Thursday, May 30, 2013

Two categories: the hopeless and the hopeful.


Why doesn't God do something about the evil in the world? Sometimes I wonder if God even cares about the bad things that happen to people today. I don't understand why He doesn't just destroy everything that's evil.

One of my favorite preachers of all times Evangelist Billy Graham quite rightly answers:
I suspect almost everyone reading this has asked themselves the same question, because evil is real, and at times our world seems completely in its grip. And to be honest, we don't always know why God allows evil things to happen. The Bible talks about "the mystery of iniquity" -- and that's what evil often is: a mystery (2 Thessalonians 2:7, KJV).
But the Bible tells us two important truths about evil that we need to remember. First, evil doesn't come from God; He didn't create it, and He doesn't cause it. Evil comes instead from the Evil One -- Satan -- who is absolutely opposed to God and His goodness. It also comes from within our hearts, as we turn away from God and live only for ourselves. Jesus said, "For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly" (Mark 7:21-22).
Second, the Bible assures us that God has already done something about evil! He sent His only Son into the world to defeat it -- and He did. When Jesus died on the cross and then rose again from the dead, He confronted the powers of death and evil and Hell -- and He defeated them. Some day the final battle will be fought, and He will come again to destroy all evil.
Don't put your hope only in this world's solutions; they'll always disappoint you. Instead, put your hope in Jesus Christ, for He is with us, and one day His victory over evil will be complete.
Have you ever thought about what would happen if God suddenly eliminated all the evil in this world? Not one person would be left, because we are all guilty of sin.

Whenever we suffer, we should remember that the Son of God went before us, drinking the cup of suffering and death to the dregs. Because Christ is fully man and fully God, we know that God understands our fears, sorrows and suffering. He identifies with us. Most important of all, the Father has given us the gift of His Son so that we don't have to die and suffer forever in eternity.
Because Jesus suffered and died for us, our suffering can be made like His -purposeful and meaningful. Evil, suffering and death came into the world when the first man and woman listened to Satan and committed the first sin. Evil was never part of the Garden of Eden. The moment Adam and Eve crossed the boundary of God's command, evil became the terrible reality of this world.

Thankfully, Jesus doesn't lose keys. He has the key to every lock. Jesus can open every door. God is in control of all events in the history of this planet—past, present, and future. God will open some doors, and He will close others. He will determine how long we will live. That is not up to us; that is up to Him. The doors God closes are closed for good. And the doors He opens will be opened for good. No power on earth can change this.

It is a good reminder for us to remember that God is in control. We don't have to be afraid to commit an unknown future to a known God. He is in control of our lives.

There are some questions that will remain unresolved until we are able to meet face to face with our Creator in Heaven.

Finally, 

I was reading a devotional by Bob & Debby Gass. I thought it is wonderfully written and I should share it with you. It says what happens “When a Believer Dies”. It is for you, for me and for every believer in this world.

'...God will bring back with [Jesus] the believers who have died.' 1 Thessalonians 4:14 NLT

Dealing with death separates us into two categories: the hopeless and the hopeful. The hopeless believe that they have nothing to look forward to. Their losses feel permanent - the end of life and all that's good. But the hopeful have everything to look forward to. Their losses are temporary - the beginning of an endless life filled with God's finest gifts.

God wants you 'to know what will happen to the believers who have died so [you] will not grieve like people who have no hope' (1 Thessalonians 4:13 NLT). Our hope results from knowing these truths: (1) 'We believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again' (1 Thessalonians 4:14 NLT). All hope begins here: believing in Jesus' death for our sin and His resurrection to represent us before God. (2) Since we believe this, we also believe that...Jesus returns. Faith in Christ's physical return to earth gives us confidence that 'God will bring back with Him the believers who have died.' God will raise us from our resting places and bring us back again with Jesus (Romans 8:11). At that moment, 'He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own...' (Philippians 3:21 NLT).

Never again will you be vulnerable to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, strokes, Lou Gehrig's disease, paralysis, disabilities, weariness, weakness, grief, fear, depression, temptation, addictions, failure, remorse, suicidal thoughts, bipolar disorder, OCD or PTSD or any kind of ailment. You'll be transformed into the very likeness of Christ. Isn't that wonderful?


Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju


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