D o e s God D O E S Care? Answering the “So What?” Question about Christianity
What is Deism? Deism is the belief that a single God created the universe, but asserts that He is not active in His creation nor cares about it. Deists deny the presence of miracles, the divinity of Christ, any revelation from God, and any concern of God regarding mankind.
Deism is refuted by the already covered points: • God has performed verified and recorded miracles in this world • God revealed His Word to selected individuals who recorded His revelation • God entered into this world in the form of a Man who showed us the face of God But problems still exist as to if God really cares about man…
The Problem of Evil If a God who cares exists, when why does evil exist?
The Problem of Evil – Why did the Tsunami Happen? • The evolutionist/scientific naturalist can’t ask the question because the animals did better than the humans during the crisis. If macroevolution is correct and we’re the higher species, then why did that happen? If survival is the mark of superiority, why did the lower survive and not the higher? • The philosophical naturalist can’t ask the question without using a moral framework. And this is what he denies because everything in this world is random and has no meaning. It is a self-defeating proposition – there is no ultimate moral reference in an amoral universe. • The Buddhist and Hindu don’t ask the question because for them it is karma – those who died got their just desserts. • The Muslim doesn’t ask the question because for them it is the will of Allah – he brought this disaster about.
The Problem of Evil – Why did the Tsunami Happen? So who is asking the question? Only a person who assumes a Christian worldview asks the question of why there is evil in the world…
What about the evil inside of man? Those who argue about evil in the world rarely turn their gaze inwardly. Rather than focus on the evil “out there” what about the evil in the heart of man?
Two “Absurdities” • The absurdity of good and evil in the world • The absurdity of good and evil in man Both must be understood and reconciled, not just the first one
Man’s Dilemma Man can be both noble and cruel. How did he get that way? Option 1 Option 2 ? Today Today Change No Change Original Original
Man’s Dilemma In Mary Shelly’s (who was not a Christian) book Frankenstein, Dr. Frankenstein is a doctor who creates a perfectly benign and peaceful being. The more the creation observes human behavior, the more it begins to mimic human behavior and starts to become evil. The creation confronts the doctor and tells him that when he was brought into this world, he didn’t understand why people needed government and controls and police, but as he observed people and read history, he turned away in horror at what man was capable of. People could be kind, but also evil. Why both – where does that capacity come from? The creation concludes this: you were created in the image of a perfect being, and you’ve fallen away from it.
Man’s Dilemma – the Biblical Perspective • Man is fallen – Genesis 3 • Man is corrupt – Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” • Man is separated from God – Romans 3 • Man is incapable of working to make things right, with himself or with God Man needs two things (1) Reconciliation with God (2) Freedom from sin
Man’s Dilemma – the Cure • The penalty of sin was satisfied at the cross (Romans 5:18) • The reconciliation of man was accomplished at the cross (Romans 5:10) • New life was given to man via Christ’s life (Romans 5:10) • Freedom from sin will be achieved when each believer is glorified (Romans 8:30)
Man’s Dilemma – Why do Christians still sin? Romans 7:20, “But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.” + 1 John 5: 18, “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” = Romans 7:24-25, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”
The Promise for the Defeat of Man’s Evil and Sin Justification Sanctification Glorification “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” – Romans 8:29-30
Man’s Meaning – What is the Meaning of Life? Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” – Ecclesiastes 1:2
Man’s Meaning – What Comprises Meaning? • Sense of wonder – removes boredom and monotony • Knowledge of Truth – supplies freedom • Experience of Love – greatest of all things • Confidence of Security – enables peace
Man’s Meaning – The Place of Worship “I thought of it [worship] in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor. I have never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise unless (sometimes even if) shyness or the fear of boring others is deliberately brought in to check it. The world rings with praise - lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game - praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries ... I had not noticed either that just as men spontaneously praise whatever they value, so they spontaneously urge us to join them in praising it! ‘Isn't she lovely?’ ‘Wasn't it glorious?’ ‘Don't you think that magnificent?’ My whole, more general, difficulty about the praise of God depended on my absurdly denying to us, as regards the supremely Valuable, what we delight to do, what indeed we can't help doing, about everything else we value. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.” – C. S. Lewis
How do you define pleasure? “Pleasure is getting more than you expect.” - Neurobiologist “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Apostle Paul, Ephesians 3:20-21
Man’s Meaning – What is the Meaning of Life? “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” – Ecclesiastes 12:12-14 The intertwining of meaning and destiny…
Man’s Destiny – Where is Man Going? God’s plan for history: (Creation Linear Eternity) VS. Cyclical Pantheistic Faiths: Karma, etc. Stoics/Nietzsche: Eternal Recurrence
Man’s Destiny – The Paths “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14
Man’s Destiny – The Promise “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:16 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” – Revelation 21:4
Man’s Destiny – The Choice “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:18
Does God Care? • He cares enough to overcome the evil in this world and the evil in every human heart • He cares enough to save man from his dilemma of being lost • He cares enough to give meaning and purpose to everyone who He saves • He cares enough to equip you to spend eternity and enjoy everlasting life with Him • He cares enough to give you freedom and choice “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, becauseHe cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:6-7
Last Puzzle Pieces are in Place • We know our life has meaning – To discover our Creator, live as He has intended, and glorify Him. • We know our destiny – God has destined all those who trust Him to obtain everlasting life and live with Him in eternity.
The End of the Worldview Maze • Absolute Truth Exists • Reason and Religion are Compatible • God Exists • God can be Known • Jesus is God • God Cares for You Christianity is True Knowing all these things…What are you going to do about it?
D o e s God D O E S Care? Yes, He does