Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

CaptureOn 14th December 2012, Adam Lanza killed his mother before driving to Sandy Hook school and opening fire killing twenty children, aged 6 and 7, and six adults. The obvious question that many people will be asking is why did God allow such a tragedy to happen? After listening to one of the fathers of the victims (who sounded like a Christian), why would God allow this to happen to one of his children? This would turn the doctrine of blessings, breakthrough and favor right on its head. If God knows everything in advance, why did he allow this to happen? Couldn’t he of stopped it? Is God evil for allowing this to happen? These are the type of questions that many people (including Christians) will be asking and nothing is wrong with that. The Psalmist asked many honest questions.  Got Questions addresses this question head on from a biblical viewpoint

Question: “Why does God allow evil?”

Answer: The Bible describes God as holy (Isaiah 6:3), righteous (Psalm 7:11), just (Deuteronomy 32:4), and sovereign (Daniel 4:17-25). These attributes tell us the following about God: (1) God is capable of preventing evil, and (2) God desires to rid the universe of evil. So, if both of these are true, why does God allow evil? If God has the power to prevent evil and desires to prevent evil, why does He still allow evil? Perhaps a practical way to look at this question would be to consider some alternative ways people might have God run the world:

1) God could change everyone’s personality so that they cannot sin. This would also mean that we would not have a free will. We would not be able to choose right or wrong because we would be “programmed” to only do right. Had God chosen to do this, there would be no meaningful relationships between Him and His creation.

Instead, God made Adam and Eve innocent but with the ability to choose good or evil. Because of this, they could respond to His love and trust Him or choose to disobey. They chose to disobey. Because we live in a real world where we can choose our actions but not their consequences, their sin affected those who came after them (us). Similarly, our decisions to sin have an impact on us and those around us and those who will come after us.

2) God could compensate for people’s evil actions through supernatural intervention 100 percent of the time. God would stop a drunk driver from causing an automobile accident. God would stop a lazy construction worker from doing a substandard job on a house that would later cause grief to the homeowners. God would stop a father who is addicted to drugs or alcohol from doing any harm to his wife, children, or extended family. God would stop gunmen from robbing convenience stores. God would stop high school bullies from tormenting the brainy kids. God would stop thieves from shoplifting. And, yes, God would stop terrorists from flying airplanes into buildings.

While this solution sounds attractive, it would lose its attractiveness as soon as God’s intervention infringed on something we wanted to do. We want God to prevent horribly evil actions, but we are willing to let “lesser-evil” actions slide—not realizing that those “lesser-evil” actions are what usually lead to the “greater-evil” actions. Should God only stop actual sexual affairs, or should He also block our access to pornography or end any inappropriate, but not yet sexual, relationships? Should God stop “true” thieves, or should He also stop us from cheating on our taxes? Should God only stop murder, or should He also stop the “lesser-evil” actions done to people that lead them to commit murder? Should God only stop acts of terrorism, or should He also stop the indoctrination that transformed a person into a terrorist?

3) Another choice would be for God to judge and remove those who choose to commit evil acts. The problem with this possibility is that there would be no one left, for God would have to remove us all. We all sin and commit evil acts (Romans 3:23; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8). While some people are more evil than others, where would God draw the line? Ultimately, all evil causes harm to others.

Instead of these options, God has chosen to create a “real” world in which real choices have real consequences. In this real world of ours, our actions affect others. Because of Adam’s choice to sin, the world now lives under the curse, and we are all born with a sin nature (Romans 5:12). There will one day come a time when God will judge the sin in this world and make all things new, but He is purposely “delaying” in order to allow more time for people to repent so that He will not need to condemn them (2 Peter 3:9). Until then, He IS concerned about evil. When He created the Old Testament laws, the goal was to discourage and punish evil. He judges nations and rulers who disregard justice and pursue evil. Likewise, in the New Testament, God states that it is the government’s responsibility to provide justice in order to protect the innocent from evil (Romans 13). He also promises severe consequences for those who commit evil acts, especially against the “innocent” (Mark 9:36-42).

