph was a foreshadowing of Jesus, who was to come first Peter chapter 2 concerning the Lord Jesus.

We read in verse 22 of Jesus he committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth when they hurled their insults at him, which were unjustifiable insults. He did not retaliate when he suffered unjustly.

He made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly not as I began to study Genesis 14 as I began to think about the events unfolding between 39 and into 40, I was struck by the fact that the expedience of Joseph in terms of unjust suffering is an experience with which any true believer will become familiar there will be seasons in our lives where similarly we find ourselves on the receiving end of accusation slander maligning imprisonment of some form or another, and they happen in our homes in our school.

In the context of our everyday work and it may even happen within the framework of the church and the one thing which makes it so difficult to deal with is the fact of its injustice. I mean, even when we have acknowledged all of our wrong and all of the contribute three elements of our own lives and lifestyle. Still, no matter how hard we try to look at it in another way, when we lay it all out before as objectively as we can. We say you know what I have been taking here against my will. I have not done these wrong things and I don't deserve to be in this dungeon. He had no right to say that she had no right to think that they had no right to do that. And here I am. It is a downright injustice that is exactly what Joseph is saying in describing his circumstance and so I pause in my notes and I said okay what do we need to note here about unjust suffering and the response of a person to unjust suffering because if we take it there were all going to suffer unjustly that it would be good at least to know how we should approach them when it comes along. Especially if we made a hash of it so far because there's more to come and we can at least get ready for the next onslaught.

So for things about responding to unjust suffering. The first thing is this, do not be surprised when you suffer unjustly. First Peter chapter 4 and verse 12.

That is exactly the phrase which Peter uses in writing to the scattered believers of his day. He says I don't want you to be surprised at the fiery trial that is coming upon you the painful trial. It says in the NIV, I think fiery in the authorized version. Don't be surprised at this.

He says your suffering as though something strange were happening to you the Gentiles, especially were not familiar with the idea suffering because you were religious they had an approach to religion, which was fairly tolerant, as we'll see later on, and consequently, the idea of being a religious person and being a good person and then suffering because you where it just wasn't in their computer program and so Peter writes to them, and he recognizes the sense of surprise, which may well accompany this experience, and he says I don't want you to be taken off guard by. You should recognize that this is going to happen. In much the same way that a father will sit down with his children before they go off to college or make their way in the world and will say to them now. You should recognize that this will happen that these things will be in front of you and Wendy do I want you to remember that I told you this. I want to remember that I prepared you for. And so Peter pastoring is and where those to whom he writes rights out of the love of his heart and he says make sure that suffering especially unjust suffering does not take you off guard.

You see the great temptation is to regard suffering is a strange misfortune to regard suffering as totally out of step with whatever following Jesus is really about. And if that was a concern in first century Cappadocia and Bithynia are the idiot in which Peter was writing it surely a concern to whom I am speaking because the same perspective is pervasive today that many people are living with the mistaken notion that all will be well now that I have made my commitment or I have endeavored to follow after Jesus because after all we've said to herself that is that Romans 828 verse all things in all things God works for the good of those who love him and we have made that equal our benefit and our blessing and our health and our security and our freedom and everything else.

Frankly, we wanted to be. We made the whole package and put it all together in a bundle and so anybody who is living with that notion of what it means to be a Christian is going to be surprised by unjust suffering because from that perspective. Suffering is really no place in our theology of tall other question of course is how can you possibly arrive at such a conclusion. The idea that because you follow Jesus Christ all will be well. The events of the week. That is just past denying that the facts of life. Do not substantiated and the words of Jesus nor the example of his followers give no credence to it or talk. For example, think of the life of Jesus himself.

John chapter 19 Jesus in the context of Pilate's Hall and the interrogation that was taking place there with Pilate where did we get this idea that service for Christ is an insurance policy against trial and pain and persecution. Where did we find that we have the right to go to bed angry because we lost our job or because our health was failing because everything didn't work out.

Where did we get this idea that the Christian life was a bargain. You know I do something good for you, God, and then you do a couple of good things for me and I don't expect you to let your side of the bargain down whenever we got it from winning. Get it from the Bible. We certainly didn't get it from the pages of the new test. John chapter 19 Jesus before Pilate actually at the end of 18 Pilate says the first of a number of times concerning Jesus 1838 he goes out to the Jews, and he says I find no basis for a charge against him. Pilate was convinced of one thing to things he was convinced that the opponents of Jesus were trying to manipulate the circumstances against him and he was convinced that Jesus was not guilty of the accusations. Therefore, any suffering which Jesus would experience would be on just suffering now despite that fact he says I find no basis for a charge against him, and then the opening verse of chapter 19 then Pilate to Jesus and had him flogged now. Is there some kind of non-sequential thought in this.

I find no basis for a charge against him should then be followed by so Pilate took him and released him. But no, I find no basis for a charge against him. So Pilate took him and had him flopped verse six as soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, crucified, crucified, and Pilate answered you take him and crucify him. As for me I find no basis for a charge against no Peter writing of this back in the verses that we were at before in first Peter chapter 2, and in verse 20 asked the question, then, of the believers. How is it to your credit.

If you receive a beating for doing wrong, and in June it at school in Scotland. We got belted with a leather belt. The teachers carry the belt. The man at least carry the belt in their jacket over their shoulder like this as a kid you learn to look very carefully at situations and particularly if the guy was right handed. You always check over his shoulder in his suit coat to see if the telltale 2 inch lump was there over his thing because that was where he went to pull the implement of destruction and beat you on your hands held out in front of you like this. Sometimes ones mostly twice a lot of times for an on bad day six okay knife you mean a total pain if you'd been deceitful if you'd been corrupt and you got belted, nobody commiserated with you because they understood the cause and effect you violated the command you were punished for doing wrong.

