Dear Pastor Gallups, " The other day I was witnessing to two teenagers, they asked the question, "if there is a God, why would he let so many people die?" How would you reply to this question?"
J.W., Graceville, Florida
I have been asked this question at many times and in many different ways. It is an age-old question. Recently, it is usually asked in connection with the 9-11 attack or the war in Iraq or the hurricaines, sunamis and earthquakes that we experience around the world.
The answer is very concrete. However, it depends upon one's perspective of life. If one believes that there is no God or that God is somehow mean and uncaring or unable to do anything about these tragedies, then that person will be frustrated and confused, to be sure. But, if one understands that the Word of God gives us the answer and the perspective and if we would, by faith, accept that answer then our perspective becomes like God's perspective and we worship and serve Him inspite of worldwide or personal disasters.
The Bible makes it clear that THIS life is NOT a pleasure paradise. It is a fallen creation. It is filled with war, crime, natural disaster, death, destruction, deciet, lies, filth and heartache.
Most of the calamity we bring on ourselves DIRECTLY because of our own personal choices against God's Word. Other calamities, however, like sunamis, earthquakes, floods, etc., are an indirect result of man's collective sin nature which began at the Garden of Eden.
The Bible says that the purpose of this life is a "weeding out" or a "boot camp" for humanity. Will you serve, love and worship the Lord Jesus Christ inspite of and even in the midst of pain, suffering and evil or will you reject Him and serve yourself and the lies of this world? That is the question of the ages and how you answer it and live it - determines your eternity.
Armed with this Biblical perspective, a Christian can live a victorious and fruitful life inspite of the world’s calamity, either personal or collective. I hope this helps you answer the questions of those to whom you witness.