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IS GOD REALLY FAITHFUL?

What do we say to our youths who ask genuinely “If there was a God and if this God was so good, why do innocent children die? why do we have natural disasters, still births, victims of paedophilia,  starvation in Africa/severe poverty, even the horrible deaths of some christians/missionaries? etc.”

Many christians today may find themselves in situations where they are left asking ‘why is this happening to me when God made so many promises in the bible about saving us from all our troubles’

Unbelievers also make a good case with this, if we can not explain.

God IS faithful…but how does that fit into the above?

OUR RESPONSE

It will be difficult to address this without ending up writing a book, so we are going to make this an opened-debate. I have sometimes wondered if man were able to view things from God’s perspective, it might help shed light on more things.

For example, John the Baptist was prophesied to be the ‘gift of God’ before he was born. Jesus said also that of those born of woman; there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist… but what do we know of his life? He lived in the wilderness, clothed in camel skin, had wild honey for food and eventually beheaded…. What a gift, right?

If we look at the story of king Jeroboam and his ill son (Abijah). The Lord condemned Jeroboam and his entire household to death with shame (corpse to be eaten by dogs and birds) but to his son Abijah, the Lord said he will die and be buried as he is the only one in the household of Jeroboam whom the Lord found anything good…. How nice, right?

If we look at the story of king David and his son. David sinned against God by taking Uriah’s wife and causing his death. Then God punished him by taking away the son born to David by Bathsheba (death)….Poor baby, right?

 Amongst others, what about the deaths of all the apostles as history records?

Philip stoned to death AD 54, Barnabas burnt AD 64, Peter crucified upside down AD 64, Paul beheaded in Rome AD 69, Andrew crucified in Achia AD 70, Matthew beheaded in Ethiopia AD 70, Luke hanged in Greece AD 93, Thomas speared to death AD 70, Mark dragged to death in Alexandria AD 64, John abandoned on Patmos AD 63 and so on….

Point is, it will appear that the things that bother us as humans is quite trivial compared to what awaits us in the ‘new age’ in the eyes of God.

There is more but we intend to stick to the practice of short responses… to be continued…

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36 thoughts on “IS GOD REALLY FAITHFUL?

  1. Great post with lots of impoarntt stuff.

  2. Home run! Great slugging with that anwesr!

  3. shematwater on said:

    You said “but as scriptures points more to the direction of God being the alpha and omega, i tend to agree with that, unless i am convinced otherwise”

    Let me show you the meaning of Alpha and Omega from this perspective then.
    Alpha and Omega are the first and last letter in the Greek Alphabet. In describing Christ they are used as symbols of his nature and character.
    We read in Genesis chapter one verse one that “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” This is the beginning, and yet we know that God had to have existed before the creation, as he is the one who created everything.
    We also note that every time Christ calls himself “Alpha and Omega” he immediately follows this with “the beginning and the end” (or a similar phrase). If, according to Genesis the beginning is mark by the creation, and not God himself, then we see that this title (Alpha and Omega) means simply that Christ was there, or the cause of the beginning. He was in the creation, or before it, and is thus Alpha. He will also be the one that stands in the end at the Final Judgment, and he is thus Omega.
    This title does not mean that nothing existed before him, or will after him; but that in regards to this world, he was the beginning of it, and he will be the end of it.

    You asked “why then did God make Lucifer, knowing that he will rebel, or even man, did God not know what the outcome will be?”

    This is a good question. I can answer it, but my answers would be considered even greater heresy than what I have already said. Before I put them out there, I have to know that you really want to hear them.

    You ask “But when God kills, how do you explain to a child that the killing from God is not evil, yet killing is evil?”

    Because killing in and of itself is not evil and it never has been. Murder is evil, or the unjustified killing of the innocent. But the destruction of the wicked is just and truly a good act.
    Genesis 9: 6 “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed”
    Notice that death is the penalty for killing, or murder. When a person is executed for committing murder the executioner is not guilty of the same act.
    Thus, murder is evil, but the justified execution of the wicked is just and good. God, being the perfect judge, is capable of knowing when such action is justified, and when it is not.

    • ok.. lets take this step by step (shematwater). My “Alfa and Omega” statement was not directed at a particular scripture or context in which it was used but rather, the entirety of the bible as a whole.

      john 1:3/all things were made by Him… as you have also written. So what other definition would you give to “all”.

      My take on why God created Lucifer is that its all part of His plan, this will take a book for me to explain. when the book is finished, will be glad to inform you 🙂

      Did God not say He raised pharaoh for this purpose? Did Jesus not say judas was chosen for this purpose? and many others.

      I agree on your take on murder and killing. I chucked that one in there for you to ponder on how that correlates with your ‘co-eternal existence’ theory.

