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WHY IS BIBLE TRUTH SO IMPORTANT?

Bible Truth

THE IMPORTANCE OF BIBLE TRUTH

Is Bible Truth important to your Faith and Salvation ie. will you be saved despite what you believe the bible teaches or does it matter what you believe?

Well the word “truth” appears 237 times in the bible, that alone says it must be important!

Therefore it must be important to understand what “truth” is.

A quick scan of the passages using this word “truth” leave us in no doubt that it is not only important, but vital to our salvation.

John 17:3

3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

1 John 5:20

20And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true,even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

1 Timothy 2:3-4

3For thisis good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

 

Clearly then knowing what is Bible Truth is important and vital, in addition to this we are also warned that some would depart from the “truth”…

1 Timothy 4:1

1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry,and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

1 John 4:6

6We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

From these passages it is very clear that we need to know the “truth” about God and His Son as it is taught to us in the Bible.  This means we must learn what this is from the Bible itself.

 

Don't let your HOPE of LIFE ETERNAL rest with someone else eg. your pastor or minister, YOU owe it to yourself and your family to be fully convinced of what it is you believe to be sure it HOLDS something REAL for you.

We have all been warned by God that there would be many false teachers and Jesus himself has told us that "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."  See Matthew 7:14

 

Sadly when Christ returns to this earth, many will only then realise that they have believed in lies Jeremiah 16:19

"19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit."

Don't let this be you or your family!

 

BIBLE TRUTH and true faith must be founded on a fully inspired Bible.

 

Click here to learn more about the INSPIRED WORD OF GOD:The Inspired Word of God

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU!

Bible Truth

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”  John 17:3

 

Our Commitment to all True Bible Teaching Seekers is that all our teaching will be supported by consistent and clear Bible Passages.

 

The Greek word for "know" in the passage above is 'ginosko' and it means to have a thorough and deep understanding of the subject. 

 

So if you seek "life eternal" then you must truly "know the only true God and Jesus Christ".

 

Click here to learn more about the INSPIRED WORD OF GOD:The Inspired Word of God

Wrested Scripture

Wrested Scripture and True Bible Teaching

 

Are mainstream Christian teachings correct?


The true Gospel can suffer from preconceived ideas and misinterpretations.


Find out what the Bible is actually saying and where interpretation can go wrong.

 

You owe it to yourself and your family to be sure of what it is you believe, the Apostle Paul has told us to "work out our own salvation with fear and trembling"  Philippians 2:12

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The OFFER of LIFE or DEATH

God's Offer of LIFE or DEATH

“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.   See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him… This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life…"  Deuteronomy Chapter 30:12-20

 

From this passage we see how important it is to each one of us that we seek after God and His Word the Bible to us.

 

Without this we have no hope of LIFE, but only a future of DEATH.

 

This Word of God was originally given to the Nation of Israel and later it spread via the Apostles of Christ to the World, that even we today might have this same HOPE of LIFE ETERNAL.

 

It is UP to YOU then to seek out God’s Word, to KNOW what is the TRUTH of God’s Word so that you and your family might KNOW the way of LIFE ETERNAL and the great HOPE of living in God’s Kingdom on EARTH.

 

Do not let your HOPE rest upon others and most importantly on what others teach, search it out for yourself because we have been warned that the churches would be astray from God’s word in the last days.

 

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”   2 Timothy 4:3-4

 

Too much is at stake for you to not act yourself to seek out the TRUTH.

 

Christ himself has told us to do this when he said…

 

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. Godis a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24

To learn about God's Promises to You click on the pdf:The Inspired Word of God

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World News Today is Fulfilling Bible Prophecy spoken 1000's of years ago.  World News Today is a Sign of the near RETURN OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST TO THIS EARTH!
Find out for YOURSELF what is happening in the world today and how this relates to Bible Prophecy.
YOUR Families Salvation

The Bible Is Our ONLY Guide

The Holy BibleThe Bible provides us with plain Scriptural Teaching for the True Followers of Christ

The statements on this guide represent what we believe is true Bible teaching. The statements are deliberately challenging, asking every reader to compare his own opinions with the plain teaching of Scripture, examining carefully the Bible passages offered as proof. If, as a result, a change of mind and heart is called for, there will be no doubt that the teaching of the Lord, and the book he trusted, must be followed and not what the churches teach.

