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WHY DOES GOD ALLOW SUFFERING? 

March 31, 2010 (David Cloud) 

http://www.wayoflife.org

    
Many wonder why God allows suffering and catastrophes.

To answer this we would say, first, that the trouble in this world is man’s fault, not God’s. When God made man in the beginning, there was no suffering. God made a perfect world for man to live in and provided for man’s every need. God placed the first man and woman in a paradise called the Garden of Eden and gave them only one commandment. But they were not satisfied with God’s provision and they disobeyed God’s commandment and fell into sin. As a result, the world became a place of evil and suffering. This is man’s fault. It is men that lie and cheat and steal and rape and kidnap and bully and kill.  

Second, God is holy and judges sin. He is not only a Saviour, He is also a Judge. God warned the first man and woman, that if they disobeyed His law they would be punished, and that is what happened. Because of sin, the world came under God’s curse. This is described in Genesis chapter 3. It is God’s curse that is the cause of sickness and death and many other troubles that men suffer. Men are not innocent before God. All men have sinned and broken His laws; and all men, therefore, deserve to be punished.

Third, God has given light to men and they have rejected it. John 1:9 says that God gives light to every man. There is the light of creation (Romans 1:19-20). Men can know that there is a God from the things that He has made. There is also the light of conscience (Romans 2:14-16). God has put a conscience inside of man that tells us there is a God and that convicts us when we do wrong. There is also the light of the Bible (Romans 3:1-2). This is the greatest light that God has given to men.

From the very beginning, when men first sinned, God began to show them the way of salvation. But for the most part, God’s Word has been rejected and men have lived according to their own thinking and have traded the true and living God for false gods. Adam and Eve knew God and knew about His salvation (Genesis 3:15, 21). Adam lived 930 years (Genesis 5:5), so for the first millennium of man’s history the first man was still alive and still talking about the true God who had created him. Adam’s second son, Abel, was a prophet and knew about salvation through the coming Saviour (Luke 11:50-51; Hebrews 11:4). Before the worldwide Flood, there were prophets. Enoch was a prophet who preached about the second coming of Christ (Jude 14-15), and Noah also preached for 120 years before the Flood (2 Peter 2:5). Job lived after the Flood and knew many things about God, including salvation through the coming Saviour and the bodily resurrection (Job 19:25-27). Solomon proclaimed the true God to many nations in his day (1 Kings 4:34). This was 1,000 years before Christ. King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian empire preached to the nations of his day (Daniel 4:1-3, 37). This was about 550 years before Christ. Darius of the Medo-Persian empire also preached to the nations (Daniel 6:25-28). The apostles preached the gospel in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe (Romans 1:8). From then until now Christian missionaries have been preaching to the ends of the earth. Men have no excuse for sitting in darkness and not knowing the true and living God.

Men are responsible to seek God (Acts 17:27). In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus taught that men are responsible to respond to God’s Word (Matthew 13:18-19, 23). Those who respond to the light are given more light. Cornelius is an example of this (Acts 10). He was seeking God and trying to follow the Old Testament, and God sent a Christian to him to explain the gospel of Jesus Christ. The same thing happened to the eunuch from Ethiopia. We read about this in Acts 8:26-40. He had visited Israel and obtained one of the books of the Old Testament and was trying to understand it. God sent Philip to him to explain the gospel.

God has been trying to speak to men and to call them for 6,000 years, but for the most part He has been ignored. God cannot be blamed for man’s spiritual ignorance.

Fourth, God has provided salvation and offers it to all men. God’s great love and goodness are evident by the fact that He came into this world and suffered many things at the hands of His own creatures and allowed Himself to be crucified on a cross in order to save men from their sins. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God wants to save men. That is His desire. If men are not saved, it is not God’s fault. The fact that God has gone to such great trouble and expense to provide salvation for those who believe is evidence that He can be trusted to do that which is right.

