When we got home from church tonight, I quizzed my family about my "first" for today. There was a thing or two I did today that I asked them to see if they qualified for a "first." They were not crazy about my ideas. Hannah Grace said, "What about when you sprayed the Lysol during the sermon?" Joel and Laura agreed that they thought that was a "first." That had not occurred to me. I sprayed Lysol and Magic Sizzling fabric finish during my sermon for my "first" today.
I did this as a sermon illustration. I actually had seen Andy Stanley use this so I was borrowing from him. I was talking about how to respond to people who ask "How can you believe in in a good God when there is so much evil and suffering in the world?" You can ask the question, "If you could push a button and eliminate all the bad and unjust things in the world, would you?" Before you agree to push the button, you might want to consider if you have ever done anything bad or unjust. You might ask if your child or grandchild has ever done anything bad or unjust. So, if you push the button, you will end up eliminating yourself and/or people you love.
Andy Stanley said what we really want is a can of injustice spray and a can of bad spray. We would like to hold that can and spray the unjust and bad things we want to eliminate (this is where I sprayed the cans). The only problem is that we want to hold the cans or we might be eliminated. We have all done bad or unjust things. So, if we have a reason to not eliminate all the bad and unjust things in the world, then God probably does as well.
I ended the sermon ended by saying that the reason God does eliminate all the bad and unjust things in the world is because He wants us to come to Him in faith and repentance. That way, our bad and unjust deeds can be forgiven and redeemed. Then, there will be an end to the suffering. There is a solid confidence that Christ will right the wrongs one day.
We can say to those who say "How can you believe in a good God when there is so much evil and injustice in the word" this statement- If God removed all
the evil from the world, he would have to remove me. But I believe God entered
the world through His Son to forgive me rather than remove me.
I heard Andy Stanley present this and I thought it was pretty insightful. In fact, it gives me a reason to praise God. I can praise Him that He would rather forgive me than remove me. He will end the suffering one day for those who belong to Him. We will get the chance to spend eternity in close relationship with Him. All heartaches, illnesses, crying, and death will be over for those who belong to Christ. That's worth a hallelujah. Romans 8:18 says, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
Celebrating that the abundant life is eternal life
3 things I thank God for today
1. A book recommendation by a church member
2. God's providential wisdom
3. God would rather forgive me than remove me