Now his science is grossly flawed, but this is outside the scope of this book, and has been refuted elsewhere. And fossils are the remains of dead things! Yet the dating methods that Geisler accepts place human fossils before Adam. An even bigger problem comes from the recent redating of two partial skulls of Homo sapiens that were unearthed in near the Omo River in southwestern Ethiopia. Radiometric dating which Geisler tacitly supports has now placed them at , years ago. So undoubtedly modern humans are dated— by methods that Geisler tacitly upholds— to be far older than any possible biblical date for Adam.
Even worse, there are many proven victims of human cannibalism in the fossil record, 53 again way before any possible date for Adam. Geisler was right to point out that animal carnivory and suffering also began after the Fall of Adam. But the same problem for human death is magnified for animal death. For example, the fossil record includes a turkey-sized Compsognathus found with a lizard in its belly; 56 a famous fossil of Velociraptor locked in mortal combat with a Protoceratops , and a T.
In contrast to the view that death and suffering have continued for millions of years, this biblical view of history has a wonderful implication for the future. The world will one day be restored Acts to a state in which, once again, there will be no violence and death. Billions of years of more death, suffering and disease?
Why does God allow suffering?
Clearly, this future state reflects the paradise that was once lost , not some imaginary land that never existed. A man named Job, who was the most righteous man on Earth at his time, suffered intensely—losing all his children, servants, and possessions in a single day. Then he was struck by a painful illness. Jesus explained that neither was the case.
The man was born blind so that God could demonstrate His power when Jesus healed him, John —7. Paul testified that he prayed three times for God to take some sort of physical disability from him.
Why does God allow pain? | Home of Grace Faith-Based Addiction Recovery
One of my friends has been deaf and blind from before she can remember. Instead, she thinks that God is instead using her to teach others about disabilities; she has travelled to a number of different countries to do this.
Indeed, although God certainly can heal organic physical disabilities, in the modern western world, He often chooses not to. One profile reports:.
A World of Misery and Death
Jesus discussed why eighteen Jews died tragically when the tower of Siloam collapsed. This is directly applicable to modern atrocities, such as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the United States on September 11, I tell you, no! Thousands of people died in the World Trade Center catastrophe, and millions died in the Holocaust. But hundreds of millions of people who saw and heard about this event will also die one day—in fact, thousands of them are dying every day—because all humans have been given the death penalty because of sin.
The Bible is never embarrassed to talk about the question of suffering. But the story does not end here. There is an eternal world to come, where God will make all things right. The hope of a resurrection is the key to understanding our suffering. A minister who actually had experience with dying children unlike Russell who never got his own hands dirty with such practical things challenged Russell to explain what he could offer such a child.
But the Christian has hope that this life is not the end. The famous literature scholar and apologist C. Lewis — , 67 himself no stranger to suffering, 68 wrote a book The Problem of Pain He argued that people have lost the sense of the seriousness of sin, and God can use suffering as a reminder of this horror. That is, our world is not good; rather, we live in a world cursed as a judgment on sin :. Indeed, people might remember how many people were seen in Church for the first time in years after the Twin Towers terrorist attacks.
But we can boil them down into five points:. That is, it makes us mature in the image of Christ. When we suffer, we better understand the surpassing glory of the suffering Saviour, and the wonders of what He did for us. Suffering is the door through which we enter future glories that we, as yet, know nothing about. This statement may, at first glance, seem strange. But since the eternal Son of God took upon Him all the sufferings of all mankind—past and future—then it appears that our sufferings somehow complete the sufferings He suffered see Colossians God sends us suffering to add to the glory of what His Son suffered.
People who accuse God of sitting back and doing nothing are missing a vital truth. In reality, God has already done everything you would want a loving God to do—and infinitely more! Even though our bodies die, we are made in the image of God, and thus we have a non-material part that survives physical death Matthew , Philippians —23, Revelation — Our conscious being is going to live forever.
The only way for us to restore our life with God is if we are able to come to Him with the penalty paid for our sin.
Leviticus helps us to understand how this can be done. God makes it clear that, because we are creatures of flesh and blood, the only way to pay the penalty for our sin is if blood is shed to take away our sin. But if death and suffering were natural, and occurring for millions of years before Adam, then why should blood-shedding have this sin-removing property? In the Garden of Eden, God killed an animal and clothed Adam and Eve as a picture of a covering for our sin.
A blood sacrifice was needed because of our sin.
