“How can a good God allow suffering?” Part 3: He has better things in store for us.
12 Do you see a person wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
Jesus came to earth and healed everyone who came to Him. So, now that He is back on His throne in heaven, why doesn’t He just heal everyone now? Why does He allow war and famine and disease? We discussed the fact that sin adversely affected this world, and the things that happen in it, such as natural disasters, are not God’s punishment for sin, but the natural consequences of a fallen world. We also discussed that mankind has the privilege of being able to make choices, and those choices carry either blessings or consequences both for the one making the decision and those who are affected by that decision. Today, let’s talk about those who die at the hands of evil men–or, men making poor choices.
From the beginning, God ordained the birth of human souls by the coming together of the male sperm and the female egg. As soon as they form a zygote, a human soul is born. This soul is eternal. God’s plan for humanity took a detour when sin and death entered the world. Now, all things die in this natural universe. So, what happens when they die? We are not entirely sure, but we know this: Jesus brought His kingdom, the kingdom of heaven, with Him when He came to earth, and it is still progressing today. We are now living in two kingdoms at the same time! Let’s look at some verses:
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 4:17
18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:18-19
28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:28
From these Scriptures, we can derive that:
- Jesus brought the kingdom with Him.
- The kingdom was active in the disciples’ lives.
- There will be a coming renewal–unless this verse is progressive in nature and has to do with Jesus’ resurrection and ascension where He took His place at the Father’s right hand, and then continues by adding people to the kingdom as they die on this earth, first the disciples, and then everyone else up to this very moment. Either way, we are included, “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life in the coming age” (Matthew 19:29).
These bodies belong to an old covenant, one that is perishing. Jesus has glorious, new, heavenly bodies awaiting us upon death,
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:8
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44
The last point to make is that in Jesus, we have already moved from death to life, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life“ (John 5:24). Death has lost its grip on us! We now look forward to all that Christ has in store for us beyond life in these bodies.
Sound crazy? It sure does–unless you’ve met the Savior. Then, it all makes sense!
Let’s conclude today with a wonderful passage, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18,
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Abba, You have given us a hope that goes beyond this life. You said that we would be with You, and wherever You are is where we want to be. Open our eyes to these spiritual truths, Lord. It’s important that we know Your truths and that we share with others that they do not need to be afraid of death anymore, for You have conquered the grave! Amen.