Friday, February 27, 2015

How can God allow evil?

"How can God allow evil?"
This is a classic question that confronts any Christian college student (and her parents). It is usually phrased like this: "If God is truly omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipotent (all-powerful) and loving, how could he allow a child to get cancer?  How can he allow terrorists?  How can he allow evil to exist?"
Here is a classic answer.
God exists. Jesus said he does, and he rose from the dead to show that he could be trusted to tell the truth.
God is all-knowing. That trustworthy Jesus said so. And since God knows everything, he is smarter than we are. So he may do or say things that are perfectly right, but we don't understand them, because we're not as smart. We have that experience every day with people who are smarter than we are.
God is all-powerful. In philosophical terms, all-powerful means that he can do whatever he wants. He can always put his will into action.
God is loving. God showed his love for all people by sending a Savior (John 3:16).
Does God allow evil to occur? That depends on how you define evil. Sometimes what seems bad or evil to one person seems good to another person.
But let's grant that God does allow evil to occur. It's only temporary. Death intervenes. Since God is smarter, perhaps that temporary evil actually turns out to be for some good in the end. For example, the Bible tells the story of a man whose brothers sold him into slavery. That was evil. But it turned out for good. The man himself said so (Genesis 50:20).
Since God is smarter than I am, I trust that when he allows evil or suffering in my life, it will work out for my good (Romans 8:28). Since he's loving, I trust that everything really will work out for the best in my life. And since he's all-powerful, I can ask him to get rid of the evil, and trust that if that's what he wants at that time, he can and he will (Matthew 7:7). (
Further study:  (great resource for families and college students)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

I need peace, do you?

"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost" (Luke 19:10).

Peace is the reason why men build man caves.  Peace is the reason why women go to spas.  Peace is the reason why little children want their parents to be with them as they fall asleep.  All of us crave peace and yet we so rarely find it.  Why is that?  Could it be that all too often we look in the wrong places for it?  Hit the rewind button on history for 2000 years and you’ll find that people back in the days of Jesus had the same need.

If you’re struggling with your health, you need peace of mind.  If you’re struggling with family issues, you need peaceful relationships.  If you’re finding life to be wonderful and you are successful and making lots of money, deep down you still worry that it may all come crashing down.  You need peace for your future.  All of us at one level or another need peace.

During this Lenten season, let's never forget that Jesus came to bring peace.  In a season where a lot of people focus on doing something for God.  God wants us to remember that we can be at peace, because He did everything for us.  When Jesus hung on the cross, He spoke one word that changes our eternal destiny.  It's pronounced "tetelesthi."  It's translated "It is finished."  It actually means "Paid in full."  When Jesus spoke that word He spoke truth.  He spoke forgiveness.  He spoke on behalf of every sinner.  Our debt has been paid in full.  We are forgiven.  We can have real peace.

The proof is in the resurrection.  We know how Jesus’ story ends.  It didn’t end in death, it ends in life.  God’s NOT dead, the resurrection really happened.  God’s NOT dead, He really exists.  God’s NOT dead, our sins really are forgiven.  God’s NOT dead, we have peace.  So the next time you need some peace, remember "tetelesthi."  That changes everything!