Why is There Suffering?
Most people know that God exists.
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
- Romans 1:20 (KJV)
A very common question then is: Why is there so much suffering?
That's a very good question.
The answer is "because of free will".
Adam and Eve chose to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and as a result of their choice, we are now in a similar situation. We know good and evil, but we have no idea where the dividing line is.
The only one who knows where the dividing line between good and evil is, is God.
God's "to here and no further" are called the "Ten Commandments".
- No other gods
- No idols
- No blasphemy
- Keep the Sabbath (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset)
- Honour your father and mother
- No murder
- No adultery
- No stealing
- No lying
- No coveting
Clearly, because of free will, these rules are being broken every single day, and that's why there is suffering. This situation is not acceptable to God, and He is working very hard to resolve it.
The solution is a situation where man voluntarily keeps God's law.
Because created beings can't keep God's law by themselves, God has offered to help with this.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
- Hebrews 8:10-11 (KJV)
But God will never force this on anyone, because God respects free will too much.
If God were to force this on us, we would be nothing more than automatons, and the words "I love you" would be meaningless.
Love only works when it comes from free will.
Sin originated with satan (who tempted Adam and Eve), so why did God not just kill him on the spot when he first sinned?
The answer is "because people would not understand". (And when I say people, I mean man, angels, etc)
You can just about imagine the reaction of the other angels, e.g. "Did you hear what God did to Lucifer? Why?! Man I'm so scared, I better tell God that I love Him.". There would always be a seed of doubt remaining. Satan was therefore allowed time to develop his character and his government (opposing God's law).
And indeed, at the cross we can clearly see satan's character, e.g. he was a murderer and a liar.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
- John 8:44 (KJV)
It is just sad to see that it was mankind that fell for satan's deceptions. Caught up in the middle if you will.
Satan chose to defy God, so there will be no pardon for him and his angels.
Man on the other hand was deceived, and God started the plan of salvation/redemption straight away, when sin entered this world through Adam and Eve. In other words, there is still hope in Jesus for us.
And that brings us to today. This world has become just as evil as it was before the Flood, and God is going to put an end to it, but to be fair, God will bring a test to all of us, so that in the end there will be only two classes, e.g. obedient children of God, and rebellious children of satan. You get to choose.
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
- Revelation 3:10 (KJV)
The test that God will put before us is the Sabbath/Sunday test.
The bottom line is: You either live with God in obedience, or you will die with satan in rebellion.
If you keep the Sabbath (Seal of God), it is a sign that you worship God.
If you keep the Sunday (Mark of the beast), it is a sign that you worship satan.
The offer of grace (Jesus dying on the cross in your place) is still here, but the close of probation is near.