Gerald E. Weston | Tomorrow's World

Gerald E. Weston

Standing on the Promises

Do you see Bible prophecy fulfilled? In this survey of endtime prophecies in the book of Genesis, Gerald Weston explains how the blessings of Abraham—and the friction between Jacob and Esau—are evident in the last days.

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

Abraham: The Father of Many Nations

The well-known hymn, Standing on the Promises, by Russell Carter is familiar to most church-goers. But what are those promises? Do you know? If you guess, “Salvation through Jesus Christ,” that is certainly one of the promises. But do you know to whom that promise was given, and what other promise accompanied it? And do you realize that this other promise explains what is happening geopolitically in our world today?

We read in Genesis 12, and verses 2–3, that a man named Abram was told to leave his country and go to a place that God had chosen for him, and he would be blessed mightily if he did so. Notice these promises:

I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12:2–3).

It’s generally understood that, “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed,” is a reference to the Messiah—Jesus Christ.

But what about the blessing of national greatness? Is this fulfilled by the tiny state we now call Israel? Or was it the kingdom of Israel under Kings David or Solomon? Or does it mean far more than that?

The promise of a Savior is general knowledge, but we’ll see on today’s program, one of the most remarkable truths of scripture. It is a truth so plain a child can understand, but one that theologians fail to explain. That truth is the promise of national greatness to Abraham, and it explains what we see in our world today. Stay with me now, as we’ll look at the promises of God to Abraham—promises that God cannot, and has not, broken.

Abraham’s Place in World History

A warm welcome to all of you from all of us here at Tomorrow’s World, where we fearlessly explain, from the pages of the Bible, promises and prophecies others don’t understand, or simply ignore. Do you realize, dear friends, that God gave two major promises to the patriarch Abraham, passed those along to his descendants, and has brought them to pass thousands of years later?

Most church-goers are familiar with one of them, but they are woefully ignorant of the other. Why? And why should this be important to you? When people sing “Standing on the Promises,” do they know what those promises are? The promises of God are found in the book of Genesis, so let’s begin with chapter 12, verses 1–3, where we are introduced to a man named Abram.

Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:1–3).

Then in verse 7 we read the following:

Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land” (Genesis 12:7).

How is it that a promise made nearly 4,000 years ago could affect us in the 21st century? Today we see a struggle in the Middle East over the land promised to Abram and his descendants. But there is far more significance to the promises made to Abraham. Notice in chapter 13 of Genesis that God promised this man, who was childless at the time, that he would be a father of millions, and that his descendants would spread out in all directions.

And the Lord said to Abram… “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered” (Genesis 13:14–16).

People often think of the promised land as only that area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, as we hear angry chants today, “From the river to the sea.” But the promise included much more, as we see from the fifteenth chapter, verse 18, where God told Abram:

“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18).

The River Euphrates starts in Turkey, flows through Syria and modern Iraq and empties into the Persian Gulf. This may not mean that all territory south and west of the Euphrates was given to Israel. But clearly much more than most people realize. And even anciently, Israel possessed land on the east side of the Jordan. When Abram was 99 years old and before the birth of Isaac, in chapter 17, beginning in verse 4, God told him the following:

“As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you” (Genesis 17:4–6).

Notice that the very name Abraham means “father of many nations.” And his wife Sarah was prophesied to be [notice verse 16]:

… a mother of nations; [and that] kings of peoples shall be from her (Genesis 17:16).

As we go through the book of Genesis, we find that God expanded the promises far beyond a tiny land on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea.

However, Sarah was barren, and in the course of time, Abraham and Sarah became impatient. Sarah suggested that Abraham could produce a child by a surrogate. The result was the birth of Ishmael.

God’s Promises Revealed

Dear friends, you cannot understand our world today without understanding the promises of national greatness made to Abraham and his descendants. Yes, the promises made to him include the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ, but that’s not the whole story. These promises include kings (plural!), nations (plural!), and as we will see, great agricultural and mineral wealth, and great military power.

We read that God tested Abraham to know who he would put first—God, or his son? He passed that test and God responded by making the promises unconditional and giving greater detail. Notice it in Genesis 22:16–18:

“By Myself I have sworn,” says the Lord, “because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son—blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice” (Genesis 22:16–18).

So far, we have seen that God promised the following:

  1. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.
  1. God would give great national blessings to Abraham and his descendants.
  1. His descendants would be in number as the sands of the seashore.

and,

  1. They would possess the gate of their enemies.

The Apostle Paul explains that point number 1—“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed”—refers to the Messiah.

