Why did God let bad things happen to the good person?

“Why does God let bad things happen to good people?”  Have you ever heard anyone ask that question?  Perhaps you have asked it.  We know that God is just and yet we see good people undergoing bad experiences.  How could a just God allow this to happen?

We can find the answer in the Bible.  The Bible tells us that there are no good people.

What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin.  (Romans 3:9)

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:9)

How is this possible?  We see people all around us who appear to be good.  Obviously God has a different standard to measure goodness than we do.  Jesus has told us what that standard is.

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 

Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”  (Mark 12:28-31)

The first commandment is not just to love God but to love him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  That means that our love for him must take precedence over any other love.  Most of us love God a little, but do we love him this much?  We have all broken this commandment.

The second commandment is that we are not just to love our neighbor but we must love him as ourselves.  We all care about our neighbors and are willing to help them when they need it, but do we love them as much as we love ourselves?  If not, we are also guilty of breaking the second commandment.

How did we ever come up with the belief that some people are good?  The reason is that we don’t have an objective standard of good and bad so we measure each person’s goodness by how he compares with other people.  Some are better than others so we call them good.  There is no one who meets God’s standard of goodness.  Yet many of these evil people live happy and prosperous lives.  If we want to question God’s justice perhaps we should ask,”Why does God let good things happen to bad people?”

Actually there is one person who lived up to God’s standards and was good.  That person is Jesus Christ.  Jesus was not just a man but he was God incarnated in human form.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  (John 1:1)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  (John 1:14)

God cannot sin and because Jesus was God as well as man he couldn’t sin either.

He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.  (1 Peter 2:22)

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  (Hebrews 4:15)

Because he was sinless he should have lived a perfect life and never experienced any kind of evil or pain.  But that isn’t what happened.  A lot of bad things happened to him.  When he was born, King Herod tried to kill him and Mary and Joseph had to take him to Egypt to save his life.  He ended his life by being crucified, one of the  most painful methods of dying ever devised.  And the physical pain wasn’t the worst part of his suffering.

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  (Mark 15:34)

His separation from God was so complete that he could not even address him as Father, as he usually did.

Here is the reason he had to suffer.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.  (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)

God created humans in his image and intended that we enjoy fellowship with him for all eternity.  We have forfeited that fellowship because of our sins and God’s justice won’t allow that fellowship to be restored unless our sins are punished.  Jesus had no sins of his own but he allowed himself to be killed as punishment for our sins.  He took our sins so he could give us his righteousness.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  (2 Corinthians 5:21)

If you repent of your sins and put your faith in Jesus your sins will be forgiven.  You might still have to suffer bad things in this life but you now look forward to an eternity with Jesus in the new earth where you will experience nothing but good.

If you reject God’s offer of forgiveness you might experience some good while in this life but after you leave this world you have nothing to look forward to except an eternity in the lake of fire where you will never know any more good.

Posted on February 9, 2020, in Bible study, salvation and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Why did God let bad things happen to the good person?.

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