Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Why does God not stop the 'fights'

Questions from Children
“Why does God not stop the fights in the world?” – a question repeated many times
     This a good question and not easy to answer. There are two or three ways to answer this.

1    In our world there is the ongoing conflict between good and evil.  The Bible storyline presents evil with its lies, deception, conflict, fights, murders, etc ,    as coming into the world by the evil one, Satan, also known as the Devil, the old serpent, the deceiver.  He is historically presented as the source of ‘fights’ and is described by  the Lord Jesus as a murderer, thief and liar. He sought to bring down the Lord Jesus and was the inspiring intelligence that led Judas to betray Jesus.
    Paul found himself ‘hindered‘ by Satan.  Peter said we should ‘resist the Devil’. So to the end of the world, ‘fights’ will continue as this intelligent deceiver seeks to destroy people and oppose God and His Christ.  Finally he will be cast forever into  the lake of fire, and then peace and righteousness will  prevail.

2    The question is often rephrased as ‘why does God allow evil?’
 Incidents and stories from the Bible, and also from recent history, even our own experiences, remind us of the good lessons that can be learned out of bad experiences. You could read the story of Job, who suffered much evil and ‘fights’, yet at the end he was blessed in every way.  You could think about Jesus -- rejected and tortured by His enemies,  yet out of this came blessing for the whole world.  The ‘fights’ between communism and Christians has produced real Christianity in contrast to the shallow church where little persecution prevails. 
    God has a distinct ability to turn evil things to good, if we will let Him.  (Romans 8:28)

3  If God ‘stopped’ the fights in our world, who would He punish.  What I mean is that most ‘fights’ have wrong on both sides. Often both sides have rebelled against God and His ways.  So should He destroy both as a matter of “justice”.  A school chaplain once said in my hearing “I am glad God does not seem just”   - meaning – if God executed justice , we would all be destroyed for we have all sinned.  “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23)
I would like to make one further observation.  People who spent plenty of time in armchairs, find this a distressing question.  People who suffer hardship often turn to God and find Him very near even when the reasons for hardship are not known. The difference may be the distinction between reasoning and faith. Sometimes God allows bad things to happen, so that people will seek the Lord.

 May the God of all grace give you understanding in all things

More questions to come - others  were answered in previous blogs
John McKee

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