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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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Why Do Bad Things Happen To Good People?

1 Cor 6.9-11

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[We the people, make the mistake of thinking that the way we view things is how everyone has always viewed things.  That the way we feel is the way everyone feels.  The whole question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” flows from the misinformation we hold in our minds.  The question stems from our personal understanding or feelings about what right and wrong is and what good and bad constitutes.]

[Illustration:  It wasn’t all that long ago, in our world, that people (whole nations) thought that their emperor or king was a God. During World War II the nation of Japan held just such a belief.  The people felt so strongly about their belief that they were willing to give their lives sacrificially at their emperor’s request.  This nation, these people, held this deep conviction a mere 60 years ago.  As a matter of fact, many who fought for and against this deeply held belief are still alive today.  It seems that to many in our, so called, enlightened society that these beliefs are from the distant past, but they are walking among us still.  The point is that situational ethics, or the way someone feels about a certain set of circumstances change as ones circumstances change.]

[The whole question of “Why do bad things happen to good people?” is based upon situational ethics.  The question is based upon what you view as good and bad circumstances, and who you view are good and bad people.  To a homosexual one living a homosexual lifestyle may be a good person, but to the evangelical Christian one living a homosexual lifestyle is likely viewed as a very bad person.  Hence, the question is distinctively different when asked by different people living under the microscope of their particular circumstances.]

[Illustration: Hence, the western world’s terrorists are the Muslim worlds hero’s in our current American war on terror.]

[It seems that the distinction between combatants, terrorists, and good citizens are becoming more and more confused with each passing day in our American culture.  Right and Wrong have become more and more obscure and people are tending to agree with Pontius Pilate who asked Jesus, “What is truth?”(John 18.38)]

[It seems that the nature of the carnal is the tendency to become blinded to the absolute truth’s that permeate our world so that we can feel justified when we ask the assuming question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”]

[The foundational truth that under girds the question before us is the idea that if there really is a Sovereign God; whether a Christian God, a Muslim God, or any other sovereign God for that matter.  If there is a sovereign God who is also a loving God then why do bad things happen to good people?  If God is so powerful, and in absolute control, and loves unconditionally then why would He allow the bad things (evil) to permeate our world?  This Atheistic question is the unbeliever’s trump card to every Christian belief and doctrine.  To the atheist this single question is the ultimate evidence that there is no God.]

[So, the question arises, Why do bad things happen to good people?  Is there a biblical answer to this question?]

In answering this question we must understand:

A.     The Necessity of Choice (Isa 45.7) [- Did God create evil?  The atheist would quickly quote,]

[Isaiah 45:7 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.]

[These unbelievers would quickly contend that even the Bible states that God created evil.  In stating this they are trying to prove that God is not nearly as loving as He says He is, if He is a God at all.  But what does God really say about where evil came from.]

[God only created evil in the sense that He allowed for the possibility of evil.  God did not set out to create evil, but instead God set out to prepare a perfect place, with a perfect provision, with a perfect presence, for perfect people.  Which is exactly where Adam and Eve were placed according to Genesis chapters 1-3. ]

[God declares that in the Garden of Eden there was no death, there was no disease, there was no deception there were only perfect lives walking in the perfect presence of God.  What God created in the beginning was the ultimate demonstration of His incredible love.  What God will provide in the end will again reveal the incredible love of God.  As a matter of fact, everything, even the evil in this world is a continuing demonstration of the unconditional love of God when it is properly understood under the illumination of God’s revealing Word.]

1.      God’s Love Demands a Choice (Gen 2.15-17) [– God loved Adam and Eve too much to force them to be His preprogrammed robots.  Hence, God’s love demanded that God provide Adam and Eve and all mankind with the ability to choose.  Hence, God placed a tree in the middle of the Garden.  This tree represented the unconditional extent of God’s love.  Adam and Eve, who were living in the midst of God’s love, with a perfect provision, in a perfect place were allowed by God to choose to either love God and His fellowship or to reject God by choosing to eat of the fruit of that forbidden tree.]