In summary, we live in a real world where our good and evil actions have direct consequences and indirect consequences upon us and those around us. God’s desire is that for all of our sakes we would obey Him that it might be well with us (Deuteronomy 5:29). Instead, what happens is that we choose our own way, and then we blame God for not doing anything about it. Such is the heart of sinful man. But Jesus came to change men’s hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit, and He does this for those who will turn from evil and call on Him to save them from their sin and its consequences (2 Corinthians 5:17). God does prevent and restrain some acts of evil. This world would be MUCH WORSE were not God restraining evil. At the same time, God has given us the ability to choose good and evil, and when we choose evil, He allows us, and those around us, to suffer the consequences of evil. Rather than blaming God and questioning God on why He does not prevent all evil, we should be about the business of proclaiming the cure for evil and its consequences—Jesus Christ!

Let us pray for all of those who have been directly or indirectly affected by this shooting. I honestly do not know how I would be if my children were the ones left in a pool of blood.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn – Romans 12:15

Related Posts:

 Why does God allow evil?

 Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

 Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

 Why does God allow evil? – Part 4: If God is so powerful and so good, why do bad things happen?

If God knew people would sin, why did he make them?

As I have started typing this, there is one miner left to be rescued from the mining tragedy and by the time I finish, the last one would have reached the surface. As many of them were rescued, they visually showed their gratitude to God for delivering them. I for one was very grateful to God for his mercy in allowing these miners to survive after over two months

But non christians, legitimately ask the question ‘its OK for you to thank God in these situations, but where is God in situations like the Burma tragedy or the Minneapolis Bridge? Or where is God when a child dies of cancer or as a result of an idiot drinking and driving? Why dont we thank God then?

Early on in my Christian walk, even though I knew that being a christian wasnt a bed of roses, there was certain things that I didn’t expect to happen to us? I mean, no weapons formed against us should prosper….right? We are the head and not the tail….right? We shouldnt go though sickness or poverty….right? That’s not our portion…..right? But over time, I have recognised that things are not so straight-forward. The reality is, christians go through exactly the same things that non christians go through. We die of illnesses prematurely and so do our young children. We are victims of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. I’m sure there were christians who died in the Twin Towers on 9/11.  We go through marital problems are sometimes the victim of circumstances through no fault of our own. Read Luke 13:1-5 for an example. We may pray for a child to be healed and they still die. That’s just life. Preachers sometimes give people false hopes, or deceive them with false promises that disappoint many times and leave people disillusioned with God.

So how do we explain all of this? I have come to the conclusion that there is no set rules, where bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to ‘good people’. Ultimately, God is sovereign and he does things when he wants and how he wants. You may ask, well if that’s the case, whats the use in praying? If I am honest, I have asked that question many a time and have sometimes struggled with it and to this day, I do not have a complete answer even though it has partly be answered in my post Prayer and Predestination. What I do know though is that I can trust in my heavenly Father and the more I know him, the more I can depend on him, knowing more about his character and knowing that he sees the bigger picture even when I cannot see it with my finite mind. I am limited and he is limitless. My children may not like my discipline or the rules that I give them and they may even see me as a moany ogre but I see the bigger picture so that hopefully in the future, they will learn some of the life skills that I have taught them which will hopefully help them to be responsible adults in the future. And in having a relationship with them, they should know that my character is not to bring harm to them but to bring fruitfulness in them.

Sometimes we want a reason why things are the way they are. Jesus’s disciples asked the same question in John 9

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life

In the story of Lazarus in John 11:1-45, Martha in verse 21, could not understand why God, who she knew was able, allowed Lazarus to die. Lazarus’s family prayed but Jesus delayed it so that Lazarus would die so that he would get maximum glory out of the situation. He didn’t just want to perform a healing. He wanted to perform a resurrection. This turns our man centered theology on its head because it’s not primarily about us but IT’S ALL ABOUT HIM. 

Today is a milestone in my life as it’s my 40th birthday and I am thankful to God for allowing me to see another year. I am thankful to God for everything that he has taught me even though some of it was VERY painful. Some of it was self-inflicted, some of it was inflicted by others and some of it was just life. I have not always understood why God allowed me to experience some of the things that I did but it has definitely shaped my character. What does the future hold for me in the next 40 years (God willing)? I have no idea. No doubt some of it will be painful. Some of it, I will not understand and there may be times that I might even be upset with God. But I know that God holds my future and in this fallen world, he is my ONLY hope and I can depend on him to know what’s best for me.

