Faithlife Sermons

"Suffering is always the result of sin"

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 94 views
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
I'm sure by now, everyone has heard about the events that occurred last Sunday down in Texas. It has sparked a debate, as always, about gun control. But I've also seen another debate that has popped up among many of my pastor friends on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. They are talking about security within the church. This is nothing new, but it has intensified over the last week. I've seen pastors talking about having armed security guards. I've even seen pastors talking about locking the doors of the church once service starts. Now we're not going to get into whether it's right or wrong to have guards or lock the doors or any of that, but I do think this discussion that I've seen plays in to our topic this morning in our series on what the Bible doesn't say.
The idea we're looking at this morning is that "Suffering is always the result of sin." Now I need to explain this just a little bit. Ultimately it can be said that all suffering is the direct result of sin because suffering entered the world when Adam and Eve committed the first sin back in the Garden of Eden. But that's not what people mean when they say that suffering is always the result of sin. What they mean is that anytime you do something wrong, it will result in something bad happening to you; that God will punish you. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that sin has no consequences because it does. The Bible tells us in
Romans 6:23 CSB
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(CSB)
So sin absolutely has consequences, but the Bible doesn't support this idea that God is sitting up there watching and paying us back with suffering for every little thing we do. He's not sitting there going, "Oh, telling a lie huh? You get a hang nail. 20 miles over the speed limit? Guess your car is getting repossessed. Stealing from your boss? Cancer for you buddy." That's not the way God works.
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So sin absolutely has consequences, but the Bible doesn't support this idea that God is sitting up there watching and paying us back with suffering for every little thing we do. He's not sitting there going, "Oh, telling a lie huh? You get a hang nail. 20 miles over the speed limit? Guess your car is getting repossessed. Stealing from your boss? Cancer for you buddy." That's not the way God works.
that "*******" But the Bible doesn't support this idea that God is sitting up there watching and paying us back with suffering for every little thing we do. He's not sitting there going, "Oh, telling a lie huh? You get a hang nail. 20 miles over the speed limit? Your car gets repossessed. Stealing from your boss? Cancer for you buddy." That's not the way God works.
When we go through times of suffering and pain in our lives we need to remember he words of James 1:2-4
James 1:2–4 CSB
2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.
Sometimes in our lives, when we are experiencing suffering and pain it’s not because of anything we’ve done. It’s not because we’ve sinned, it’s just because. Suffering is a fact of life in this world in which we live. But these verses tell us that trials and suffering can actually produce a desired result. James says that not only are we not to complain about the trials in life, but we are to in fact “consider it a great joy.” Now I don’t know about you but I haven’t gotten to the point in my faith where I consider trials a great joy. In fact when I’m going through the trials I’m usually not very happy. But I have reached that point in my faith where I can look back on the trials after the fact and see how God has used them to do exactly what these verses say. The trials in life are a test of our faith. And when we rely on God to help us get through those trials, it helps us to be able to lean on Him more the next time our faith is tested and get through it better and easier. In other words, those tests of our faith help to develop our endurance for further tests. Amazing how that works huh? God tells us in the Bible how things are supposed to work and when we follow his advice it seems that things work out exactly the way He says they should.
I think the best example of what we’re talking about this morning is found in the book of Job. Let’s read the beginning of the story from the first chapter of the book of Job.
Job 1 CSB
1 There was a man in the country of Uz named Job. He was a man of complete integrity, who feared God and turned away from evil. 2 He had seven sons and three daughters. 3 His estate included seven thousand sheep and goats, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large number of servants. Job was the greatest man among all the people of the east. 4 His sons used to take turns having banquets at their homes. They would send an invitation to their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 Whenever a round of banqueting was over, Job would send for his children and purify them, rising early in the morning to offer burnt offerings for all of them. For Job thought, “Perhaps my children have sinned, having cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice. 6 One day the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. 7 The Lord asked Satan, “Where have you come from?” “From roaming through the earth,” Satan answered him, “and walking around on it.” 8 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? No one else on earth is like him, a man of perfect integrity, who fears God and turns away from evil.” 9 Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Haven’t you placed a hedge around him, his household, and everything he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 12 “Very well,” the Lord told Satan, “everything he owns is in your power. However, do not lay a hand on Job himself.” So Satan left the Lord’s presence. 13 One day when Job’s sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 a messenger came to Job and reported: “While the oxen were plowing and the donkeys grazing nearby, 15 the Sabeans swooped down and took them away. They struck down the servants with the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 16 He was still speaking when another messenger came and reported: “God’s fire fell from heaven. It burned the sheep and the servants and devoured them, and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 17 That messenger was still speaking when yet another came and reported: “The Chaldeans formed three bands, made a raid on the camels, and took them away. They struck down the servants with the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 18 He was still speaking when another messenger came and reported: “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house. 19 Suddenly a powerful wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on the young people so that they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you!” 20 Then Job stood up, tore his robe, and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped, 21 saying: Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. 22 Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything.
