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Summary: A short talk for our Older Folks Service to deal with the requested topic of suffering.

¡§Why does God allow suffering?¡¨

WBC Silver Service (older folks). 3 Feb 2005

This talk is a ¡¥request¡¦. What a request!

- but a good and right one as this is, to me, THE issue of life

o precipitated by the Tsunami

FALL

The first thing I want to say is that we should not be surprised by these things! They are nothing new!

- they may be to today¡¦s ¡¥young

- but not to anyone with experience! Age!

Folks today have never had it so good!

- have forgotten the realities of life

- have forgotten the Biblical stories of ¡¥the Fall¡¦

These stories tell that the world is far from what God wants¡Khow He intended it to be

- first, the Angelic realm rebelled against God.

- Enticed humans, Adam & Eve, to do the same

o Have been doing the same ever since!

o Accusing God: ¡§why do you let these things happen?!¡¨

„X Illustr: like the speeding drunkard who kills his passenger and asks ¡¥why do you allow it, God?¡¨

Truth is: 90% of suffering can be traced back to ¡§people¡¨

The story of the Bible is that these ¡¥falls¡¦ have affected the very fabric of our world and lives

- and it doesn¡¦t affect just ¡¥the drunk driver¡¦

o he sometimes hits an innocent pedestrian!

It¡¦s like pollution: it affects us all

Okay- so man is responsible for most of it- but why doesn¡¦t God stop it?

FREE WILL

We know He could! That¡¦s what makes it so difficult!

We know He wants to

- we feel it inside us. ¡§This isn¡¦t right!¡¨

o where does that come from? From God Himself and being made in His image

- we know He wants to, as well, as Jesus DID. He intervened wherever it was right

Why doesn¡¦t God stop it? Because He respects our free will

- we want Him to come down and stop murderers¡Kexploiters

- .. rapists. Yes please!

But where does He stop?

- cheats? Liars? Those who hate? Those who are selfish? Unjust?

- Those who commit the biggest sin: neglect Him?!

¡K. None of us are left!

Besides we would be the first to complain ¡§Oi! I thought you gave us free will!¡¨

No- God will not force Himself on anyone

- if people don¡¦t want Him, they don¡¦t have to have Him. Even in the life after this

No. God honours our¡Kyour free will.

And God KNEW that in making creatures with free will it meant they could choose to reject Him¡Khurt others.. ruin the fabric of the world

- but He was willing to do it for one reason¡K..

¡K. He was willing to pay the price for this kind of world¡K. and our sins, Himself

FELT

God was willing to pay the price for a fallen world Himself.

And more- He was willing to FEEL it¡¦s fallenness Himself

- no ¡¥Ivory tower¡¦ for the Christian God

We believe that God came and took the worst pain the world could offer. Suffered it. Suffered with us.

Now- this does not give a watertight answer to it all. Nothing does!

- but I know WHY I am a Christian¡K

- and I could never follow any God other than the Christian one¡K and no God but Jesus Christ.

Listen to this imaginary story, called:

The Long Silence

At the end of time, billions of people were scattered on a great plain

before God’s throne. Most shrank back from the brilliant light before


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