Posts Tagged ‘Question from a student’

Is It God’s Will For Us To Get Sick?

Don’t forget that UNITED is tonight at 6:30pm in Clifton Park! We are making a HUGE concert announcement!! Think BIG!

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Question From A Student

(Click HERE to view other questions)

question-mark.gif QUESTION: Is it God’s will for us to get sick?

This is kind of a continuation of last week’s question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”. I got asked these types of questions the most. We all wonder about this stuff sometimes, especially when either we or a family member or friend is sick or hurt.

God is sovereign. All that means is that God is powerful or “mighty” over everything. He has the power to do literally anything that He wants. Amazing thought, right? The problem is that we in our human minds can’t comprehend that. We are finite. Naturally the result of trying to think about what all that entails causes us to come up with questions.

That means that God can do either of two things:

1. He can directly CAUSE something to happen.

2. He can passively ALLOW something to happen.

 For example, God caused the creation of the perfect, sinless Adam and Eve, then He allowed them to rebel against Him. He did not cause them to sin and He certainly could have stopped them, but He chose not to for His own purposes and to bring about His perfect plan. God knew that if He “caused” them to stay perfect, then Adam and Eve would have no true reason to love God. Love requires the “choice” to love. Make sense?

The sin of Adam and Eve brought every type of evil to the earth – both moral evil (sin), and natural evil (sickness and natural disasters etc…). The word “evil” literally means to perverse something that was originally good. In the case of sickness, illness is a state where good health is missing.

When Adam sinned, he condemned all of humanity to suffer the consequences of that sin, one of which is sickness.

“Against its will, everything on earth was subjected to God’s curse. 21 All creation anticipates the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children,  including the new bodies he has promised us.” Romans 8:22-23

Even though we live in a cursed world, God still uses that pain oftentimes for good. The gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are loaded with situations where Jesus used sickness to reveal the fact that He truly was the Son of God.

When illness does come, it may not be the result of God’s direct intervention in our lives, but is rather the result of the fallen world, fallen bodies, and poor health and lifestyle choices. God wants us to do our part to be healthy. Either way, God oftentimes uses our sickness to teach us something.

I can think of countless situations where through sickness and hardships, people grew closer and closer to God, and it changed their lives for the better.

So…Sickness is definitely the result of the Fall of man into sin, but God is very much in control and He DOES often determine how far evil can go (just as He did with Satan and Job’s trials (Book of Job) —Satan was not allowed to exceed those boundaries). He tells us He is all-powerful about fifty-six times in the Bible, and it is amazing to see how His sovereignty dovetails with the choices we make (both bad and good) to work out in a perfect plan.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together F35 for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28

For those who are Christians and are suffering with illnesses such as cancer etc…, the knowledge that they can glorify God through their suffering tempers the uncertainty as to why He has allowed it, something they may not truly understand until they stand in His presence in eternity. At that time, all questions will be answered.

Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

Don’t forget that UNITED LIVE is tonight with Aaron Cavin!! This is the HUGE event that only takes place once a month! Bring your cell phone? Yes, this is the first and probably last time I will ever encourage students to bring their cell phone!

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 QUESTION FROM A STUDENT

(Click HERE to view the other questions)

question-mark.gifQuestion: How can God allow bad things to happen to good people?

This is going to kind of be a re-post from last year when I got asked the same question. This question has been one of the most asked questions that I have ever received.

This is one of the biggest questions that people have about all of Christianity! If God is all-powerful, why doesn’t he stop “innocent” people from suffering. Even further, why doesn’t He stop Christians from suffering? I am only going to be able to barely scratch the surface on this blog post, but will re-visit this in the near future.

Here are some facts from the Bible to help understand more about us and God:

- In Genesis, God created all things “good”. (Genesis 1:31)

- God did not create evil. (Romans 5:12)

- God created man sinless, but with the freedom to “choose”. (Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:15-17)

- With the freedom to choose, comes the freedom to make right and wrong decisions. He gave us the choice to either obey or disobey him.

- God wants us to TRULY love Him, but He knows that forced love is not TRUE love. We must CHOOSE to love Him!

The bottom line is that God could intervene (after all, He IS all-powerful) in the world by forcing us to love Him, but that would make us merely robots without a choice. Unfortunately, throughout history we have made many poor choices. Often those wrong choices bring about consequences that end up hurting ourselves or other people, sometimes innocent victims who didn’t deserve it. I can do everything in my power to do the right thing, but be driving down the road only to be hit by a drunk driver. That driver’s poor choices would have led to me (the “innocent” guy) getting hurt.

Sometimes it looks as if there is no justice in the world. Just turn on the news for five minutes! CS Lewis has said that over 80% of the worlds suffering is a direct result of the evil of mankind. The Bible does say that God is a God of justice. Life in this world is only temporary and every single person will stand before God one day to answer for the things we have done here on earth, both good and bad. Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account”.

God will often use the trials we go through to teach us valuable lessons and to make us better Christ followers. God is working in us even when bad things seem to be happening! Sometimes it is the trials that we go through that brings us to God! I will blog more about this angle in a later week.

So, why do bad things happen to good people? Because we live in a diseased world full of sin! Sometimes there will be situations that come up that are hard to explain, but we have to remember that God loves us and cares for us. We need to be able to say to God, “I don’t know what to do in this situation but I know that you are God, and that you have my best interest in mind, so I’m going to trust you!” We live in this world for now, so we have to constantly battle the affects of poor choices.