Fifth, we cannot expect to understand everything about God. To understand every mystery about God, you would have to be God! Though God has revealed many things to us in the Scriptures, He has not revealed everything and He has not answered every question we can ask. Deuteronomy 29:29 is a very important verse. “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

Sixth, God does not have to answer to man. “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” (Romans 9:20). As God’s creature, man is required to trust and obey him regardless of whether he can understand him. God must be God.

 

enterspirits-ds.1.1.jpg (16609 bytes)

In writing our book Entertaining Spirits Unaware: The End-Time Occult Invasion, David Benoit and I drew from nearly 50 years of combined ministry experience often dealing with New Age spiritualism, witchcraft and overt occultism. These are issues that occasionally make the most alert Christian uncomfortable and the unaware simply cringe. It may seem like overkill to some that David and I write such a book, for after all, the occult and those who purvey it are certainly nothing for Christians to concern ourselves with…or are they? How we wish that the occult was indeed just a moot point in our society. However, in actuality the occult is thriving in America and around the world, gaining acceptance and followers in unparalleled numbers. Today there is a spiritual war going on for the lives and souls of men, women, teens and yes, children; and without the Church lighting up and exposing this darkness it continues unabated, overtaking the unsuspecting around us.

Several years ago I was speaking at a Christian conference at Houston’s (TX) Second Baptist Church. While there, a gentleman happened by our display booth and noticed the title of my new book. He backed up slightly and exclaimed, “Ohhhh, the occult. That scares me!” I happened to hear him and was able to respond saying, “Brother, the only reason the word ‘occult’ has the ability to frighten you is because you don’t understand it which is exactly what Satan wants.”

From TAKE A STAND! MINISTRIES

Ignorance invites misunderstanding, fear, complacency and deception. This is why considering the enemy’s vast deployment of occult traps which range from an array of New Age self-help seminars and numerous kids’ cartoons, to the world of adult and children’s literature and the occult laced lineup offered by Hollywood as entertainment today, it is of ultimate importance that we have at least a basic understanding of what God’s Word declares on the issue.

Derived from the Latin word Occultus, the occult by definition means “things hidden, things in darkness, the practices of divination and sorcery”. Make no mistake – God is not confused in the least about the realm of occultism, its practices and adherents. His Word is crystal-clear and God’s position must also become our position if we expect His blessing, protection and providential power to be evident in our lives and homes.

THE NINE FORBIDDEN PRACTICES

Deuteronomy 18 contains the most powerful biblical passage outlining the occult. In verses ten and eleven we find the Nine Forbidden Practices of the occult:

When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.

In my Take A Stand! Seminar “The End-Time Occult Invasion”, I use the following to illustrate how it is absolutely imperative that we avoid all forms of occultism and teach others the same.

The word “abomination” (v.9, 12) is the Hebrew word “Tow`ebah”

(Strong’s number 08441, pronounced “to-ay-baw”)

It means: “a disgusting thing,” “an abomination,” “unclean” (as in idolatry), “wickedness”

This is the strongest condemnatory language used by God in the entire Bible!

Let that sink in. In the strongest terms used in the entire Bible, God condemns and forbids the occult as He warns the Israelites to avoid and abhor it. Pronouncing it as “towebah,” God, in His wisdom, lays out the Nine Forbidden Practices. They are:

1) Human Sacrifice – We call that abortion today!

2) Divination – The Heart of the occult. Manipulation from demonic sources.

3) Astrology – We either trust God or the Zodiac but not both!

4) Enchanter – Someone satanically endowed to produce seductive spells.

5) Witchcraft and Witches – Includes its modern, organized counterpart, Wicca.

6) Charmer – One who manipulates objects or beings via demonic power.

7) Consulter with Familiar Spirits – One who gleans knowledge from demonic contact.

8) Wizards – Practitioners of magical arts

9) Necromancers – Those who claim to be in contact with the dead.