 

All Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James (also known as the Revised Authorized) Version of the Bible.

 

Read The Bible Guide   The Bible our Guide to Salvation

 

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God's Plan for You

God's Plan for this World and You

 

THE view of planet earth, seen from outer space, is very beautiful indeed. Confirmation of this has come from the astronauts who have gazed upon it. The earth is the fairest jewel in God's creation and it is the chosen place in the whole universe where He has promised to reveal His Kingdom in all its glory. That is why it is so beautiful.

 

The earth, of all the planets in the solar system, is the one that is perfectly suited to all forms of life and the one that orbits at exactly the right distance from the sun to provide comfortable conditions for the human race.

 

Click here to find out more: God's Plan for the World

GOD'S KINGDOM COMING SOON...
 
 

Thy Kingdom Come on Earth as thy will is done in heaven

GOD'S KINGDOM ON EARTH - WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING?

 
 

True Bible Teaching - About You and God and Your Hope of Salvation

 
 

God's Kingdom will be on Earth

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The World and God's Kingdom

GOD'S PLAN FOR THE WORLD:

THE view of planet earth, seen from outer space, is very beautiful indeed. Confirmation of this has come from the astronauts who have gazed upon it. The earth is the fairest jewel in God's creation and it is the chosen place in the whole universe where He has promised to reveal His Kingdom in all its glory. That is why it is so beautiful.

The earth, of all the planets in the solar system, is the one that is perfectly suited to all forms of life and the one that orbits at exactly the right distance from the sun to provide comfortable conditions for the human race.

Bible Prophecy is the Sole Source of Information on God’s Purpose.

The Bible alone explains why and how this should be. The reason is that the Creator "formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord, and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:18).

We think it is logical to assert that if there is a Great Designer, and if He created a race of beings to inhabit this planet and no other, then there must have been an ultimate objective in His mind. Happily, we have not been left to guess what that goal might be. From the day that God put a human being on this earth, His one supreme purpose was that His creation should willingly respond to His own perfection:

"For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk 2:14).

The final stage in fulfilling that intention is what the Bible describes as THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH.

A REAL KINGDOM:

Because it will be in every physical and political sense a real kingdom it will have a king, a government, a capital, and an international system of laws. God has already delegated "all power in heaven and in earth" to His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. What is more, we learn that the date has been set in the divine calendar:

"God hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained" (Acts 17:31).

The kingdom of God on earth will soon be here. The abundant signs which confirm this are not the subject of this booklet; but we are mightily convinced that it is so! This coming Millennium will be the most exciting thing the world has ever seen. It will overshadow all those periods in history labelled with names like 'the age of enlightenment', 'the classical age', 'the renaissance' and so on. The kingdom of God will provide a superb environment on this lovely planet for all who will acknowledge God as supreme Creator and Jesus Christ as king of the world.

A BEAUTIFUL WORLD:

Use your imagination for a moment! Think of a world at peace, its inhabitants healthy and well-fed and doing rewarding work. Imagine a world in which there is full employment, where people are not exploited and where a man can live a long and prosperous life; a world in which famine and pestilence no longer kill one quarter of the population and where the full resources of the land and the seas are harvested. Already you are getting a picture of the Kingdom of God.

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God Reveals Himself

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God Reveals Himself

God Exists and wants us to Know HimGod tells us all He wants us to know about Himself and His purpose, in the Bible.

The Bible is complete in itself. It consists of sixty-six sections (each one called a ‘book’).  It begins, in Genesis chapter 1, by explaining that God created the earth and all the things that live on it, including us.  When the work was completed, everything was described as ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:31).

Next we are told how this ‘very good’ state was spoiled when man disobeyed his Creator. But, to recover the situation, we are told how God then began a process that would repair the damage, and make all things ‘very good’ again, in the course of time.

Man was shown that he could be forgiven if he believed what God said, if he confessed his sins, and offered sacrifices that would teach him important lessons.

But he had to be willing to learn.

God’s solution

As the Bible progresses, this ‘way of salvation’ is made steadily clearer.  Generation after generation, mankind made the same mistakes as the first man Adam.  All humans failed to some extent, and sooner or later everyone died.  Then at last Jesus came, born of a woman and truly human as we all are, but begotten by the power of God.