Notice it in Galatians 3:16:

Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “AND TO YOUR SEED,” who is Christ (Galatians 3:16).

That single seed that would bring a blessing to the whole world is the promise of Jesus Christ, who gave His life for the sins of the world and offered salvation and eternal life to mankind. This promise is generally understood, but what about other aspects of the promise made to Abraham? What about:

  • Kings?
  • Territory?
  • Descendants in the millions?
  • Possessing gates of their enemies?

Genesis 24:60 shows how these promises were conferred upon Abraham’s daughter-in-law:

And they blessed Rebekah and said to her: “Our sister, may you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands [that’s tens of millions]; and may your descendants possess the gates [plural] of those who hate them” (Genesis 24:60).

My friends, these are remarkable promises, if they are true! And we are going to see that they ARE true, that they HAVE been, and ARE being fulfilled right before our very eyes! Furthermore, these promises affect your life!

Now we come to a part of the story that affects what is happening in the Middle East even as I speak. We find that Abraham’s daughter-in-law, Rebekah was pregnant with twin boys who struggled in her womb. When she inquired of God as to why there was such a struggle within her, He answered [Genesis 25:23]:

Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger (Genesis 25:23).

The two sons were named Jacob and Esau. Do you realize that what is happening in that part of the world all began with what we are reading here in the book of Genesis? The struggles that began between Jacob and Esau were foretold nearly 4,000 years in advance, but what remains of this story is even more remarkable.

Esau was the older of the two and was in line to receive a double portion of the inheritance as a right of birth. But Jacob was a crafty man and induced Esau to sell him his birthright—Genesis 25, beginning in verse 29:

Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary” … But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.” And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?” (Genesis 25:29–32).

Now it’s evident by what followed that he was not really ready to die:

Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright (Genesis 25:33–34).

Ephraim and Manasseh—Who Are They?

In the course of time, Jacob’s name was changed to Israel, and the promises became his. And as we will see, those promises, given thousands of years ago, are coming alive before our very eyes. Let’s pick up the story in Genesis 35 where God appeared to Abraham’s grandson, Jacob [we’ll begin in verse 10]:

And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name”…. Also God said to him: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land” (Genesis 35:10–12).

Notice this additional detail given here. Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, meaning a father of many, or a multitude, of nations. But here we see that the promise to his grandson explains the promise included a single nation and a company of nations. So what are we to think of this? And should this matter to you? Absolutely it should! Let’s go to the end of Genesis and read some remarkable prophecies. Bible students know the story of Jacob’s [that is, Israel’s] twelve sons and how they all ended up in Egypt. One of Jacob’s [or Israel’s] sons was Judah—the father of the Jews. Another was Joseph. As Israel came to the end of his life, he adopted Joseph’s two sons—Manasseh and Ephraim. We read of this in chapter 48 of Genesis. After confirming what God had promised him, Israel then said something almost no one understands, yet there’s nothing difficult here. Let’s notice this in Genesis 48:

“And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. Your offspring whom you beget after them shall be yours; they will be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance” (Genesis 48:5–6).

This adoption by Israel of Joseph’s sons was confirmed in verse 16:

“Let my name [that is, the name Israel] be named upon them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth” (Genesis 48:16).

This is vitally important. The name of Israel was placed, not on the sons of Judah, the Jews, but on the sons of his brother, Joseph. Let that sink in. I repeat, the name of Israel was placed, not on the sons of Judah—not on the Jews—but on the sons of his brother Joseph. And as the verses that follow demonstrate, the birthright blessings, of a single nation, and a multitude of nations, go to Joseph’s sons—Manasseh and Ephraim. The verses that follow prove that! Jacob, that is Israel, commanded Joseph to bring his sons forward to him, that the birthright blessing could be passed to them. Joseph then placed the oldest, that is Manasseh, before his father so that Israel’s right hand would be on his head; and the younger Ephraim in front of Israel’s left hand. However, Israel crossed his hands and conferred the greater blessing on the younger brother. Joseph protested here in Genesis 48:18:

“Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.” But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:18–19).

Notice it! The older son would become a great nation, but his younger brother would become a multitude or company of nations. This should be proof enough that these birthright blessings never went to the Jews. But if you have your Bible, turn now to 1 Chronicles 5, or write this down and look it up later. Here we see a clear statement that the birthright went to neither the firstborn [Reuben] of Israel, nor to the Jews. Begin in verse 1:

Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel—he was indeed the firstborn, but because he defiled [by sexual misconduct] his father's bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph [Ephraim and Manasseh], the son of Israel, so that the genealogy is not listed according to the birthright; yet Judah prevailed over his brothers, and from him came a ruler [that is, the Messiah—Christ Jesus], although the birthright [the national blessings] was Joseph’s (1 Chronicles 5:1–2).

