Hard Questions – Part Two

In Part One of this series we posed the question:

“Why did God allow me to be abused?”

So far, we have addressed this question on the basis that God wants all people to be saved through His Son, Jesus Christ. In this case, abuser and victim. From that point, we have shown that it is impossible for us to understand the complexity of the choices and events in our lives and how they affect us, those around us, and mankind as a whole. We also stated that there is far more to life than what we experience in our lives on Earth. Sadly, pain and suffering are a part of it.

Of course, this only raises more questions. God’s ability to handle the infinite complexity of choices and events, deciding whether or not to allow something to occur, is not going to be of much comfort to an abuse victim or to anyone that has suffered for that matter. The next question to be asked would probably be either, “Why would God want to save the abuser?” or “Why does evil exist?”

Both of these questions can be answered if we examine the origin of sin. This will also address many other questions that we are asked. “Why am I a sinner if it was Adam and Eve that sinned?” “Why do we exist?” “What is the purpose or meaning of life?”

God created us in His image to love Him and be loved by Him. That is our purpose. That is the meaning of life. That’s it. Earth was meant to be a paradise and we were meant to be the caretakers of that paradise alongside our loving God.

26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

27 So God created human beings in his own image.
    In the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

29 Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. 30 And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—everything that has life.” And that is what happened.

31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!

– Genesis 1:26-31

I stated in Part One that you cannot have real love without free will. This is a simple truth that I believe most of us can understand. You cannot force a person to love you. And something that has been programmed to respond without any choice cannot truly love you. Try telling a chatbot like Siri “I love you”. Does it’s automated response strike you as real love? No, of course not. It has no choice. It can’t choose to love you.

In order to have a relationship of love with us, God had to give us the choice to not love Him. How did He do that? He placed two trees in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. The first human beings.

The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden, he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. – Genesis 2:9

God then informed mankind of the choice and the consequences of not choosing Him.

The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die. – Genesis 2:15-17

This is where some people might say that God is a bully and that isn’t really a choice at all. They misunderstand. It is just a fact for one simple reason. God IS life. You cannot have life apart from Him. If you are separated from life then what do you have? Death.

Let me use another example. Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space. Why? To put it simply, Darkness is the absence of light. It is the same here. Death is the absence of life and God IS life.

So, we have the Tree of Life that represents life, love, relationship, and dependence on God. Then we have the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that represents death, independence, and separation from God.

Let’s take a moment to examine the name of the second tree. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Weird, right? Why not just call it the Tree of Death or the Tree of Evil? That is because God is good and God is life. No death or evil exists in Him. It cannot. So, mankind must choose it if he wants it because it is not found in God. The tree is not death or evil incarnate it is the choice to go down that path.

Mankind is given this choice and most of us know how he responded.

The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” – Genesis 3:1-9

Those three words from the mouth of God are heartbreaking to me. “Where are you?” It marks our separation from Him. The first question is probably, “Alright, what is going on with the snake?” That is Lucifer. Satan. The Devil. The Old Serpent. The Dragon. The Morning Star. He has a lot of names. He and his army of fallen angels are the enemies of mankind.

Lucifer is an angel that fell in the same way as mankind. He wanted independence from God. More than that, he wanted to be God. He made that choice and he deceived mankind into making the same choice. Some might say, “Well, then it’s his fault!” Is it? If someone tells us to do something wrong and we do it, isn’t it our choice to listen to them or not? Indeed it is our choice. We’ll address the agenda of the enemy another time. Let’s get back on track.

So, mankind sins by disobeying God and chooses independence from God. He is now aware of good and evil. He becomes the judge of his own life. Before he ate from the tree he could not do evil. He was not aware of it. Now he can choose to do good or evil. However, this separation has immediate consequences because as I said earlier to be separated from life is to die. Now, man did not drop dead instantly. He is still made in the image of God. But, eventually, he will now die. His life will fade away. God has to cast him out of the Garden of Eden. God is life and death cannot be a part of Him.

Mankind is now separated from life and the rest of the Earth is now cursed along with him and starts to die as well. We can see evidence of that today. So many extinct species. So much pollution and destruction. Disease, disorders, and disasters. This is not how the world was meant to be my friends.

What is a sin? What is evil? It is everything that God is not. It is disobedience to God. It is a perversion of His design. It is deciding for ourselves what is right and wrong. And because we are separated from God we cannot stop doing it! When Adam and Eve ate from the tree they became sinners. That is their identity.

When people ask, “Why am I a sinner if it was Adam and Eve that started it?” You are a sinner because your father and mother are sinners and it is traced all the way back to Adam and Eve. It would be like asking a duck why it is a duck. It’s a duck because it came from a duck. All of mankind are sinners because we all came from sinners.

We can see the effects of sin as soon as Adam and Eve leave the garden. They have two sons. Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to God. Abel gave his best and Cain did not so his offering was rejected.

 “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.”And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him. – Genesis 4:6-8

God warns Cain that sin will control him if he chooses to do it. However, because mankind are now sinners Cain decides for himself what is right and kills his brother. And people have been killing each other and committing numerous other sins since then.

So, why does God want to save the abuser and the victim? Because they are both sinners. Both have fallen short. Neither measures up and we will go into greater detail on that. It makes no sense to man because we have become our own judge and we weigh sins on our own scales. There are greater and lesser sins, however, while using a cuss word is not the same as beating someone both have separated us from God. Both have offended him. Both will lead to death.

We’ll go deeper into this as we continue the series. Again, I want to urge you to turn to Jesus Christ. I will go into greater detail on salvation. However, to put it as simply as I can in the context of this subject, God sent Jesus to die for those sins and to put an end to our sinner nature. He is the answer to this neverending cycle of death that we live in. He was raised to new life so that you can have it and you can experience it right now if you will come to Him. I urge you to do just that.

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