      • shematwater on said:

        I am also taking the Bible as a whole. John 1: 3 does say “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

        However, we have proven at least one thing that God did not create. He did not create himself, and such is impossible. As there is at least one thing that he did not create the phrase “all things were made by him” is proven to either be false, or to speak to a certain class, or set of things.
        As the Bible places the Beginning at the creation, we know that the Bible is not talking about anything that came before the creation.
        Thus, All would not indicate everything that ever existed, but all things pertaining to this earth and this existence. In regards to this Earth he created all things, but not in regards to all existence.

  4. shematwater on said:

    NOTSAMSON

    But what does the term ‘before’ refer to? Is it referring to time-line, or to honor? Is it saying that no being existed before God, or that we are to give honor and worship to God first, before we give it to anyone else?
    I tend to see the Bible as teaching the latter. It does not teach that nothing and no one existed before God, but that we are not to place anyone before him in or priorities and honor.
    However, I never actually said anyone existed before him, only that the nature of existence is co-eternal with him.

    As to creating Lucifer, he also created Cain and Hitler, as well as Abraham, Moses and Peter. God creates his children, but he does not force them to choose evil, but rather has given them their agency so that they are free to choose. Those who choose evil, such as Lucifer did, are cast out; while those who choose good are welcomed into His Kingdom, being crowned with glory.

    • ok… i understand your point a little better now but as scriptures points more to the direction of God being the alpha and omega, i tend to agree with that, unless i am convinced otherwise but on the other hand, this ‘co-eternal existence’ thing has got me thinking.

      And as you have rightly said “freewill” was given to all and Lucifer chose to rebel. agreed.. here is a thought though, God knows today, tomorrow and eternity, why then did God make Lucifer, knowing that he will rebel, or even man, did God not know what the outcome will be?

      you also mentioned that God must at times destroy the evil and in the process, He allows some good to be hurt.. agreed. But when God kills, how do you explain to a child that the killing from God is not evil, yet killing is evil?

  5. shematwater on said:

    I like the answers given, but let me give a slightly different one.

    First, my perspective may seem a bit odd, and I have been told it is heresy, but I do not think that God created the evils in the world. As Hannah says, there must be an opposite to all things. We could not have good unless there was bad.
    This must also apply to God. He could not be good unless there was an evil that was completely apart from himself; something that was before him. I do not claim an actual entity, but just an force, or nature of existence.

    God is good because he sees both the good and evil that simply exists, and he chooses the good, and strives to help us choose the good. He cannot be blamed when a person makes an evil act, for evil is something that is uncreated, and simply exists.

    As to all the suffering, the good suffer because the evil exists. It is as simple as that. In order to bring about the greatest good God must, at times, destroy the evil in the world. When he does thus (such as through natural disaster or famine) he allows some of the good to also be hurt and even die. But it is for the benefit of all people. In a society in which all people choose the good there is no suffering, and God does intervene for all people. Even death causes no true suffering, for in such a society people understand that death is not the end.

    Our job is not to question the reasons behind such things, but to ask “what can I learn from this?” After all, what we learn in this life is truly the only thing that will matter in the next. If we simply avoid learning from the suffering we endure by asking why it happened in the first place where will we be later?

    • Into the intense business meeting walks an uninvited mother carrying her infant child. Instantly the meeting stops, the CEO, CFO, COO, president, directors, managers all admire the baby. For the moment, the child is the center of attention, not because of h/er business acumen, not because of its physical or athletic ability, not because of any degree or honor. All the admiration comes simply because h/er is a baby.

      We later get it backwards. Instead of admiring and respecting others for being people, we only honor them by their accomplishments. Only if we succeed at sports, academics, business, popularity, or making money do we gain respect. If most of us walked uninvited into the business meeting we would be quickly escorted out, without accolades!

      God sees us as children; infants to be admired. It is not because of our accomplishments that He loves us, only from being a child. He values us for our being, not for our doing. Quit trying to impress Him. He already loves you. Jesus invites us, “Come unto me all who are weary and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11).

    • ok (shematwater)… i can see why people might disagree. First of all, the bible makes us believe there was nothing or no-one before God.

      Also, did God not create Lucifer?

      sometimes i feel we humans try to make excuses for God’s behaviour because we are in denial about His personality. God builds and destroys. When we start to view God more as a just and incorruptible judge; meaning He will destroy when needed and honour where deserved, then we might start to understand Him better.

  6. I am not a theologian but I am a christian and I will attempt to answer this very hard question as simply as possible.

    The bible says the righteous perisheth because they are taken away from the evil that is to come in Isaiah.
    Isaiah 57:1,2 – The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness

    Jesus also was persecuted and killed. He was perfect. He never promised life would be easy but did promise to be with us when life got hard.

    John 15:19-21 (KJV) -If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

    We are also told God will work all things out for our good…for us christians that is.