[Genesis 2:15-17 15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. ] 

[God’s love was so great and so unconditional that God essentially said, through His provision, I have given you everything you could ever want or need, but I will not force you to accept it or receive it, you can choose to go your own way if you like.  Adam and Eve made a choice and evil (bad things) were the consequential result.]

[God Provides A Choice Today – Because of Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God they brought this sinful and corrupt world into existence.  We live with corrupt people in this contemptible world because of the effect of sin and sinfulness upon all mankind and this world.  But God still offers you a choice today.  God loves you enough to give you the choice to choose to accept God’s love through Jesus Christ.  If you choose the Lord Jesus Christ God promises to help you through the remainder of this life and to give you eternal life in His eternal paradise one day soon.  Just as Adam and Eve had a choice so do you.]

2.      God’s Love Demands Consequences [– What is evil?  Isn’t evil actually the resulting consequences of bad or wrong choices?  Granted sometimes evil is poured upon the unsuspecting or the innocent, by no fault of their own, but by the wrong choices of another self-willed person; as in the case of those who are killed by a drunk driver.] 

[There may be some argument about whether or not evil is always a matter of choice.  Some might argue that diseases are completely contrary to human choice, that people cannot control what disease they get when they get one.  However, according to the Bible and God even diseases are the result of bad choices some where along the way, perhaps many generations ago (Adam and Eve) but they are still the result of a sinful choice.  In the Garden of Eden there were no diseases.  As a result of Adam and Eve’s choices disease and death became a part of the human experience.] 

[The ultimate truth here is that choice, if it is really choice demands consequences.] 

[God’s Justice - Many a scholar has attributed the consequences of sin to God’s justice.  It is valid to note that God is just; just as He is holy, loving, and kind.  God’s justice demands that God hold each of us accountable for the consequences of our choices and actions.] 

[Choice and Consequences However, it seems clear to me that a choice without a result is no choice at all.  If God were to just ignore your sin and not hold you accountable for your choices then in essence you never really had a choice in the first place.  Because regardless of what you choose to do, God would in the end get His desired result, hence you never would have had a choice at all.  Real choices demand a consequence or a result or its no choice at all.]

[This is the position of our promiscuous society today – Today people want to be able to do anything they want to do, whether it is moral or immoral and not be held responsible for their choices.  The truth is, God will allow you to do anything you want to do, but with your choices there comes responsibility whether in the form of a consequence or a reward.]

[God’s love demand a choice, real choices demand consequences.]

B.     The Nature Of The Carnal [– So what does the Bible reveal about our choices and bad things?  Do bad things happen to good people?  The standard you use to determine whether or not someone is good or bad will undeniably guide your thoughts concerning this question.  There are people in our lives who are comparatively good and moral, hence compared to another not so good individual someone appears good.  But if you are going to judge God by your question then the comparison of ones morality must be made with God.  What does such a comparison reveal?]  God reveals through the Bible that:

1.      We Live Contemptible Lives (vs 9-10; Rom 3.10-13;  ) [– God declares that there is none good or righteous.]

[Romans 3:10-12 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. ]

[God then goes on to say,]

[Romans 3:13 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: ]

[Our sin, the result of our choices have led us to places or to do things that are completely reprehensible to a holy, righteous, and just God. At the very least our choices are selfish, and self-willed.  Our choices rarely represent the selfless love of God.  Our sinful choices, by necessity, carry dire consequences for us, our communities, and for Christ.  God’s only begotten son gave His life to die for all sin, hence at the very least our sins cost God dearly.]

[Without a doubt, even the best of us have made shameful, disgraceful, and loathsome choices at some point in our lifetime.  Yet, we disgracefully fail to weigh sin under the manifesting light of God’s perfect holiness and somehow strive to declare that someone is good, even when they are not.]

[Our text reminds us of where we fell under the consequences of our sins, ]

[1 Corinthians 6:9-10 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.]

[No one escapes the searching gaze of God.  God does not look on outward appearances as people do.  God looks right into your heart and when Almighty God looks in, you find you must admit that you are but filthy rags in His estimation.]

