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Why Does God Allow Suffering? Series: Apologetics 101 Text: Romans 8:18.

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Presentation on theme: "Why Does God Allow Suffering? Series: Apologetics 101 Text: Romans 8:18."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why Does God Allow Suffering? Series: Apologetics 101 Text: Romans 8:18

2 Why Suffering? This life is filled with tragedy, horror and the saddest, most depressing stories of suffering, hardship and needless deaths. It is easy to understand why people question God’s existence. The devastation of millions due to Tsunamis, earthquakes and other natural disasters. The millions killed in wars, revolutions and by ruthless dictators. The terrible famines and droughts that have stolen multiple millions of lives. The millions killed yearly around the world through accidental deaths. The merciless waves of sickness and disease which has robbed millions, of quality life, and in many cases caused slow painful deaths. And the increase of violent crime and madmen who take pleasure in the suffering and killing of their fellow humans.

3 Why Suffering? How can there be a God who is compassionate and loving to all He has made, and infinitely good, yet this same God can allow these senseless tragedies to occur? How can God just sit back and allow such great evil and suffering to take place continually? These are tough questions, and one answer may satisfy one situation, but not satisfy another. So to answer them satisfactorily let’s firstly look at the question.

4 The Question of Suffering The question of suffering has been one of the greatest arguments of Atheists for the non-existence of God. The Argument is something like this: 1. If God, exists, then why is their suffering and evil? 2. Because there is suffering and evil, then God does not exist.

5 How does an Atheist Explain suffering? If the atheist is true and God does not exist then how does the atheist explain suffering and what hope does the atheist offer as a consolation? One atheist answered that question by saying, “As an atheist, I see no actual need to really ‘explain’ suffering.” Reading a number of blogs and answers of this question to atheists, I was shocked at the incoherence and absolute hopelessness of their answers, the answer I placed above really sums up their view. The Atheist demands an explanation in relation to suffering from the Christian, and rejects every effort to give an explanation, but has no answer themselves. Suffering from an atheist’s perspective is just the natural result of evolution, the human race will eventually destroy itself and the universe will go to an eventual heat death.

6 How does an Atheist Explain suffering? So what hope does an atheist have when they suffer? From all my research to discover any kind of hope for an atheist, about the only hope they have is that when they die, their existence will cease. Their hope is oblivion, eternal nothingness. They believe that they are only conscious because they are part of a physical body, therefore, they conclude that with the death of the body comes an end to any kind of consciousness altogether. There is actually no evidence for that belief system, it is assumed and not verified, nor can it be verified, infact, it is an incredible gamble to believe it.

7 How does an Atheist Explain suffering? If the atheist belief system is true and we will all rest in oblivion (atheist heaven) then my being a Christian will not exclude me from entering into eternal nothingness. But if the Christian belief system is true: that those who accept Jesus as God and Saviour will enter into Heaven, then the atheist will be excluded from entering into heaven. The Christian has nothing to lose and everything to gain, whereas the atheist has everything to lose and a hope of oblivion to be gained.

8 How Does a Christian Explain Suffering? I believe that it requires absolute faith to believe in God and Christ without fully understanding why God allows suffering. There are some things which we will not fully understand in this life but despite our lack of understanding, true hope in God is to still believe. Many atheists convince themselves that the argument against the existence of God due to there being suffering and evil in the world is valid and water tight. Their argument can go like this:

9 Atheist Argument Ravi Zacharias in his book, ‘The Real Face of Atheism’ gives us an overview of the 4 premises of their argument: 1) There is evil in the world 2) If there were a God, he would have done something about it. 3) Nothing has been done about it. 4) Therefore, there is no God.

10 Theist Argument #1 Ravi Zacharias gives us two powerful rebuttle arguments: 1) Yes, there is evil in the world. 2) If there is evil, there must be good (a problem the atheist has to explain). 3) If there is good and evil, there must be a moral law on which to judge between good and evil. 4) If there is a moral law, there must be a moral law giver. 5) For the theist, this points to God.

11 Theist Argument #2 1) There is evil in the world. 2) There is nothing inconsistent about evil and the freedom of the will within the framework of a loving Creator. 3) In fact, concepts of love and goodness are unexplainable unless there is a God. 4) Since human beings do experience love and goodness, it argues for the reality of God. 5) Therefore, it is not unreasonable to believe that God exists.

12 How Does a Christian Explain Suffering? F.J Sheed said, “Suffering would be altogether intolerable if there was no God. Atheism answers, that the fact of suffering proves that there is no God. But this does not reduce the world’s sufferings by one hair-breadth, it only takes away hope.” The Bible never promised us that we would not suffer, but teaches us how to suffer. Romans 5:3-4 “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” 2Corinthians 1:5 “For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”

13 How Does a Christian Explain Suffering? John Henry Newman said, “If this life is the end, and there is no God to wipe away all tears from all our eyes, why, I could go mad. Even the unbelieving philosopher Carl Yung said, “Man is never helped in his suffering by what he thinks for himself, but only by revelation of a wisdom greater than his own. It is this which lifts him out of his distress.” God never promised to keep you from suffering but He did give us a way to go through it. Suffering has never proved that God does not exist, but in many cases has actually brought the sufferer to a firm belief in God.

14 Meaning in Atheism??? Atheist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” Question is, without God, what meaning did Neitzsche find in suffering and what meaning kept him from surviving his eventual death? Without God what meaning is there in suffering and death? The atheist will try to strip the Christian of hope, and try to convince them that there is no God and try to persuade them to share in their ‘no hope’ view of life and death.

15 How Does a Christian Explain Suffering? No explanation for suffering is 100% satisfactory, but certainly the Christian faith is a tremendous comfort to those suffering. Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” No matter what the suffering, when we hold to the faith in spite of it we will be rewarded 100 fold in the Kingdom. Paul said in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Paul saw living in Christ as the reason for life, which is a far greater reason than atheism, but he also saw dying in Christ as a move towards a better life.

16 Conclusion So to conclude: I believe that hope in God is infinitely better than no hope at all. Hope in God can become rock solid and provide us with not only faith to go through the tough times in life and beyond the grave, but also can be justified and be extremely intellectually satisfying. But we must remember, we only get out what we put in, if you take a real shallow look at the faith and the Bible, you will be easily talked out of the faith, but if you really absorb yourself in it, you will discover that the answer to every objection is within its pages.

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