LIST CHARACTERISTICS CHRISTIANS ATTRIBUTE TO GOD Christians believe God is….. Omnipresent: God is present everywhere Omnipotent: God is all powerful Omniscient: God is all knowing Wholly benevolent (good) - God has unconditional love (agape) for all humans and is forgiving What questions do these qualities raise about the nature of evil, Or the nature of God?
THE INCONSISTENT TRIAD GOD IS OMNIPOTENT GOD IS WHOLLY BENEVOLENT BUT EVIL STILL EXISTS Consider the qualities mentioned. Explain this diagram. Give examples for each corner of the triangle. How would Christians answer this?
How might Christians respond to these ideas about evil and suffering?
Sometimes people suffer as a result of their sins. <ul><li>EXAMPLES from the Bible </li></ul><ul><li>King Saul lived a miserable life and eventually was slain because he had rebelled against God (1 Chronicles 10:13-14). </li></ul><ul><li>Judas killed himself because he had betrayed Jesus (Matthew 27:3-5). </li></ul><ul><li>EXAMPLES from today’s world Likewise today, alcoholics may develop disease, thieves may be imprisoned, etc. Some people think this is the only reason people ever suffer, but we will see that it is not. </li></ul>
Sometimes innocent people suffer as a result of other people's sins. <ul><li>Examples from the Bible </li></ul><ul><li>Peter 2:19-23: For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps . "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." They hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples from todays’ world </li></ul><ul><li>This may result from cruelty or accident, as when innocent bystanders are killed by a drunken driver, or when a thief violently attacks his victims. In other cases wicked people may harm righteous people because they resent them. This kind of religious persecution is described in many times in the Bible. </li></ul>
All people suffer as a result of Adam and Eve's sin <ul><li>Much of the suffering people endure, therefore, cannot be attributed to any particular sin committed by anyone now living. It is just the common lot of mankind because sin is in the world. This does not mean, as some teach, that people today are born guilty of Adam's sin or will be eternally punished for it (Ezekiel 18:20; 2 Corinthians 5:10). But we do suffer in this life because of it. </li></ul>God originally placed Adam and Eve in a state of bliss with no problems of any kind. But He warned them of the consequences of sin. When they sinned anyway, He decreed they would endure pain, suffering, hardship, and eventual death (Genesis 3:16-19). All people since that time have endured these same problems. In particular, because of Adam, all people die (see 1 Corinthians 15:22; Hebrews 9:27).
Some suffering is simply a temptation from Satan. <ul><li>Job 1:1-2:10 : This passage expressly states that Job's suffering was a temptation from Satan. He hoped that, because Job was suffering, he would turn away from God. Many other passages teach that Satan is responsible for the suffering of other people. (See also: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Luke 13:16; Acts 10:38). </li></ul>
Galatians 5:18-25 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy,  drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Read worksheet and do two lists to show two different ways of living- Then explain why humans are capable of both good and evil according to Christians.