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Loss of innocent lives

    • 5 posts
    November 15, 2015 3:38 PM EST

    Right then friends in Jesus, as you will know, if you have read a bit about me, I am relatively new to Christ.

    I know and understand we have a God, who we all try our best to be correct in our lives for him as well as ourselves but what I am really struggling with today is, we believe God loves us all and forgives all our trangressions when we sin but why oh why does he allow such huge losses of innocent lives?

    112.500 ish lives taken this weekend alone, only one 'batch' of lives lost to natural disaster in a Japan earthquake but all the others have been taken needlessly by t*rr*ri*sts in Paris, Baghdad to name two locations, so if God really does love us as his children, why so many deaths?  Why so many lives and families ruined?  This is what I am struggling with!  Does he love us that much that he would let something happen to me? My two children? My wife to be? My friends & family?

    We say Christ has risen and Christ will come again.  When we will never know, not in my lifetime I assume but then I leave my family to what is happening in the world when I pass.

    If Christ is to come again, we need him to come soon because I feel praying alone is not enough, by this I mean collectively praying, not myself alone which I do anyway.

    So, can anyone help me or convince me we will be safe in God's hand because at the moment i'm not feeling so sure.

    Keith

    • 272 posts
    November 15, 2015 6:23 PM EST

    Hi Keith, I know that it's a difficult subject for many. Dion will probably weigh in on it later, as well. Just a couple of thoughts to ponder:

    First, we are in a battle here on Earth, not necessarily against people, though the enemy may use people. We contend in the spirit realm through prayer. I can't make the statement that you and your loved ones will always be safe, because there isn't a guarantee of that. Jesus wasn't what we would call safe, nor really any of His followers. All we can look to is to be in His will and that even when the enemy has his day, that our God will still use it for good in the end.

    Second, for believers, this world is not the end. What we see as someone's life ending is just another stage for those who follow Christ. I am not trying to diminish what happened in Paris, because those who did it enacted something horrific, but that is not the end of the story.

    Also, I realize that just words may not even help with the questions in your heart, so I pray that the Lord will send His Holy Spirit to give you revelation in this area, and peace as well <3.

  • November 15, 2015 6:24 PM EST
    God could step in and stop all evil things in this world. But by doing so removes the free will he made us with. He would have to reprogram all of us which would remove our ability to seek a personal relationship with him. The reward for our faith hear on earth by far out ways the suffering we go threw. Our time here is very short in comparison to eternity.
    Here is something I read. GOD BLESS! & Keep the faith you and your family will be fine, Our goal is to keep our faith and relationship with God threw our savior Jesus Christ no matter what evil comes against us and we all fall short at times but by his grace we are saved.

    Why does God make people suffer?
    My child is suffering. Is it because I have sinned?
    If God is a God of love, why is there so much evil and suffering in the world?
    Does Satan have authority over the world?
    Why does God allow abuse and torture of innocent children?
    Why do bad things happen to good people?
    Did God create evil, or does He just allow it?
    Are natural disasters caused by God or Satan?
    Is it good to suffer?
    Introduction
    The reasons why a loving God would allow so much evil in the world are a mystery and a stumbling block to faith for many people. Why do good people sometimes suffer terribly while evil people live lives of ease? These are very difficult things to understand, but the Bible does give some clues.
    Physical Evil
    Illness, pain, earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters are examples of physical evils. God may use physical evil to chastise individuals or nations and lead them to repent (Isaiah 45:7, Genesis 6:13, Acts 13:9-11). Some physical evil may be the result of the original sin of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:6, Romans 5:12-14).
    God may use physical evil for a higher purpose: to test us and prepare us for glory (1 Peter 1:6-7, 5:10, 2 Corinthians 12:7-9), or to make us more compassionate (2 Corinthians 1:3-6). The suffering we endure now will be more than compensated by the glory of eternal life (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Philippians 1:21-23). Physical evil is one means God uses to accomplish His work on earth (John 9:1-3). It is very difficult to see any value in pain, suffering, loss of a loved one, disability, etc. However, these temporary evils are insignificant on the time scale of eternity, and they may just be a testing and preparation for better things to come.

