Presentation on theme: "The Reason for God #3 How Can a Good God Allow Suffering?"— Presentation transcript:
The Reason for God #3 How Can a Good God Allow Suffering?
“If you could ask God only one question and you knew he would give you an answer, what would you ask?” “Why is there pain and suffering in the world.”
“…in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)
I. Only the Knowledge of God Makes the Question of Evil Even Relevant.
A. Without God There is No External Moral Standard.
clip from “The Genius of Darwin” http://www.youtube.com /watch?v=ptV9sNezEvk http://www.youtube.com /watch?v=ptV9sNezEvk
“The total amount of suffering in the natural world is beyond all DECENT contemplation.”
Provine clip from “The Truth Project” (You can also get clips from the movie: “Expelled”)
Otta Benga exhibited at the Bronx Zoo in 1906 in the Monkey House (Display sign read) “The African Pigmy, Ota Benga." Age, 23 years. Height, 4 feet 11 inches. Weight, 103 pounds. Brought from the Kasai River, Congo Free State, South Central Africa, by Dr. Samuel P. Verner. Exhibited each afternoon during September.”
“There is only one way out of this conundrum. We can pick up the Biblical account of things and see if it explains our moral sense any better than a secular view. If the world was made by a God of peace, justice, and love, then that is why we know that violence, oppression, and hate are wrong. If the world is fallen, broken, and needs to be redeemed, that explains the violence and disorder we see.”
“If you believe human rights are a reality, then it makes much more sense that God exists than that he does not. If you insist on a secular view of the world and yet you continue to pronounce some things right and some things wrong, then I hope you see the deep disharmony between the world your intellect has devised and the real world (and God) that your heart knows exists.” – Timothy Keller
“Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to; or he cannot and does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, and does not want to, he is wicked. But, if God both can and wants to abolish evil, then how comes evil in the world?” Epicurus 340 B.C
II. God Allows Suffering Because He LOVES us. A. He will not FORCE us to love Him. “…Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love…” (Joel 2:13 NIV)
II. God Allows Suffering Because He LOVES us. A. He will not FORCE us to love Him. B. He will not force us to DO GOOD instead of evil. “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalms 34:14 NIV)
III. God Allows Suffering Because He is a Just God.
A. He must punish sin. “The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished…” (Numbers 14:18 NIV)
III. God Allows Suffering Because He is a Just God. A. He must punish sin.
III. God Allows Suffering Because He is a Just God. A. He must punish sin. B. He must allow the Consequences of sin.
III. God Allows Suffering Because He is a Just God. A. He must punish sin. B. He must allow the Consequences of sin. “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.” (Luke 23:41 NIV)
“He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:3–5 NIV)
IV. He Has a Bigger plan. A. To Enter Suffering Himself. “It can’t be that he is indifferent or detached from our condition. God takes our misery and suffering so seriously that he was willing to take it on himself.” Timothy Keller
IV. He Has a Bigger plan. A. To Enter Suffering Himself. B. To use Suffering to Produce Character in us. “…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:3–5 NIV)
IV. He Has a Bigger plan. A. To Enter Suffering Himself. B. To use Suffering to Produce Character in us. C. To use Suffering to Strengthen our faith. “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you” (Isa. 49:15 NIV).
IV. He Has a Bigger plan. A. To Enter Suffering Himself. B. To use Suffering to Produce Character in us. C. To use Suffering to Strengthen our faith. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:6–7 NIV)
IV. He Has a Bigger plan. A. To Enter Suffering Himself. B. To use Suffering to Produce Character in us. C. To use Suffering to Strengthen our faith. D. To one day RELEASE Man from all suffering. “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:3–4 NIV)