Why Is There Evil, Pain and Suffering in the World?

October 26, 2014 Speaker: Jeff Bedwell Series: You Asked for It

Passage: Revelation 21:1–21:5

Sermon Video Introduction: Voice of the Martyr's: Liena's Prayer. (Due to graphic images, viewer discretion is stongly advised.)

Why Is There Evil, Pain and Suffering in This World?

Revelation 21:1-5

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12, ESV)

Biblical Insights on Suffering

1. God is not the Creator of evil and suffering

“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31, ESV)

God made the world with the Possibility of evil and suffering, but our choices made the possibility Actual

Two Kinds of Evil:

  • Moral evil

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23, ESV)

  • Natural evil

“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” (Romans 8:22, ESV)

2. Though suffering isn’t good, God can use it to Accomplish good

God uses pain to:

  • Draw people to Christ

“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10, ESV)

  • Shape our character

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,” (Romans 5:3–4, ESV)

“Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8, ESV)

  • Lovingly Discipline His children for their own good

“For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:10–11, ESV)

  • Accomplish something Positive out of the Negatives of life

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, ESV)

3. The day is coming when suffering will Cease and evil will be Judged (Rev. 21)

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9, ESV)

Justice Delayed is not justice Denied

4. Our suffering will Pale in comparison to what God has in store for His followers

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,” (2 Corinthians 4:17, ESV)

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18, ESV)

“But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9, ESV)

5. We decide whether to turn Bitter or to turn to God for Peace and Courage

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, ESV)

God’s ultimate answer is not words, but The Word

His ultimate answer is not an Explanation, but the Incarnation

“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18, ESV)