Understand. Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, had twelve sons. Among the twelve are Judah, the father of the Jews, but also Joseph, whose descendants, through Ephraim and Manasseh, were destined to become a single great nation and a company of nations. From the Jews would come the Messiah, but the promise of national greatness was given to his brother Joseph and his sons. Not only is this what Scripture tells us, so does history! When have the Jews ever been a great nation and a company of nations possessing the bounties of the earth? Some think the split between the house of Judah and the house of Israel fulfilled this, but that cannot be, because the house of Israel was not made up of Jews. The Jews were only a single nation—never a multitude of nations.

American and Great Britain…In Prophecy?

Prior to his death, Jacob [that is, Israel] called all twelve of his sons and foretold what would come of them at the time of the end. Here it is in Genesis 49:1:

And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days” (Genesis 49:1).

To Judah [that is the Jews] we read of the promise of a line of kings culminating in the returning Messiah in verse 10:

The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people (Genesis 49:10).

We also see from verses 8 and 9 that the Jews will be a powerful military force at the time of the end, and is that not exactly what we see in our news?

Judah… Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies…. Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him? (Genesis 49:8–9).

This is confirmed in a prophecy about the Jews and Jerusalem, found in Zechariah 12:6:

In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left… (Zechariah 12:6).

But what about the birthright descendants of Joseph during the time of the end—these very days that we’re living in today? Back in Genesis 49:22:

Joseph is a fruitful bough… His branches run over the wall. The archers have bitterly grieved him, shot at him and hated him. But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob… by the God of your father who will help you, and by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of your father have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers (Genesis 49:22–26).

Dear friends, there is so much more to this story that involves the British-descended and American peoples. Only when you understand the prophecies of the Bible can you understand what we see in today’s news, and what the outcome will be.

I hope you profited from this video.

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The Deception Behind Political Correctness

When did political correctness begin? And why do we have it? Who’s behind it? And, where is it leading us? Is it humorous, harmless, or hurtful? And should we fall in line with the ever-changing language landscape referred to as P.C.?

Three Reasons for Human Suffering

What do you learn from pain? Using John 3:16, James 4:1-2 and other Bible verses, Gerald Weston explains how the answer lies in cause and effect—and why we need God’s forgiveness and Jesus’ sacrifice in the first place.

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

If God exists and if God is a God of love, why is there so much suffering in our world? Is He powerless to stop it? This challenge is often thrown up by atheists, agnostics, and also sincere individuals who struggle to understand. How can a loving God permit wars that kill, maim, and destroy property? Why diseases, famines, and other so-called natural disasters? Some smugly ask these questions in an attempt to dismiss God. Others sincerely look at the cruelty in the world and wonder, why? Why doesn’t a loving God stop war, disease, natural disasters, and cruelty toward women and children?

On this Tomorrow’s World program, I’ll give you three reasons why a loving God allows pain and suffering. Yes, there is great suffering found everywhere and you may personally be going through a painful trial yourself, but our Creator IS a God of love. Now stay tuned as I will be back in five seconds and give you three reasons WHY a loving God allows such great suffering on this troubled planet.

If God Is Real…

A warm welcome to all of you from all of us here at Tomorrow’s World, where we fearlessly take on the hard questions and tell you the plain truth straight from the pages of the Bible. Atheists and agnostics think they have the perfect argument against God’s existence, when they ask. “How can there be a loving God when children are abused, women are raped, people die from excruciatingly painful diseases, and innocent people are displaced and killed in war?” There are answers and I’ll give you three of them today, but there are two aspects to this question:

#1: Does God exist?

And, number two, if He does,

#2: Is He truly a God of Love?

Please bear with me as I address the question of God’s existence. Frankly, dear friends, that is not as difficult as some make it out to be. It comes down to this: Either the vast universe and life on this planet is the result of blind chance, or it is the result of an intelligent Designer, in other words, God. Setting aside the huge question of how the universe came to be, let me get to the crux of this issue of life itself. Could life arise from non-living matter by chance? Evolutionist Bill Bryson addresses the unlikelihood of life arising as a result of chance when discussing proteins—the building blocks of cellular life. As all knowledgeable people know, proteins are made up of long strings of amino acids connected in precise meaningful ways—similar to the way letters form sentences. You cannot throw vowels and consonants randomly together and form meaningful sentences. Nor can you throw amino acids together randomly and form functioning proteins. As an example, Bryson speaks of the most common protein found in all of us—collagen:

But to make collagen, you need to arrange 1,055 amino acids in precisely the right sequence. But – and here’s an obvious but crucial point – you don’t make it. It makes itself, spontaneously, without direction, and this is where the unlikelihoods come in. The chances of a 1,055 sequence molecule like collagen spontaneously self-assembling are, frankly, nil. It just isn’t going to happen (Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything, p. 288).

