As I was walking yesterday, a neighbor called to me and asked if he could ask me a question. This happens a lot, and I always begin with “I will give you an answer, though the answer may be ‘I don’t know’”!
Sometimes these questions are unusual and unique to what is happening in the questioner’s life. More often, it is a question I have heard before. One of the questions I hear the most often is “Why”?
Why did God allow that?
Why do bad things happen to good people?
If God is a loving God, why would he let this happen?
How can I believe God exists? If He did, this wouldn’t happen!
Many Christian leaders avoid answering these questions. It isn’t that they don’t know the answer—virtually all do. It’s because they know people won’t like the answer. So, they respond with platitudes like “There are things we just can’t understand.” Or “God works in mysterious ways.”
There are answers to your questions.
God made the answer very clear. It is the bad news that makes the good news so good!
- First, bad things don’t happen to good people. There are no good people. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There are only people we think are better than others—an attitude which betrays the fact that we have put ourselves in God’s judgment seat.
- Second, bad things happen to everyone—and to creation itself. The reason? We sinned. We were created as caretakers of this world. When we sinned, we not only condemned ourselves to a harsh life and eventual death, we condemned creation itself.
I told you that you wouldn’t like the answer.
That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news—the gospel. God loved us so much, he became part of his creation and paid the price for our sin, offering us forgiveness if we are willing to accept his Lordship over our lives. Bad things will continue to happen to us and to this fallen world. But one day, the Lord will return and this world—including our fallen bodies—will be done away with. He will recreate us in the resurrection and give us a recreated world! Until then, each bad thing that happens is a reminder of who we have been—and a warning not to turn back to sin.