Questions from the Youth Group!
Beginning April 25th for three weeks I am with the youth group. I have asked them to stump me, challenge me, share their hearts with me, basically ask any questions they want about faith, the Bible, life, whatever. The first night was incredible. Here are some of the things we discussed. The questions are all theirs.
1. Why does God allow kids die of cancer?
Let’s break down this passage to answer this question.
(8:17) and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
The word suffer here is not just persecution type of suffering. This is a reference to all suffering that takes place, (persecution, injury, disease, death, sorrow, broken relationships) due to our fallen world.
(8:18) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Brace yourself for this answer. The short answer for “Why does God allow kids to die of cancer?” is, it is better for them to be in heaven then on earth. That is not meant to be callous. It is hard for us to imagine the better place that we have not seen yet. IT doesn’t discount that there is suffering, but it leaves a promise of a better place for those who trust Christ.
(8:19) For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. (8:20) For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope (8:21) that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (8:22) For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. (8:23) And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Creation itself suffers due to sin that came into the world. Creation waits as the sons of God (believers in Jesus Christ) do for new bodies that will not experience sin and suffering. Suffering, death by cancer, is a result of sin. God allows this to happen so we will hope for the incorruptible bodies that come with accepting His adoption of us.
(8:24) For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? (8:25) But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
If we see heaven, if we see our new bodies, we have not hope. As we wait patiently for God’s gift we demonstrate our trust in Him. Suffering actually helps us show our trust in God’s plan, God’s eternity, God’s adoption of us with new bodies waiting, better than anything else.
(8:26) Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
God understands that we struggle with suffering, that we struggle with our own weaknesses. That is why he has sent the Spirit to help us. Help us struggle through the suffering and accept our confused words of prayer, interceding for us before the Father.
Here’s the real question in all of this. You and I are probably not completely comfortable with God’s plan and his willingness to allow suffering. However, what do we have if we remove God from the picture? As the teenagers said Wednesday night, we still have a world full of suffering, but now with no hope! Thankfully “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Thank you God for the Spirit, who helps us even in our weaknesses!
2. The second questions asked was “God told the rich young ruler to sell all he dad . . . Are we suppose to that?”
Read Matthew 19:16-22
This man was trying to work, or please his way into heaven. He was trying to just do enough to look good. By telling him to sell it all, Jesus revealed that there was something he wanted more than to follow God. He wanted his stuff. The question to us is not must you sell all that you have, but are you willing? Is there something you want more than the kingdom of heaven: money, a relationship, your lifestyle, your friendships, your happiness? If you are not willing to give this up, you will go away sorrowful like that man. The things of earth will always leave you more sorrowful than the things of God.
I am looking forward to next week’s questions! I’ll keep you posted!
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