He succeeded where we have all failed.

Unlike us, Jesus resisted all temptation and lived a perfect life.  Then he allowed wicked men to crucify him and he died, of his own free will, as the perfect sacrifice.

In that way Jesus put this troublesome human nature behind him forever, because God his Father raised him to perfect immortal life.  After that the apostles of Jesus went out into the world inviting everyone to follow Jesus, to believe his teaching and sincerely try to live the same way.

Those who obeyed this call would be forgiven and have the hope of enjoying eternal life when Jesus returns as King. Then the earth, which sinful men and women have so misruled, will be filled with God’s glory.

The Bible ends with beautiful descriptions of the earth and its people when that ‘very good’ state has been restored. Sin, pain, sorrow, and even death will be gone forever, and God will be praised by all (Revelation chapters 21 & 22).

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GOD our FATHER

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GOD our FATHER in HeavenIntroduction

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).

With these few short words the Bible introduces us to God. We learn that the God of the Bible is Creator — maker of heaven and earth, the giver of life, the giver of good. But the Bible shows us that God is much more than a creator. He is our heavenly Father.

God wants us to be His children. God wants to be our heavenly Father. In fact, this is one of the most powerful messages in the Bible. God is willing to make us part of His special family, but that does not happen automatically. We must enter His family in the special way He has prescribed. That way is summed up in these words:

"Yet to all who received Jesus, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God." (John 1:12-13).

In this booklet we will learn about God our Father and how we can become His children.

Revelations of God in the Bible

The Bible provides us with a record of how God has revealed Himself to us. Over time, God has revealed Himself in many ways. He is the same God, but over time He has told us more about Himself. In one sense, the Bible is an extended record of those revelations.

Long after He made the earth God appeared to a special man, later named Abraham, speaking promises that surely seemed incredible (the first of these promises is recorded in Genesis 12). But Abraham believed God, and went to a place he did not know far away. God promised to Abraham that he would found a great nation, and that he would receive a magnificent inheritance, with eternal life. But last of all he made the greatest promise – "I will be your God" (Genesis 17:7). In making this promise, the Creator became the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He became the God of Jacob’s descendants, the nation of Israel.

Some four hundred years later, Abraham’s descendants hardly seemed to be God’s nation, for they were slaves in Egypt. But God had not forgotten His people. The Lord appeared to another special man - Moses. God told Moses that he had a great mission to complete. Moses was to deliver God’s people from their bondage. Moses asked the question that he had to know to begin his task — "WHO ARE YOU?"

A powerful voice gave the answer:

"I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you" (Exodus 3:14).

God revealed himself as "Yahweh" - a Hebrew name meaning "He who was, who is, and who will be" (compare Revelation 1:8). To Moses and to the nation of Israel, God showed Himself to be a God of power and deliverance, leading the nation out of slavery in Egypt through mighty displays of power.

Some 500 years later, the Lord appeared to Elijah, a man who would become a prophet without equal for centuries to come. Once Elijah became afraid and fled to the mountain of God, Mt. Horeb (the account is given in 1 Kings 19). There the Lord God summoned him to the mouth of a cave, and revealed Himself in a mighty wind that broke the rocks. But God was not in the wind. Then he revealed himself in a thundering earthquake - but God was not in the earthquake. He revealed himself in a raging fire - but God was not in the fire. Last of all, God spoke in a still small voice.

In the Old Testament, we can read how God revealed himself to Abraham, to Moses, and to Elijah. These Bible accounts contain awesome, fantastic pictures of God. But they also reveal a God quite distant from a sinful people. This is a God that is high, far-removed, and nearly unapproachable. When they saw God revealed, the sight was so fearsome that Abraham fell down to the earth in a deep sleep, Moses hid his face, and Elijah covered his face with his coat. God was so removed from His people that only one man, the High priest, could come into the Lord’s most holy place, and then only once a year.

Yet in His revelation to Elijah there were special words —still small words that pointed forward to a time when the Lord would be revealed in full.

Some 900 years later that voice did spring to life. The son of God, a man named Jesus, was born in a village named Bethlehem. This Jesus came with a very special purpose — to reveal God in a way no one else had ever done. To reveal God as He really wants us to know him. To reveal God as Father. It needed a son to reveal the Father.