    Despite all this, the reason for most physical evil is simply unknown to us. Sometimes, we just have to put our trust in God and accept the fact that we can't understand why we have to suffer (Psalms 23:4, 31:7, Lamentations 3:31-33):

    "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts." (NAS, Isaiah 55:8-9 )

    Moral Evil
    Murder, aggression, terrorism, violence, theft, greed, bribery, hatred, racism, discrimination, revenge, lying, deceit, slander, gossip, adultery, rape and other sexual immorality are examples of moral evils (Exodus 20:12-17, Deuteronomy 16:19, 1 Chronicles 22:8, Isaiah 2:4, Mark 7:21-22, Romans 12:17-19). Moral evil is caused by our sinfulness and rebellion against God. It is the result of ignoring the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) and Jesus' command to "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22:35-40, Romans 13:9, James 2:8).
    God gives all of us the free will to choose between good or evil, and many choose to follow the ways of evil (James 1:13-15). Unfortunately, when some people choose the path of evil, others may suffer as a result. However, in eternity, the righteous will be rewarded and the evildoers will be punished. (Luke 16:19-31, Romans 6:23).

    At all costs we should avoid participating in moral evil (Luke 17:1-2, Mark 9:43-47). We must also avoid the temptation to retaliate or take revenge (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 5:43-48, 1 Peter 4:12-19, James 1:19-20).

    We may also cause suffering to ourselves as the natural consequence of sinfulness and unwise actions (Proverbs 1:29-32, 6:9-11, 10:8-9, 11:27-30, 17:9, 23:21, 29:3, Romans 7:14-23, Galatians 6:7-9).

    Evil Cannot Be Completely Eliminated
    Jesus said He did not come to eliminate evil from the world, but so that the kingdom of God can grow amid the evil of the world until the time when all evil is destroyed (Matthew 10:34-36, 13:24-30, 13:36-43). We cannot eliminate all evil in the world, but we can and should do our best to minimize the suffering it causes (Matthew 5:7, Acts 20:35, Matthew 25:31-46, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Ephesians 4:32, 1 John 3:17-18).
    Questions
    Does Satan Cause Evil?
    Satan is an evil being opposed to God and mankind. Satan is also called "the devil" (Matthew 4:1),"the ruler of this world" (John 14:30), "the god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4), "Beelzebub" (Matthew 12:24), and "the ruler of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2). 1 John 5:19 says, "the whole world lies under the power of the evil one."
    Satan's primary methods are temptation (creating a desire to do what is wrong) and deception (persuasion that wrong is actually right) (Matthew 4:3, John 8:44, 1 Thessalonians 3:4-5, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, 1 John 4:1). But Satan's power is limited by God. With faith, prayer and determination we can resist temptation (Matthew 6:13, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Ephesians 4:25-27, 6:11-12, 1 Peter 5:8-10).

    Satan, with his powers of temptation and deception, may be indirectly responsible for moral evils. But that does not excuse those people who allow themselves to fall under Satan's influence (Matthew 18:7-9, 26:41, Mark 9:42-48, Luke 17:1-2). Satan may also cause some physical evils (Job 2:3-7).

    Is Suffering God's Punishment for Sin?
    It is wrong to assume that someone who suffers is being punished for his or her sins or those of an ancestor (Job 1:1, 1:13-22, John 9:1-3). In Biblical times, many people believed that someone who was poor or suffering was being punished by God for sins. Conversely, wealth was believed to be a sign of God's favor. But Jesus' Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) emphatically shows those beliefs to be wrong: The selfish rich man ended up in hell, but the poor beggar Lazarus ended up in heaven.
    Did God Create Evil, or Does He Just Allow It?
    Although God may sometimes use physical evils to accomplish His purposes, the Bible says that God does not cause sin or moral evils (James 1:13-15, 1 John 3:2-6, 2 Thessalonians 3:3). Jesus said the cause of sin is within the human mind:
    ... “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.” (NLT, Mark 7:20-23)
    Is it Good to Suffer?
    We should expect some suffering in this life (John 16:33, 2 Timothy 3:12). Willingness to suffer for doing what is right is a demonstration of our faith (1 Peter 2:20-21). Through suffering, we learn many valuable lessons such as humility and dependence on God (Psalms 119:66-71, 2 Corinthians 12:7-9), empathy and concern for others who are suffering (2 Corinthians 1:3-5), endurance and good character (Romans 5:3-4, James 1:2-3) and righteousness (Hebrews 12:11).
    ... for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts.” Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? (NRSV, Hebrews 12:6-7)
    However, there is no value in suffering for its own sake. Although we should patiently endure suffering when it comes, nothing in the Bible says we should seek suffering or martyrdom (Psalms 16:11, Romans 15:13).

