Friday, December 19, 2014

The End of Evil and Suffering

Throughout this series, have linked evil and suffering because Evil always results in suffering, and, suffering is always the Result of Evil.  May be small, may be delayed, but will come.

Therefore, to eliminate suffering, we only need to eliminate evil!!
Problem = that isn't gonna happen - in this life, this world.

We are all capable of imagining a better world, better personal life.
AND we are all capable of improving our world, our life.

BUT we are UNABLE to CONSTRUCT (create) the world we desire, or the life we long for.  Can't make it perfect.
Example:  Quote from Henry David Thoreau - "The mass (all) of men (people) lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them."

So, man has always looked for that "Perfect world" in the Next life.  ie:  AFTER LIFE/BETTER LIFE

Views vary:  Vikings had Valhalla; Romans - Elysium, Hindu - Nirvana, Native Americans - Happy Hunting Ground.

BUT, the concept = universal.
"God has set eternity in the hearts of men" - (Eccles. 3:11)

All believe in an afterlife and a better life in the afterlife.

The Christian View?
On one hand = no different -- ie;  believe in After Life/Better Life
However:  Very Different!! in:
1)  what's heaven like?
2)  How do we get there?
3)  Why do we believe this?

I.  What is Heaven like?
     A).  Wonderful beyond description  (example:  language of Revelation)
     B)  partly defined by what's Not there.
          The expulsion of evil - Rev. 20:1-3, 10, 14
          The end of suffering - Rev. 21:3-5
This is what we look forward to.

II.  How do I get there?  (How do I get this?)
     A)  By grace through Faith - Eph. 2:8-9 - (contrast works)
     B)  By Grace through Faith ..... IN CHRIST - John 14:6
     C)  By Grace through Faith .... AT DEATH - with the exception of those who are alive when Christ returns
Therefore:  Psm. 23:4

III.  Why do we believe this?
Answer = Jesus' words - John 14:1-3 - Not our sentiments, desires, traditions, etc., but spoken by Jesus, not just another good person, but the one who resurrected in a glorified body and conquered death once and for all.  We STAND on Jesus' words!!

1)  Come - Rev. 22:17
2)  Believe .. ie.  believe the promise(s) - embrace this HOPE, this form of Heaven
3)  Persevere -  Heb. 10:35-36 - because in this life that perfection will not come.

and also ... to  4)  Evangelize - 2 Cor. 5:11 - there are more people who don't believe this than do believe it.
                      5)  Disciple - Matt. 28:19 - We can't legitimately sidestep this obligation.

What's your HOPE??  ie:  great expectation
Is it Solid?  Secure?  Biblical?  (contrast false/empty)

Are you Peddling it?  Promoting it? 

Scripture says THIS is your only hope!!

No comments: