WHY DID GOD ALLOW IT?
by Bob Thompson
Newspapers, newsreels and television cameras have recited the tragic stories of angry twisters dealing multi-million dollar destruction throughout the Middle West this year. The savage tornadoes left in their dreadful wake grim specters of misery and death, grotesque piles of wrecked buildings, mutilated cars, dead or horror stricken victims buried beneath tons of rubble -- bricks, twisted steel, pile driving timbers, and massive beams splintered like kindling wood.
The roaring black windstorms also left in their paths sorrowing and grief-stricken relatives and friends of the reported dead. Many loved ones are asking the question: "WHY did God allow it??"
Some may even be tempted to say: "If God allows things like this to happen, where the lives of innocent men, women and children are snuffed out without a chance to survive, if He's THAT kind of a monster I'll have nothing to do with Him." This is often the reckless and irresponsible charge of those who wish to avoid the REAL issue of personal sin and a guilty conscience. This only gives us further reason for answering the sometimes BITTERLY asked question: "Why did God allow it????"
EARTH'S CEASELESS STRUGGLE
The divinely inspired apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:22, "THE WHOLE CREATION GROANETH AND TRAVAILETH IN PAIN TOGETHER UNTIL NOW. " (R. V.). The earth and all that is in it is under the curse of God, brought on by the willful disobedience of man. Compare Genesis 3rd chapter with Rev. 21:1-5. Because of this, we must struggle to live, we must battle the elements, we must grapple with disease and death all during our life. The brute creation must also fight for survival, many must kill to live. Plant life and trees, like men, must everywhere carry on the struggle against death, against the destructive and crippling forces of tornadoes, blinding sandstorms, blizzards, hurricanes, earthquakes, lightning, floods, fires, droughts, etc. Century after century this mortal conflict of man and beast and growing things against the over-powering elements must go on. This perennial warfare with nature's terrible power must continue UNTIL "the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God." -- Rom. 8:21 (RV). It will continue UNTIL the prophecy of Rev. 21:1-3 is fulfilled.
EARTH, MAN AND SIN
Yes, "THE WHOLE CREATION GROANETH AND TRAVAILETH IN PAIN TOGETHER UNTIL NOW." And the apostle Paul goes on to say to every believer: "AND NOT ONLY SO, BUT OURSELVES ALSO, WHICH HAVE THE FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT, EVEN WE OURSELVES GROAN WITHIN OURSELVES, WAITING FOR THE ADOPTION, TO WIT, THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY." -Rom. 8:23, (R. V.) The PERIODIC spasms and general unruliness in nature vividly illustrates the natural lawlessness of our own Adamic natures that often causes us to "groan within ourselves."
The curse brought on by Adam caused ALL men to be born "dead in trespasses and sins." (Eph. 2:1-2; Psa. 58:3; Rom. 5:12,19). This accounts for "the spirit of disobedience" that has caused ALL of us "in times past" to walk in "the lusts of our flesh, and of our mind...being foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another." (Titus 3:3). Such is the nature of EVERY unregenerated manor woman, no matter how morally self-righteous the individual may be. This explains why from infancy we had to be TAUGHT to be "good" (comparatively speaking), why we had to be TRAINED to do "right", and why even now the ever-growing thistles of disobedience and wrong-doing flourish abundantly in our conduct, UNLESS we guard ourselves against their deadly and deadening influence. Paul refers to this CARNAL NATURE as "the old man" which ever resists the Spirit of God. The "old man" can never be regenerated, saved, or made fit for heaven. The "old man" must he "destroyed", that is, "crucified with Christ" BEFORE the individual may serve God .- -See Rom .6: 6; Eph .4:22
This crucifixion of the "old man" is our identification with Christ in His death. It is called "BAPTISM" -- NOT RELATED TO WATER -and is a supernatural operation of God thru the Spirit. Man can take no part in this work. The sinner believes the gospel of salvation, AND GOD DOES THE REST. -- John 6:29; Titus 3:5; 2 Tim. 1:9; Rom. 4:4-5. (SEND FOR FREE BIBLE STUDY ENTITLED: "Saved by Dry Baptism" by M.M.J. or "Four Baptisms of Scripture" by E.S. Address card or letter to Box 292, Ft. Worth, Texas. Send no money. These printed messengers are "without price.")
PEACE AND JOY IN A CURSED EARTH
HOW, THEN, MAY WE BE HAPPY AND HAVE PEACE OF MIND AND HEART IN SUCH A WORLD AS THIS, IN A WORLD FRAUGHT WITH INHERENT SIN, DISOBEDIENCE, ENRAGED ELEMENTS, DEATH, DISEASE, BROKEN HOMES, AND ENDLESS SUFFERING??? Christ told the self-righteous Nicodemus: "YE MUST be born again!" We too MUST be re-born, BORN OF THE SPIRIT. --John 1:12-13; 1 Peter 1:23-25.
