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Why bad things happen to good people

(18)

Sermon shared by Jeffrey Cox

December 2003
Summary: So why do bad things happen to good people? They don’t; it’s as simple as that. Good things (eternal life) happen only to good people (born-again believers); and bad things (eternal punishment) only happen to bad people (sinners).
Audience: Believer adults
Sermon:
Do we have the right to complain?

I. One of the main everyday sins we all commit is addressed in Philippians 2:14 “Do all things without grumbling and complaining.”
A. This is based on the assumption that we deserve more than we are getting; that this bad thing shouldn’t be happening to us because we are Christians, or that that good thing shouldn’t be happening to him because he is a sinner.
B. We are going to look at this as a mindset. How we look at this issue will affect how we respond to it and how we live our lives. We are going to practice some metacognition: thinking about our thinking.
II. Job 10:1-7 “Why do good things happen to bad people? AND Why do bad things happen to good people?”
A. Many bad things happened to good people in the bible.
1. Job knew he did nothing wrong, even though his friends thought he must deserve what he is getting.
2. Acts 7:59 Stephen was stoned for his belief. Why did this happen to a man of God?
3. Matt 14:10-11 “(10) He sent and had John beheaded in the prison. (11) And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.” Another martyr. Why?

III. There is only one good thing that can happen. The others don’t matter.
A. All earthly treasures are worthless, because they can be stolen, lost, etc. Matt 6:19-21 (19) "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. (20)"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; (21) for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
B. Jer 48:7 "For because of your trust in your own achievements and treasures, Even you yourself will be captured”; Only a fool would trust in things that are guaranteed to not last.
1. Those who count earthly pleasures and treasures as good things can be guaranteed a disappointing existence. It will all burn, wither, stop, end, cease, be stolen, lost, etc. These are false happinesses.
a. What are some common false happinesses?
11. Family: Matt 19:29 “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.”
22. Money: Matt 19:16-22 Rich young ruler wanted eternal life, but was unwilling to separate himself from his false happiness of wealth.
33. Religion: Luke 13:23-30 Some may knock too late. They will claim to have been religious, but he will turn them away.
34. Physical pleasures: 1 John 2:17 “The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”
aa. False happinesses will pass away; the one who resists temptations will get the one treasure that will not pass away, the one good thing: eternal life.
bb. Therefore, since there is only good thing, who is going to get it?
cc. John 3:15-16, 36 “He who
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