Tag Archives: sin

Why do we suffer?

 

Source: Answers in Genesis

 

This is an age old questions that has been debated by theologians and philosophers for centuries.  It is also asked: Why do good things happen to bad people?  The answer is simple and it lies in Genesis Chapter 3.  When God created everything, he said it was all “very good” and therefore there was no sin, no suffering, and no curse.  However, God created humans with a free will, so there was a potential for man to rebel.  After the fall of man, God pronounced a curse on Adam, Eve, and the Earth.  From then on, people who initially would have lived forever with God in the earthly paradise would be destined to die (the curse).  Death and suffering come in various forms, such as sickness, cancers, and genetic diseases.  Today, we have countless diseases and genetic mutations that have caused much suffering.  Many ask how God could allow this to happen, but this shows a lack of understanding the Scriptures. 

The world we see today is fallen; it is full of violence, disease, injustice, and misery.  God never wanted suffering and death, but since Adam rebelled and he is the father of all people, we have to suffer the consequences of his actions.  We all have the sin nature and are subject to suffering.  Bad things happen to good people because, there are no good people.  We have all fallen.  No child has to be taught to lie or disobey their parents—it comes natural, just as sin is natural.  God is love but he is also just, and we are all under the curse, but we also have a an escape from the curse through Jesus.  Suffering is a part of the Christian walk (2 Cor. 4:17) but our heavenly dwelling place will be free from all effects of the curse. 

If God did not exist, pain and suffering would still exist. To whom would you complain then? Why is it that people say God doesn’t exist because pain and suffering exist? Do they assume God is all good and all loving at all times and should therefore prevent all wrong? If we eliminate all the bad in the world, could we then use all the good as evidence for God?

By telling God what he should do, or by defining God according to your own terms based on what you want, you are committing idolatry. You are creating a god based on your standards. There are plenty of belief systems out there where they have created their own gods to fit their needs. Yet, they fail in explaining the nature of this fallen world.

God is all good, and all loving, but he is also a God of mercy, compassion, and justice. He punishes those who do wrong, but he is also merciful in withholding such discipline at times. Would you complain if God immediately punished you for everything you did wrong? What if you were arrested the moment you shoplifted? What if you were exposed as soon as you lied? What if you were accused of an affair as soon as you had a lustful thought for someone other than your spouse? God should punish us all immediately by this standard because we broke his law, yet he sometimes withholds justice because of his great mercy. Be thankful for that. Sometimes we complain about a person getting away with horrible crimes, and we ask “Where is God? Why won’t he do something about that criminal?” We, however, don’t say that when we are the ones doing wrong. We find many examples of God executing judgement in the Old and New Testaments where people did evil and God punished them severely. And rightfully so.   But let’s not ignore the fact that in many cases, he gave them ample amount of time to repent of their sins, but they refused to repent. Could it be that God’s discipline is his way of turning this world back to Him?

What would you say if God intervened with every action you took? What if you tried to make an independent decision but was stopped every time because God wouldn’t let you have that freedom. You would have no free will and you would be his robot. Thankfully, God gives us free will. But our choices come with a price.

Pain is a good thing. There are children who feel no pain (like Gabby Gingras, Isaac Brown). This is not a good thing. They could suffer from appendicitis and no one would know until it is too late. They could rest their hand on a hot stove and not remove it until the third degree burns appear. The list of problems goes on. Because of pain, we learn to not touch the hot stove, to be careful with sharp objects, and to seek medical attention when our body is not acting right.

But why is there suffering? Why do we have so many health problems? For one, look at the unhealthy things we put in our body (free will). Sugary drinks, carbs, fat, genetically modified foods…no wonder we are so unhealthy and suffer the consequences. Let’s not blame God for our free will decisions.

