Summary: "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?" That is the question that many ask to prove that God either does not exist, or He doesn't care. It all comes down to what is and what is not God's will.
GOD’S NOT DEAD: GOD’S WILL
A. In the movie “God’s Not Dead”, the character Josh Wheaten, the Freshman defending his BELIEF in God in Professor Raddison’s philosophy class in, states “Evil is the atheists most potent weapon against Christianity.”
Dr. Rubel Shelly, president of Rochester Christian College in Rochester, Michigan and author of the book “Prepare to Answer: A Defense of the Christian Faith”, tells of a time when he DEBATED and ATHEIST at the University of Alabama. While the ATHEIST was attempting to DISPROVE the EXISTENCE of God, Rubel noticed a man in his late 40’s to early 50’s enthusiastically APPLAUDING every POINT his OPPONENT was making. The man STOOD OUT because he was in a WHEELCHAIR sitting in the very FRONT of the AUDIENCE.
After the DEBATE, the man in the WHEELCHAIR came up to Rubel and informed him that he has CEREBRAL PALSY, which had CREATED a series of PROBLEMS in his life in addition to not being able to WALK. He WONDERED how could a God that Rubel so PASSIONATELY DEFENDED and PROFESSED do such a TERRIBLE thing to him. “Either God is CRUEL” he told Rubel, “or there is NO God.”
Undoubtedly there are many like this man who look around at all the TRAGEDY, HEARTACHE, and VIOLENCE in the world and conclude that either God is DEAD or UNCARING, or He doesn’t EXIST.
Maybe you have even thought that at one time or another. It was during a time in your LIFE when you were faced with a very TRYING CIRCUMSTANCE. You confidently TURNED it over to God in PRAYER, only to have the situation WORSEN instead of getting BETTER. You wondered if God was REALLY there.
B. On the other hand, there are those BELIEVERS who KNOW that God EXISTS, but trying to get a handle
on the EVIL and SUFFERING in the WORLD will invariably say these things are GOD’S WILL.
1. In fact, we Christians use the phrase, “This is the WILL of God” quite regularly.
We consign the WILL of God to all of the GOOD things that occur in the WORLD around us and to all of the BAD things that happen to us and the WORLD.
There are those who believe that WHATEVER happens in life, is the result of God’s WILL. Yet, if that be true, then God is responsible for some of the most VILEST of ATROCITIES. Misunderstanding the WILL of God can produce FRUSTRATION, DOUBT, CONFUSION, and even BITTERNESS toward our heavenly FATHER.
That was exactly what happened to Professor Raddison in the movie, “God’s Not Dead.” He was raised by a Christian Mom to LOVE God and His Son Jesus. But when his MOM died of CANCER when he was just 12 years old after he had BEGGED God to let her LIVE, his FAITH was shattered and he became HARDENED believing that God was the REASON for his Mom’s DEATH. His LOVE for God turned into BITTER HATRED.
MOVIE CLIP OF JOSH’S FINAL DEBATE AND CONFRONTATION WITH PROFESSOR RADDISON’S HATRED OF GOD.
2. Is it true that WHATEVER happens in life is the WILL of God?
On September 11, 2001 after America was ATTACKED by Islamic Terrorists killing over 3,000 people, I and other volunteer hospital CHAPLAINS were called into Hardin Memorial Hospital at Elizabethtown, KY to COUNSEL and PRAY with the hospital staff, patients and visitors. We met in the CAFETERIA.
As the head CHAPLAIN, a Naval Chaplain reservist, was speaking and reading Scripture I sat down among some of the hospital staff. I then overheard two of the NURSES share their SHOCK and DISMAY over what had happened, and then one nurse said to the other, “I guess we just have to ACCEPT this as the WILL of God!”
Was it really God’s WILL that 3,000 innocent people DIE by MUSLIM EXTREMISTS? Maybe it wasn’t God’s WILL at all, but the WILL of Osama Bin Laden to ATTACK America.
C. James 1:17- “Every GOOD and PERFECT gift comes from the Father . . .”
I don’t know about you, but if God is RESPONSIBLE for the TRAGEDIES and SUFFERING in my life, the LOVED ONES I have lost, the HURTS that I have experienced, then I wouldn’t call that a very GOOD GIFT.
I have never had one of those GIFTS on my Christmas LIST. At no time have I said, “For Christmas this year, I would like to LOSE a child in a CAR WRECK. Or to have my HOUSE BURN DOWN. Or to CONTRACT a TERMINAL DISEASE. Or to LOSE a LOVED ONE in a TERRORIST ATTACK.” Isn’t that what God gives us if we say that TRAGEDIES are His WILL?
God loves us beyond measure. Therefore, the BAD THINGS that happen to us is not God’s WILL—the GOOD THINGS that life brings are the “good and perfect gifs that come from our loving Father.”