Theme: Understanding why people, especially Christians, suffer so much in this life. Rom. 8:18-25
A. Justice seems to be insatiably trampled upon:
- The helpless are abused by those in power; nice people always seem to dye from all kinds of tragedies and terrible illnesses.
- How could the God of justice and love allow these things to happen? Can’t He make it stop?
B. In all the chaos there is confusion, discontent, and the blaspheming against God.
C. Are there biblical answers that can help us to grasp why these things happen?
I. SUFFERING CAME INTO THIS WORLD BECAUSE OF SIN
A. Before sin came into the world: there was no suffering, just peace with God.
B. Satan has a focused plan: destroy God’s special creation. Gen 3; Job 1-2; 1 Pet. 5:8
C. Man, however, must take responsibility for his chosen rebellion against our holy God. Gen. 2:16-17; Gen. 3
D. Notice the curse God brought upon man and the world because of sin. Gen. 3:14-19; Rom. 5:12
E. This earth (natural disaster; diseases. Rom. 8:18-20) – and mankind – has been suffering and groaning ever since til the Day of Judgment. 2 Pet. 3:10-13
II. SUFFERING COMPOUNDED BY SIN
A. Suffering is always furthered by the continued sins of mankind. Gen. 4:7-8
B. When sin got so great God actually spared the world of further suffering through His judgment. Gen. 6:1-7
C. Mankind, however, no matter how good it starts out (Gen. 6:8) suffers the consequences of sin. Gen. 11:1-9, Eph. 2:1-3, Eph. 5:6
III. GOD WILLS FOR HIS CHILDREN TO SUFFER
A. God’s desire/will from the beginning was to have His Son suffer…for our sins. Gen. 3:15; Isa. 53:10
B. God’s desire/will includes all His children suffering for His name sake. Matt. 5:10;
C. Why Christians when we are trying to live righteously (in peace) than in sin (destruction)?
- As a testing and building of our faith Jas. 1:2
- So that we eagerly await the glorious reward of heaven. 2 Thess. 1:5; 1 Pet. 2:18-20
- So we learn to lean/trust upon Him to deliver us from the sufferings here on earth. Rom. 8:17
CONCLUSION: FOR CHRISTIANS ~ SUFFERING PRECEDES ETERNAL GLORY
A. While this earth remains there will always be suffering for this created earth and mankind, especially against God’s faithful children (for His namesake). 1 Pet. 4:12-19
B. The amazing consolation, however, is far greater than any suffering God’s children will endure in this lifetime. Rom. 8:18