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Summary: If you struggle to understand how a loving God can exist with all the suffering and pain of life. This message is for you.

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How Could a Loving God....

“God is Love” 1 John 4:7-10, 16

“God so loved that he gave” 9-10

7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God ? for God is love. 9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

One of the main objections to the faith is the problem of pain. The most haunting question we face concerns the problem of evil. Why is there evil in the world if there is a God? Why isn’t he doing something about it? Many assume that the existence of evil disproves the existence of God.

A Woman is "Battered" every 15 seconds.

· 1.3 Adult Women Are "Raped" Every Minute.

· 45 Americans were Killed in "Alcohol Related Traffic Crashes" Each Day in 1994.

· Approximately 6 Children Are Reported "Abused and Neglected In America Every 60 Seconds.

· There was a "Murder" Every 24 Minutes In 1985, and has only increased since.

· There is a "Robbery" Every 51 Seconds.

· There is a "Violent" Crime of Some Kind Every 18 Seconds.

· There is an "Aggravated Assault" Every 29 Seconds.

· There are 20 Employees "Murdered" and 18,000 "Assaulted" On The Job Every Week.

· A Recent CIA Report Estimates 2 Million Women and Children are "Sexually Trafficked" From All Over the World, Including the U.S. Each Year Into Prostitution and Pornography. They are sold to Brothels Where they are beaten and Raped.

· Natural Disasters, Disease and Third World Hunger.

Man’s LOGIC

God is all-powerful, loving, and perfect.

1. A perfect, loving God would create a universe that was perfect (e.g., no evil and suffering).

2. The universe is not perfect but contains evil and suffering.

Therefore, God does not exist.

Or

A Good God would not allow or cause bad things to happen.

Bad things happen

Therefore God must not exist (Ken Ham p49 How Could a Loving God)

A preacher and an atheistic barber were once walking through the city slums. Said the barber to the preacher: "This is why I cannot believe in a God of love. If God was as kind and loving as you say, He would not permit all this poverty, disease, and squalor. He would not allow these poor bums to be addicted to dope and other character-destroying habits. No, I cannot believe in a God who permits these things."

The minister was silent until they met a man who was especially unkept and filthy. His hair was hanging down his neck and he had a half-inch of stubble on his face. Said the minister: "You can’t be a very good barber or you wouldn’t permit a man like that to continue living in this neighborhood without a haircut and a shave."

Indignantly the barber answered: "Why blame me for that man’s condition? I can’t help it that he is like that. He has never come in my shop. I could fix him up and make him look like a gentleman!"

Giving the barber a penetrating look, the minister said: "Then don’t blame God for allowing the people to continue in their evil ways, when He is constantly inviting them to come and be saved.

Ted Turner

In a New York Times interview, Ted Turner, an avowed atheist having lost his faith after his sister Mary Jane died of a painful disease. “I was taught that God was love and God was powerful,” “I couldn’t understand how someone so innocent should be made or allowed to suffer so.” Suffering caused him to lose his faith. In suffering some draw close to God, and others flee from him.

I God Created Paradise for Us (Genesis 1:31 “It was good, very good”)

People say:

“If God is so good why didn’t he create a world free of pain and suffering?

That is a great question, and I have a great answer.

He did, and man’s sin destroyed it. What you see in the world today is not how God created it. As beautiful as nature is that God created it is only a glimmer of what it was in creation.

II God Created Us with Free Choice (Gen 2 “Eat of all, but..)

God created us with the ability to choice to love and obey him, and not as robots. God wanted us to love him because we wanted to, and to do that we had to have a choice not to do so. God took a risk when he gave us the freedom to choose. And we choose wrong.

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