You deserve it. Let's get on with life.

But on the few occasions when an injustice was done and you are belted for something that was caused by another. The sense of support and camaraderie in the class was almost palpable because they recognize the injustice in the punishment that it taken place and every mind recognizes the injustice in the punishment. The two place in relationship to Jesus and in the punishment which was going to take place in following Jesus first Peter 220 B but if you suffer for doing good and you in June. This is commendable before God to this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps. Turning back a couple of pages to Hebrews Chapter 11 in the great heroes of the faith, the great picture gallery of those who were following Christ and is he goes through and identifies different portraits by name.

He eventually comes to a more genetic statement regarding a great glut of people who had suffered unjustly for Christ and he says in verse 36 of Hebrews 11 some face jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison.

They were stoned, they were sawn into they were put to death by sword. They went about in sheepskins and goat skins, destitute, persecuted and ill treated. The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and in holes in the ground why because of their commitment to Jesus Christ, not because they had done bad things, but because they were committed to doing good things, not because they had brought down upon themselves rightful justice, but that they had brought down upon themselves the bowls of human raw and loved ones this morning.

Let us make sure that we understand this, we do a great disservice to the Bible and to all who have gone before us to continue to perpetrate this silly and false idea that because we live in their privilege to live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, but somehow or another. All of this stuff about unjust suffering has to do with another day and another time that is far away from us. After all, we're Americans you know how democracy is unimpeded right to enjoy ourselves all the time is an inalienable right. And especially now that we have baptized Christianity into it.

We have made it some soft soap Shelley Shelley little deal where the average teenage kid wants nothing to do with it.

Where that thoughtful student on a university campus. Regards. It is absolutely bogus where our intellectual mind in the mainstream of educational research. Regards it as her triviality, and while people with heart and hearts want to know how would ever be that any of these Christians could ever of adding to say to them when after all, all that we they are to portray is that we are powerful and we are effective and we are healthy and we are wise and we know everything know we don't wear the scum of the earth. That's what Paul describes himself as in first Corinthians 4. He says we are as ministers of the gospel, amongst other things, the off scouring of thoughts.

When you go to put them in the dishwasher the junk that you take and flake down the garbage disposal. As you rinse it and put it in the dishwasher. He says if you want to know how to think about is think about is like night. Where did we get the idea. Where did we get a Christianity were Jesus does all the dying.

Where to begin a Christianity were Jesus is the only one appears across a Christianity were Jesus is the only one who wears a crown attorney what we can get in the new test. If you take the environment in which Paul was functioning in the Roman Empire. You know enough about it to understand this, that in the Roman Empire. You had a pluralist culture at always get confused by the word pluralism is the theory that the ultimate reality of the universe important for my own notes now consists of a plurality of entities okay. Pluralism says that truth cannot be and is not in one dogma or any one person or in one entity. Pluralism says it is in multiple entities. Syncretism advances that and says it is in the blending of all of these entities that we come to a discovery of the truth and in that mindset there's always room for another God, but I firmly believe this in my own heart as a look to the future that evangelical Christianity in the form of which we proclaim it with an inerrant Bible coming again. Christ totally divine, totally human one God in 33 and one at orthodox biblical Christianity will not be tolerated in the American pluralistic New Age world and I'll tell you why because pluralists can only tolerate pluralists.

They cannot tolerate.

Indeed, they are mercilessly intolerant towards those who refused to subscribe to their agnostic and universal views and if you doubt that, go on a university campus. If you doubt that, go on a high school campus. If you doubt that, see it straight in your office or in your factory and your people will be with you right up until the point of the penny drops in the understand that what you are seeing is Jesus is the way the truth and the life and nobody comes to the father except through him, and that phrase except through him, is anathema in a pluralistic world with. It is the culture of wrong or the culture of Cleveland and that's why I'm so afraid of all the blurring of the edges of all the dimming of the distinctives of all the great mass movement.

Joseph I don't deserve to be here this suffering is unjust. The way that some of us feel answer, don't be surprised that some important reminder from Alastair beg from a message called good news bad news on Truth for Life. If you are a regular Truth for Life list or you know we teach directly from the Bible every day of the year because it is the very word of God is unchanging and without error infect you often hear Alastair begin our program by inviting you to open your Bible.

That's because the entirety of our mission Truth for Life is to teach God's word clearly and in a way that is relevant to your life.

But most importantly we do this with the assurance that God will work in the lives of those who listen to bring them to saving faith in the Lord Jesus, thank you for your generous giving and your prayers and support of this mission were grateful to be able to offer all of the teaching from Truth for Life at no cost online and through our app store.

So please remember us as you plan your year-end giving and with Christmas coming right up.

Let me remind you of a new devotional book written by Christopher it's called repeat the sounding joy, and it takes us into the Christmas story is found in Scripture, there are songs and prayers. You will begin to see Christmas through the eyes of those who were present when Jesus was born requester copy when you visit Truth for or The book image in the mobile app if you'd rather mail your donation along with your request for the book, write to us at Truth for Life.

Our address is PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, Ohio. ZIP Code is 44139 by Bob Lapine want to wish everybody in the United States a happy Thanksgiving. Our offices are closed today so that our team can be celebrating this day with family on behalf of all of us have a blessed and joyful Thanksgiving tomorrow. Alastair continues his message titled good news bad news by explaining how believers should approach unjust suffering.

The Bible teaching of Alastair beg is furnished by Truth for Life for the Learning is for Living

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