Friday, April 17, 2020

Interactive Bible Study Manual 4

TOPIC: Does God's Judgment Cause Evil to Happen? Part 1

When we read the Old Testament, we see that a number of dreadful things were commanded by God because of the sins of the people. From the flood of Noah to the destruction of the Canaanites, we see a side of God many do not like to talk about because they do not understand how a God of love can be responsible for so much human peril.

There is a common school of thought that says all evil in this world is of the devil, and God never does anything negative. Another school of thought says God in the Old Testament is different from God in the New Testament, that even though God destroyed people because of their sins in the Old Testament, because of the sacrifice of Jesus, God no longer destroys people but showers love on them till they come to see the light. But as we look at the New Testament, we find the book of Revelation, and other portions in the epistles that talk about the wrath of God coming upon the children of disobedience(Ephesians 5:6, Colossians 3:6). We see entire plagues, famines, and perils poured out from heaven upon the earth in the book of Revelation(see Revelation 6), and many believers have decided to behave as if that book does not exist.

This study is to further help us understand the character of God and to see His love in all of His actions.  This is an interactive inductive Bible study, so we are all expected to discuss, contribute, and allow the scriptures to lead us to our definitive inferences.

1) God is the judge of the whole earth(not the devil) Genesis 15:4, Genesis 18:25

2) God is a just judge and a loving father (Same verses as above) Ezekiel 22:29-31
3) God's judgment is because of His love. It slows down global decay and destruction (Discuss the principle of gangrene and amputation) Numbers 35:33

4) God is slow to anger(Joel 2:13, Numbers 4:18)

5) Explain the perceived contradiction in Numbers 4:18

6) Christ's death on the cross was God's love and mercy through His judgment (1 John 2:2, Isaiah 53:5). Discuss.

7) The devil needs permission from God before he can afflict the righteous (Job 1:10-12). Because of this principle, there are many things the devil cannot do in the world without permission because of the righteous. Discuss this.

8) Only in Christ is there escape from judgement.1 Thessalonians 1:10, John 3:16-18

God's ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Many things that God does that we might perceive as evil are actually good if only we could see things from God's perspective. Remember that we are eternal beings and it would be a serious mistake for us to judge things only from a human time-bound perspective.

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