Faithlife Sermons

Is God Fair?

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Although some things in life seem unfair, have faith in God because He is fair and just...always!

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Introduction
Romans 8:28 NIV
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:18 NIV
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Prayer
Prayer
Rug Rats clip “It’s not fair”
I don’t know how many times I heard the words “It’s not fair” while our kids were growing up. And it’s the same when we have the grandkids together. For parents and grandparents, those words can be like fingernails on a chalkboard. “She got more ice-cream…its not fair!” “He got to go outside and play, but not me! It’s not fair” etc.
You know…parents are not perfect. Sometimes we goof and do make decisions that, in hindsight, probably were not fair. But the majority of the time…even thought the kids don’t seem to understand, we have good reasons for our choices. How many of us woke up at some point, in our young adult years, and realized our parents had things right (most of the time)?
We are human…we will make errors in judgement with our kids at times. But aren’t you glad that our Heavenly Father is perfect in all of His ways? Even when we do not understand what is going on, we can be confident that He loves us and has a great plan if we will follow Him
Big Idea
Although some things in life seem unfair, have faith in God because He is fair and just...always!
What happens when our sense of fairness causes us to question whether or not God is fair?
Let’s be challenged today to grasp the truth that God is fair and just...

IN DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES

Jonah is a good example of a person who’s sense of justice and fairness clashed with God’s sense of justice and fairness:
God must have misspoke! There is no way He wants me to go and preach to those low down, dirty rotten, evil so and so’s over there in Ninevah! They are bad — they abuse, torture, and kill people just for the fun of it…including my own people!
We know the story — Jonah tried to run from God’s call to go to Ninevah
Long-story-short: .....summarize
So when God spared the city, it seemed very wrong to Jonah
Jonah 4:2–3 NIV
He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
Jonah 4:2–3 NIV
He prayed to the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
God responded to both Jonah and the Ninevites with patience, compassion, and mercy — neither of them deserved it
God often turns tragedy into triumph
In , Jesus saw a man that was blind from birth and His Disciples were curious about something. “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
Jesus probably surprised them when He said “neither” — in their theology, if someone was disabled in any way, it had to be because of sin in their lives or the lives of their parents
But this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in Him ()
We can’t understand tragedy
School shootings (so many)
Mass violence: terrorism, Las Vegas, Syria (so many)
God did not create evil and suffering
Genesis 1:31 NIV
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
So what happened? Why didn’t He do something?
The nature of God is love
We were created in His image…made to love
Love is a choice…we are creatures of free choice
Couldn’t God foresee the suffering and tragedy that would come?
Of course
Think of it this way — how many are parents?
Did you know before you chose to have kids that those kids would face difficulty and suffering in this life?
You could forsee that they might even make wrong choices
Yet you still chose to have them b/c you could also forsee great fulfillment and joy in having children
One day suffering will cease and God will judge evil
He is not finished yet
One day isn’t here yet
If you only read half a book, you will be frustrated and disappointed — that’s not the author’s fault....it’s yours because you were patient enough to read through the entire book
Why is God delaying judgment on the earth?
2 Peter 3:9 NIV
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
God is fair and just in difficult circumstances and...
1 C
1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
The only solution is to experience a relationship with Jesus
He brings comfort and confidence that no matter what, He is with you
It’s our choice —
we can do things on our own and turn bitter
we can surrender our lives to Jesus and turn better
John 16:33 NIV
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
God is fair and just in difficult circumstances and...

IN HOW HE JUDGES PEOPLE

One of the questions someone asked was “How can we be joyful and at peace when we get to Heaven when we know we have friends and loved ones in Hell?
Revelation 21:4 NIV
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Many people have loved ones who died without knowing Christ. How can we possibly avoid grief in Heaven knowing this?
Many people have loved ones who died without knowing Christ. How can we possibly avoid grief in Heaven knowing this?
Some theorize that God will deal with this problem by erasing our knowledge that Hell even exists…then we can’t think about it
This doesn’t make sense because God wouldn’t make our joy in Heaven depend on our ignorance of Hell — that’s not the way He works in Scripture.
Jesus will execute a final judgment against rebellious people
John 5:22–29 NIV
Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.
In Heaven, we will see with new eyes
We will agree with the Father’s judgments
Revelation 6:9–10 NIV
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”
In Revelation, when God brings judgment upon the wicked city of Babylon, the saints are told to “Rejoice over her, O Heavens! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she has treated you! ()”
Revelation 6:9–11 NIV
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.
They (the saints) shall see the dreadful miseries of the damned,and consider that they deserved the same misery, and that it was sovereign grace, and nothing else, which made them so much differ from the damned — Jonathan Edwards
Instead of questioning God’s judgement, we’ll be overwhelmed by His grace
Romans 10:13–17 NIV
for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Everyone deserves Hell…no one deserves Heaven
That’s why Jesus went to the Cross
1 John 2:2 NIV
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
God doesn’t want anyone to perish
1 Timothy 2:3–4 NIV
This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
Many will face judgment because of their unbelief
Matthew 7:13 NIV
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.
When we get to Heaven our focus will be on God
We will worship with great joy and satisfaction
We will recognize His perfect holiness and justness,His goodness and grace, and His joy
Hell’s small and distant shadow will not interfere with God’s greatness or our joy in Him — Randy Alcorn (Heaven)
Challenge
So, how should we respond to these important truths?
Although some things in life seem unfair, have faith in God because He is fair and just...always!
God is fair and just in difficult circumstances
Pain in life is real and we can’t always understand everything that happens
1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
The only solution is to experience a relationship with Jesus
He brings comfort and confidence that no matter what, He is with you
It’s our choice —
we can do things on our own and turn bitter
we can surrender our lives to Jesus and turn better
John 16:33 NIV
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
God is fair and just in how He judges people
We have this life in which to lead people to know the love of Jesus
Do you have a sense of urgency?
for you own soul
for the souls of family, friends, neighbors, and beyond
Romans 10:13–16 NIV
for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”
Romans 10:13–15 NIV
for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Yes…you are a preacher if you have a testimony
We must understand: TIME IS SHORT!
Do you have as sense of urgency?
John 9:4 NIV
As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.
In , Jesus blazes a trail everywhere He goes, healing people and showing them the way. It says that as He looked upon the people, He had compassion on them — because they were harassed and helpless…like sheep without a shepherd
Matthew 9:35–38 NIV
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Matthew 9:37–38 NIV
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
There is no way that we, in our finite and limited thinking, can grasp the pain and suffering in the world, or in our own lives
But we can latch onto the hope we have in Jesus
We can dive into the joy we have in Him
We can ride the wave of His peace, even in the midst of the greatest storm
We can and should have an extreme sense of urgency to share Jesus because time is short for every single person
What’s you choice today?
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