Yesterday, a friend of mine sent me an email which said:
“Chapter 2 in the book (Tullian Tchividjian’s God + Nothing = Everything) talks about the everything that we had in the beginning and everything that we will have in the end, and makes the statement, ‘Between Genesis 1 and the last pages of Revelation, there unfolds an epic story marked by incalculable tragedies…’
“I agree with the above, but want to relate a question posed to me by a missionary turned atheist: Given the great epic of tragedies, suffering, etc., couldn’t God in all his wisdom have done it another way? How would you answer him?”
Here’s how I responded:
“My wife and I talked about this somewhat. She made the best point possible:
“‘Yes, God could’ve found another way, but in the process, would’ve taken away our choice.’ We chose poorly and the ‘epic tragedies’ began. God gave us the freedom and, in the beginning (before sin), the Kingdom. We chose wrong and have been choosing wrong ever since. That is why we needed a Savior.
“I would say your missionary-turned-atheist friend has had an epic tragedy in his own life, and because of his choices or someone else’s choices (possibly his church or denomination), he suffered greatly… to the extent that he couldn’t persevere in his faith.
“As my wife said, ‘We make it difficult. It’s really quite simple. We try to blame God for everything (or question everything), when we’re the ones we should be blaming.’ She’s a wise lady.”
Some may think that’s an over-simplification, but I’m not so sure. Yes, there are seemingly random tragedies in this world – car accidents, for instance. But in the very beginning, our ancestors chose wrongly, and the tragedies began. Sin, disease, death, and decay all began with the Original Sin.
Jesus came to redeem it all, and although the time for complete redemption has not quite come, it is coming soon. He is coming soon.
For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. (Romans 5:17-18, NLT)
Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. (Romans 8:20-21)