But what about other types of suffering unrelated to our health like genetic disorders? The answer to that starts in the oft-ignored and mocked book of Genesis. If we go back to the beginning of time with Adam and Eve, we see that God created a perfect world. There was no death or suffering. When Adam rebelled against God (free will), the curse upon all living things began. Since we are related to Adam, we inherit the sin nature. If you don’t believe that, ask yourself if you ever had to train a child to lie, or train a child to be selfish or jealous or rebellious against their parent. You don’t have to train them because it is innate. Sin leads to consequences, and such consequences include suffering. As time has gone on, there has been an increase in suffering, wars, diseases, genetic mutations, and disorders. We see this affirmed in Romans 8:22 which tells us that all creation groans. The world is not getting better, and one of the biggest reasons for that is the growing rebellion against God.

There is a reason for pain and suffering, but that does not mean there is no God. If we read and understand the Bible, which is God’s word to us, we can then see why there is pain and suffering, and it is our due reward for our inherit rebellion against our very creator.

Fortunately, for those who confess their sins and acknowledge Jesus Christ as their savior, we have the surety of entering into Heaven after our death. There, we will have no further pain or suffering because the curse of Adam will be removed. The works of Satan will then be stopped. For those who reject the free gift of salvation, they face an eternity of pain and suffering with no relief. Please don’t make a decision to reject God based on your misunderstanding of Him. Those who have not been born again cannot fully understand the spiritual things of this world, but if you seek the truth you will find it

It’s unfortunate that so many misunderstand the Bible and God and form their belief system on their incorrect understandings.   “God condones rape.” “It’s a sin today to wear mixed fabrics.” “God killed innocent people.” “God condones slavery.” The list goes on. All these statements are untrue. There are ample websites out there to answer these false claims. A quick Google search will provide you with more than enough feasible answers to all these questions. Have you taken the time to research it?

Did Adam and Eve have any children before the Fall?

Some may disagree, but RTG believes that Adam and Eve did not have children until after they sinned.  The reason being is if a child was born before the fall of man, then that child would be sinless just like Adam and Eve.  When Adam ate from the fruit, he passed on the sin nature to all humans, including everyone today.  Because of Adam’s rebellion, all people will eventually die (Rom. 5:12).  If Adam had a child beforehand, then that child would not inherit the curse (unless he also ate some of the fruit) and therefore not have to experience death and suffering.  That child would theoretically still be living today.  The Bible is not clear on this question and it remains as a debatable issue.

What was the Fall of Man?

Also known as “Original Sin,” the Fall of Man was the event of Adam disobeying God.  It is not known at what time this occurred, but it had to be after the 7th day of Creation when God declared everything to be “very good” (there was no sin if everything was “very good”).  Genesis Chapter 3 records Adam and Eve residing in the Garden where God placed them.  God gave them permission to eat from every tree in the garden except one: the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  This was a literal tree that bore fruit.  Satan, in the form of a serpent, questioned Eve about what God had commanded her regarding that particular tree.   Eve replied that she would die if she ate from it.  Satan said that she would not die but instead be like God and her eyes would be opened, allowing her to know good and evil.  Deceived, Eve ate some of the fruit and shared it with Adam.  Immediately after, they both realized that they were naked and they tried to cover their nakedness with leaves.

Both Adam and Eve knew that it was wrong to eat from that particular tree, yet they still did it.  They had the option of walking away from the tree and eating something else.  Even still today, when we are tempted, God provides us with an escape route so that we can avoid the temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).  Their act of rebellion resulted in banishment from the garden, and all people would be born with a sin nature and one day die.  We all suffer because of Adam’s sin.  Thankfully, Jesus has provided a way to live forever with Him.

What did God mean by “very good?”

At the end of each day of creation, God said that it was “good.”  At the end of the creation week, God said that it was “very good.”  If his creation was very good, then there was no suffering, no disease, no sin, and no death.  It was paradise on earth and possibly a representation of our heavenly home

 

It was Very Good (Source: Answers in Genesis)

 

After Adam and Eve rebelled against God’s commandment and ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, sin entered into the world.  Death is a result of sin, and suffering, sickness, and disease are a form of death.  We suffer now because of Adam’s rebellion.   God’s world is not very good anymore, but our heavenly home will be.

 

How could it be Very Good if death, disease, and suffering were already occuring? (Source: Answers in Genesis)

 

 

Is Genesis Relevant Today?