I will leave you with some lyrics from Trip Lee’s song Cling to you

Lord, it may get better but it may not
So when I pray God, I pray I
Would trust You whether or not the pain stops
So when the pain falls, coming down like rain drops
I just gotta cling to You

Today, Haiti’s government made the “heartbreaking” decision to declare the search and rescue phase for survivors of the earthquake over. This must be so heart rending for those who still have loved ones missing, knowing that they will no longer be searched for. Please continue to pray for Haiti. Below Kirk Frankin and friends have made this charity song for the cause. Please continue to make donations

THANKYOU

Related Posts:

Haiti Earthquake: Mourn with those who mourn

A hard pill to swallow I know

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

Why does God allow evil? – Part 4: If God is so powerful and so good, why do bad things happen?

If God knew people would sin, why did he make them?

 I read a Facebook status today which stated the following:

People might say why did God let the earthquake happen in Haiti….wrong question. We SHOULD be asking why did God not let the earthquake hit my country also. The whole world lives in darkness and God should really destroy us ALL but He has not dealt with us according to our sins (Psalm 103). His mercy is the only reason people are alive today.

With the situation as bad as it is, I think that every christian,  even though we know that we dont deserve anything from God apart from his punishment, still wonders at the back of their mind why God would allow such calamites to happen to such ‘innocent’ lives. Some people asked Jesus the same question when they enquired why people died when the tower in Siloam fell on them. This was his response:

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. (Luke 13:1-5)

I received an email from Wretched Radio which reads as follows. As my posts states, it’s a hard pill to swallow

Who Takes the Blame for Haiti?

Rick Warren is wrong when he tweets that God does not judge the world through catastrophes (Romans 1:18).

Pat Robertson is wrong when he claims to know why the Haitian earthquake happened (Deut.29:29).

Perhaps these principles will help us figure out why tragedies happen and who is responsible.

God

God controls everything directly or indirectly by restraining His grace or allowing the devil a little more leash. Either way, God is sovereign over everything and happily accepts responsibility for both good and bad (but not sin).

The devil

The devil does not control the weather or rule the nations.

Humans

There are only two groups of people on the earth: pagans and Christians. 

Why?

When God sends/allows disaster to the pagans, He does so for two reasons: as judgment or as a call to repentance. A disaster is not enough wrath for the pagans as it is merely a taste of God’s eternal punishment if they do not repent and trust the Savior.

When God sends/allows disaster to Christians, He does so for two reasons: to prune us or kill us and take us home. A disaster is never too much or too little for the Christian, the Pruner causes/allows just the right amount for our good and His glory.

While God may be sending judgment to an entire nation, each individual (pagan and Christian) should seek to determine why God caused/allowed himself to be hurt.

Christians are not victims of collateral damage. While there may be a primary reason God sends/allows a catastrophe, God orchestrates every detail in every situation.

Catastrophes happen to heathens as an act of God’s judgment, but they happen to Christians as an act of severe mercy.

God sends/causes a disaster for the onlookers to respond with apathy or kindness.

Biblical Support

Jesus gave us the definitive statement on catastrophes in Luke 13:1-5 (see above). Please take a moment to read that text and you will never make the mistake of Rick Warren or Pat Robertson.

Trick Question

God is not to blame for the earthquake as it was the exact right thing to do. While God gets the credit for the earthquake, He is never to blame for anything. Charles Wesley wrote a number of hymns thanking God for two earthquakes that rocked England in 1751; we should do the same.

The Bottom Line

While each individual should endeavor to learn the lesson that God has in the storm, there is an ultimate purpose (forty days or otherwise): God is endeavoring to glorify His Son. God sends a taste of His wrath to the heathens that they might look to the cross and be saved. God prunes Christians that we will live in greater gratitude for what Jesus has done to rescue us from eternal destruction.

Catastrophes, like everything, are about the cross.

Related Posts:

Haiti Earhquake: Mourn with those who mourn

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

Why does God allow evil? – Part 4: If God is so powerful and so good, why do bad things happen?

If God knew people would sin, why did he make them?

As a parent, I recognise how easy it is to take it for granted that I am able to have children , as I know that there are many people that cannot but I also know about the awesome reponsibility that I have to raise my children to know God and ultimately be saved. In an era where there is so much peer pressure and distractions for our young people, I have to readily admit that this is a challenge. For  me, it is especially difficult as my 11 and soon to be 16 year old do not live with me and their mum is not a christian so I have to try and influence from afar and when they visit.  I love this quote from Tedd Tripp

You must equip your children to function in a culture that has abandoned the knowledge of God. If you teach them to use their abilities, aptitudes, talents, and intelligence to make their lives better, without reference to God, you turn them away from God. If your objectives are anything other than “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” you teach your children to function in the culture on its terms.