    Romans 8:28 -And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

    But I think that the late christian missionary Corrie ten Boom explains things best when she says this:
    “I showed him an embroidery – that one side shows only a tangle of threads, but on the other is a beautiful crown. I said, ‘When I see you lying on this bed I think of this embroidery. There has been a time in my life when it seemed like the tangled side of this crown. I saw no pattern, no beauty, no harmony. I was in prison, where my sister died before my eyes. But all that time I knew that God has no problems, only plans. There is never panic in heaven. Later on I saw God’s side of the pattern. Because I had to go through deep suffering in that prison, I was able to comfort people afterward because I could tell them, ‘ Jesus is stronger than the deepest darkness. ”

    My life is but a weaving, between my God and me,
    I do not choose the colors, He worketh steadily,
    Ofttimes He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride,
    Forget He sees the upper, and I the underside.
    Not till the loom is silent, and the shutters cease to fly,
    Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why.
    The dark threads are as needful in the skillful weavers hand,
    as the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.

    I hope this shines a light into your heart on this subject of suffering and on life and dying.

  7. Thank you for your comment on my article about ufo,s. I do not know if I posses enough wisdom or knowledge to answer your question accuratly or in a short simplified way. The answer to this lies in several things,I will ponder this and if I feel able to I will try to put togeather a simple answer..if its possible. reading my article “The Christ Consciouness” may help?..Thank you anyway with respect and honour.
    Kindest Regards
    gg

  8. Wow – deep questions, that each would require a lot of time and many words to express my belief; but here is a summary, which I will also post on your blog at http://WWW.NOTSAMSON.COM

    1. I believe it is we who are either faithful or unfaithful! God is perfect by nature, all knowing and all good. He created us (man and woman) in His image, with freedom of choice. He is omnipresent; always with us, in everything and with everything. It is me (us) who intentionally or allow the busyness or pressures under the sun to separate or disconnect us from Him through the Son. We must practice His presence by staying consciously connected in the now of each moment. We are here under the sun to do the will of His Son; to serve His purpose for each of us according to the gifts He has given us. This is in conflict with the ways under the sun; and doubt constantly causes us to question. We just need to ask the right question and direct the question properly. NOT IS GOD REALLY FAITHFUL? BUT WHY ARE WE SO UNFAITHFUL?

    2. I firmly believe that God planted the seed for us each us to need and want to know and be with Him in our hearts; we can hide, we can avoid, but we cannot escape this fact. God is perfect and good by nature; and we are fallen by nature, of our own choosing. Through this fallen nature we walk and live under the sun with all kinds of things that result from that fallen nature. It will never make sense to us while we are under the sun; why we will suffer and why we will feel and see so much pain, we will always wonder why.

    But, we each will hear His call differently and at different times in our life. And when we decide to answer His call we will never be the same; we become aware, aware of the differences of walking according to the ways under the sun vs. walking with and in the Son. At that moment when we decide to answer the call He begin a transformation from within us; our belief becomes more faith than doubt; we begin to become aware of the need to follow Him; following Him leads us to want to become His Disciples; but His work within us never stops under the sun. Neither do the questions.

    The best way to can answer these questions is to put the Word of God in the hands of the one asking; to help them by surrounding them with examples of God’s work within us and under the sun through the Son. Create an environment where they are more likely to continue to hear their call and see His works until they decide to answer it.

    Only God’s Words will make sense to them; we can only strive to be a good examples, followers and disciples, lights on a hill, until they reach up and grasp the hand of Jesus and begin to seek and walk their own narrow path.

    There are no magic words or answers to these questions; but deciding to believe, follow will lead to wanting to be a disciple; and this makes it easier to accept what we do not know and cannot understand.

  9. Hannah on said:

    Hi notsamson
    I think that God created and designed everything to have a balance witch is like the law of life so therefor everything must have an opposite like how we have good and bad, happy and sad, day and night, sun and moon, male and female, winter and summer, up and down, heaven and earth so we must endure bad times as we have good…….what do you think about this?

  10. Notsamson that is a serious question and I am not a bible scholar to give you a theological answer, I can only answer you from the perspective of someone who has been an innocent child who suffered mental, physical, and sexual abuse, from the perspective of an abused wife, and from the perspective of a mother with three sons, and a grandaughter, one of my sons was disabled at a young age.
    What would life be without death? Should children be exempt from that death and have to look forward to reaching adulthood with the mantle of death on their shoulders? What would we as people be without all the conflicts and challenges that we face? How would anyone be able to appreciate the truly good without the bad. For everything that is positive there has to be a negative.
    Have you ever watched a sword being made? The very first thing that is done is to melt the metals down and add in the alloys that will make the final product. It is then formed in a mold to obtain it’s starting shape. Then it is hammered and put into the fire over and over until either it breaks or it is deemed of a strength to satisfy the maker. We are the steel that is being tempered and transformed into the final product. It simply can not be done without the fire and the hammer.
    God gave us the perfect world at the beginning, we lost that when we disobeyed. He is bringing us back to the place where we can obtain it again. But it is not God that puts all the burdens on us, Satan does that and even though he has the permission of God to put those burdens upon us, God gave us the power to stand against him..
    Are you the same person that you were without suffering?
    God never made the promise to save us from all our troubles, what He did promise is salvation based on our accepting of Him and His Son.

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