Issues and Answers

God And Suffering

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Herb Douglass


Series Code: IAA

Program Code: IAA000218

00:30 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn and welcome again
00:32 to Issues and Answers. We got an interesting
00:34 program for you today and I wanted to begin
00:36 by sharing this scripture with you.
00:39 Perhaps you're familiar with the story of Job
00:41 and all of the suffering that he went through.
00:44 Well you know Job's friends were pretty sure
00:46 that Job was to be blame and that God
00:49 was punishing him. Job even thought that God
00:51 was punishing him and he wasn't really sure
00:55 what was going on. And so in Job 38
00:58 the Lord shows up and this is what God says.
01:02 Who is this who darkens council by words without knowledge?
01:09 Now prepare yourself like a man I will question you
01:12 and you shall answer me. Why is God blamed for suffering
01:17 and sickness and disasters, that's what
01:20 we're gonna be looking at today.
01:22 And our special guests back with us for a third time is
01:25 Dr. Herb Douglas. And Dr. Douglas,
01:28 thank you so much. My pleasure dear.
01:30 It's good to have you here. We are gonna be talking about
01:34 something that is a little bit philosophical
01:36 but we're gonna be drawing on the Bible today.
01:39 The Lord is blamed often, we hear even Christians
01:42 blaming Him for sickness and calamities
01:44 and accidents and disasters,
01:46 why, why do we choose to be this?
01:49 You know Shelley, it's amazing, those who don't pray
01:51 to the God, blame Him for all the badness
01:54 that happens in this world, so it is amazing.
01:58 You'd think that they wouldn't have any interest
02:01 in whose causing it, and that's the way it goes.
02:04 And it almost seems to me that they're trying
02:07 to excuse themselves for not believing in God
02:09 when they blame Him for all the misfortune you know.
02:12 You're probably thinking more along the line
02:15 of the insurance companies when they call it acts of God.
02:20 That's true, but when you ask the question,
02:22 where was God on 9/11? I hear that frequently.
02:28 But, Dr. Douglas you're a professor,
02:31 or were a professor of theology,
02:32 that is your doctoral degree in theology.
02:35 Haven't you run into? I have run into praying people,
02:38 it's not all just those who don't pray,
02:39 but I've run into some praying people,
02:41 people who are Christians, who are saying,
02:44 where was God on 9/11? Haven't you run
02:47 into people like that? No question about it,
02:49 and many of them, many well known
02:52 T.V. preachers say that was God's way of telling America
02:58 that we got to shape up that we've rejected Him
03:01 and insulted Him and that was his way.
03:04 That was awful to make God into a cosmic executioner.
03:10 So I take it that you don't hold that view at all.
03:14 Oliver Jacques, you may not know him,
03:17 a wonderful man, and his father was a physician
03:21 during the depression. And a man came to him
03:26 who just learned that his wife had
03:28 another child on the way, he had 11 children.
03:33 And he says, how can God do this to me?
03:37 Well God gets blamed for a lot of things. Yes.
03:40 And we just have to recognize that
03:43 an insurance company that can write
03:44 on the policy an act of God. Many people believe it
03:49 is an act of God, that somehow God
03:53 is in control of everything that happens in this world.
03:56 They have no concept of an evil power,
04:00 no concept of a personal devil
04:03 that somehow is messing things up in someway.
04:06 No concept of how God is trying to work out
04:11 a program in such a way that evil exists
04:14 no more in this world. But somehow, God has to work
04:18 within His own parameters.
04:20 The biggest gift God ever gave to this creation is freedom.
04:24 Choice. Even before love, because you can't have love
04:31 without freedom. That's true.
04:33 Lot of people think they could get away with it,
04:35 you know, love with love and but until a loving person
04:39 is giving freedom to his partner,
04:42 you don't have love. Freedom is the basic core
04:46 word in this universe. Satan used freedom
04:52 and it's kind of changed into a new definition of liberty.