What an amazing admission! But collagen is only one protein needed for life. As Bryson points out:

No one really knows, but there may be as many as a million types of protein in the human body, and each one is a little miracle. By all the laws of probability proteins shouldn’t exist (ibid.).

Now, why does he call them little miracles? And why shouldn’t they exist? Bryson explains the laws of probability and points out that the odds of a more typical 200 amino acid protein self-assembling is 1 in 10260. That is a single chance in 1 followed by 260 zeros! About which Bryson states:

That in itself is a larger number than all the atoms in the universe (ibid.).

Think about that! This is only one typical protein, of which there may be as many as one million different types in the human body. If the odds are so great for forming a protein made up of 200 amino acids, what are the odds for collagen?

But my favorite Bryson quote comes from his book The Body, in which he explains:

You could call together all the brainiest people who are alive now or have ever lived and endow them with the complete sum of human knowledge, and they could not between them make a single living cell, never mind a replicant Benedict Cumberbatch [a British actor] (Bryson, The Body, p. 4).

Who is it now who believes in miracles?

Bryson’s comments mirror those of Michael Denton, PhD in biochemistry. We often hear the term “simple cell” thrown about. Here is what this biochemist says about that so-called simple cell:

The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle (Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, p. 264).

He explains what many scientists are coming to understand and why former evolutionists are changing their minds on the subject.

Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small… each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery… far more complicated than any machine built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world (Denton, p. 250).

The evidence for intelligence—that is God—as the cause of life is massively compelling for anyone willing to look at the facts. So, why do we have terrible suffering in our world? If God is all-powerful, why CAN’T He, or why WON’T He, put an end to all the awful suffering that is here on this earth?

Humanity Both Victim and Perpetrator

The answer IS NOT that God does not exist. It IS NOT that He is too weak. And it IS NOT that He does not care.

No, God exists. He is all powerful. And He truly IS a God of love and compassion, but again, we wonder: “If God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” that we might have life, WHY does He allow war, children to be abducted, women to be raped, and people to die from long-lasting and painful diseases?

Let’s ask a relevant question: Are we looking in the wrong direction by placing blame on God? The answer is, yes. So, the first reason for suffering here on earth is:

#1: We are doing it to ourselves.

Consider this. A teenage boy is told by his parents not to smoke, as smoking can cause lung cancer, oral cancers, heart disease, emphysema, and a host of other maladies. His parents dearly love him and don’t want him to hurt himself, but as with so many teens, he rejects his parent’s loving advice and chooses rather to follow his friends and his own judgment. He takes up smoking, or more likely today, vaping. Of course, he doesn’t think HE will be addicted, nor suffer the consequences he’s warned about. No, he thinks he’s the exception. But 35 years later he comes down with lung cancer and his life, his hopes, and his dreams, are cut short by a long, painful death. Whose fault is it? His parents? No, they did everything they could reasonably do to prevent him from picking up the dangerous habit.

Is it God’s fault? Why blame Him when God commanded him to obey his parents? And note this additional warning to everyone not to trust one’s own heart:

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12).

That’s from Proverbs 14:12, and the warning is so important that it’s repeated in chapter 16, verse 25. Can we not make the rational judgment that it is his own fault? Even though he was warned by parents, God, the Surgeon General, and probably numerous others, the immediate pleasure of fitting in with his peers was more important than what MIGHT happen decades later.

Trusting our own ways, what SEEMS right in our own eyes, and short-sightedness, have been man’s problem from the beginning. However, the problem does go deeper than that. When God created the first man and woman, he placed them in a beautiful garden filled with the most delicious organic fruits and vegetables that one could ever imagine. In this garden, He planted two special trees. We read of them in Genesis 2, verse 9:

And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9).

These two trees were symbolic. To eat of the tree of life was the choice to trust God for determining right and wrong, and to live accordingly. But, to take of the other tree was an act of rebellion against God’s rule, symbolizing man choosing for himself to determine good and evil. We are not animals that act according to instinct. God made us free moral agents. We must make moral choices and His laws reveal which choices are right. And He informs us that there are consequences for our decisions. Deuteronomy the thirtieth chapter in verse 19 tells us:

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live (Deuteronomy 30:19).