ONLY BY OUR POSSESSING A NEW LIFE, the divine life of the risen, glorified Christ that is GIVEN to every true believer (Eph. 1:13; Gal. 2:20), only then may we live a joy-FULL overcoming life in this world of sin, in a world of uprooting and destructive elements, in a world of war, fear, doubt, disappointment, frustration, moral and spiritual decay. To the believer, the apostle John was inspired to write: "GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU, THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD...FOR WHATSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMETH THE WORLD: AND THIS IS THE VICTORY THAT OVERCOMETH THE WORLD, EVEN OUR FAITH!" -- 1 John 4:4; 5:4.
Having the life of the risen Christ IN US, directing us, teaching us, and helping us, enables us to live ABOVE our circumstances, and not to live UNDER or be defeated by them. Phil. 4:13, 19. We may claim victory in every adverse or "unfavorable" condition and "KNOW" that all things work together for (our) good" (Rom. 8:28). Job was permitted of God to suffer the loss of his ten children and all earthly goods. But his testimony was unshaken. He said: "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord. IN ALL THIS JOB SINNED NOT, NOR CHARGED GOD FOOLISHLY." -- Job 1:20-22,
WHERE ARE THE DEAD??
If one or more of your loved ones have perished in the ill winds that swept the Middle West this year, you may be SURE that one of the following facts is true of them now: --
IF THEY WERE SAVED FROM THEIR SINS, having trusted fully and ONLY in the "finished" work of our Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation (John 3:14-18), then their day of work was over and God has taken them home to Himself, "for to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord ...which is far better." -- 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23. "PRECIOUS in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints" -- Psa. 116:15.
IF THEY WERE UNSAVED, having never utterly rejected their own righteousness and received the righteousness of Christ by FAITH, WITHOUT WORKS (Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 4:4-8; 11:6), if such was their state when they died, then they are today in a burning hell without further hope or opportunity to be saved!! (Luke 16:23-26; Mk. 9:48. BUT GOD IS FAIR. He is "not willing that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance". (2 Peter 3:9). Because of this, we may be CERTAIN that God permitted them to die ONLY after sufficient opportunity to be saved had been given, and that further chance to receive the truth IN THIS LIFE would just as surely have been rejected in the future as it had been in the past. These are the cold, hard, stubborn facts, and to gloss them over with soulish sentiment can not alter them. ONCE WE DEPART THIS LIFE, OUR DESTINY IS FOREVER SETTLED!
One more word should be added at this point: IF YOU HAVE EVER HAD A CHILD DIE BEFORE THE AGE OF ACCOUNTABILITY, that child is today in the presence of God and His angels, for "Christ died for our sins," He was the world's sacrifice FOR sins, "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" -- 1 John2:Z John 1:29. THE ONLY THING THAT WILL SEND ANYONE TO HELL IS NOT HIS SINS, PAST, PRESENT OR FUTURE, BUT THE ONE, UNFORGIVABLE SIN OF REJECTING JESUS CHRIST. Briefly stated, UNBELIEF (refusing to believe the record of God's Son) is the ONLY unpardonable sin in God's Book! All other sins received their just punishment in the sinless Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was "delivered FOR our offences, and was raised again FOR our justification" -- Rom. 4:25. Forget everything else, if you wish, but remember, UNBELIEF DAMNS THE SOUL II -John 3:18, 36. THIS IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY I FLATLY REPUDIATE THE POPISH PRACTICE OF BAPTIZING INFANTS TO CLEANSE THEM FROM ORIGINAL SIN I Since UNBELIEF alone condemns us, and not our sins, and since a child cannot believe or disbelieve something he does not understand, he remains safe under the finished work of Christ UNTIL he reaches the age of accountability, which age only GOD can accurately determine. Read the story of David and his infant son. AFTER the infant died, David said: "I SHALL GO TO HIM!!!" He surely did not mean that he was going to meet the child in Hell, for David was SAVED. -- 2 Sam. 12:23.
WHERE DO YOU STAND, DEAR FRIEND???? ARE YOU DEAD IN SIN, OR ALIVE IN JESUS CHRIST?????? Tomorrow, or even tonight, YOU may also face TRAGEDY and DISASTER. Have you made peace with God thru our Lord Jesus Christ, having believed and received the record of God's Son for YOURSELF? -- Rom. 5:1; John 8:24; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Cor. 15:1-5; John 6:29.
REJECT HIM AS YOUR SAVIOUR IN THIS LIFE AND YOU WILL SOMEDAY MEET HIM FACE TO FACE AS YOUR JUDGE AND BE LOST FOREVER! -- Rev. 20:11-15. Receive Him (NOW, for "Behold, TODAY is the day of salvation, if you harden not your heart") as your sin-bearer, and you will immediately become a child of God, a joint-heir with Jesus Christ, bound for heaven! -- Rom. 8:14-18; 1 Jn. 3:1. Receive Christ, and while you are here in this earth that is reeking with sin, shaken by the elements and heading for judgment, amidst these circumstances you may have victory, joy, and constant abiding peace in your soul until the day you die, come what may. (See Isa. 26:3; 32:17). REMEMBER, God has already done His part, now it is YOUR move. Don't put off doing what you know is right; DEATH IS CERTAIN, LIFE IS NOT!!!
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