04:56 In another words, Don't Fence Me In as the song says,
05:00 we've got to develop and do it my way,
05:02 as Sinatra used to say. In other word we have
05:07 that freedom to just let our real self develop
05:12 into some kind of a potential. We don't want to be cramped
05:16 by these authoritarian rules. Now God is saying look,
05:22 you could go your way if you want, but there are some
05:25 unintended consequences along the way.
05:27 And we have been suffering those consequences
05:30 ever since the Garden of Eden. Amen.
05:32 Okay. Now, let me take you back just a step,
05:35 because you said that some people believe
05:38 that God is in control of everything
05:40 and they don't recognize this other evil power.
05:44 The Bible does teach God is sovereign, so why would,
05:50 the Bible teach us that God is love?
05:52 Why would an all powerful, all loving sovereign
05:58 God allow these things to happen?
06:04 Shelley, we have a word for this in theology,
06:06 we call it the Odyssey. It simply means
06:08 the justice of God, how can God be just?
06:12 It's been one of those great theological subjects,
06:16 why suffering? And there had been three ways
06:20 that theological figures have worked this out.
06:25 One is, God is sovereign as you said.
06:28 But He's so sovereign that He predestines
06:31 every thing that happens in this world,
06:33 the good and the bad, even suffering.
06:35 Even the evil, and even those who are not saved
06:41 because they haven't predestined to be saved,
06:44 they gonna be lost but they're predestined
06:46 to live forever in eternal hell. So that... that is Calvinism,
06:51 that's Calvinism, and that's. And some are Lutheran
06:54 and Presbyterians today. And then the second,
06:57 response to them, people say this is not the Bible,
07:01 we call it they're minion position.
07:03 And they believe that God is sovereign,
07:05 but He's given to every created being,
07:08 angels and men. The responsibility to choose
07:12 for themselves good or evil. And the good and the bad
07:16 that happens to even good people, that's a pity.
07:22 But God is going to workout some good purpose out
07:25 of this and I guess you can say, Grid and Barrett.
07:31 But that's no constellation, when people tell me,
07:35 in the hospital, as I'm trying to comfort somebody.
07:38 And some family member says, well pastor
07:43 is the will of the God. I argued just a little bit
07:47 under my breathe, it is never the will of the God
07:49 that that person to suffer. That is somebody's else
07:53 will not God. And so there's a third way
07:57 of looking at these alternatives,
08:01 who also believe in a sovereign God.
08:04 But they believe that the sovereign God is part
08:10 of the Great Controversy between spiritual forces.
08:13 Beginning in heaven, Revelation 12,
08:17 The evil force is doing their best to wear our down.
08:22 And God is not going to overrule what evils is doing through
08:27 the unintended consequences that men and women
08:30 have done to themselves through the years.
08:33 DNA does the job in all of us, and we just have to take
08:38 what comes in our lineage. It's not always pleasant,
08:44 but God is working out the controversy to show
08:46 that who is right? Who can run this universe best?
08:49 God's principles or Satan's principles,
08:51 and that's where sufferings comes in,
08:53 we're suffering the consequences
08:55 of evil through the years. But God is going to give us
08:57 strength to meet any suffering, any trial, any overwhelming
09:04 problem that we have to face. Okay, now which one
09:07 for our viewer's sake which of the three
09:09 positions do you hold? I represent a position
09:14 that's trying to tell the truth about God,
09:17 he's a marvelously loving God's who gives
09:19 freedom to everybody. He gave it to Adam and Eve,
09:21 and we're suffering the consequences
09:23 of saying no to His way of life.
09:27 He gave freedom to Lucifer. He gave freedom to Lucifer.
09:31 Who became Satan. And he gave freedom to Satan
09:35 to do a job on Job, but He's gonna stand by Job.
