The problem of evil and the hope of God

This is a sermon I gave a couple of years ago.  With the bombings in Boston, it was a reminder that we will never escape the problem of evil and that we need to face it honestly and accurately.

  • This is a time when Christians are posed with the question: why?  Why would God allow such a thing?  Or, “How could a God of love cause this?”
  • That question has been posed to me this week more than once.  Maybe it has been posed to you.
  • If someone asked, how would you respond?  It is important for a Christian to have an answer for such a time as this.
  • But many of us are struggling with the same questions.  Why would God allow such things?
  • You can’t look at the damage, the grief, and the pain of people and not be moved.  It’s not just others, we want to know.
  • What’s God up to?  He could have stopped it.  If you believe along the lines of the historic Baptists, you’d even say that God is the first cause of these things.  So what’s the answer?  It lies in the beginning.

I want to offer three conclusions about the problem of evil and three reasons why God allows it. (more…)

Have you heard one?

“Many Americans have complained of too many hellfire and damnation sermons in their past, but Bradford was one of the 112 individuals in our generation who had actually heard one.” – Doug Wilson, Evangellyfish

The doctrine of election

This begins the second sermon on the practical application of basic Christian doctrine.  Today we will be looking at the doctrine of election.  Most of us are pretty sure we know what election is:  God’s choosing to save a particular group of people before the foundation of the world.  But that’s where we stop.  We think of it as what God has done and that’s the end, but the Scriptures don’t teach election as an abstract doctrine that we only have to believe.  In fact the term is used in several ways, and I hope we can see that as we proceed this morning.

Let’s start with what we know:  election is God’s choosing a people unto Himself – Eph. 1:4-6.

  • It is all of God and none of man – Rom. 9:11, 16.
  • We believe in God’s eternal election of men, and we believe it because Scripture clearly teaches it – John 6:37, 39.
  • But when we refer to this, we think of it almost always referring to individuals, while Scripture doesn’t always do that.
  • Election can refer to any individual (Isa. 42:1), in this case, it’s Jesus.  It can refer to all the predestined of God from eternity (II Tim. 2:10).

Most often though, the term “elect” or “chosen” is used to refer to a visible group of people who are in covenant with God (Deut. 7:6-8, Isa. 41:8, I Peter 5:13, II John 1, 13)

  • This is a key because we’re used to thinking in terms of the elect being an invisible group, but the prophets and apostles referred to the elect as (more…)