Revealing God as our heavenly Father was one of the most important missions in the life of Jesus. In the preface to his Gospel record, the Apostle John says,

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth, we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father" (John 1:14 RSV).

Jesus himself would later say, "He who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). Jesus was, in effect, turning on its head the popular phrase, "like father, like son". In this case, no one had ever seen God. But now they saw His son, and in seeing Jesus they could see all the magnificent character of the Father.

The God who revealed Himself to Abraham, Moses, and Elijah was now revealed more clearly - as a Father, and not just Father of the son, Jesus. In the Lord’s prayer Jesus once and for all dispelled the fear that men had felt when approaching God;

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name" (Matthew 6:9).

God is the Father of the son. But wonderfully, incredibly, He is our Father too. Indeed, the mission of Jesus was not only to reveal God as Father. It was also to show us, you and me, how to become His children.

Who is our heavenly Father? How do we become children of the Father? And if we are His children, how then should we live? These are the questions we answer in the sections that follow.

Who is our heavenly Father?

God as our Father is a subject that is developed mainly in the New Testament. The reason for this is plain - it needed God’s son, Jesus, to reveal his Father. Nevertheless, the theme of God as Father can still be found in the Old Testament. There, we find echoes of the "Father" theme. For instance, in 2 Samuel 7 we read this promise that was given to David, one of Israel’s greatest kings:

"He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son." (vv. 13-14).

Written about 1000 BC, this was a prophecy of a great king, who would also be the son of God. This prophecy came true when Jesus was born, as recorded in Luke 2 in the New Testament.

Another place where God is referred to as a father is in Psalm 103. This is clearly a more general reference to God as father:

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust" (Psalm 103: 13-14).

While God is likened to a father in a figure of speech, He is not formally addressed as "Father". To Abraham, Moses, Elijah and many others in the Old Testament, God is revealed in power and glory, but not as Father. That aspect of our God is revealed most fully in the New Testament where our understanding of God becomes much more complete.

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What Does the Bible Mean by Baptism?

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What is the True Bible Teaching about Baptism?WHAT IS THE TRUE BIBLE TEACHING ABOUT BAPTISM?

Baptism is one of the most important basic Bible doctrines (see Hebrews 6:2 for example). True baptism can only occur after a correct grasp of the basic truths which comprise the True Gospel.

If you wish to become truly associated with the great hope which the Bible offers through Jesus Christ, then baptism is an absolute necessity.

"Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22) in the sense that the promises concerning salvation were made only to Abraham and his seed. We can only have those promises made to us if we become in the Seed, by being baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:22-29).

Jesus therefore clearly commanded His followers:

  • "Go into all the world and preach the gospel (which is contained in the promises to Abraham - Galatians 3:8) to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mark 16:15-16).

Baptism - Start Of A New life

Belief of the Gospel alone cannot save us; baptism is not just an optional extra, it is a vital prerequisite for salvation. Baptism must be followed by a lifetime of continued obedience to God's Word. Jesus emphasized this: "Most assuredly, I say unto you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5).

"Born of water" refers to baptism; after this, one must be born again of the spirit. This is an ongoing process: "Being born again… through the word of God" (1 Peter 1:23). Thus it is through our continued response to God's spirit word that we become born of the spirit.

Baptized Into Christ

We are "baptized into Christ" (Galatians 3:27), into His name (Acts 19:5; 8:16; Matthew 28:19). Note that we are baptized into Christ - not into the Christadelphians or any human organization. Without baptism we are not "in Christ", and therefore not covered by His saving word (Acts 4:12).

If We Truly Believe, Then We Must Be Baptized

The book of Acts of the Apostles shows the vital importance of baptism and emphasizes how immediately people were baptized after accepting the Gospel (e.g. Acts 8:12, 36-39; 9:18; 10:47; 16:15). This emphasis is understandable once it is appreciated that without baptism our learning of the Gospel is in vain.

