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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Does that mean that God doesn't care?

If disease and death are part of God's design, does that mean that God doesn't care when something or someone dies? Is God indifferent to suffering and death?

Not according to Scripture! Let's consider a few verses dealing with death:

"The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die." -- Psalm 116:15

Jesus once said: "What is the price of two sparrows - one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows." -- Matthew 10:29-31

Paul wrote to the saints of Corinth: "Since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And we apostles would all be lying about God - for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can't be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection of the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life." -- I Corinthians 15:12-22 For the author of this blog, this is one of the most honest and straightforward statements in Scripture. Paul is clearly stating this stuff (about Christ and the resurrection) is either true or not - those are the only two possibilities.

In similar fashion, he wrote to the Christians at Thessalonica: "And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died." -- I Thessalonians 4:13-14

If we really believe that Jesus Christ died so that we might live, then we have to conclude that God does care deeply about the death of every human who has ever lived. Likewise, if we really believe that Jesus is the Messiah and that God resurrected him from the dead, then we have to conclude that God did that for us and does not intend to abandon us to the grave either.

Moreover, if we ignore Scripture and appeal to reason alone, we must inevitably come to a similar conclusion. If God has designed life to be predisposed to the perpetuation of itself and has imposed limits to aid in that pursuit, then we have to conclude that God cares deeply about life and death. It also does not make good sense that there would not be some spiritual mechanism for sustaining life when physical life is so preoccupied with the pursuit of immortality. In short, if we believe in God, a belief in some kind of Divine interest in the perpetuation of life seems to me to be a logical corollary to such a belief. What do you think?

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