09:39 And He's gonna give that strength to Job,
09:41 that Job eventually discovered, was the only way
09:46 he could understand God. God is not the author of sin,
09:50 suffering or death, Satan is. Okay, but you know coming back
09:54 and...and maybe we have to be a little philosophical
09:56 here because, I believe as you believe,
10:00 that sin and suffering is the result of pride
10:05 and rebellion of an angel, that was a covenant angel.
10:10 Lucifer who is now referred to as Satan or adversary.
10:15 There are people who ask when God saw that Satan rebelled
10:21 and that He was to bring all of the sin
10:24 and suffering into the world. Why didn't this loving God
10:27 just zap him out and get rid of him,
10:31 right then and there? Oh, don't we all wish
10:35 that he had done that in sometime in our life.
10:37 But there would have been somebody else
10:39 who would say, wow, you disagree with God,
10:43 and look what happens to you, maybe Satan is right,
10:45 maybe you don't disagree with God.
10:47 Satan had a better plan, at least as far as we heard,
10:52 he certainly made it possible that life could be better
10:54 with a little extra give on the part of the God.
10:58 There would always be a question whether God
11:00 was as fair, was as just, was just as kind as God says
11:07 he wants to be. And they didn't have time
11:10 to see it workout, and God says, I will work
11:12 it out in some laboratory, I will prove to the Universe,
11:16 I'll make the world where there be procreation,
11:20 where people will see the effects of the father
11:23 and son, mother and daughter, operation.
11:25 And how all that could show how I feel about my universe,
11:30 my family. Well that was a great risk
11:33 on the part of the God, that was part of His way
11:35 of taking time to show that Satan with all of his charm,
11:41 with all of his gracious plans, would end up with confusion
11:45 and suffering and death. You know, it's hard when we see
11:50 people suffering, it's hard to say,
11:51 I'm glad God chose it this way. But I am glad that He did,
11:55 because had He annihilated Satan immediately then what
12:00 would have happened is all the rest of the angels
12:02 would have been coerced to love and obey Him.
12:07 And you can't, you can't even use the word love
12:09 that they would have been coerced to obey,
12:11 because they wouldn't want to end up like Satan.
12:15 And when we think about it now,
12:18 I...I mean the greatest thing we have
12:20 is the gift of the choice, right? Exactly.
12:23 And we cannot love God without choice, so that's what
12:26 the Lord is doing here is letting us know that,
12:30 that we still have that freedom of choice.
12:38 No husband or wife can really, really love each other
12:42 unless they had the choice not to do it.
12:45 That's right. And as soon
12:46 as the choice is gone, the love is gone,
12:49 the glue is gone, but they still have the choice
12:52 that is no more love. Love is that marvelous chemistry
12:57 where you choose to listen to and even obey a person,
13:03 because you have that immense trust in
13:08 what you know that person to be, that's how God wants us
13:11 to relate to Him that we have an immense trust in Him.
13:14 Because everything He says works out that way,
13:19 and given enough time we're gonna see it more clearly.
13:22 You know one of these days is going to be
13:24 a marvelous course, Revelation 15:3.
13:28 Finally the Universe is going to say just and true
13:32 our thy ways oh God. But see, from the very beginning
13:37 of Satan's rebellion that's what He's being trying
13:39 to prove is that God is not just.
13:41 So that when He got cast out of heaven,
13:43 don't you think that was kind of at the top of His list
13:46 that do you believe that part of the reason
13:49 that there is so much sin and suffering
13:51 because Satan is trying to give God a bad name?
13:54 Well, He's done a good job, most of the Heathen,
13:58 all the Heathen religions look upon God
14:00 as somebody to be feared. Yeah.
14:02 And they think of someway they have to appease Him,
14:04 to make Him happy, throw their children
14:06 into the fire to make their God happy.
14:09 But many Christians do the same thing,
14:12 maybe in different ways of course.
14:14 But they have to go to this particular city,
14:16 or climb up these particular stony steps,
14:19 somehow to get God's attention that,
14:21 we're alright Lord, we're right with you,
14:25 without giving Him of course the kind of response
14:28 He wants of life, trust and faith.
