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July 2014

FLIGHT 17 AND WHY GOD PERMITS SUFFERING

One of the biggest arguments used by atheists and agnostics is the problem of suffering.  It does appear to be a formidable argument:  If God is all-powerful, He could stop it, and if He is all loving, He would not allow it.  The old argument used by Richard Dawkins and others is that God cannot be all-powerful and all loving at the same time, and therefore He does not exist.
 
It is not a very good argument, though on the surface it does appear to be unanswerable.  Let me give a few thoughts:
 
1) God has endowed us with the gift of freedom of choice.  That means I can choose to do evil.  If God stopped my exercise of this gift, the cry would ring out that God is a tyrant.  Now you can’t have it both ways.  If you have freedom, you have the right and ability to do bad things.  Look what the atheists did in Russia for 70 years; they chose to murder 50 million people.  The dreadful downing of Flight MH17 with the loss of almost 300 innocent lives happened because we live in a world where evil exists because human beings chose evil instead of good.
 
2) Freedom of choice is necessary for us to exercise the capacity of love.  If we were robots, then there could be no love.  Love only functions when I am free to choose.  How would the atheist construct us so we could love and yet be unable to choose right or wrong?  Remember, the biggest fool can throw more stones down a well in 5 minutes than a wise man can retrieve in 50 hours!  A clever objection is not an indication that it is right.
 
3) Evidences for God abound in nature, though many are not aware of those evidences.  Take for instance the following evidences that more than suggest the existence of the Creator:
 
a) The anthropic principle.  We now know that the Universe is incredibly fine tuned for humans to exist.  I could pile on the facts, but let me give you just one or two.  If the whole Universe of 200,000,000,000 galaxies were of greater or lesser mass by the mass of a single dime, there would be no life on Earth.  That is a fact, but the atheist says it just happened. Let me give you just one other example.  After the Big Bang that occurred 13.82 billion years ago, 4 great forces came into existence.  These forces — gravity, the strong nuclear force, the weak nuclear force, and electromagnetism — hold everything together.  If they had been out of balance by a trillionth of a trillionth of trillionth of one percent, the universe would have either collapsed or expanded so quickly that life would have been impossible.  Everything in the Universe is designed for the existence of man.  The anthropic principle is today accepted by almost all scientists, though of course the atheist says everything just happened by blind chance.  Atheism is not scientific, it is a philosophy that people choose to believe because of personal reasons.
 
b) The evidence of Bible prophecy points to the existence of a loving Creator.  Time will not suffice for me to mention all the prophecies of the Bible, but two or three must suffice. E.g.:
 
I. Daniel 2 that foretold the rise and fall of world empires for more than 2,000 years.
 
II. Daniel 9:25-27 that predicted the coming of the Messiah in 27AD and His murder.  Also the same prophecy predicts the continued desolations of Jerusalem.
 
III. Prophecies about the death of the Christ by crucifixion and the great events of His life.  See my presentation, “The Man Who Wrote His Own Life Story Before He Was Born.”
 
I personally have witnessed millions of atheists come in from the cold and accept Christ as Lord and Savior after hearing and seeing these evidences.  I have probably spoken to more atheists than any person now living.  Millions attended our lectures about evidences for God in the former Soviet Union.
 
I could give you many other “proofs” of God’s existence, but this will need to suffice.
 
One final and most important point about suffering.  British theologian John Stott wrote in his book, “The Cross of Christ,” these telling words, “I could not believe in God were it not for the cross of Christ.”  The Bible teaches that God became a man and took our sufferings upon Himself.  He knows, feels, and understands our pain.  He is not a remote spectator but One who is with us in our sufferings.  When He the Creator took our sin upon His sinless soul, and suffered the consequences of our sin, He made it possible for us to one day escape the world in which we live, and live forever in a place free from sin and suffering.  Thus we live in hope of deliverance from this present evil world with all it’s nightmares.  A better day and world is coming.  Only belief in a loving God gives us this glorious perspective.  Only belief in God is consistent with the facts of nature and divine revelation.
 
Blessings to you.
 
Yours for a reasoned and reasonable faith,
John Carter

 

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