The Brady story below is a very touching one which explains how God in his sovereignty and providence used a devastating circumstance to bring about the salvation of a young boy and how the parents had ‘done their job’ in ultimately directing their son to the Savior.

May this encourage us as parents to prioritise what we input into our kids spiritually. I for one have been guilty of not doing this and intend to make it a priority for I do not want them to live to 70 and die without Christ.

Related Post:

Leaving a Legacy: An Interview with Voddie and Bridget Baucham

HT: Word & Verse

Related Posts:

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

If God knew people would sin, why did he make them?

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thess 5:18 )

Bro. Doug alerted me to this story about Christopher Laurie, the son of Pastor Greg Laurie, dying in a car crash lsat Thursday. When I watched the video below, I had to repent of my ungratefulness and my murmurings. Tears fell from my eyes and I really had to look at my life and give thanks for what I have. Yes my children can be annoying sometimes and they are always arguing and they get on my nerves……but they are alive. I think about the quality time that I have with them and how fortunate I am to see them regularly even though they do not live with me. I think about the little things like playing football in the park, attending a sports day, seeing my daughter horse riding. How can I not thank God for what he has given me. They are healthy, I have a good job and friends and family who love me.

I hope this video which he did on sunday will serve its purpose in letting us know that we all have an appointment with death which we cannot avoid unless Christ returns and we need to prepare while we still have time

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD (Job 1:21)

In addition to his parents, Christopher is survived by his wife, Brittany, and daughter, Stella, as well as his brother Jonathan. Christopher and his wife are expecting another daughter in November.

Please pray for the Laurie family.

Related Posts:

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

On 2 May 2008 Cyclone Nargis ripped across the coast of Myanmar (Burma), bringing misery & devastation to tens of thousands. Below is a picture of a human corpse and animal remains decomposing side by side.

This is the reality. The Burmese state media say 22,980 people were killed by Cyclone Nargis but there are fears the figure could rise to 100,000. There is an estimated 1million Burmese injured or left homeless as a result of the cyclone

Some of us Christians have been accused of just knowing about theology and not dealing with or acknowleding peoples practical problems. Here is a chance for us to get the balance right. If you can (and I stress if you can), can I challenge the believers to make a small donation to help the relief efforts. Remember, people have lost their children, their babies, their mother, their family, their homes, their livelihood and the list goes on. I cannot even imagine what is going through the minds of those people and the distress they must be feeling

In the UK, to make a donation, please visit www.dec.org.uk or phone 0870 60 60 900

Alternatively, you can donate through Christian Aid by clicking here (you can donate US$ here)

If you live in another country, please can you provide a link where people can donate stating which country you live in and I will edit the post accordingly

Every little helps

Thankyou

If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:15-17)

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25:31-39)

Remember to keep the people of Burma in your prayers

Related Posts:

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

Related Post:

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

If God knew people would sin, why did he make them?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 4: If God is so powerful and so good, why do bad things happen?

I received a comment from Joyangel123 of Gates of Righteousness on my post ‘Why does God allow evil? – Part 2′ and thought it was so good that it should be a separate post in its on right.

Joyangel123 gives us this analogy:

Do you know what came to me today. It was that no matter how much we wash ourselves we are never clean. As soon as you step out of the shower dead cells are already accumulating. If you let them sit around for a while we start to stink letting all who come close to you aware of your filthy state. But most people do not get to that state because we have cleansing rituals that remove the dead cells before anyone, even you yourself, can become aware of them. But they exist. Imagine if you house has an automatic dirt removal system that got rid of dirt as soon as it appears. Do you think you could live in that house. It would exterminate you as soon as you set foot in there.I think of heaven like that. Which is why mankind cannot go their in his state. Even the righteous person who thinks he doesn’t sin and lives in his self righteousness. He could never get into heaven because he would still be suffering from the sin that he can be righteous without God which is sin.

The only way to get to heaven is to have a sinless, righteous permanent shield which is through Jesus Christ.

Our concept of evil is different from God which is very fine tuned and God eradicating the evil the Devil planted in this world would really affect many of the good wheat. What we call good may not be good in God’s eyes which is why God says in the Bible that the Day of God is an awesome and terrible day because evil will not be able to stand in his presence. And many we consider good or righteous will be destroyed because it is only with the blood of Jesus Christ will any man be able to survive.

Thank God for the blood of Jesus Christ that washes away our sins.