Wow! Job went through quite a bit didn’t he? He had herds of 500 oxen and 500 donkeys stolen away by the Sabeans. A herd of 7000 sheep and goats was lost to fire falling from the sky. A herd of 3000 camels was taken away by the Chaldeans. And in each of these incidents only a single one of his servants survived to come tell him what had happened. And then to top it all off his children, 7 sons and 3 daughters were partying at the oldest brother’s house when a strong wind blew in, knocked the house down and killed them all along with all the servants, except again for one who came to tell Job what had happened. And we saw from the beginning part of the chapter that this was no punishment for sin. This was not a response to anything that Job had done. It was simply a test of his faith that God allowed Satan to put him through. And look at that last verse again. “Throughout all this Job did not sin or blame God for anything.” Now there’s a whole lot more to this story. Forty-one more chapters to be exact. Don’t worry, we’re not going to read through the entire book, but let me sum it up for you. Job has three friends named Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. A large portion of the book of Job is taken up with the three of them making speeches to Job basically telling him he must have committed some type of sin and that he should just curse God and die. Job answers each of them in turn telling them that he is innocent and that he will not curse God. So his three friends finally stop arguing but then another friend named Elihu picks up the argument. Satan also argues with God telling him that God is still protecting him. So God allows Satan to make Job sick, but not take his life. Throughout this whole ordeal, with the losses and the sickness and the arguments Job continues to bless and praise God. In the end Job actually prays for his friends who had been arguing with him through all this time. Finally, because of Job’s righteousness, God restores him to health and actually gives him double the herds and wealth that he had before his trials started. He has 7 more sons and 3 more daughters and lives for 140 years after his restoration.
Now, remember, like we talked about a couple of weeks ago, obedience does not always lead to financial blessing by God. The point of the story of Job is not that he was blessed because of his obedience but that his suffering was not a result of sin.
Someone else who understood this concept was William Carey. He is known by many as the father of modern missions. He was born in England in 1761 but at the age of 32 he left England to go to India to share the gospel with the people there. Carey faced a lot of hardship both on the way and in India. His wife didn’t want to leave England because she was pregnant with their fourth child and had never been more than a few miles from home. He finally convinced her after returning to the dock from the ship 3 times. He first arrived in Calcutta and started ministering there but was forced to leave by the non-Baptist missionaries who were already there. His family went through sickness and death. His wife had a nervous breakdown from which she never recovered. Carey worked for 7 years before he saw his first convert to Christianity. He spent much of his time learning the language and then developing a dictionary and translating the Bible into the local dialect. One day he came home to find that a fire had destroyed all of the translation work he had done over the last 19 years. His reaction was to fall to his knees and thank God that he still had the health and strength to begin the work again. He immediately began translating again and in the end said he had a better product than what he had created before the fire. Carey never returned to England. He spent 41 years in India translating, teaching and sharing the gospel with those around him.
One would be hard pressed to look at the work Carey did and say that the hardships he endured were because of sin on his part. He dedicated his life to the spread of the gospel among the Indian people. He sacrificed health, wealth, and family to ensure that these people had access to the word of God. He understood those verses that we read earlier from James that remind us that many times the trials we go through are not a result of anything we have done, but they are simply a test of our faith. They are simply a result of a fallen world that is out of step with the creator. But even more than that Carey understood the truth of which says
Romans 8:28 NKJV
28 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.
Notice that I used a different translation than I normally use for this verse. I think this is one of those verses that point out the need to read different translations of the Bible. In many translations you this verse will read something along the lines of “We now that all things work together for the good of those who love God.” But we can’t always say that. That’s why I llike this translation of this verse. Not everything works out for our good. But God can use anything for the ultimate good. And to us that makes sense. We know that even though we ma go through pain and suffering, ultimately God will use whatever we experience for the good of the kingdom.
So, no, suffering does not always result from our sin. It’s a result of the original sin by Adam and Eve, but sometimes we suffer even though we’ve not done anything to deserve it. Look at Job and William Carey. Our call in this life is to accept that sometimes suffering will occur, but we should still praise God because we who believe know that he will work that suffering for good. And ultimately we knwo that the suffering of this life is but a little time and then we will spend eternity with God in paradise where there will be no more pain, and no more sorrow, and suffering will not even be a memory any longer.
Would you pray with me?
Related Media
Related Sermons