Monday, September 8, 2014
Good Monday Morning To You!
I’ve got to tell you what happened to me last Tuesday morning. Let me set up the scene. My cell phone had a problem --- you could not hear the ringer, or any of the alerts. My son, Kevin, and I had planned to take it back to Verizon for a repair or a replacement. I went to bed and Kevin was going to wake me the next morning. Miss Bessie and I had bought a new mattress and it was our first night on it. The next morning we were awakened to the loudest siren I have ever heard. I knew it was not one of our alarms, so I figured it had to be my C pap machine. It was just slightly out of reach, but I frantically kept hitting the off button, but the alarm still sounded. As I said, we have a new mattress and it is hard to sit on --- it’s slick. Picture this, I am leaning over quite far and I am sliding toward the floor. I managed to get my feet to the floor, but it is tile and I was bare footed. It was like being on ice. I am sliding to the floor and I yell, “Kevin, help!” He came in and took my hand, but instead of a hand up, he helped me make a more graceful fall to the floor. I’m sitting on the floor, the siren is still sounding, and the three of us are laughing hysterically. Kevin said, “Dad, turn off your alarm.” I replied, “What alarm?” Kevin said, “I fixed your phone, and I set your alarm.” He turned it off and I told him to never again set an alarm in my room without me knowing it. We all laughed about it the rest of the day. It would have been great for “America’s Funniest Videos.” Seriously, family life is wonderful and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
Yesterday was a great day at Friendship Harmony. The attendance was good and there was a good spirit among the people. The congregational singing was excellent, and I might try to have a make shift choir from time to time. I certainly have the singers for it.
Yesterday I concluded our series of messages concerning, “Why God Allows Suffering.” Below you will find the sermon notes, but I would hope that tomorrow, Tuesday, you will watch the video. It is the message as delivered to Friendship Harmony in its entirety. The video can be seen at www.facebook.com/friendshipharmony. Remember, you do not have to have a Facebook account in order to view the video. Below are the notes; please feel free to use them for your personal Bible study. Preachers and teachers may also use them for their classes, their small groups, or their messages. May God bless you as you study His word.
Suffering Series 3 of 3 8/12-9/6/14
By Victor Cooper
Intro: The other day I was asked, “Why does God allow suffering? Why does He allow someone to hurt an innocent person?” This is the age old question which was probably asked by Eve when she buried her son, Abel.
Review: Earlier we discovered that sin originated with Lucifer; it did not originate with God. We learned that the reason for suffering is sin. Sin means, “to miss the mark.”
The question is not, “Why is their suffering?” The question is, “Why does God allow suffering?
All sin is rebellion against God, not withstanding any one or anything else offended.
Rebels often try to enlist the aid of others in their cause.
God allows suffering because:
I. God has limitations. There are two kinds of limitations pertaining to God.
A. Natural limitations. His limitations are those things contrary to His nature.
1. God cannot lie. Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
2. God cannot be tempted to sin, nor can He tempt man to sin. James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
B. Self imposed limitations. Those things He has chosen not to include in His plan.
1. He choose Isaac not Ishmael; Jacob not Esau.
2. He choose not to spare James.
Acts 12:2 And he (Herod Agrippa I) killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3. God did not spare His own Son.
Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
God’s Self imposed limitation is the first tie in point to our question, “Why does God allow suffering?”
II. Man has free will. The ability to determine how one will live their life, and whether or not they will submit to God’s will.
A. For God to stop suffering at the hands of another, He would have to remove their free will.
B. To remove one’s free will, they are no longer responsible and are outside of the need for redemption.
C. To remove free will reduces man to being an automaton, one destined to serve God without any say in the matter.
D. Becoming an automaton leaves out loving God.
E. In order for God to even remove a person’s free will temporarily, He would have to remove it from everyone.
Man’s free will is the second tie in point to our question
“Why does God allow suffering?”
III. It reminds us of the viciousness of sin.
God takes sin more seriously than we do.
A. Sin brought man into open rebellion against God.
B. Sin affected all God’s creation from the angels in Heaven, to the fish in the deepest part of the sea.
C. We see the sins of others as bad, but our own we justify away.
D. From week one we quote from Professor Walter Veith “Sin must run its full course for the enormity to be fully abhorred; but it eventually will be eradicated along with its instigator.”
Professor Veith’s observation is the third and final tie in point to our question,
“Why does God allow suffering?”
Conclusion: Our question was, “Why does God allow suffering? Why does He allow someone or something totally ` innocent to be hurt by another?”
1. God’s self imposed limits will not allow for it. This is a point of Theology.
2. Man has a free will. This is a gift from God; it is a point of Grace.
3. It reminds us of the viciousness of sin.
A final thought: In my blog dated Sunday, August 24, I wrote, “On the surface these are not easy questions to answer, but actually they are. The problem is not the answer. The problem is our acceptance of the answer. Here is where faith enters the picture. I am talking about a mature faith that has been and is being nurtured by a diligent study of Scriptures, and much communication with the Holy Spirit.”
I’ll not be seeing you here on the blog for the next three weeks. Miss Bessie and I will be on vacation. I will miss you, but I’ll tell you all about our trip when we return. Please pray for us for safe travel and for a time of mental and spiritual refreshment. May the LORD richly bless you, and I’ll see you on the video tomorrow, and again in three weeks on Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!!!