2.      We Have Corrupt Hearts (Jeremiah 17.9-10) [– The atheist strives to deny the corruptibility of his life.  Who are you preacher to so self righteously declare that there are no Good people in our world today?  I would only be self righteous if I were declaring myself righteous in comparison to everyone else.  When the Bible declares that there are no good people in this mortal creation there are none who are exempted.  We are corrupt because our hearts are corrupt.  The Bible states,]

[Jeremiah 17:9 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? ]

[Illustration: A teenager once said, I know I am okay because I feel okay in my heart.  I know that I am doing the right things, even if the Bible says I am doing the wrong things because I feel it in my heart.]

[If you are following your heart then you are following the wrong thing.  If you are trusting your heart, then you are trusting the wrong thing.  Right and wrong are not a mater of what you feel at the time, but right and wrong are a matter of what God has declared is right and wrong.  God says,]

[Jeremiah 17:10 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.]

[It is because of our corrupt hearts that we live contemptible lives.]

3.      We Have Confused Minds (1 Cor 6.9; 5.6; 5.1-3; 1 Cor 6.11) [– . . . Be not deceived: . . . – Just asking a question like, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” reveals the blindness of many in our culture today.  Without a doubt people would rather justify or excuse their sin rather than repent and turn away from their sin.  Adultery, fornication, covetousness permeate our culture and churches with profound permeation.  It is just as Paul warned when he wrote,]

[1 Corinthians 5:6 6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? ]

[What was Paul addressing in this passage?

[1 Corinthians 5:1-3 1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, ]

[Fornication right in the midst of the Church.  The Church wasn’t dealing with this profound and abominable sin.  Why?  Because this was someone’s son!  This was some families relation!  This was some Church families reputation!  This is what is permeating contemporary Churches today.  Churches are confused about sin and as a result our culture is certainly confused about sin.]

[Atheists seem to have great sway with their question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” because people have lost sight of what constitutes a good person.]

[Notice what Paul wrote in our text,]

[1 Corinthians 6:11 11 And such were some of you: . . . ]

[Without a doubt, the Bible reveals that there are NO GOOD PEOPLE!  Everyone is a sinner, everyone is condemned by their sin, the only hope that remains for sinners is the redemption provided through the cleansing blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Bad things happen to bad people who deserve much more than they will ever receive.]

C.     The Nurture of the Cross (Psalm 103.8-13; 1 Cor 6.11) [– Bad things happen to bad people because the choices of humanity throughout the ages have brought us and our world to the place where we are today.  This world is a fallen, corrupt, rebellious, presumptuous, deceitful world.  In our blind corruption we would endeavor to make God the villain when He has faithfully and mercifully endured our hideous corruption.  God reminds us in the Bible that,]

[Psalms 103:8-13 8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. 10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. 13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.]

[God has not given you what you deserve, nor has He given our world what it deserves.  God has longsuffered with your sinfulness for one and only one reason, because He loves you and desires to restore a right relationship with you. Our Text reveals,]

[1 Corinthians 6:11 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.]

1.      God’s Cleansing Love (Titus 2.14) [- . . . but ye are washed, . . . – God’s justice and your choice require that God cannot just overlook your sin.  There are definite consequences for your sin.  But God has offered a cleansing for your sin.  God is willing to take the penalty for your sins and lay that cost upon the Lord Jesus Christ.  God is willing to allow the Lord Jesus Christ to pay your sin debt for you, if you will choose to allow Him to pay it for you.]

[Titus 2:14 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. ]

2.      God’s Conforming Love (John 1.12) [- but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. – God desires to bring a transformation into your life.  God wants you to choose to become a part of His eternal family by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.  Through this purposeful choice and its resulting divine adoption you will receive the promise of eternal life and mortal purpose.  Bad things will continue to happen in this corrupt and sinful world.  Not because God is incapable of stopping them but because God will not violate His love by removing choice and consequences from any man, woman, or child’s life. But God promises that for all who choose Him in this life, there is a perfect home and habitation on your immortal horizon. Live like eternity is already yours for through Christ Jesus our Lord it is.]



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