OceanSide church of Christ

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The Problem of Evil, Pain, and Suffering
by: Dalton Gilreath

I.              Introduction

a.    The world is full of evil, pain, and suffering

                                          i.    This has led many to waiver in their faith in God

b.    Some might have the attitude of Gideon (Judges 6:13)

                                          i.    Öif the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us?...

c.    Atheists used this as an argument against the existence of God daily

                                          i.    So, why is it that we have such suffering in the world?

II.            Freedom of Choice

a.    God loves us enough to give us the freedom of choice

                                          i.    God didnít make a bunch of programmed robots, he made us

b.    He doesnít want to force us to follow Him, but to choose Him

                                          i.    Psalm 32:8-9

                                        ii.    He didnít place Adam and Even in a garden with no option to resist His will (Gen 2:16-17)

1.    He placed a tree of which He commanded them not to eat

c.    Joshua and Moses both give great references to this freedom

                                          i.    Joshua 24:15 and Deuteronomy 30:15-20

III.           Why does freedom of choice allow us to suffer?

a.    First, we suffer because of our own choices

                                          i.    When you hammer your finger instead of a nail, your hurt yourself

1.    Was that Godís fault or yours?

                                        ii.    1 Peter 4:14-16 tells us we will suffer as Christians

1.    Peter also says donít suffer due to your wrong doing

a.    If you choose to steal, you go to jail

b.    If your arrogant, you have no friends,

c.    If you cheat, your spouse might leave you

2.    Suffer as a Christian, not as a sinner by poor decisions

b.    Second, we suffer due to otherís choices

                                          i.    Why do school shootings occur?

1.    Someone makes a poor decision with his/her free will

                                        ii.    Consider Uriah in 2 Samuel 11

1.    Did he lose his wife or die because of his own decisions?

a.    No, it was decisions made by King David

c.    Third, we suffer because of the laws of nature

                                          i.    While this is not directly linked to decisions it is a point to make

1.    Consider diseases like cancer

a.    Whose fault is cancer?

2.    Some things happen as part of nature

a.    But as with the previous points, thatís not Godís fault

                                        ii.    Consider the tower of Siloam in Luke 13:4

1.    Jesus says it didnít fall because of sinful choices

a.    It fell because of gravity or maybe the wind

IV.          The Bright Side to Evil, Pain, and Suffering

a.    Chastisement (Heb 12:7-8, Prov 13:24)

                                          i.    We are corrected when we sin

b.    Draws us near to God (Psalm 18:6, 120:1)

                                          i.    It leads us to God when we are hurting and need Him

c.    Teaches us to pray (Luke 22:44)

                                          i.    Prayer is never as fervent as when you are hurting

d.    Makes us homesick (2 Cor 5:8, Heb 11:13)

                                          i.    We want to leave this pain and go to a place without it, Heaven

e.    Grooms us for eternity (1 Peter 1:7)

                                          i.    We are groomed by fire and prepared in that sense

f.     Tests our quality (Matt 13:21)

                                          i.    Are we like seed on stone or are we rooted in the Truth?

V.           Conclusion

a.    Consider Habakkuk and his comparable situation

                                          i.    He wondered why God didnít correct all the sin around him (1:2-4)

1.    God answered his concern reminding him He was working (1:5)

                                        ii.    Habakkuk was revealed the plan of God and changed his attitude

1.    3:16-19

2.    We need to remember Godís response

a.    We must have Habakkukís attitude