14:30 But it was a great risk on the part of God
14:35 to put this honor on laboratory basis.
14:38 Instead of saying this is the way it is
14:40 and write it on the clouds, hammer that out with thunder.
14:45 He said no I won't let you all see how it works out,
14:48 principles. Adam and Eve be my first risk
14:53 and see how they work it out
14:55 and it didn't last too long did it?
14:56 So we then have a line of people that God said,
15:01 they will be my people for one purpose,
15:04 to tell the world, the truth about God.
15:08 They kind of messed it up, they talked about a God.
15:11 And we're talking about the Hebrew's Israelites,
15:14 that God choose. They were the only ones on earth
15:16 who had a true picture of God, but they kind of messed it up.
15:20 Jesus came, the third risk. He didn't come
15:24 as a dazzling prince. He didn't come as
15:27 a reverse astronaut, you know, with all those
15:29 heavenly pack on Him. So He would breathe anything
15:31 in this world polluted environment.
15:34 He came as a man, as every little boy is born.
15:39 And he had to fight the battles as every little boy
15:42 has had to fight as a teenager, as a growing man.
15:45 There is nothing that Jesus didn't have to fight.
15:47 Hebrew's 2, Hebrew's 4 so kind of and so on.
15:51 That was quite a risk because He could have,
15:54 as a man He could have failed and it would have
15:57 been eternal loss for all of us. That was a great risk.
16:01 But when God would, when Jesus went back to heaven,
16:03 ask God of course. It wasn't the end of anything.
16:10 He died on the Cross to begin His work as High Priest.
16:14 Amen. As the book of Hebrew,
16:16 that's the main point of the book of Hebrew,
16:19 that He is there today to be our High Priest,
16:22 to be unto us everything I need to be,
16:24 especially in times of suffering.
16:27 Especially in times of all kinds of emotional trial.
16:31 God knows how to talk to me and talk to you
16:34 because He's been here. Amen.
16:38 He's gone through the same situations
16:39 that you and I go through. And tempted in every way
16:44 and yet without sin. He wasn't exempt.
16:47 He didn't suffer like vicariously. Right.
16:50 He suffered as a man but suffered...with Satan
16:53 really throwing it at Him. Face to face with Satan
16:57 like you and I have not yet done.
16:59 But he showed us how to do it, how to live,
17:01 and how to die? And when Jesus was here,
17:07 He did a lot to dispel these errors about God
17:12 and the misunderstandings of that we had about God.
17:16 He told Pilate, "I came to bear witness to the truth." Amen.
17:22 And everything about Him, He was on the side of healing.
17:25 You know, the word that we often translate as Savior,
17:29 is the same Greek word for healer.
17:31 And He is a grand healer of everything
17:34 that Satan has messed up. All that sin has done
17:37 in my life and yours, he's going to restore,
17:40 he's going to undo. That's His job.
17:43 On this earth, he's gonna do part of it.
17:47 You can recover, from the life of doing everything
17:51 you want to do and your body can recover
17:53 if you let the Holy Spirit help you become a brighter person.
17:56 Amen. But one of these days,
17:58 he's going to restore. He is a grand restorer,
18:00 He is not the destroyer. Amen.
18:02 And you know, for me, I don't know, if you know
18:06 my background but I grew up in another denomination
18:08 where I believed in eternal hellfire that I was going
18:12 to be punished forever and ever and ever.
18:14 And so I saw God as one who was, you know,
18:18 just ready to zap me. Yes. And it was,
18:20 when I came to Hebrews 1:3, that say that Jesus
18:23 is the exact expression of the Father.
18:26 He is the very representation of His character.
18:29 And you, I don't know why, I don't know how many
18:31 times I probably read the New Testament,
18:33 two hundred times before I... That scripture
18:35 just jumped out at me Herb, and I thought,
18:38 you know, Jesus did say, you've seen me
18:40 may you have seen the Father. And all of a sudden,
18:42 I realized that the Father God.
