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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The devil

Posted by Richard on March 11, 2009

Asked in Youth Group tonight:

Why did God create the devil? and Why do bad things happen?

Why did God create the devil?

God created his angels, and at the urging of Lucifer, 1/3 of them fell. (Rev 12:4)

The nature of sin is the antithesis of God. “Bad things” are the natural consequence of sin. Before sin entered paradise, it was perfect (Genesis 1:31) After the fall of Adam & Eve, God cursed creation. (Genesis 3:17) This is observed as the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Why do bad things happen (to good people)?

Bad things happen period. Sin is in the world, and evil is its consequence. Sometimes we experience God’s grace. Other times, we are put through trials, in part to test us, and part to make us stronger. (1 Peter 4:12) “For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess 5:9)

(Isaiah 34:2), God’s wrath will come in full, being restrained for now (Romans 1:18)

God is sovereign even through evil deeds (Gen 50:20) “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” “The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.” (2 Peter 2:9)

Even though we don’t always see justice apparent, rest assured that justice will be done. “Rather, each will die for his own wrongdoing.  Anyone who eats sour grapes-his own teeth will be set on edge.” (Jeremiah 31:30)

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Highway to Heaven

Posted by Richard on February 23, 2009

An anonymous reader asks:

What do we, as people, have to do to be able to go to heaven?

First, a little warm up. God is perfect (Psalm 18:30, Deut 34:2, Matthew 5:48). God is holy (Psalm 77:13). There are many other attributes of God, but we’ll focus on these two. Sin is unholy. Sin is the opposite of perfect. To be in heaven is to dwell with God. Needless to say, that God does not permit anything sinful in his presence (Revelation 20:10). In order to be permitted into God’s presence, we would need to be sinless.
This, for humans, is impossible. Ever since original sin, the very nature of man has been sinful. Even sinful thoughts in our minds are sin (Deut 15:9). The consequence of this sin is death, or more precisely spiritual separation from God. There is an unbridgable chasm in sin separating us from God.

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In short, there is nothing we, as people, can do (of ourselves) to get to heaven. (Romans 3:23)

Fortunately for us, God provided a proxy (that is, someone else to take our place in the punishment due to us) in Jesus. Jesus died to pay the necessary penalty for our sin, that by accepting and embracing his gift to us, we might have eternal life in heaven.
Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24, ESV)

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