    Living with Evil and Suffering
    Although we cannot eliminate all evil and suffering, people who develop great faith in God often find an inner peace that simply overshadows the evils of the world and the suffering we endure (Psalms 4:8, 119:165, John 14:27, Matthew 5:4, 11:28-29, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, 1 Peter 5:6-11):
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil;
    For You are with me;
    Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (NKJV, Psalms 23:4)

    I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. (NRSV, Romans 8:18)

    We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (NRSV, Romans 8:28)

    The Christian attitude is to thank and praise God for all the good things He has done rather than to blame Him for creating a world that we view as imperfect.
    • 1 posts
    November 15, 2015 7:01 PM EST
    Keith, I will try to give you an answer and understand I am just a student of the Word and do not have all the answers and I may only have part of your answer. And I encourage you to do your own study on this and make a committed effort to pray and study your Bible.

    But I can assure you that if you or anyone else who puts their trust and believes with their heart in Jesus Christ, would be safe in God's hand.

    God loves us and wishes that no person should perish. We know this to be true because he would not have sent His son to die for us so that we could have eternal life.

    However what troubles you and what you have pointed out is not of God, but the result of sin in the world.

    Biblically speaking, pain and suffering are the results of sin in the world. Adam, who represented all humanity as well as creation, rebelled against God and brought suffering into the world (Rom. 5:12). Sin is more than simple rebellion and breaking of God's law. It is permeating throughout all of God's creation bringing imbalance, famine, earthquakes, disease, etc. This does not mean that God created evil. Instead, it is God who is allowing evil and suffering to continue for His divine plan.

    Undoubtedly, God has a plan. And that plan is salvation in Jesus Christ. Since God knows all things, He is not surprised by the presence of evil and sin in the world that brings about suffering. But if God knows all things from all eternity, then He is perfectly capable of using suffering in the world in His greater plan. The best and simplest example of this is the suffering of Christ at the hands of evil men. It is by Christ's suffering and death on the cross that we are able to be redeemed. It was God's plan from all eternity that Christ die for our sins, yet Christ was crucified by evil people (Acts 4:27-28). This means that God had incorporated into His divine plan the reality of evil and suffering in order to accomplish His will. Of course, this does not mean that God is the author of evil, but it does mean that God is above it all and can use it to accomplish a greater good.

    So the suffering you speak of is the result of human sin. The world is not the way that God created it. Because of that, all are vulnerable to the effects of sin in the world. Why does one person suffer and another does not? Why do catastrophes happen to some and not to others? It is because sin is in the world. But there will come a day when the Lord will return and cleanse this world of all sin and all suffering and those who have believed and put their faith in Jesus will be raised up and caught up to life eternal.

    "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," (Rev. 21:4).

    I encourage you like I said to study the Bible, meditate upon the Bible and put your TRUST AND FAITH IN JESUS AND HIS INFALLIBLE WORD and begin a personal relationship with Jesus. Abide in Him and abide in His Word and let Jesus and His Word abide in you and I believe He will answer your questions and give revelation giving you peace, comfort and assurance. - God Bless you Keith!
  • November 15, 2015 9:03 PM EST

    By far I am no expert on this, but this is what I believe. The rules of life are out there for us. God and both Jesus presented them to us. They taught us what is right and what is wrong. In the end no matter what God has taught us, we are all responsible for our own actions. God and Jesus can't change people. We have to want to change ourselves. What happened in Paris was horrific; unimaginable. These people made up their minds what they were going to do and there was no way God could stop them with destroying the entire world and I don't think he wanted to do that. I know he and Jesus both shedded tears with the victims and families left behind. God knows what such pain it is to lose a child. He watched his son be crucified so we could be saved. Floods, earthquakes and other disasters are some things that can't be explained. Sometimes I think God allows them to happen to make us realize just what  should be important in our lives. We get so caught up in material things like having the best car, the biggest house, going on extravagant vacations, that we forget about the simple things in life and even leave out God. Many of these things may be just warning signs from God for us to recognize what is important in our lives and to respect and honor every moment with our loved ones.