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The Problem of Evil
is there so much evil in the world?
Sometimes people bring up what seem to them to be unsolvable problems because subconsciously they want to avoid dealing with what is right in front of them at that moment. If that's you, it was a "nice try." But sometimes people really want what Jesus has to offer but their mind must be satisfied that there is an answer to this question. I am such a person.
I used to manage a Salvation Army Thrift Store in Somerville, Massachusetts. The "Boston central" store would take donated clothes and with a machine pierce the garment twice with a pin in order to attach a white small rectangular price tag. The items in the store were inexpensive. A man's work shirt was 99 cents. Many items were only 25 cents. It cost nothing to come into the store and browse and a small price to buy an item. People on occasion would pull the pin out and put the pin back on with a lower price. In order to keep the doors open and pay for the lights, I couldn't sell the garment for less than the original price. I would send it back to the central store in Boston to be retagged. It was hardest when someone didn't know they were bringing a mismarked item to the register and they would say, "But I didn't do it." I believed them but the fact was somebody did it. They would ask when the item would be back in the store and I would let them know there were ten stores and there was a one in ten chance that it would come back to Somerville. This tended to cut down on changing tags!
God set up the earth for his pleasure and we, people, were at the top of the created order! We are his most sophisticated creatures. We can think, feel, imagine, create. He gave us his image. This meant he gave us freedom, freedom to stay with him or freedom to go out on our own without him. The system was set up to function just as at the Salvation Army store except the Bible calls it the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8) (in context, Genesis 2) . We "pulled the pin" as it were and we've been suffering the consequences ever since. The first kids (Cain and Abel) experienced a murder. The book of Genesis is quite a record of life outside Eden. The book of Romans says that, even creation groans (Romans 8:18-23) . I don't like yellow jackets (wasps that are uninvited guests at picnics) and I don't like mosquitoes (they sting us when they draw blood from us and carry disease) but in no way do I think they are on their original mission. Regarding "original sin," that which got us off course and out of the Garden of Eden, you say, "But I didn't do it!" I believe you! Someone else did and Paul said it was Adam. (Romans 5:14-21) But you have the choice to experience the "rest of the story" and choose life in Jesus who died once so that "whosoever will," through him, can get out of this condition. Unlike the customers at the Somerville store who wanted to purchase in item that had a price tag other than the original (which caused the item to be sent back to "Boston central" for repining) and who had just a one in ten chance of an item being returned to the Somerville store, you have a one hundred percent "chance" of getting your life straightened out through Jesus. It's up to you. You have to do more than think, "My, how nice."
I worked in Design Engineering in a Silicon Valley start-up company. If I can make this clear through Boolean algebra, which is the bedrock for "everything digital," your input or response is either a 1 or a 0 which can mean yes or no.
An AND GATE works like this. 1 + 1 = 1. 1 + 0 = 0, 0 + 1 = 0. 0 + 0 = 0
In English, both inputs have to agree (1 from each of two sources) in order for the result to be 1 which means the agreed upon action will happen.
If either input (party) is 0, the output is 0, they couldn't agree so it won't happen.
If both inputs are 0 they agree the action is not to take place so it will not take place.
God reaches out to us confidently and continuously as in the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, the Creation of Adam
Adam's response is weak, which could be interpreted by the electronic circuit as a 0 which actually happens.
0 + 1 = 0. God is willing, Adam is very little willing, not enough to have a relationship after the fall.
The Sistine Chapel ceiling depicts an AND GATE.
He's already decided; he's already taken the step of sending Jesus
to earth to die for you; it's a
clear "1" on his input. You are the other input.
You provide a "1" (yes), or you provide a
"0" (no). Your 1 or yes could be so weak it is interpreted as 0 or no.
Perhaps this is why Jesus said Revelation 3:16 So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth!
How low a voltage is still recognized as a "1" or how high a voltage is still recognized as a "0" is for God to decide. But he knows when he's being jived or bargained with.
There's no race condition (which input arrives at the AND gate first). God was first and he doesn't change. Your part is to seek him with your whole heart (a steady recognizable "1"), and his promise is that he will be found by you. (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
When I turned to him in 1968 I didn't know what to do. No one explained that to me. I just blurted out, "OK God, you're right, hide not your face from me." He recognized the cry of my heart and in a nanosecond or so I was filled with and surrounded by love. It took me 21 days to figure out that the love wasn't going away and this must be what Billy Graham all the time is talking about, I must have become a Christian!
Because you are fearfully and wonderfully made it's not up to me what your answer is or when you make that decision. I have seen enough people make that decision right in front of my eyes and I know what they said afterwards that I have no doubt that he is there for you regardless of your circumstances. My only job is to try and make a proper introduction between you and God.
"But the serpent said to the woman, "You shall not surely die." (Amplified Bible)
(Genesis 3:4 in context)
If you are a human being, the Bible says you are spiritually dead because of what is recorded in Genesis 3. Jesus Christ on the Cross overcame that which made you spiritually dead. Action is required on your part to become spiritually alive through what Jesus did for you. Please don't deny the problem, please don't deny the solution. Physical death freezes all decisions and locks out changes. (Luke 16:19-26)
Last updated: 03/05/2017
Background music is: allforgiven.mid