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Summary: Why did that accident happen? If God is so good why didn't He step in & keep it from happening? God has the power to do it, doesn't He? If He has the power, then why didn't He? Does God really care about us? (PowerPoints Available - #287)

MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER

RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK

(PowerPoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at mnewland@sstelco.com and request #287.)

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

A. I thank God for this congregation for what you mean to me & for the privilege I have of serving here. I hope that you realize what a special blessing we have to be with each other, & to worship the Lord together.

Recently I was talking with a coworker & the subject of my father's death in an airplane crash came up. That raised some questions in his mind about God.

Why did that accident happen? If God is so good why didn't He step in & keep it from happening? God has the power to do it, doesn't He? If He has the power to do it, then why didn't He? Does God really care about us?

B. That brings up another question. Over the years I have visited many churches. In them I have seen dedicated Christians people really trying as best they know how to do the work of the church people who are praying who are concerned about the lost who want to teach God's Word & preach it with conviction.

Yet at the same time I have heard stories about church members who are causing the work of God to be damaged because they are angry at themselves & evidently at everybody else around them. And their church suffers as a result.

When I hear about a situation like that I wonder why God doesn't do something about it. I think that if I were God, I would grab those disgruntled, aggravating people, slap them across the face & say, "Now, straighten up, because we're going to get on with the business of being the church & reaching out to the lost."

I wonder why God doesn't do that? After all, God is all powerful. He could do it if He wanted to, couldn't He?

C. Then I see all the evil in the world - children starving, hardships & poverty & I wonder why God doesn't intervene. Why doesn't God do something?

There is our dilemma. We believe that God is good so good that He loves every one of us even if we don't love Him back. And He wants the very best for us.

Yet, bad things do happen. Is it possible that they happen because God can't do anything about them? Is it possible that God doesn't have the power to do anything about all the evil in the world?

But on the other hand, if God does have the power to sweep from the face of the earth all of the evil & injustices that are here, & He doesn't do it then surely, He doesn't love us, & He isn't really concerned about goodness.

That is tough, isn't it? You & I love goodness. We want good to triumph over evil. If we want that, then surely God wants that, too. But if God doesn't do anything about it, how can we worship that kind of God?

D. Obviously, something is wrong. And I'm convinced that the "something that is wrong" is not with God, but it is in our understanding of what God is seeking to accomplish in our lives & in the world today. Our problem must be that we have not understood the purpose & nature of God's power.

PROP: So, this morning I would like for us to think about God's power, & His goodness, & what He is doing in the world today. Hopefully, we will come to recognize God as He really is the loving, all powerful God of the universe.

As we consider this matter, there is a scripture passage that comes to mind. It is 1 Corthinthians 1:18-25. Listen as I read a part of it to you.

Vs. 18, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Vs's 21-24, "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

"Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."

I. WHAT DOES THE WORD "POWER" REALLY MEAN?

How do you define "power?" What does the word "power" really mean? The best definition of "power" that I have ever seen is, "Power is the ability to accomplish what you want to accomplish."

Think about that. "Power is the ability to accomplish what you want to accomplish to do the things you want to do." If you have a goal, & you have the ability to reach that goal, then you have "power."

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