Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 16 No. 3 March 2014
Page 13


George Jensen

George JensenWhat will be the eternal destiny of those who have committed sin? “But for the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). Most of these are categorized as “sins of commission,” since something evil was committed.

However, most have never considered that there is another category of sins, namely “sins of omission.” When we fail to do what ought to be done, we are guilty of the sin of omission. Our society is full of people who live lives that would be classified by their fellow men as “good.” They have never been guilty of rape, murder, embezzlement, etc. The listing of bad things they have not done is long indeed. Many labor under the illusion that since they are “not too bad,” they will enter heaven.

Jesus provided a glimpse of the future judgment. Those who fed the hungry, provided drink to the thirsty, clothed the naked and visited the imprisoned, were told, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom…” (Matthew 25:34).

Others heard these words, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire…” (Matthew 25:41). What were the heinous crimes they had perpetrated? Actually, it was not what they had done, but what they had not done that brought this judgment. For “I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not” (Matthew 25:42, 43). They had omitted benevolent activities. It is not enough to simply refrain from evil activity, but God requires we actively serve Him by serving others.

One of the most scathing rebuke sections of Scripture is found in Matthew 23. Here is a sample: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy, and faith: but these ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone” (Matthew 23:23).

Do not congratulate yourself for what evils you have not done. The prophet of old wrote, “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8). “To him therefore that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). Read 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 and find out the punishment awaiting those who fail to obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. Have you learned the pure New Testament Gospel? Have you obeyed that Gospel? If you would like to learn it, and obey it, please contact the Church of Christ in your area for a class.

Why Did Job Suffer?

Mark T. Tonkery

Mark T. TonkeryWhen it comes to tragedy and hardship, many people turn to the Book of Job. Job was a recipient of calamity, disaster, financial loss and death as we read in Job 1-2. First, he had every single one of his oxen and donkeys carried off by Sabeans, who then “put to the sword” every one of his servants. To compound matters, all his sons and daughters were killed when a windstorm collapsed the house in which they were feasting. Finally, Job was afflicted with painful sores “from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.” Then Job took a piece of broken “pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.” When his wife saw what was happening to Job, she said to him, “…Curse God and die” (Job 2:9).

Talk about hitting “rock bottom.” Here is a man whose trials surpassed most of ours. He had lost everything – his health, his wealth, his children, and his wife told him to “curse God and die!” (Job 2:9-10).

Job teaches us many things through his ordeal; one of those lessons he teaches us is that suffering in itself is not proof of God’s displeasure, and the book tries to answer the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

Readers must keep in mind that as they read the Book of Job which they see what Job cannot see. In Job 1 and 2, God sees Job as one of His best servants. As Satan approaches God, Job is the subject of the conversation, and Satan wants to attack him so that Job may abandon God. God allows it because He knows that Job can overcome, but Job, his friends and Satan do not know this. Job’s discourse with his friends is recorded in the book, and then God spoke (Job 38-41). Then, in the conclusion of the Book, Job’s health and possessions were restored, and he had more children.

First, we must remember none of us are really all that good. Romans 3:23 teaches, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and then Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death.” So, sometimes bad things happen because we sin.

Second, sometimes the choices we make result in bad things happening to us. Good people make bad choices. David, Hezekiah, Peter and others in the Bible were righteous people, but even they made bad choices and bad things happened to them.

Third, sometimes the choices others make harm us. Good, innocent people get hurt because of others’ wrong choices. For example, a family coming home from Bible study is killed by a drunk driver. Why? The drunk driver made bad choices. Remember, Jesus Christ died on the cross because Judas betrayed him, and in Acts 2 we are reminded that everyone’s sins helped crucify Jesus (Acts 2:23).

Fourth, imagine if bad things only happened to bad people; some would be good for the wrong reasons. Matthew 5:16 reminds us we are to do good to glorify the Father in heaven, and not to escape the bad. In fact, just because we are Christians the world will hate us (John 15:18).

Fifth, trials or bad things can help us to be stronger (James 1:2-3). Also remember avoiding pain only produces more pain in the long run.

Sixth, we are not promised that bad things will not happen to us. Second Timothy 3:12 maintains, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

Seventh, sometimes people get in the way of the laws of creation. Hurricanes, tornados, floods and even gravity have purposes, not to kill and to destroy, but to help creation to grow, pollinate, reproduce and for life on planet earth to survive. If we go against the laws of creation that God has established, someone is going to get hurt or even die. Yet, people still build and live in these areas and destruction happens; as long as people continue to build in these areas and do things that God did not design creation to do, bad things are going to happen. This principle is mentioned in Luke 13:4-5 (if you build a tower because of the law of gravity it might fall down). Notice what Jesus states, “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” Those killed in the tower of Siloam were not worse sinners than any others; they just tried to defy the law of gravity and lost their lives. Sometimes, we humans try to defy the laws of creation, and sometimes we lose.

Eighth, sometimes we do not know the reason why bad things happen to us, and there may never be answers to our “Why” questions. The Book of Job ends with Job not knowing all the reasons he suffered. Remember, we get to read Job 1 and 2, but Job does not. God always does what is right, and He never gives us more than what we can handle (Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Job 1:8).

We must remember that we can overcome the trials that we are facing, and regardless of the cause, we can learn and grow in our faith and love God all the more. Romans 8:37 encourages us, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Think about it!

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