Please note that nine is also the biblical number of Judgment & Rebellion !!!

Once we see and understand God’s standard on the occult, several more Scriptures immediately come to mind that give direction, warning and clarity concerning the various deceptions.

Ephesians 5:10-11 instruct what we must do concerning evil in any form.

Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

II Corinthians 6:14-18 leaves no doubt that God wants His children to steer clear of any fascination or involvement with the occult.

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 serves as God’s warning to His own that those who endear themselves to false teachings and false teachers (that includes the occult) are indeed “returning to “Egypt” – entering again into satanic bondage!

If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

Notice verse three, which relates that our acceptance or rejection of these false teachers and their works will be a test of our allegiance to God!

No wonder the Scripture very clearly and concisely instructs and warns of God’s will (blessings or judgment) concerning the occult and related issues. Make no mistake: when we fail to reject and expose any and all of the occult practices and various entertainment modes that now endorse them the Bible clearly says that we have failed the test and have commenced to following “other gods.”

Furthermore, Romans 1:32 declares that those who entertain themselves with the images of evil, including the many brands of occult-based entertainment, are under the same judgment and curse as those who actually perform the occult deeds! Wow!

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Doesn’t that sound exactly like our culture today; having pleasure in or being entertained by the very things that God condemns?

IGNORANCE IS NEVER BLISS!

Many would be content to stay ignorant of the seriousness of the occult in the sight and mind of God. However, to do so is to invite curses and demonic activity to infest our homes, families and land. At very least we cannot expect God to bless and enrich our lives and loved ones if we persist in walking in darkness, making acceptable what He disdains.

Hosea 4:6 speaks to those who walk in ignorance and also to us who know the truth that we must herald it clearly!

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

It is a sad and tragic fact of these end-days that many in the Church – THE CHURCH – have followed “strange gods” entertaining themselves and their families with movies, books, television programs and more that do nothing more than glorify the Nine Forbidden Practices of the Occult!

Need we wonder why God doesn’t answer our prayers, save our families, anoint our worship services and fill our lives with boldness, power and miraculous authority? We may only need to look as far as the entertainment that many Saints so willingly allow to rob them of not only precious time, but of their sensitivity to God’s Word and standards for His children. As we continually implant Satanic occultism into our minds and lives through “harmless” entertainment venues it won’t be long before we accept what God calls evil as good and reject what He calls good as evil, pridefully becoming wise in our own eyes.

If what I have described here hits a nerve in your life then the good news is that God’s word clearly lays out the remedy. I highly suggest you follow the pattern of the Saints at Ephesus from twenty centuries ago after they heard the Apostles message on this very issue. Acts 19:18-20 reads:

And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts (sorcery) brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. Or “Then the word of God grew and spread in power.”

Isn’t that what we all want?

I loved the following excerpt from Dave Hunt’s – Search the Scriptures Daily 

The Day of the Lord…When and How Long?

He said, “Don’t lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth where moth and rust doth corrupt, thieves break in and steal, but lay up treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is there will your heart be also.”

Now, that’s not easy to illustrate and you stop me if I already told this story of the lady that died and went to heaven, you remember? And, Saint Peter is showing her around and she comes to, what looks like the Beverly Hills of heaven, if there were such a thing—such a fabulous mansion and she says, “Well, who is that for?” Peter says, “That’s your maid, Jenny.” And then she comes, if there is such a thing, to the slums of heaven and there is this little shack there that is so pitiful she can’t resist asking, “Well, who does that belong to?” Peter says, “That’s yours.”

This was a very wealthy lady on earth. She says, “Well, how could that be?” Peter says, “Well, we can only build with the material you sent up here.”

So, I think this is what Jesus is saying. “Lay up treasures in heaven where moth and rust doth not corrupt.” How do we do that? Well, we do that through winning souls for Christ, through our steadfastness in the faith and serving others…..

source

http://www.thebereancall.org/node/865

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