There was no ambiguity here: blessings and life on one side, curses and death on the other. So why do we blame God for the choices that we freely make? Just as with a rebellious teenage son, we think we know better. We think God is keeping something good from us because there is a temporary benefit. For the teenager, the vanity of being accepted and looking good in the eyes of his friends, seems worth taking a risk on something that may or may not happen in the future.

Freedom to Choose Between Right and Wrong

To anyone with an objective mind, the blame for our pain and suffering is our own, not God’s. He made us free moral agents and leaves it up to us to choose. Still, people argue, “An all-powerful loving God should stop it.” Now, let us consider how God would stop us from making bad decisions and suffering the consequences of them.

God would have to take away free moral agency. In effect, He would have to force us to make right choices. But our first parents said, by rebelling against God and taking of the forbidden tree, “God, stay out of our business. Don’t tell us what to do. We want to do our own thing.” And if we’re honest with ourselves, we must admit we are no different. Yes, we may rationalize that we are different, but we deceive ourselves, as Jeremiah told us in the seventeenth chapter, verse 9:

The heart [that is, the mind of man] is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9).

Wars are fought between nations, between neighbors, and even in homes between husbands and wives. Whether it is domestic violence or whether it is one nation warring against another, the result is pain and sorrow.

When there is conflict between individuals or nations, there are causes, and one cause is revealed in James the fourth chapter, verses 1 and 2:

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war (James 4:1–2).

Selfish desire, lust, and greed end in conflict, but we learn elsewhere another cause of conflict, and that is human pride. Notice these Proverbs:

By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom (Proverbs 13:10).

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).

He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the LORD will be prospered (Proverbs 28:25).

As we see, human nature involves lust, greed, pride, and selfish desire. To put it another way, we want what we want and dismiss God’s law of outgoing concern.

Correction for a Purpose

As explained earlier, rather than blaming God, reason #1 is:

#1: We are doing it to ourselves.

Blaming God is easy, but it’s wrong-headed. Most of our trials are a direct result of our own actions. How can one blame God for lung cancer if we refuse to heed the warnings? The same can be said for wars, accidents, and injuries. Don’t blame God. The fault is with human beings! But there are other reasons for suffering, as well;

#2: God is a loving parent who occasionally punishes us for our good.

Not only has God put in place natural consequences for disobedience, but He also steps in as a loving parent to remind us when we go astray. This is explained in Hebrews the twelfth chapter, beginning in verse 5:

And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “MY SON, DO NOT DESPISE THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD, NOR BE DISCOURAGED WHEN YOU ARE REBUKED BY HIM; FOR WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE CHASTENS, AND SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons (Hebrews 12:5–8).

God is looking at the long-game. Suffering, whether as a result of our own foolishness, that of others, or discipline from God, produces character needed to be in God’s family. As we read in Hebrews 12:11,

Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:11).

And this brings me to the most important reason for human suffering.

#3: God desires for us to live forever in His Kingdom as His children.

Most people have no idea WHY God created us. To them, we are here to cram into life as much happiness, fun, and success as possible before we die. They see this life as the dessert, and anything that comes later as the broccoli. Few understand what is at stake: a few years on earth, or life for eternity. And what kind of eternity? The Bible is clear. Scripture after Scripture speaks of us becoming children of God. The Apostle Paul even calls us “joint heirs with Christ”—notice Romans the eighth chapter, verses 14–17:

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, [now notice this] if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together (Romans 8:14–17).

This is the context in which he puts in perspective the temporary suffering that comes with this life. Continuing in verse 18:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God (Romans 8:18–21).

In light of this, consider the common refrain “no pain, no gain.”

Yes, this temporary existence with all its trials, no matter how severe they may be, is nothing in comparison to what the future holds for those who learn to put God first. This is why Paul also said,

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

There is much suffering in our world—some excruciating and long-lasting—but blaming God is wrong-headed. He has given us free moral agency to make decisions. Most of the heartache we suffer is the result of bad decisions. Sometimes, it is the decision of others that cause us grief, but much of the time it’s our own. Some suffering is a direct result of God stepping in as a loving parent to let us know that we are on the wrong track. He wants us to succeed. He wants us to be in His Kingdom. A few years of pain now can yield a far greater reward. As it tells us in Psalm 16:11:

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).

All suffering must be understood in the context of John 3:16:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

I hope you profited from this video.

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Thanks for watching! See you next time.


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