Because the Holy Spirit overshadowed His mother Luke , He was a perfect man, one without sin, despite having been tempted in every way that we are Hebrews , who thus could shed His blood on a cross for our sin. No sinner could pay for the sins of others Hebrews , but this last Adam—Jesus Christ—was a perfect man. God in human flesh was able to bear the sins and sorrows of the world; a perfect sacrifice of infinite value.
He can now give eternal life to anyone who receives it by faith John , Ephesians —9. God dwells in eternity, and He is lovingly preparing His people to spend an eternity with Him. Those who put their trust in Christ as Saviour have a wonderful hope—they can spend eternity with the Lord in a place where there will be no more death. Also, in this eternal state, there will once again be a tree of life, as in Eden, and no more curse Revelation —3. Indeed, death is really the path that opens the way to this wonderful place, called Heaven. If we lived forever, we would never have an opportunity to shed this sinful body.
But God wants us to have a new body, and He wants us to dwell with Him forever.
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Most of us have heard about Hell, a place of fire and torment, and eternal shame. None other than Jesus Christ warned of this place more than He spoke of Heaven. He also made it clear that the torment of the wicked was as eternal Greek aionios as the life of the blessed Matthew God does not delight in the death of the wicked.
God takes no pleasure in the afflictions and calamities of people. He is a loving, merciful God—it is our fault that man is in the current state of suffering and death.
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This is only right: for those who cling to their sins, God will grant them their wish, and separate them from Himself, the source of goodness, for eternity. So He must punish violations of His law. Since our shortcomings offend His perfect, infinite holiness, the punishment must also be infinite. Because we are finite, it follows that the punishment must be of infinite duration Matthew The only way out is for a perfect divine and human substitute to take our place—see Good News!
As we face horrible suffering, such as the tragedy at the World Trade Center or the Holocaust, let it remind us that the ultimate cause of such calamity is our sin—our rebellion against God. Our loving God, despite our sinfulness, wants us to spend eternity with Him. Christians need to stretch forth a loving, comforting arm to those who are in need of comfort and strength during times of suffering. They can find strength in the arms of a loving Creator who hates Death—the enemy that will one day be thrown into the Lake of Fire Revelation Some think that they go automatically to heaven, which would be what I would like to believe, and this would comfort parents who have lost young children or miscarried, and those with mentally handicapped children.
However, this actually leads to a serious problem: moral hazard. This would lead to the perverse position that the greatest soul-winner in history would not be the Apostle Paul, Wesley and Whitfield, or Billy Graham, but the abortion industry Planned Parenthood. This seems to indicate that this infant would be in Heaven, where David would go.
Another moral hazard can arise concerning this question as well. That is, some argue that people will be damned only if they reject Christ after hearing the Gospel. But the moral hazard here is: we should thus never preach the Gospel or send missionaries, because then we are giving people the chance to reject the Gospel. In reality:.
We have two options: separate from our sins by trusting in Christ, and dwell with God forever; or cling to our sins, in which case God will grant our wish and separate us from Himself for eternity. When we understand the origin of death and the Gospel of Jesus Christ as proclaimed in the Bible, then we can understand why this world is the way it is and how there can be a loving God in the midst of tragedy, violence, suffering, and death. Which view of death do you accept? Is it one that makes God an ogre responsible for millions of years of death, disease, and suffering?
Or is it one that places the blame on our sin, and pictures our Creator God as a loving, merciful Saviour who wept over the city of Jerusalem, who wept at the tomb of His friend Lazarus, and who weeps for all of us? But we showed above, atheism provides the basis for no coherent ethical theory.
Thus atrocities in the name of atheism are not inconsistent with it. And the corrective for faulty application of Christianity is not atheism but correct biblical application of Christianity. This was thoroughly documented by Rudolph Rummel b. Between 1, and 4, people were executed for heresy over its year span. Thus its rate of carrying out the death penalty was lower than the state of Texas today, and Stalin killed that many before breakfast. Furthermore, Inquisition trials were often fairer and more lenient than their secular counterparts—indeed, some criminals uttered heresies precisely so they would be transferred to the Inquisition courts from the civil courts.
They killed fewer than 25 people, and were stopped when Christians protested at the travesty of justice in the unfair trials. While many people attack Christianity for the Crusades, an increasing number of historians regard them as a belated response to centuries of Islamic aggression. The Muslims quickly conquered the Iberian Peninsula well before the Crusades.
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