The prison keeper at Philippi was suddenly plunged into the crisis of his life by a massive earthquake which completely broke up his high security prison. The prisoners had ample opportunity to escape - something which would have cost him his life. His faith in the Gospel then became real, so much so that "the same hour of the night … immediately he and all his family were baptized" (Acts 16:33). Many a hesitant candidate for baptism can take true inspiration from that man. That he could make such an act of faith in the middle of huge immediate problems is proof enough that he already had a detailed knowledge of the Gospel, seeing that such real faith only comes from hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17 cp. Acts 17:11).

Philip teaching the Truth to the Eunuch after which the Eunuch was BaptisedActs 8:26-40 records how an Ethiopian official was studying his Bible whilst riding in a chariot through the desert. He met Philip, who extensively explained the Gospel to him, including the requirement of baptism. Humanly speaking, it must have seemed impossible to obey the command to be baptized in that waterless desert. Yet God would not give a command which He knows some people cannot obey. "As they went down the road, they came to some water", i.e. an oasis, where baptism was possible (Acts 8:36).

The apostle Paul received a dramatic vision from Christ which so pricked his conscience that as soon as possible he "arose and was baptized" (Acts 9:18). Paul later talked about his life after baptism like this: "I press toward the goal for the prize…" (Philippians 3:7,8,13,14). This is the language of an athlete straining forward to break the finishing tape. Such concentration of mental and physical endeavour should characterize our lives after baptism. Baptism is the beginning of a race toward the Kingdom of God; it is not just a token of having changed churches and beliefs, nor is it a passive entrance into a relaxed life of easy-going adherence to a few vaguely stated Christian principles. Baptism associates us in an ongoing sense with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6:3-5).

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God's PROMISES to YOU

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God's Promises for YOUGod's Purpose Revealed In His Promises

The Bible gives a consistent message throughout its pages of the purpose of God. His plan is to fill the earth with men and women who show His character and give Him glory. He has given great promises which show the way this will be accomplished when His kingdom will be established in the earth.

In order for God's purpose to be achieved, He provided His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of Christ's life, death and resurrection men and women have a way of being part of God's great kingdom if they respond and believe in Him.

In this article we will look at two major promises given before Christ was born which all point forward to Him and His work.

THE PROMISE IN EDEN

The SerpentAdam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. Both they and the serpent were punished. Men and women would die, and would be unable to save themselves from this. But a ray of hope for man comes into this dark picture when God says to the serpent:

"I will put enmity (hatred, opposition) between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He (the woman's seed) shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel" (Genesis 3:15).

A "seed" means a descendant or child, but it can also refer to the people associated with the particular "seed", i.e. we become the seed of Abraham if we are "in" Jesus by baptism (Galatians 3:27, 29).

 

The Seed of the Serpent

The serpent, because of his lie, came to represent a sinful way of thinking. The seed of the serpent refers to those with the family likeness of the serpent, those who distort God's Word, lying and leading others into sin. They allow these characteristics to rule their life. In the time of Christ the corrupt religious rulers were referred to as a "brood of vipers" (Matthew 3:7).

The Seed of the Woman

The seed of the woman refers to one who would bruise or crush the serpent's head, ie sin, dealing it a death-blow. This was a prophecy of Jesus Christ and his work:

  • "Jesus Christ, who has (by the cross) abolished death (and therefore the power of sin - Romans 6:23), and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Tim. 1:10).
  • "God, by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh" (Romans 8:3; see also 1 John 3:5; Matthew 1:21).

Christ was 'wounded in the heel' through his death for three days. Yet His resurrection proved that this was only a temporary wound, compared to the death-blow that He gave sin.

What does this mean to us?

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Why Does God Allow Suffering?

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Human Suffering

The Bible answer to

human tragedy

Grief and Sorrow

SUFFERING is a problem in life that comes home to everyone. A child is born blind, deformed or mentally afflicted; and the question comes: Why? The child has done no harm.

A man or woman of fine character and in the prime of life is racked with pain in a hopeless disease that can only end in death. Why him? Why her? These are the people who can least be spared.

Millions in the world are suffering semi-starvation and disease in countries with vast populations and low agricultural productivity. Others perish or are made homeless in floods and earthquakes. Why should they suffer?

Pain, torture and death have been imposed on helpless millions by the tyranny of man and the destructiveness of modern war. Countless lives are lost in acts of terrorism, by brutality and hijacking. Accidents there have always been, but the scale of today’s disasters and natural calamities is often overwhelming: a passenger aircraft crashes; an oil rig blows up; fire traps hundreds in an underground train. People ask: Why does God allow it?

