OceanSide church of Christ
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WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE
Reasons #10 & #11
Victor M. Eskew
A. Conversion in the Bible is likened unto a “new birth” (John 3:3).
1. The new convert is considered a “babe” in Christ (Heb. 5:13; I Pet. 2:2).
2. One of the responsibilities of the new Christian is to grow (II Pet. 3:18).
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
B. To grow involves many things:
1. Proper nutrition (I Pet. 2:2)
2. Proper exercise (I Tim. 4:7)
3. The endurance of some adversity
I. WE SUFFER IN ORDER TO HELP US GROW
A. God is lot more interested in our character than our comfort. God will allow us to experience difficulties in order to realize development.
B. Common examples of growth through adversity:
1. For muscles to grow, there must be exercise.
2. To become a winning ball team, there must be hard practices.
3. To have a beautiful garden, the ground must be tilled and weeds pulled.
4. To make a pearl, there must be a crack in the shell of the oyster and a battle against the foreign substance.
C. Chart: The Only Way Out Is Through
The Christian -----------------------------> The Wilderness -----------------------------> The Promised Land
There is no shortcut to wholeness:
if you want to reach the Promised Land you first go through the Wilderness.
The Christian -----------------------------> Pain -----------------------------> Strength & Holiness
Character and substance are shaped in the crucible of adversity.
Show me someone who lives a carefree life with no problems, or trials or dark nights, and I’ll show you a shallow person (David Jeremiah).
The Christian -----------------------------> Brokenness -----------------------------> Character
In pain, failure, and brokenness, God does his finest work in the lives of people.
D. Passages of Scripture
1. Romans 5:3-5
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
2. Hebrews 12:11
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, after-ward it yeildeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
3. James 1:2-4
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers tempations; knowing this, that they trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
E. Even Jesus had to experience adversity to become “perfect” (Heb. 5:8-9).
Though he were a Son, yet learned his obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.
II. WE SUFFER TO REMIND US WE ARE NOT HOME YET.
A. As Christians, we sing a song that says: “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.”
B. Philippians 3:20
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. The word “conversation” can be translated “citizenship.”
2. ASV: For our citizenship is in heaven…
C. If this earth became too pleasant to us, we might not desire our heavenly abode.
1. One man was asked: “Why don’t individuals think about heaven more?” His response: “Because we have heaven on earth.”
2. This earth, however, has been cursed (Gen. 3:17).
And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
3. NOTE: In our heavenly abode, there is no curse (Rev. 22:3).
And there shall be no more curse…
D. A list of horrible things associated with our earthly environment.
1. Sin: robbery, rape, murder, abuse, assault, kidnapping, pornography, prostitution, drugs, drunkenness, greed…
2. Emotions: guilt, shame, regret, sorrow, agony, depression, anxiety, anger, fear
3. Disasters: floods, tornados, hurricanes, tsunamis, blizzards, droughts
a. Childhood: chicken pox, measles, tetanus, flu, Hepatitis A & A, polio
b. Elderly: Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, COPD, Parkinson’s
c. Other: houses burn, children drown, car wrecks, war, accidents
5. Places: courtrooms, jails, prisons, hospitals, mental health facilities, nursing homes, morgues, funeral homes, cemeteries
E. For Paul, many of these things were real (II Cor. 11:23-27). It would have been difficult to bear, but he understood that his home was not here.
1. Romans 8:18
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.
2. II Corinthians 4:17-5:4
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that, if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
3. Two passages from Revelation
a. Revelation 21:4
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
b. Revelation 21:7
And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
A. Adversity makes us grow and mature and become strong.
B. Struggles and pain make us long for our eternal home when there these things cannot be found.
C. These two reasons almost make us bow our knees and pray: “Lord, please send some adversity my way.”