WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN!
By Bill Byrnes
“ For the wages of sin is…DEATH…” Romans:6:23
Okay, how many times have you been caught up in an “evangelical” mood and engaged in conversation about God(or Jesus), then you hear this objection from a non-believer: “You say there’s an all-loving, forgiving God. Well, if that’s the case, tell me why God lets horrible things happen to good people–especially innocent children?” Those who give you this argument might even use an example of personal loss– of some tragedy befalling a loved one, or, of a close friend going thru a recent tragic loss. Then they “storm” away, not expecting a satisfying reply–or worse yet, in a condescending manner, stare you down while saying, “Hmmmmm?” –giving you a triumphant stare.
Well, this has happened to many of us–myself included. And , in the 11 years since I’ve become a believer, it’s only been in the last few months that I’ve discovered the best way to answer.
I realize that you might already have an answer–but bear with me & see if my answer adds to yours, maybe yours will add to mine.(Let me know in “comments”)
Bottom line, my answer is: Yes, there was a time when we had everything we wanted. We had perfection–and NO death! We had it all. We were in complete control of everything. There were NO bad things happening to anyone– even the climate was perfect! We had it MADE–then, we messed it all up. WE BLEW IT!
Stop and think about it! Yep, I’m talking about Adam and Eve. But, let’s get away from the usual clichés about them and analyze the situation!
God created a paradise for them–perfect climate, all food was there and ready for the taking–yes, they controlled everything! They even had regular meetings with God himself . What more could anyone want? More importantly, they had the guarantee that they would live forever! Only good things would happen. However, all they had to do was one small thing: NEVER eat fruit from ONE tree. That’s it! And for holding to this one caveat–they(and all their descendants–including you & me and all of our families)–would receive Heaven on Earth. We would control everything, we would have everything we could possibly want, NO BAD THINGS would happen at all. In fact, any time we wanted, we could even talk to Adam
and Eve because they would lived FOREVER(and so would we)!
Again, let’s stay away from any clichés (who’s bad or good etc.) and
once again, perform basic analysis. Yes, Satan got a “foot-hold” on mankind when he plied Eve. Let me add that it wouldn’t have mattered who he tempted–Adam or Eve–the outcome was destined to be the same!
Let me add (for what it’s worth): when it comes to resisting temptation, Adam and Eve were the strongest humans ever! Let’s not forget the wonderful gifts they shared every second of their lives, not to mention their constant personal interface with God himself! Every day they lived amidst everything they would lose! Also, let’s not forget that God gave his one demand to the “couple” face-to-face! They were the only ones who ever experienced “Heaven on Earth”. One would think these experiences would add to their strength. (You think they would have gotten the message!)
“You’d think they would have gotten the message…”
So, doesn’t it stand to reason that every one of their descendants, especially because they were all born after their parents’ fall from grace, could not possibly be anywhere near as strong? Stated another way: Adam and Eve had a propensity to fall into temptation. I could not say whether it was because of unexpected weaknesses existing in their new corporeal state–or some other reason– I believe that this propensity would increase in all future generations. So as their strength decreased with each new batch of descendants–the propensity to sin increased. I believe that here is the notion of original sin. Newborn babes, as adorable as they are, obviously have not committed any transgressions towards anyone, least of all God. But, what they have inherited, is this propensity towards sin.
So, if the non-believer has stayed with you this far into your logic–I doubt that anything they would add would be anything but very emotional outpourings. However, you must keep insisting that, yes, we did have everything “our way” in the beginning. Also–yes, bad things do happen to people–all people, but that was NOT God’s intention. Add to this John:3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that who soever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Therefore, does this sound like a being that loves to inflict pain and suffering? No…it does not!
At this point, refer that person to the second half of my opening Bible verse: Romans:6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord.”
“Adam found out–The wages of sin–is DEATH!