18:45 He had to get close to His own disciples.
18:46 Yeah, and the Father is just exactly
18:50 as loving and patient and kind and considerate,
18:54 compassionate as Jesus. So, if we want to know
18:59 who the Father is, we just need to look
19:02 to Jesus and He was the exact representation of His character.
19:07 Now when we ask people who do you want
19:09 to meet first on the other side when you are resurrected,
19:14 most people say, well, I want to see Jesus.
19:19 Jesus would feel just a little bit like a failure
19:23 because His job was to show us the Father.
19:25 The Father is the pole point. The Father is the one
19:29 who's been maligned, misrepresented, lied about,
19:32 had a bad press and Jesus was trying to say,
19:37 the Father is not like you think he is.
19:40 And that's why he gives us Luke 15
19:41 with those marvelous parables.
19:44 God is the one looking for that lost sheep and looking
19:48 for that coin that seems so important and God is the kind
19:52 of like a Father, just waiting for His kids
19:55 to come back home. It's beautiful.
19:58 It's the Father that needs to be properly vindicated
20:03 and Jesus is helping us to vindicate His Father. Amen.
20:08 You know, I'm thinking as you're speaking
20:11 of a scripture Nahum 1:9 that says, The Lord says
20:15 that He will not let sin rise again so...
20:19 Okay, follow that through now. How does that happen?
20:23 It has to be destroyed. But it has to be done
20:27 in a way that's not coercive. Absolutely.
20:30 Everybody gets the results of their own choices.
20:35 When the 7 last plagues fall, that's not God having
20:41 the last word. That's not God saying,
20:43 look you guys have just messed up this world
20:48 and you made me into a fiend. Well, I'll show you now
20:54 who is powerful. No, no, I'm telling no, no.
20:58 Right now, Revelation 7, the reason why Jesus
21:03 has not returned, as He could returned years ago
21:10 is because God hasn't found enough people He could seal,
21:13 so that He through them, He can give a real good
21:16 witness of the truths to the world.
21:19 He is waiting for people that catch on as to why the gospel
21:24 of this kingdom will be preached in all of the world
21:27 through witnesses to all...Yes. You have to be a witness.
21:31 Anybody can talk the gospel. Somebody, you have to witness
21:36 to what He is talking about. In Second Corinthians 3:3
21:39 He says that we are a letter written on the heart
21:42 from Christ. So It's our actions
21:44 that matter more than our words.
21:47 The witness is to someone see.. Words are cheap.
21:50 Absolutely. But, when we talk about
21:56 especially the ceiling work. What is the ceiling work?
22:01 When God finishes up His whole thing.
22:04 It's His signatures right on your forehead.
22:06 14:1 and 22:3. Well, when you pick up anything,
22:15 shall we say a toaster or mixture or whatever you use
22:20 in the kitchen. You look at to the bottom
22:22 and you will see, well, not always a little yellow label
22:25 because now they're imprinted in the frame work of,
22:31 I am trying to say it's the underwriters laboratory
22:36 seal of approval. Yes. And in the plastic it's there.
22:41 Why? Because you look at that label, the seal says
22:46 you can trust it. You can use it.
22:48 It's not gonna burn up. You go for some tennis rackets
22:53 and you don't pick up any old tennis racket.
22:56 You pick up Venus William's. Or a Tiger Wood golf club.
23:00 Why do you think they're selling Tiger Wood golf clubs?
23:02 Because he has a signature on them.
23:05 You can trust it, you can count on that person
23:08 because look what he does with a golf club like this.
23:13 God says, you can trust these people.
23:15 When I seal these people they are going to be
23:17 the kind of people you can trust,
23:19 you can lean on them, they're saying what's right
23:21 about me and you won't have to ever wonder
23:24 again what's right about the universe?