The good news is that a time is coming when there will be no more suffering for those that accept Jesus. In heaven, God has created a place of eternal glory where there will be no more crying, pain, sickness, or death; a place where people will share his joy forever. One of my favorite verses in all of the Bible says, And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

I’m not surprised by seeing or hearing what is going on in the world today! We reap what we sow! That is as an individual and as a country.

Another question that can be asked is, “Why does God allow good things to happen to bad people?” Hmmmm.

I read a quote somewhere recently that said, “This world is the only hell that believers with experience.” I thought that was interesting. What do you think about that statement?

How Can I Know If Something Is Wrong?

Don’t forget that UNITED is tonight at 6:30 in Clifton Park! New separate environments for Middle School and High School! See you there! NO…IT IS NOT CANCELED! :)

ALSO…there will be a special edition of Question From A Student on Friday. The question is, “WHERE DID HALLOWEEN COME FROM?” I will even write the whole post in this fun orange color! Yaaaaay!

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QUESTION FROM A STUDENT

(Click HERE to view other questions)

question-mark.gif

QUESTION: How do I know if something is wrong (sin) or not?

This is something that we all struggle with. Why? Because we all have the urge to do what’s wrong inside of us…the Bible calls it a sin nature. Simply put, sin is anything that we do that goes against the laws of God.

“Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God.” 1 John3:4

To keep this short, here are some thoughts for you:

- The easiest part is the fact that the Bible directly lays out in black and white some guidelines for us. The Bible specifically declares certain actions to be sin. For example, read the following verses – Exodus 20:1-10, Proverbs 6:16-19, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Those verses are just a few of so many where God paints a clear picture of what is a sin against Him. There is no doubt as to whether those things are sins.

- The big question here would be, “what about the things that the Bible does not cover?” Well, what I can say is that the absence of it from the Bible does not mean that it is okay. While the Bible might not list every single sin that can ever be committed, it does give us principles that we can turn to in order to be able to make a good decision.

It is good to ask not whether something is wrong, but, rather, if something is definitely good! 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” If there is room for doubt as to whether or not something “glorifies God”, then it is usually best to walk away. The problem is that so many of us, myself included, don’t walk away.

- Another thing we can do is ask, “who does this affect?” We are called to do two things – LOVE GOD and LOVE OTHERS! (Mark 12:29-30) If you think about it, if everyone followed those two commands, then there would not be a need for laws, government etc… Every wrong thing that we do affects either our relationship with God, or with other people! Every single wrong thing! Before we do something, we should ask, “who will this affect?” and “how will this affect them?”.

- As I said above, we exist to bring God glory. He is to be the number one priority in our lives! No habit, desire, recreation, relationship, dream etc… should ever take priority over conforming to God’s will. Only God should control our lives! Don’t become “enslaved” to anything! (1 Corinthians 6:12)

“And whatever you do or say, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17

The good thing is that while we will always have our “sin nature” in this life, we don’t have to let that sin control us! You can ask God to forgive you of your sins because of what Jesus did on the cross for us. Some of my favorite verses are Ephesians 1:7-8 where it says, “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his son and FORGAVE OUR SINS. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.” Once we accept Jesus into our lives, we can claim those verses as a promise from Him! (Also see Ephesians 1:7)

Question From a Student (#1)

I have been asking students to send me questions that they have about God, the Bible, their faith etc… I will be featuring one of these questions each week on my blog with what the Bible has to say about it. I love it when students care enough about their faith to ask questions. This is going to be something that I will love doing since it helps me dig and find the right answers/direction from the Bible, as well as see what our students have on their mind.

guilt.jpgQUESTION: Why do I still feel guilty for the things I already asked God to forgive me for?

This is a question that I think we all can relate to! We sin…we ask forgiveness…so why all the guilt? Did God not really forgive us?

The Bible says that when we ask for forgiveness, God wipes that sin away.

1 John 1:9 says, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.”

If you are true to God and yourself and are turning from your sin, where do those guilty feelings come from?

I personally believe that it has to do with the spiritual battle we face every day. Once you cross that line and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, the Enemy knows that he has lost you for all of eternity. The Enemy knows that the only thing he can do now is try to make you ineffective as a Christian. Why would he not want to bring up that old sin in your life? He knows that your guilt will spiritually paralyze you.

Through Scripture we know that if we could have a conversation with God about our guilt, He would tell us that He has already forgiven us and covered that sin (see verses below)! We are to move on and not let that guilt destroy us.

On the other hand, a lot of Christians just keep doing the same thing over and over again. When they feel guilty, they just pray to God and ask for forgiveness each time. The cool thing is that God will forgive us, but as we keep doing the same things we start to not feel that guilt anymore. Our conscience becomes numb and hard towards those things.

Here are a couple of final thoughts:

- The guilt doesn’t miraculously go away once you become an adult!

- ACCOUNTABILITY is everything! We are not meant to live life in isolation. This goes with the things we struggle with too. If we can confess to God, but then tell someone we trust, then we can have someone to hold us up. Get into a Connection Group!

- Look to the facts that God gave us in the Bible about guilt. (Psalm 103:12, 55:22) (1John 1:9, 2:1) (Romans 8:1) (2 Corinthians 5:17) (Ephesians 1:7)