Updated: Feb 1, 2019
As we ponder all the events unfolding daily all around us, (in France, in Turkey, suicide bombs seemingly daily all over the world, shootings and mayhem everywhere) we must stop and ponder what they all mean. We must seek to understand them with the wisdom God gives us through His Word by faith as we seek to be honoring to Him. So, let’s ask two questions to wrestle with: #1 Why so much suffering? AND #2 Why is there not more suffering?
First, we need to say with all clarity that we live in a fallen world in which man’s sin has brought about destruction, chaos, sickness, and death. As soon as Adam and Eve fell from their place of righteousness in which God created them, all of creation was affected by sin. The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death, which includes both spiritual death and physical death. The moment Adam sinned as our federal head, all humanity fell with him into sin. Adam and Eve died spiritually instantly and eventually died physically. Being spiritually dead means that all mankind is now born with a fallen nature, a sin nature, and our wills are bound to our nature. Meaning, we freely choose, but we freely choose to rebel and sin, because of our fallen nature. So, all our choices are tainted with sinful desires.
Moses wrote in Genesis 6:5: - The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (ESV) This is still true today of the natural man (all the sons and daughters of Adam). Paul, talking to the Church, said we were in the world hating and being hated before we were saved by God’s grace in Christ. Meaning until man is born again, born from above, he cannot obey God nor does he even desire to. Therefore, apart from the grace of God all mankind can do is sin. But, because of God’s graciousness towards us He restrains the sinful desires of man daily. Without God intervening there would certainly be more sin daily all around us.
So, some argue and question – ‘Then why does not God just remove all sin now?’ To that we must simply say that His ways are so much wiser than ours. And to state one positive result of sin being in the world, is that in the ugliness of sin we can see the contrast between God’s holiness and man’s wickedness. It reveals our need for Him. It is the reason that Christ came to save sinners from sin, death, and the grave. To accomplish peace between God and man is only possible in Christ alone.
Secondly we must also be clear, God is sovereign and in complete control every second of every day. Everything is in His complete control, and nothing is outside of His rule over His creation. Every created particle, atom, cell, etc. is under His sovereign rule. God hates sin, sin is evil, but also we must understand that sin exists by the will of God. God never gives any praise for those sinning or for sin, but He has decreed for sin to be in the world until the Second Coming of Christ Jesus, by His infinite wisdom and sovereign purpose. But we must also defend that God is NOT the Author of sin, NOR does sin/darkness dwell with Him.
In conclusion, God must never be blamed for the sin in the world (that would be a great sin to do so). The one sinning is to be blamed and held accountable for his or her actions. And we must confess that God is our only hope to be freed from our sin and its well deserved penalty. As sinners we must cry out by faith for God to save us, in the work and person of Jesus Christ. In His incarnation He perfectly obeyed God’s Law to earn our righteousness, and in His obedience on the cross unto death He paid for, atoned for, propitiated God’s wrath for us, for our sins He suffered and died. But He was pleasing to God and therefore three days later He was raised from the dead, proving that death could not hold Him.
May we praise God for His constant work of restraining sin in the world. And may we praise Him for conquering our sin in Christ Jesus for ALL who believe and trust in Him by faith alone.
Written by Mark Lukens
Pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Norfolk, MA.
To hear sermons by Pastor Mark, go to http://www.providencebaptistchurchma.org/sermons/sermons.htm
© 5 Solas Publishing & Mark Lukens