23:28 And when God has people who are so sealed
23:32 that they're saying the truth about him.
23:36 They will never again say no to him under any circumstance.
23:40 They follow Jesus as Bible says wheresoever he goeth?
23:44 I want to walk that way now.
23:47 God will put His stamp of approval upon you.
23:49 Remember that ad, the Hanes clothing ad
23:54 and this lady is watching the conveyor belt,
23:58 the under clothing goes along, all packaged up.
24:00 And she's like a sergeant major watching all this.
24:06 The name goes on when the quality goes in,
24:12 Hanes.... The name goes on you when the quality goes in.
24:18 That's God's way of ending up the Universe
24:20 at the end of time. He'll let people say
24:22 what is right about Him. And a lot of people
24:26 were suffering today. I know through experience
24:30 that when I tell them this little story where God
24:32 fits into this whole thing. It makes the difference.
24:36 They're not just wondering why either in the gravel,
24:40 pushed down and God is saying, it's alright,
24:43 I'm using you for a greater purpose.
24:46 Ah, I don't need to be used for a greater purpose anymore
24:50 Lord I heard. But would you agree with me,
24:53 Herb, that, you know Romans 8:28 says,
24:59 that those who love the Lord have whatever,
25:03 my mind went blank for a second.
25:05 It says, all things work together
25:06 for good for those who love the Lord,
25:08 and are called according to His purpose.
25:10 And so what I teach though, I mean you can't tell
25:13 a mother who has just lost her husband and her child
25:16 in a car wreck all things work together for good.
25:20 You know, you'd say how can God use this for my good?
25:24 I don't use the text that time because of
25:26 what you're trying to say now. But you know, here is the..
25:29 you can't separate that text from Romans 8:29.
25:32 It says that those that he foreknew he called
25:36 and he predestined us to be confirmed according
25:39 to the image of Jesus. So even though
25:42 there is this horrible battle, this great controversy
25:46 going on between good and evil. And the devil
25:49 is the one who is responsible for death and sickness
25:53 and calamities or accidents. Amen.
25:54 But still when it happens, God can still is the lifter
26:00 of your head, the comforter, He will still take the worse
26:05 to those circumstances and help confirm you
26:08 to the image of Jesus. Absolutely.
26:10 Because all are gonna suffer in this lifetime.
26:13 I have held many hands of people who are dying
26:18 and people die in different ways. Yeah.
26:21 And if I get them quick enough to understand
26:23 what we're talking about today it's a very peaceful death.
26:29 Because they know on the other side when God wakens them,
26:32 it will be one wonderful God
26:34 they're going to live with forever. Amen.
26:36 And they won't be confused as to why this happens
26:40 or why that happens? They will understand
26:42 that evil does prevail up to a point.
26:45 John the Baptist didn't enjoy having someone
26:49 take off his head. Yeah. And who is closer
26:51 to Jesus than John the Baptist. Yes.
26:53 Who is closer to, shall we say the Father?
26:57 But Jesus Christ, when he suffered in Gethsemane.
27:01 Three times Lord, Father, Father,
27:04 if there's some way we can do this,
27:07 and I could complete a much better life
27:08 if I lived a little longer. Not my will but thine be done.
27:12 Amen. Herb, thank you so much. It's been a pleasure
27:15 to have you here and God bless you for the work
27:18 that you are doing.
27:19 For those of you who are at home,
27:21 remember this, Romans 5:8 says that God manifested His love.
27:26 He demonstrated His love for us in this way,
27:29 that while we were still sinners.
27:31 He sent Jesus Christ to save us. And I'll tell you,
27:35 if Jesus will die for us while we are still sinners.
27:38 How much more will He do for us now?
27:41 God loves you so much and He is not the one who is causing
27:45 the calamities that are in your life,
27:47 but you can look to Him for salvation.
27:50 You can look to Him and know that
27:53 your God will provide all that you need.


Revised 2014-12-17