The first book of the Bible, Genesis, is the foundation to all Christian doctrine.  Within the first 11 chapters we learn about:

The Trinity

The origin of all matter

The Nature of Man

The fall of man

The reason for suffering and death

The reason we wear clothes

The basis for marriage between one man and one woman

The reason Jesus came to sacrifice his life for us

and literally all other doctrines of the Christian faith.

 If you read the Bible and skip Genesis, you deprive yourself of understanding the reason for why you believe Christian doctrine.

 

Source: Answers in Genesis

 

If Genesis is not true, then that casts doubt on the rest of the Bible.  If we question Creation, then we question the flood, the Tower of Babel, the Exodus, the Kings, Prophecies, and ultimatley, the very existence of Jesus and his saving grace.  God’s Word, from Genesis to Revelation, is true and “is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

Genesis helps with witnessing to others.  Suppose you are telling a friend about Jesus and explaining that we are all born in sin and in need of a savior.  The Book of Romans tells us that we have sin and need a savior, but it doesn’t explain why.  This is why you should start with Genesis to explain how we are all descendants of Adam, and because of Adam’s sin of rebellion we are all born with a sin nature.

Prior to the Enlightenment in the 1700 and 1800s, the biblical teachings of creation, the flood, etc were common and believed as true.  After the Enlightenment, philosophers came up with new ideas and caused many to cast doubt on the reliability of the Bible.  The church did not want to lose its followers, so they too gave up their teachings on science and adhered to the new teachings on old-earth geology, Darwinian evolution, and so forth.  All of those teachings were contrary to Scripture, but the church allowed it and decided to only teach on spiritual things.he Bible does teach on earthly things!  

Does the Bible teach science?  Yes.  It gives the big picture which explains what we see today.

  • The Bible teaches on biology when God ordered living things to reproduce after their kind.
  • The Bible teaches on astronomy when on the 4th day of Creation, the sun, moon, and stars were made.
  • The Bible teaches on antrhopology when the Table of Nations is written in Genesis chapter 10, and the great dispersal at the Tower of Babel in chapter 11.
  • The Bible teaches on linguistics when the languages were formed at the Tower of Babel.
  • The Bible teaches on geology when it talks about the Great Flood in chapters 6-9, and the flood caused worldwide geologic catastrophe.

 

This brings us to a conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus the Pharisee:

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.  How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.   Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.  “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?  Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.  I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? (John 3:3-12)

Jesus was telling Nicodemus about eternal life, which of course is a spiritual issue.  But Nicodemus could not even understand the earthly (material, physical) things Jesus was talking about.  This is why Jesus said Nicodemus could not understand the spiritual issues because he couldn’t even understand the material issues.

The church today has done this very thing.  They try to teach the spiritual issues on Sunday morning and leave the teaching of earthly things to the secular schools, media, textbooks, and so forth.  When the church gave up the scientific teachings mentioned above, everyone learned it differently through the secular education, which were in complete contrast to the teachings of the Bible.  Since people were taught the Bible got it wrong on earthly things, they could not longer believe the spiritual things taught in the Bible.  Therefore, the entire Bible was discredited, and God slowly eroded out of people’s lives.

It doesn’t have to be this way though!  If the churches start back at Genesis and teaches how science DOES make sense in the light of Scripture, then we can all again understand the earthly things.  If the earthly things are again understood as true, then the spiritual things will be true again!

 

What are the problems with believing in millions of years?

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.”  Romans 5:12.  

 

Source: Answers in Genesis

 

Death and suffering is a result of sin.  In the fossil record we find bones with diseases and cancer.  If the fossil record shows millions of years of Earth history before the creation and fall of man, then what caused those animals in the fossil record to die and have diseases?  The fossil record is a result of God’s judgment of sin.  These things logically could not have happened until after Adam’s sin.  This is one of the major problems with Theistic Evolution and Progressive Creationism in that these two alternative views allow for suffering and death before Adam’s sin.  This is opposite to what the Bible tells us about sin, suffering, and death.   If Adam’s sin did not bring death and curse onto the Earth, then what did bring it?