Summary: Is God caring? Is God fair? Not at all! God has a huge heart of love towards us shown by His forgiveness and redemption through the cross.
BELIEVING and not BELIEVING
The Heart of God
May 21, 2017
Sometimes it’s difficult to picture where God is in the midst of world events. This past week, there was a suicide bomber at an Ariana Grande concert in England - 22 people were killed and many more injured. Thousands of lives were changed forever. I read of countless murders, beatings and crimes that make no sense. Someone even pulled the plug at a children’s bounce house, causing 2 children to be hospitalized. Some kids were crossing train tracks in Fairmount this past week, and one boy lost his life. It doesn’t all make sense.
We wish God would just stop all of the madness. Especially when we see the innocent people who are the victims, especially children . . . and when it’s children, that’s what gets our heart pumping . . . and the emotions going.
For the past 4 weeks we’ve been looking at what I am calling distorted views of God. They are times when we don’t have a proper view of who God is and we incorrectly state something as a fact about God’s nature and character which really isn’t true. When that happens - we personally struggle with issues in life which at times causes us, even as believers to question our beliefs . . . so we end up believing and not believing all at the same time.
For those who don’t know Jesus, it causes them to move further away from God because their view is already wrong to start with, and when you have a poor foundation, you will struggle to catch up.
So, we’ve looked at
God as a genie
God as a lover of rules
what happens when we’re not feeling God, and
God is heartless, He doesn’t care.
Today, as we finish up this series of messages, I’m going to continue looking at the theme of God being uncaring and heartless and push it a little more.
Because often times, as I started out saying, we don’t understand why bad things are happening in our world. Sometimes, they are in the name of a god whom others worship, sometimes they are out of anger and hostility, sometimes they seem to be random and make absolutely no sense; others occur because of sinfulness and human error. We could list a multitude of issues and things which have gone wrong and do a lot of questioning.
So, people ask - - "How can you believe in a God who doesn't seem to care? Why do bad things happen to good people? What did anyone do in Manchester that they deserved to die because of a coward?!”
That’s a great question! Don’t we all wonder at one time or another . . . why? Why do these bad things happen to good people? And on the other hand . . . don’t we sometimes think - - - ‘why are these good things happening to bad people?’
Now, when we ask that question, we NEVER, NEVER, NEVER include ourselves as part of the bad people. Those are the people who commit murder, steal, and are generally destructive people in our world. Those are the people we see on the news, the Internet or read about in the newspaper.
But let’s go back to 2 weeks when we looked at the God of rules, wondering if God is a cosmic killjoy. The rules remind us that we’re sinners in need of grace. We’ve all committed sins. None of us are exempt, but only through the power of God’s love and grace are we forgiven of those sins.
The only rules we need to follow are from the 2 great commandments - - - LOVE GOD and LOVE ONE ANOTHER! If we do that, we’re following all of the commandments, rules, and laws. We will never be guilty in God’s court when we live our lives this way.
But, we struggle with saying we sin. We like to list the sins of others before our own. Look . . . that guy committed murder, I only told a lie. She committed adultery, I only looked. He committed a robbery, I just took a pen. That teen is always disrespectful to her parents, I only do it once in awhile, but I don’t mean it.
Do you see what we do? We downplay our sinfulness and justify what we do.
So, here’s the question, when the good things happen to us . . . do we really deserve them?
Because, remember, we’re all sinners in need of God’s grace. That includes every person in this room, every card carrying follower of Jesus, the Christ.
I don't know about you, but I’m part of that group of sinners. I’m not proud to be called a sinner. You might say, ‘but you’re a pastor!’ Yup, I am, but I’m still a person, a man, who commits sin. I don't get it right all the time.