Posts Tagged ‘questions’

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?

Who Created God? Where Did God Come From?

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!

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QUESTION FROM A STUDENT

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QUESTION: Who created God? Where did God come from?

The atheist Bertrand Russell wrote in his book “Why I am Not a Christian” that if it is true that all things need a cause then God must also need a cause. He concluded from this that if God needed a cause then God was not God (and if God is not God then of course there is no God). This was basically a slightly more sophisticated form of the question, “Who created God?” Even a child knows that things do not come from nothing, so if God is a “something” then He must have a cause as well, right?

The question is tricky because it sneaks in the false assumption that God came from somewhere and then asks where that might be. The answer is that the question does not really make sense. It is like asking, “What does blue smell like?” Blue is not in the category of things that have odor, so the question itself is flawed. In the same way, God is not in the category of things that are created, or come into existence, or are caused. God is uncaused and uncreated – He simply exists.

How do we know this? Well, we know that from nothing, nothing comes. So if there was ever a time when there was absolutely nothing in existence then nothing would have ever come to exist. But things do exist. Therefore, since there could never have been absolutely nothing, something had to have always been existing. That ever-existing thing is what we call…drum role please… GOD. :)

Here are some final thoughts:

- Everything that has a beginning has a cause. Right? The universe has a beginning. Therefore the universe has a cause. God, as creator of time (see below), is outside of time. Since He has no beginning in time, He has always existed, so doesn’t need a cause.

- I don’t have space to put all of the information on here, but if you TRULY study Evolution vs. Creation, then you realize that it is not really “blind faith” after all! Just start by thinking about the logical answers to these questions: Can mutations produce intelligent information? Can information really come from non-information? What is the source of all information?

- The Bible says that time is a dimension that God created, into which man was placed. It even tells us that one day time will no longer exist. That will be called “eternity.” God Himself dwells outside of the dimension He created (2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2). He dwells in eternity and is not subject to time. God spoke history before it came into being. He can move through time as a man flips through a history book.

- I read an interesting quote about this. “Because we live in the dimension of time, it is impossible for us to fully understand anything that does not have a beginning and an end. Simply accept that fact, and believe the concept of God’s eternal nature the same way you believe the concept of space having no beginning and end—by faith—even though such thoughts put a strain on our distinctly insufficient cerebrum.” (Isaiah 57:15)

- Like so many things in life, it takes faith. “Faith” is where many people become stuck when studying the Bible. HERE IS THE WAY THAT I WAS EXPLAINED FAITH GROWING UP – We all believe in many things that we have never seen. Have you ever seen the wind? Have you seen history? We see the effects of the wind, but the wind is invisible. We have records of history, but by faith we believe that certain historical events happened. Television waves are invisible, but an antenna and a receiver can detect their presence.

- Do you know that you have a “receiver”? Prior to the moment that you accept Christ into your life, your ‘receiver’ (your spirit) is dead because of sin (Ephesians 2:1). You need to be plugged into the life of God, and then you will come alive and become more aware of the invisible realm that requires faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him (God): for the person that comes to God must believe that he is, and he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

When discussing the answer to this question, you can get really really deep if you want. I might continue this next week. If you have further questions about this, then feel free to comment.  I hope that this makes some sense! :)

What do you think about God?

Questions That Students Are Asking

I am going to be started a new series of posts for my “Question From A Student” category very soon. I recently asked students to submit some more questions that they have about God, the Bible, and life in general.

Below is a list of some of the questions that were asked more than once. (The number represents how many times it was asked) Not all of them are listed. Some students submitted multiple questions.

- Why are we here on this earth? (16) (Also…What is my purpose?)

- Why does God love me? (8)

- Why do bad things happen to good people? (7)

- Once I have found who I am in this life, how do I stay true to God? (4)

-  Why hadn’t God showed Himself to me until this past summer? (4)

- When will God come back? Am I safe? (6)

- Is the Bible really true? (7)

- Does God have a physical body? (3)

- What was God doing before He created the Universe? (2)

- Is it wrong to question God? (2)

- Why did God seem so evident in the Old Testament, but so distant today? (2)

- How long is eternal? (2)

- I am so lost. I do not know where to turn. What can I do to feel like I belong? (5)

- I accepted Jesus, so why am I still scared? (4)

- Why is it okay for God to demand that we worship Him? Isn’t that a sin? (2)

- Why don’t we always feel happy and reassured about our salvation? (4)

- I have tried to listen to God, but He won’t speak to me. What can I do to hear him better? (4)

- Why does God care about me if I am just one of so many people in the Universe? How is that possible for Him? (5)

- Where did we come from? (7)

- Why doesn’t God answer me when my family is in need? (2)

- When I read the Bible, where do I start? (2)

- How do I figure out God’s will for my life? (6)

- Did God really create us? (4)

- Is there a way to become more devoted to Jesus, when I have so many distractions? (6)

- Am I going to heaven when I die? (4)

-  How can I make my dad love me? (2)

-  I have so many options after school for college. How do I choose? (2)

-  Is hell a real place? (3)

- What can I do to help at church? (3)

- How do I know that my boyfriend really loves me? (2) (Also girlfriend)

-  What advice do you have about dating? (8)

Anyway, this can give you an idea of what is being asked. I love it when students ask questions! There are many others that I didn’t post.

My biggest concern is that I’m afraid that so many students are going to the wrong places to find their answers! We need to do our part as leaders and parents to find out what they are asking, and then give them answers from God’s love letter to us – the Bible!

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT GOD, THE BIBLE, OR LIFE? Whether you’re a student or adult, feel free to leave a comment. You can put “ANONYMOUS” as the name. You can also make up an email address as well! :)