What a title huh? We all have heard that familiar phrase so many times that we have grown numb to it. Another phrase is “make the right choices.” Our parents voiced these phrases to us from our youth and since they have stuck with us, we are telling them to our children. What a cycle of words we live in.
I know you are now thinking, gee Pastor Dale, what are you getting at? Well, I was reading our monthly partner letter from Kenneth Copeland Ministries and this particular letter struck a chord with the both of us. Brother Copeland mentions in his letter the age-old question that plagues all Christians, especially pastors, “why do bad things happen to good people?” We have heard many answers to this question, but nothing like how he answered it and I really do not think any pastors, preachers, or ministers have ever thought the way he answered. After reading this letter, I feel that he explained it very clearly.
First off, people think that God causes everything, but that is completely wrong. James 1:17 states, “Every good gifts and perfect gifts is from above,” and they forget that Satan is in the world causing bad things to happen to us also. 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Very true, but that is not the answer to Brother Copeland’s question.
The answer to his question, “why bad things happened to good people,” is because they make bad choices. Deuteronomy 30:19 and please remember this is God talking, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life, that you and your offspring may live.” Simply, good people make bad choices. We are all guilty of it. Even in my 28-year walk with Christ, I have made decisions that I regret. Mostly because I listened to some Christians that I thought had it all figured out, but they were just following what religion teaches and not the truth of God. My hard-living was gone because God showed me a better way and I made the choice the follow God’s way. My anger fits took a little longer until my mentor, God showed me how to channel my anger to wage war on Satan to preach and bring others to Christ.
An example of good people making bad choices is what Israel did after becoming free after 430 years in Egyptian bondage. They made some poor choices and their journey in the wilderness was prolonged from 11 days to 40 years. Proverbs 1:28-29, “Then they will call upon me but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord.” Again, simply, they CHOOSE NOT TO COME OR LISTEN TO GOD!
Jesus verified Proverbs 1:28-29 in Matthew 22:1-14, The Parable of the Wedding Feast. Take a good look at verses 2-3, which shows the key, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come.” These two verses say it all. HOW CAN GOD BLESS YOU WHEN YOU CHOOSE NOT TO COME!
God called me to pastoral ministry in 2005 and I CHOOSE not to listen. He had my mentor ready to receive me and I just did not listen until 2006 after my father went to be with Jesus. In 2011, God told me that my mentoring is complete, but I need a formal education. It was not until 2015 when I finally CHOOSE to listen and obtain my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. If I would have listened to God in the first place, I would have received His blessing much sooner.
I can go on and on about making bad choices or decisions and I am sure you can too. Just because a Christian makes a bad choice or decision, God is not going to forsake them, and not remove them from His grace. It does not work like that at all. Salvation is a gift from God that in no way can you give it back to Him. It was provided for EVERYONE, not because of what you ever did, but because of what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus gave His life for us so that we can be reconciled to God, redeemed from the curse of Adam and Eve, forgiven of all past, present, and future sins, healing, total prosperity (read Don’t Bash the Preacher), joy, peace, and much more than we could ever imagine. God wants to bless you, but you need to make the CHOICE to delight in His ways (Psalm 37:23), so your steps will be established by the Lord in making good choices and decisions, Amen!
I am Dale Van De Bogart and I approve of this message!
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