Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People?

A few days ago I dealt with the question, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Today I want to talk about what I consider to be a much more interesting question. That question is, "Why do good things happen to bad people?"

We need to first lay some some groundwork. The bible is clear that God is the sovereign Creator of the universe. He is also all-good and the only source of good.

The bible is also clear that all men have rebelled against God's goodness, instead seeking their own way in life. We have all sinned.

In light of the above, it is frighteningly clear that all we deserve from God is His holy wrath. All we deserve is judgment, punishment, and separation from all that is good.

However, our experience tells us that all people, regardless of religious beliefs, receive some good from God. All we have to do is look around to see people enjoying the benefits of family, friends, work, food, clothing, shelter, music, art, nature, etc. All people enjoy these to one degree or another.

Those who follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, having accepted His great gospel through repentance and belief, receive all of the above benefits and infinitely more on a spiritual level. As Christians, we know the living God, have been justified, have been adopted, have been reconciled, have been redeemed, have a purpose in life, have assurance of salvation, have peace and hope, and get to enjoy God in heaven for eternity after we die. There are many more spiritual benefits that I haven't even mentioned.

So why do all these good things happen to bad people? I believe the answer to this question lies in the character and sovereign plan of God.

As to God's character, God Himself tells Moses in Exodus 34:6-7 that He is "merciful and gracious." It is in the very character of the Godhead to give positively of Himself and to not always give people the wrath they deserve.

The scriptures also tell us that God is love. I John 4:8 is very clear on this. A core characteristic of God is the sacrificial love described in the bible.

Regarding God's sovereign plan for this world, the bible tells us that God created people for His glory. See Isaiah 43:6-7. God's purpose in creating this world seems to be to glorify Himself through human beings.

We know that within the Trinity itself there is complete perfection. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit live together with no need for anything else. However, God, in his absolute mercy, grace, and love, made the decision to share Himself with others. Therefore, He created. We were created to share in God's splendor and to worship Him in response to this.

When we talk about this, we must keep in mind that it all hinges on the gospel. Something really bad happened to the perfect One (Jesus Christ) so that something wonderful could happen to us. The spotless lamb was crucified so that we wouldn't have to be. II Corinthians 5:21 and I Peter 2:24 describe this great exchange.

So why do good things happen to anyone? The answer lies in the perfect character and wise plan of God. Out of His mercy, grace, and love, He decided to share His goodness with us. We deserve none of it. It is simply a wonderful, undeserved gift designed to glorify the worthy One: God.

2 comments:

RHEA said...

I really enjoyed this post. It definitely encouraged me...gave me a new perspective on the whole "why do bad things happen to good people" thing.

Eric said...

Rhea,

Thank you! I'm glad it was encouraging.