How Does God Answer Today’s Skeptics?

[ad_1]

Audio Transcript

Did God just make me to punish me? Why did he produce me in the initially spot? To what finish? Big, enormous concerns arrive just about every day in the inbox from you, our mates who are listening. We get concerns like this e mail from a podcast listener in New York City. Here’s his e mail, and it is a incredibly heavy 1.

“Dear Pastor John, why did God produce us? I grew up in the Bible Belt. In my twenties I moved to New York City. I’ve been right here for more than a decade and my beliefs have been challenged right here. The previous couple of years, life has been difficult, not only for me but for some of my closest mates. Only a couple of instances in my life have I been mad at God. This previous month I was.

“I assume I know why he designed us — to serve and worship him and to enjoy other people. In NYC I’ve met all sorts of folks who reject God. I’ve heard points such as ‘God enjoys seeing other people endure.’ ‘God is not actual mainly because folks endure.’ ‘God does not answer prayers.’ ‘God does not speak to us.’ ‘Look at the Bible: he permitted suffering, killing, polygamy.’ ‘He is selfish and desires you all to himself.’ On and on it goes.

“In the previous, I felt that even even though I didn’t fully grasp why God permitted points, I nonetheless had faith to think in him and would attempt to defend him. So why did he produce us? And why ought to I marvel at him coming to save me? He ought to have, shouldn’t he have? He designed me. Or if he wasn’t going to save me, why did he produce me at all? I have repented of my thoughts, and I do think in him, but my faith remains shaken by these concerns. Can you aid me, Pastor John?”

Nicely, I hope I can aid. From time to time it assists just to hear God respond to criticisms of God. That is what we’re going to do in just a minute.

This, of course, is 1 of the largest concerns that can possibly be asked. Why are we designed? Why did he make the universe? Why did God do this? Why is there humankind? Have mercy on me as I dare, in ten minutes, to answer concerns that have triggered thousands of books to be written.

God’s Objective

Maybe the clearest answer to why we have been designed, why this pal in New York was designed, is Isaiah 43:6–7: “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the finish of the earth, absolutely everyone who is known as by my name, whom I designed for my glory, whom I formed and created.” That is in all probability the simplest, most simple sentence in the Bible in answer to the query. Then he clarifies a couple of verses later in Isaiah 43:21: “. . . the folks whom I formed for myself that they could possibly declare my praise.”

“If you can study any of the thousand languages exactly where the Bible is translated, you can hear the voice of God infallibly.“

Here’s the way Peter puts it in 1 Peter two:9: “. . . that you may possibly proclaim the excellencies of him who known as you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” We exist to reflect, to proclaim, to show the excellencies of our redeeming creator, God.

Eventually, God brought the universe into becoming and human beings into becoming so that God’s glory — his greatness, beauty, and worth (that is my work to fill out that term glory a small bit) — could possibly be on show in the objective realities of his operate (like creation), and in particular as that glory is magnified in the enjoyment that his folks have in understanding him and reflecting him and praising him. That is my extended answer to the query “Why are we created?”

But there appears to be additional standing in the way of our pal — let’s get in touch with him our New York pal. New York sounds like a difficult spot. There are no straightforward locations to stand for all that God tells us, but he appears to be in a especially difficult spot. What appears to stand in the way of him affirming this biblical reality is the sort of points folks have mentioned to him about God and his globe and his word.

He mentions 5 points, so I’m going to give a short biblical response to every single 1. That is what I meant a minute ago when I mentioned at times it assists just to hear God answer criticisms about God. I’m going to let God answer these 5 criticisms.

No Pleasure in a Sinner’s Death

Initially, folks have mentioned God enjoys seeing other people endure. The Bible has two responses.

Initially, no he does not — not the way the critic indicates it. Ezekiel says, “As I reside, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 33:11). Or Lamentations three:32–33: “But, even though he trigger grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast enjoy for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the kids of males.”

Right here is the Bible’s second response to the statement that God enjoys seeing other people endure. When God ultimately judges the globe, his judgment will be completely just, and he will not disapprove of his justice. What ever joy there is in his final act, it will be owing not to the sadism of a monster but to the excellent justice of 1 who in no way wronged any person and who gave his Son to die for sinners.

God Implies It for Fantastic

Second, they say, “God is not actual mainly because folks endure,” or, “Look at the Bible: he makes it possible for suffering, killing, polygamy.” Basically, he not only makes it possible for it, he governs it. He’s God.

“For God to welcome you into his fellowship to love him forever is not selfish it is enjoy.”

He is in no way cornered into carrying out or enabling something that his wisdom and justice and mercy do not govern. Rather of saying God is not actual mainly because he permitted suffering and sin, we ought to say what Genesis 50:20 says: “As for you [sinners], you meant evil against me, but God meant it for great.” I think that is the banner more than all sin in this globe. God is God, not in spite of permitting sin, but mainly because he frequently is turning sin for his sensible and just and merciful purposes for these who trust him.

He Provides Fantastic Gifts

Third, he hears folks in New York saying, “God does not answer prayers.” Nicely, this is their word against the word of Jesus. You have to pick out. Who are you going to think?

Jesus says in Matthew 7:9–11, “Or which 1 of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give great gifts to your kids, how considerably additional will your Father who is in heaven give great points to these who ask him!” In other words, a kid may possibly not get specifically what he asks for, but he will get great points mainly because he asks, mainly because he prays. That is what Jesus says. If a New Yorker says otherwise, you have got to choose whom to think.

The God Who Speaks

Fourth, “God does not speak to us.” Answer: Yes he does. He communicates himself in nature and in Scripture with immeasurable fullness. I’ll say it once again: immeasurable fullness — way beyond what we deserve or will need.

“Sometimes it assists just to hear God respond to criticisms of God.”

For what can be recognized about God is plain to them, mainly because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal energy and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever given that the creation of the globe, in the points that have been created. So they are without the need of excuse. (Romans 1:19–20)

That is his communication by way of nature. Here’s two Timothy three:16: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and lucrative for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for education in righteousness.” If you can study any of the thousand languages exactly where the Bible is translated, you can hear the voice of God infallibly. Whether or not you will acknowledge that he is speaking is yet another matter, but he is speaking.

The Apex of Enjoy

Fifth, these New Yorkers say, “He’s selfish and desires you all to himself.” God’s answer: No on each counts.

Initially, it is not selfish for God to want you for himself mainly because he is the greatest becoming that exists. To welcome you into his fellowship to love him forever is not selfish it is enjoy. It is the apex of enjoy. He himself is the greatest present he can give to us, and he does not hold back. He paid the price tag of his Son to make it feasible for folks to be with him.

Second, he does not maintain us for himself alone. In the globe to come, we will be the most social of beings. He will give us to every single other for everlasting mutual enjoy and admiration. The biblical image of Jesus that the Bible offers us is of him holding a terrific banquet with all his followers seated at a table in a terrific business, enjoying the meals and enjoying every single other. He comes, and he serves us with joy and energy forever. You can see that in Luke 12:35–37.

I return to the query with this biblical answer for why we have been designed. Eventually, God brought the universe into becoming and brought us into becoming so that God’s glory could possibly be on show in the objective realities of his operate, and in particular as that glory is magnified in the enjoyment that his folks have in understanding him and reflecting him and praising him, in particular for his grace.

[ad_2]

Latest posts