One morning as I was drinking coffee an acquaintance said “Reverend, I’ve got a question…” I guess I need to give a little background here, I’m the only preacher many of the coffee shop guys have a personal relationship with so they save their “preacher questions” for me and it’s not uncommon for a conversation to start this way. What made this conversation so unique was in being around him off and on for 5-6 years he had never asked me a preacher question before.
Now about his question(s), “How can God be so good and allow what happened to Adam, when ate the apple, to effect us all?” “I mean because of what Adam did we have cancer, suffering, pain and death. Now if God controls everything and he allowed this to happen and now spread to us, how is He good?” My immediate reply was that God provided a solution to the problem in the person of Jesus Christ. We can escape the sin nature of Adam. There, problem solved! Or so I thought…
“Well preacher, why did God put us through all this?” For starters, God didn’t, Adam did. Now because Adam got us in this mess, God can show his goodness by getting us out. “Why did He let Satan loose on the earth, if your God is so good?” I would say to be merciful to Satan. Satan is out on parole, he wasn’t immediately cast in to Hell as he deserved. God mercifully allowed him to roam the Earth.
“So God was merciful to Satan at our expense, now were all going to die!” Yes, but we only have to die once. Those who embrace the solution to Adam’s problem (Christ) will live again. Satan doesn’t have that option, his fate is sure. “Satan caused the deaths of a lot of innocent children who had nothing to do with it!” Yes, but those who die innocent will live for ever with God. Isn’t heaven better than Earth? And hasn’t God provided a way for us to be with Him and them forever?
“Yeah, yeah, Jesus… If you believe in him.” Well, if you believe in Adam and the “apple” why do you struggle with believing in Christ? “That’s just it, only parts of the Bible are true, and parts ain’t. It was written by men and some were smart and some weren’t.” So by what standard do we judge the accuracy of the Scriptures? How do we know which parts to believe and which parts to reject? “By our own personal experiences. I’ve been dealing with people for years and I know how they are and I know what parts of the Bible are right about that.” So you have set your self up as the judge of God’s Word. To be perfectly honest with you, you’re more upset with the Cure than your own condition. “Prove the Bible is all true and I’ll believe it.” I can’t, and you won’t. The bible is a spiritual book and only spiritual people believe it. I cant force you to be spiritual. “No you can’t.” But God can, and until then our conversation is futile? “I believe that!” We still friends? “Of course.”