What Would You Ask; Week 2, July 2, 2017


Manage episode 182473456 series 1140819
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It happened on June 8, 2017. A volunteer student mission team from Birmingham, AL was headed to Africa on a mission trip. Their bus was involved in a crash. Over 20 team members were injured and one of the teens, Sarah Harmening, 17 years old, was killed [picture of Sarah with her family].

Here was a text she sent to her younger sister, Katelyn, just before her death: “We are like a wisp of smoke. We are only here for a moment and this not about us, life is not about us, it’s about God who is eternal. So, I want to dedicate the one moment I am here, completely and entirely to Him” [Slide with full text of her quote].

Why would such a sweet girl, devoted to God, on a mission of kindness to impoverished people have her life come to such an abrupt end? Why are there wars? Diseases? Natural disasters? Why do bad things happen to good people? This is an ancient question.

Job, in what is believed to be the oldest book of the Bible, asked it. Job 3:11, “Why did I not die at birth, come out from the womb and expire?”

David asked it. Psalm 44:24, “Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?”

Jesus asked it. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

At its root it wrestles with the problem of evil. Here is how this dilemma was stated by the ancient philosopher Epicurus [put quote on screen]:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. [1]

Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

The Bible affirms that God is omnipotent. The Bible teaches that God is love. How then does evil exist? Why do bad things happen to good people?

Let’s launch today’s message from the words of Jesus in John 16:33b, “In the world you will have (C)tribulation. But (D)take heart; (E)I have overcome the world.”

What Would You Ask?

“Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?”

John 16:33b

  1. The reality of suffering
    1. Guaranteed trouble
    2. Guaranteed triumph
  2. The reasons for suffering
    1. Transgressions against God
    2. Transformation by God
  3. The response to suffering
    1. Trust in the Lord
    2. Testify for the Lord

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