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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Can a world created by a loving, omnipotent God experience devastating earthquakes as the magnitude 7.0 in Haiti

Haiti: Hated or Loved?

Bertrand Russell, a 20th Century atheistic philosopher, claimed that no one could sit by the bedside of a child with a terminal disease and believe in a loving God. 1

A question that is surely being asked now: "Can a world created by a loving, omnipotent God experience devastating earthquakes as the magnitude 7.0 in Haiti ?"  Before this quake perhaps 80% of the people lived in abject poverty, with children composing about half the population.

A song entitled, "Tell Me the Story of Jesus," contains the following lyrics:

"Tell of the years of His labor,
Tell of the sorrow He bore;
He was despised and afflicted,
Homeless, rejected and poor...

Tell of the cross where they nailed Him,
Writhing in anguish and pain."

During the course of His brief earthly life, Jesus, God's one and only Son, bore excruciating (this word derives from "crucifixion") sorrow and suffering (cf. Hebrews 12:2).  In spite of all this, can there be any doubt of God the Father's constant love for His Son?  At Jesus' baptism, God's voice from heaven said, "This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17).

Fanny J. Crosby, who wrote the lyrics of "Tell Me the Story of Jesus," lost her eyesight when about six weeks old (due evidently to a medical mistake).  Instead of blaming God or saying there is no God or no loving God, her long life of 95 years was filled with writing over 8,000 hymns of praise.  She came to view her blindness as a special gift from God that stimulated other gifts and talents. 2

The Bible teaches that whatever one's lot on earth, whatever mixture of happiness and tears, life after death for people of God can be described as eternal joy and complete absence of "mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:3-4).

Bertrand Russell felt unable to reconcile the situation of a terminally ill child with belief in a loving God...  A minister who had experience with dying children challenged this unbeliever to explain what he himself could offer such a child.  An atheist could only say something like, "Sorry, that's how it goes.  This is the end of everything for you."

Contrast this hopeless declaration with such promises as in John 3:16 -- 
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

God loves Haitians and all others in the world.  He provides and offers to ALL hope in this life and eternal life through His Son.  "Whosoever will" may accept His offer by believing and trusting Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turning from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confessing Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and being baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; Galatians 3:27).

Will YOU accept His offer?

-- Allen Dixon & David A. Sargent

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