Tough Questions ~ Part 1 : Why Did This Happen?
I know it’s been some time since I have published anything on Trinity Press. I apologize for that, but I feel it laid upon my heart to start writing again. I’ve felt pressed to address the issue of “Why does God allow tragedy to befall believers and unbelievers alike?” The short answer is simply the one Jesus gave, “the rain falls on the just and unjust alike.” However, this is seldom adequate enough in most people’s eyes. And I venture to say, most likely to the unbelievers you meet. I will therefore attempt to expound upon this notion the best I can, and bring it down to where we are.
I’ve been privy to several different discussions in several different locations in which this question was posed, “Why did thus and so happen to him/her? How can God let this happen? Especially to someone who has went to church their whole life. He/She had little kids.” The “thus and so” is usually something of a tragic nature. The question is usually followed by the line, “It’s not fair. To which is thrown in, “We will know when we die and can ask God.” The problem is, that it is faulty logic. Let me just say to an “unchristian” perspective, this is a cop out. We know the answer, it’s obvious, “the rain falls on the just and unjust alike.” Bad things happen. The die was cast back in Eden where free choice chose to listen to Satan and not God. Satan said you’ll be like God if you eat of the tree of knowledge, and people have been dying ever since. Sure enough we have the knowledge, but knowledge doesn’t save. We didn’t become like God. God, being God, is omnipotent and omnipresent – in short, He is all-powerful. One of God’s names in Hebrew is “God of the forefront.” In other words, God is never surprised by anything at all. He knew 9/11 was coming. He knew Pearl Harbor would be bombed. Every dictator in history was foreknown by God. He has seen the rise and fall of every nation on this earth. God is NEVER surprised.
I Am Not A Heartless Jerk.
I would never belittle tragedy. I’ve seen my fair share and have experienced tragedy in my own life. My God said there is a time to morn and weep. In fact He said, in His Word, there is a time for a lot of things in this ole’ world:
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
Did you notice what the first two things mentioned in Ecclesiastes are? Birth and Death. There are times that are set that only God knows. God knows each and every one of us. Our story has already played out to Him. Didn’t our God knit us together in our mother’s womb?
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee; I have appointed thee a prophet unto the nations.
I can see that this might cause some unbelievers some discomfort, especially abortion advocates, but it should give comfort to Christians everywhere. A holy and perfect God then – who knew you before you were born, who knit you together in your mother’s womb, who sent His son to die and redeem and who loved us while we were yet sinners – can deliver judgment on people. He knows them completely and intimately. He knows the heart of them “whom He hast created.” It will lead Him, in the Old Testament, to make comments about Esau which I will include in my next article.
What About Death?
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” He said, “It is appointed once for a man to die.”
God even sets our age and says anything past this age is attributable to your own strength.
The days of our years are threescore years and ten, Or even by reason of strength fourscore years; Yet is their pride but labor and sorrow; For it is soon gone, and we fly away.”
It’s A Wrap.
I wind down article 1 with the following statement: “Saints, GOD IS IN CONTROL.” He has set times in His schedule for everyone and everything. If God is in control, then He knows exactly what you will face. We as Christians don’t get to cheat death down here on Earth. Like in a video game, we don’t rack up life points by throwing more into the offering plate, praying in flowery tones with many words and showing up to church every Sunday. Works don’t save, nor add any life to you. There is a time set aside for us to die, just like unbelievers. It may or may not be your fault. God may grant reprieves and extend lives, but it’s probably going to be a reality for all of us. I say probably, because there will be a generation that will not taste death and will live to see the Lord’s return. There will be people that will not have to taste death. I for one am praying for a soon return. I get really excited around September, but more about that at a later date. This is one of those important messages that Doc (Gene Scott) would intertwine amongst his teachings throughout the year. It goes back to the basic principle of spending time with God and His Word.
So faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.
If you want to grow in faith and learn, then spend time with His Word. Read commentaries, but come at it with your own mind as well. You will learn how to hear and think rightly by doing this. The one caveat, you must accept that the Bible is the Word of God.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe (faithe) that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
(faithe – action word. Hanging your body on what God said, believing that what He said, He will do. Belief is not a strong enough word, poor word choice by translators. Greek has this action word, but doesn’t exist in our English language.)
If you think this is all hokum, you probably aren’t going to come to an understanding of God and His Ways. My challenge to atheists and agnostics is that they spend time with the Bible and ask questions of believers. Seek answers without disdain for our faith, and don’t settle for the run of the mill Christian answers. I am not condoning seeking until you find the answer you want to believe, but seeking the truth and accepting it, no matter what, when found. I, in turn, challenge believers to answer those questions without disdain for their position; seeing that you too were once lost and with a worldly view. Yet Christ found you and redeemed you. And to both sides I say – see what happens.
Grace & Peace to you,
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