A few years back my wife and I were working for an international ministry. We worked between 50 to 80 hours a week at the ministry, taking ministry work home with us every night and weekends. Our personal lives revolved around the ministry’s schedule. During our time there, I had the privilege of meeting and communicating with creationists from all over the world. I also corresponded with hundreds of people from every continent that contacted the ministry with their questions, praises and oppositions. I conversed with Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and atheists. On more than one occasion, I was able to help lead someone to a saving faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Neither of us considered our efforts at the ministry as being a job, because it was our life. We loved serving the ministry and Christ. It was everything to us. It was our life.
Then on April 14, 2005, we were on our way home. We had left a little early that day so we could stop and pick up some medicine for our oldest daughter who was home ill. My wife was driving our minivan and I was sitting in the passenger seat. We were in the far left lane on the interstate when a teenager in a small Toyota two lanes over lost control of her car. She fishtailed and then shot straight over and hit us right at the passenger door where I was sitting. The impact caused the back end to spin around at which time the driver side front wheel caved in. This caused the minivan to roll onto the side and then bounce into the air. We landed upside on the pavement. The impact with the pavement caved in the roof of the car immediately above my head. It instantly drove my head down into my body and then pinned it against my left shoulder. The minivan then slid upside down for nearly 100 feet before finally stopping. As the minivan was sliding down the interstate upside down, I could feel the roof grinding against the pavement. Broken glass was dancing all around and I could see smoke pouring up from the friction of the car against the pavement.
Everyone around was amazed that we survived the horrendous crash. They were even more amazed when we crawled out of the upside side down wreck that once was our minivan. I really didn’t feel it that much until the next day, when I found that I could not hardly move my head, neck, shoulders or arms. Praise God, my wife only suffered from a bruised hip and a slightly sore neck as the collapse of roof was confined to my side only.
MRI images revealed that I sustained 3 herniated and 2 bulging discs in my neck, 5 compressed discs in my upper back between the shoulder blades and a wedge compression of a vertebra at shoulder level. I lost 1 ¼ inches in height in a manner of a few seconds. All of the doctors that examined me said that the accident should have broken my neck, either killing me or leaving me a quadriplegic. They all agreed that it was only because of how thick my neck was that kept it from snapping.
The vertebrae in my neck are still very unstable causing pinched nerves and spasms in my neck and shoulder and upper back on a daily basis. Since the accident, I live in constant pain. To make things worse I have a genetic immunity to about 80% of pain killers on the market (it’s a trait that runs in the men on my dad’s side of the family). The doctors tell me that the severity of my injuries were too extensive to warrant surgery. They all say that there is nothing that they can really do for me and that my neck and back will slowly get worse over time.
Then earlier this summer, my knee went out while I was climbing the stairs at my house and I fell backwards down the stairs. Only by the grace of God did it not snap my neck or result in paralysis, but it has resulted in additionally permanent injury to my neck and increased the pain I live with.
I only share this because we have received several comments from atheists challenging Christianity by asking: How could a loving God allow such things to happen, especially to those that believe in Him.
This question is not a new one. Antagonistics have been posing this question for years. Sadly, too many Christians and even Christian leaders are unable to respond. After 911, I heard several prominent Christian leaders say that they don’t know how or why a loving God would allow these things to happen, but all that is important is that we continue to believe in Christ.
Some years back, I recall watching a news report about the kidnap and murder of two young sisters. The parents of the girls asked a nationally known Christian pastor how his loving God could have allowed their daughters to suffer such a terrible and cruel death. The pastor’s response was abysmal at best. He told the parents that he didn’t know why God allowed it happen, but they just needed to accept that it had and that they should now put their faith and hope in Christ Jesus.
The reason so many Christian pastors and leaders don’t know how to answer this question is that they don’t accept Genesis 1-11 as factual history. They have allowed their biblical foundations to be influenced by non-biblical evolutionary lies. They have listened to the world instead of the Word.
The question of how could a loving God allow bad things to happen is easy to answer: it isn’t His fault. Mankind is to blame for the bad things that happen, not God. If you want to point a finger at the responsible party for all of the horrific things that happen to people of all ages, go to a mirror, look at your reflection, lift your hand and point.
In Genesis 1:31 we see that God pronounced that everything He created very good: And God saw all that he had made, and lo, it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. He created a perfect world where nothing bad ever happened. There was no disease, no suffering and no death.
Then in Genesis 3, we learn that Adam, the first man, willfully disobeyed God when he knowingly ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God had warned Adam not to eat of that tree for if he did he would surely die. Satan beguiled Eve into eating, but when she gave the fruit to Adam, he ate of it of his own free will. He chose to disobey God.
The result of that willful disobedience on the part of Adam brought death into the world and affected all of creation. In Genesis 3:17-19 we read: Also to Adam he said, Because thou hast obeyed the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, (whereof I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it) cursed is the earth for thy sake: in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth: for out of it wast thou taken, because thou art dust, and to dust shalt thou return.
1 Corinthians 15:21-22 also tells us that Adam was responsible for death: For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Take careful note that it wasn’t just Adam and Eve or the serpent that were cursed because of Adam’s sin, but it was all of creation. Paul tells us in Romans 8:22: For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. The Greek word translated as ‘creation’ is ‘cosmos’. Cosmos refers to the entire universe that God created.
Further evidence that Adam’s sin affected the whole of creation can be found in Acts 3:21 which states: Whom the heaven must contain until the time that all things be restored, which God had spoken by the mouth of all his holy Prophets since the world began.
So you see, it’s not God’s fault that bad things happen, even to good people. It’s Adam’s fault and since we are all descendants of Adam, we all carry that sinful nature and responsibility for our corrupted world.
However the worst consequence of Adam’s sin was separation of the perfect communion that Adam had with God. A holy and righteous God cannot tolerate sin in any form nor have a prefect relationship with a sinful being, namely man. Sin caused an eternal separation between God and man. That separation wasn’t just while we are here on earth, but for all eternity as well. If our God is the unloving and uncaring God that atheists claim, then man would have no hope for eternal salvation and we would all be condemned to spend the rest of eternity in Hell. There would be no meaning or purpose to our lives and we would all be living in a lost hopelessness.
Nevertheless, the God of the Bible is such a loving God that He paid the ultimate sacrifice for man’s sin so that man would have a way to obtain a personal relationship with him and have hope for eternal salvation. God the Father sent God the Son to come to earth to die on the Cross and shed His blood for our sins in order to provide man a means to salvation. Jesus Christ became the sacrificial Lamb to pay for our sins as the Apostle John tells us in John 1:29: The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold that Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
So how does one acquire the eternal salvation that Jesus Christ sacrificed his life to give us? Again, let’s turn to the Apostle John who tells us in John 3:14-18: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Only a loving God would have made such a personal sacrifice for sinful man to allow us to have any hope of salvation and eternity.