Thursday, September 23, 2010

Why does evil exist?

The fact of evil in the world is a very disturbing thing and causes many people heartache and problems. It is quite right to question why evil exists, how things came to be the way they are and if there are any solutions to these big issues.

The Bible clearly teaches that God created good as well as evil. This is a puzzle to many and rightly so because we wonder how a God of holiness could create something called evil. As we read the Bible we discover this 'God is light and in him is no darkness at all'. We also discover that God is kind, compassionate, caring and loving. This is all summarised in the statement 'God is Love'. So there is no indication that God acts in an evil way despite the fact that at times we do not understand why he allows certain circumstances in our lives.

There are other very clear statements in the Bible which indicate that God expects people to obey his holy commandments and principles for their blessing and well being. But the Bible does state that God will judge all men according to his standard of righteousness on the day of judgement and our only hope of salvation is found in His Son, Jesus Christ.

We know that God created all things. He gave human beings the ability to think, act and choose certain courses of action. God established a principle in the universe of sowing and reaping. There are consequences to actions and outcomes to behaviours and the choices that we make. Bad choices end in bad outcomes and so evil is perpetuated as a result of wrong choices. To say that God wants us to make bad choices and reap evil consequences would not fit with what you read in the Bible. From the very beginning God told us what was good and what was bad. He told the first couple (Adam and Eve) that the day they disobeyed Him they would die. He warned them that breaking His law put them at a distance from him. And so it did. Since the day Adam sinned we live life without God. We hurt and suffer because of the existence of evil activity in our world. And if we end this life without seeking forgiveness and reconciliation to God we seal our fate and face eternal separation from God (bear in mind this includes all that God provides: love, joy peace, safety etc).

It can be so different. God sent his Son (Jesus) into the world not to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved. God has taken the initiative and in the death of His Son paid the debt of sin. He offers to all will take it the gift of eternal life.

The only condition is acceptance of our condition as guilty before God and acceptance of Jesus Christ as the exclusive means of salvation. If we turn from our sin and depend on Christ for salvation we will immediately come into the good of God's great offer of salvation.

I am praying that you will.


Thursday, September 02, 2010


The plight of 33 Chilean miners has caught the attention of the media worldwide. The men were trapped 700mtrs below ground in the San Jose gold and copper mine in Copiapo, 450 miles north of Capitol Santiago after the main shaft collapsed blocking their escape out of the mine. One of the men named Urzua, 54, described the collapse, "It was frightening. We felt like the mountain was coming down on us, without knowing what happened. Thanks to God, we still hadn't gathered together to go out to have lunch. ... At 20 minutes before 2 (their usual lunch hour), the mountain came down on top of us." "For about four or five hours, we couldn't see a thing. After that we saw that we were trapped by an enormous rock that filled the entire passage of the tunnel." (Yahoo News)

Fortunately, there was a side chamber, an area of about 100 square metres that the men took refuge in and after seventeen days of despair in isolation an 8cm drill cut a borehole and penetrated the chamber. The miners tapped noises on the drill head and tied a message to it telling those on the surface that all 33 men were alive and safe in their refuge. Another similar hole has been bored alongside the original one to enable supplies of water, food, medication, and communication facilities to get to and from the men.

Although the mining company fears that it will go bankrupt and not be able to pay the cost of drilling a new 33 inch hole to effect an escape for the men, the Chilean Government has undertaken this £million-plus project and set it in motion. This bore hole will take about 120 days to complete, so the men will not be out of their predicament until Christmas, God willing. The nation of Chile has really grasped the situation with patriotic fervour of singing and flag waiving, the miners themselves singing the national anthem. A disaster of this magnitude unites people and activates them to help in whatever way they can. The miners families have set up a tented camp at the mine that they call Camp Hope and have pledged to stay there as long as it takes to get their loved ones out. A real sense of dependence upon the Lord for total rescue of the people trapped below, and by their families above ground, and the nation as a whole as it waits and watches and prays for a successful deliverance.

There are other hellish like experiences of lives being trapped. Some children are sold for prostitution in the Far East and Africa, and become slaves to their master’s evil practices. Some through their own folly get trapped in vices such as alcohol or illegal drugs, with no light at the end of the tunnel for them; of themselves they are helpless, unable to break out from the awful grip of addiction. Some either foolishly or through no fault of their own becomes trapped in a financial contract, perhaps involving property and spiralling debt occurs. A man or woman can find himself or herself trapped in a loveless marriage, and they need help to get them out of their pit of despair. I have met people who feel trapped in an occupation that they are not happy in and cannot see a way out, or change of career. In all these situations God is able to deliver and rescue that person, whatever!

When Israel were in slavery in Egypt God said to Moses in Exodus 6:5, “I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. God brought a series of plagues upon the Egyptians culminating with the death of their firstborn on Passover night when Israel fled Egypt. God saved them on the basis of the blood of the Passover lamb being applied to doorposts and lintel of their dwellings. However on their journey out of Egypt they came to the Red Sea, the sea before them and the Egyptian army pursuing, they were trapped. God in His power parted the Sea and about two million souls crossed over on dry land, the Egyptians following were drowned in the Sea. Redemption is by blood of the Lamb and the Power of God.

Jonah’s disobedience took him to unexpected depths where despair could have gripped his soul. Jonah 1:3 says, “But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD…..Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone downinto the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. In verse six of the next chapter Jonah related his continuous downfall, “I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.” From within the belly of the whale, in his hopeless and helpless situation Jonah discovered and cried, “Salvation is of the LORD.” (v.9) The rest is history; the whale altered its course, headed for land and vomited Jonah up onto dry land. Jonah’s name means ‘Dove’ and the dove is the symbol of peace. Isn’t that just what God does? When people put their faith in Him he delivers them from being trapped in whatever, and wherever they are He brings them into peace. Colossians 1:20 reads, “Having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.” God bless.

Written by Stan Burditt

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