Does God care?

The questions readily arise and on the surface they seem reasonable: yet a candid look at them shows that they carry certain implications. They imply that suffering in human life is inconsistent either with the power or with the love of God: that as a God of love He has not the power to prevent the suffering, or if He has the power then He has not the will, and is not a God of love. It is assumed that the prevention of suffering as it now affects the apparently innocent is something we should expect from a God of love who is also Almighty. Are these assumptions justified?

Facts of life

Some facts about life must be taken into account before we try to form a judgement:

  1. Man lives in a universe of cause and effect and the consequences of certain causes are inescapable. Fire burns, water drowns, disease germs destroy. These facts have moral implications. People live in a universe in which the consequences of what they do are inescapable, and therefore their responsibility for what they do is equally inescapable. Without this burden of ‘natural law’ man could do as he liked with impunity, and there would be no responsibility. God made the universe this way because He is a moral God who makes men responsible beings with freewill to choose how they will act.
  2. Man’s neglect and misuse of his own life has corrupted the stream of human life itself, and left evils which fall on succeeding generations. These, again as part of natural law, may manifest themselves as hereditary weaknesses and tendencies to disease. The very stuff of life may be affected as it is passed on from generation to generation.
  3. The consequences of man’s acts are not only directly physical. The social and political evils which they have created throughout history have left a gathering burden on the generations following. People today are caught in a net of the consequences of past history, and even when they try to right one evil, another is brought to bear:

“The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8:22)

Should people be saved from themselves?

Taking such facts as these into account, it must be asked, What is it we are really doing when we require God to remove suffering? Are we not asking that God should (a) suspend natural law, (b) divert the consequences of heredity, and (c) turn aside the effects of man’s inhumanity to man? Have we the right to expect God to save men from the consequences of human acts? Would it be a moral universe if He did?

‘Acts of God’

These questions can only be asked of situations when the hand of man is not involved. Earthquakes, tempests, famines and floods are called ‘acts of God’ because usually there is no other explanation for their occurrence. So if we look beyond human acts to natural disaster, we find that it falls upon all, innocent and guilty alike. As soon as we begin to question the suffering of innocent victims of these disasters another dilemma is raised. Are we saying that the calamities should be selective in their working, searching out only those who ‘deserve to suffer’?

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CHRIST the Good Shepherd

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CHRIST the Good Shepherd

‘The Lord is my shepherd’ is a favourite hymn for many people. It is based on Psalm 23, which was penned by King Christ the Good ShepherdDavid, and is especially meaningful as he was originally a shepherd himself.

However, our modern way of life prevents us from fully understanding these words. While there is at least one shepherd who reads this magazine, most of us are unfamiliar with shepherding and we are even less knowledgeable about what it was like in Bible times.

The Life of a Shepherd

There is a shepherd in the English Lake District who writes about his work. The methods he uses are thousands of years old, and so are similar to those described in the Bible. Here are some of the points he makes:

❖ Despite its romantic image, shepherding is very hard work.

❖ The routine is determined totally by the needs of the sheep.

❖ Some activities – like shearing –are financially loss–making but beneficial for the sheep.

❖ The shepherd finds conditions in which the sheep will thrive.

❖ He goes out in all weather conditions, risking his own safety, to protect them.

❖ He is especially vigilant when they are lambing, and in caring for lambs or orphans.

❖ He knows ewes and lambs individually by their characteristics.

❖ He bought a ram against the advice of his fellow–shepherds because, he saw the potential and benefit to his flock.

Shepherds in Bible Times

In the days of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) shepherding was important work, but later it became a menial job for the working class. It was certainly not easy. Shepherds spent a lot of time outside watching their sheep and protecting them from weather, wild animals or thieves. They made sheepfolds to protect the sheep and ensured that the entrance was guarded. They regularly counted their flock and it was, and still is, common for the shepherds to have names for individual sheep.

Shepherding a flock

Shepherds had to make sure that the sheep had enough food. At certain times of the year in Israel this was not easy, as the sun scorched the land and there was little green grass. It was also important to locate suitable watering places such as pools or wells, where the sheep could drink without fear.

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