Tag Archives: suffering

How can I know God is Real? 

 

A building has a builder and a painting has a painter.  Although we may not have watched the building be constructed or the painting be created, we know an intelligence was behind it all, and we would never consider the option that the building or painting were formed through natural processes.  From the smallest life form to the vast expanse of the universe, we see design, and such design could only come from a designer.  In Romans 1:20, we read that God’s eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, and it is understood from the creation.  Creation is our evidence of God.

Although we can see the evidence of God, sometimes we may feel like He’s not there.  Our belief in God should never depend on our emotions.  When things are going well for us, we can find ourselves thanking God and be content.  During these times we would rarely if ever doubt His existence.  But what about the hard times?   Sickness, bankruptcy, failed relationships…does your belief in God then become questionable?

As Christians, we are not guaranteed happiness, prosperity, health, or our “best life now.”  In fact, we are more likely to encounter struggles, friends and family abandoning us, job loss, persecution, mockery, and other problems.  It is true that Christians go through a “spiritual desert” where we feel like God has abandoned us.  That happens to many believers and it is a beneficial problem although it may be painful and difficult at first.

God knows what happens to you, whether good or bad, and God is never surprised by such things.  Romans 8:28 tells us that God works for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.   There is a theological term called “sanctification.”  This is a process where, after you have repented of your sins and put your trust in Jesus Christ, you will now go through a “cleaning process,” for lack of a better word.  Most likely, for the rest of your time here on earth, you will experience sanctification.  When we died to our old selves and became born again, we experienced spiritual rebirth, but God continues to work through our lives to help us exemplify the life of Christ.  You will still have times when you fall back into sin, the old habits, and the old way of thinking.   God will discipline you, or, hopefully at the very least, your conscience will remind you of your offense against God.  God works in us, and he takes us where we are at and makes us more Christ-like.  It can be a painful process, but we learn a lot through bad experiences.

As a Christian, the one sure thing you know is eternal bliss with our Savior awaits you after death.  We will also have good times while here on earth, our temporary home.  Remember that with good also comes bad, and with bad eventually comes the good.  Let your faith be in the almighty creator God who knows all things planned for you and is never surprised by what happens.  He’s got the whole world in his hands.  I encourage you to rest in those hands where you will be carried by the one who gave you life by dying for you.

Are you Good Enough to go to Heaven?

How can dinosaurs be used to spread the Gospel message?

We know about dinosaurs through the fossil record, and fossils are, of course, dead animals.  These fossils are found worldwide in sedimentary rock layers.  The majority of these fossils and rock layers were formed during Noah’s Flood.  The flood was an act of God’s judgment, showing that he does not tolerate sin forever.  We can use fossils to remind people of the deadly effects of sin.

 

Dinosaurs, animals, and people buried in sediment and fossilized after the flood (Source: Answers in Genesis)

 

How was Eve cursed after the Fall?

 

Increased pain during pregnancy

 

Eve is the mother of all human beings.  God cursed her and her offspring by increasing the pain she would experience during childbirth.  Also, God created division between husband and wife, where the wife would want to rule over the husband, but the husband would be the one ruling over her instead.  This does not mean, though, that the wife would be a submissive slave. The husband is to love his wife like Christ loves the church (his followers).  The husband is to be willing to make sacrifices and love her unconditionally.  This curse on Eve is similar to the theological term of Federal Headship.

How was Adam cursed after the Fall?

After the fall, Adam was cursed by making his work more difficult.  Adam was in charge of growing crops for food, and as implied by the text, prior to the Fall it was not a difficult task.  The curse resulted in the work being more difficult because thorns and thistles started to grow.  You can imagine Adam sticking his hand down and getting stuck by a painful thorn.  He also had to work by the sweat of his brow, implying that the heat would make it more difficult for him, such as causing him to become fatigued and have to rest, thus slowing down his progress.

 

Source: Answers in Genesis

 

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 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?