Why Do Good Things Happen To Bad People But Bad Things Happen To Good People? (Part 3)
“And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
This subject has been one that many Christians and non-Christians alike tend to ask religious & spiritual authorities. This is a valid question and one that, to those who ask, demands an answer. According to the bible, we will see five things that explain why good things happen to bad people and bed things happen to good people.
Disclaimer: The following devotional is not intended to serve as an all inclusive explanation for life events. It is intended to explain life events in a biblical perspective and not exhume past memories and hurts. Our intention is to help and not hurt.
In parts one and two of our devotional series, we read that God has given humanity choice to make decisions. We also read that our choices have consequences! If we do horrible things, or disobey then the result of that will be both incalculable and totally up to God. However, today we will speak about chastisement, which is God’s response to evil and disobedience. Before we begin, let’s see how Webster’s dictionary defines chastisement:
The definition of chastisement is:
to inflict punishment on (as by whipping)
to censure severely
God uses consequences to help correct behavior but sometimes He brings out the spiritual paddle and has to resort to more severe action to correct the behavior of His children (Christians). Why? Let me put it like this. A parent will never spank or punish the neighbors children unless they are family members. You don’t punish someone that’s not related to you. In like manner God will not punish children/people that do not know Him as Lord or Abba Father. This is why horrible people can seemingly get away with doing terrible things to innocent people and nothing happens to them. However, God will only allow those people to go so far before He intervenes. Wait, I thought that you said that God will not punish the terrible people? If you caught someone trying to seriously hurt your child, wouldn’t you step in and use whatever means that you could to stop it? God wants the same thing but He chooses to use earthen vessels on earth in order to accomplish His will. The bible explains it this way in II Corinthians 4:6-9 “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” God uses people on earth to do His will as He inspires them through the Holy Spirit. Now we have a choice whether or not to listen but God does His part with inspiring people to act and intervene.
When a Christian does not act in a manner that is pleasing to God or blatantly disrespects God’s ordinances He will remind them that this is not a manner pleasing to Him. He will send other Christians to rebuke or confront them with God’s word. He will also have the preacher to speak on a specific sin that you are attempting to enjoy. Hence the whole idea of “How did the preacher know what I am doing” thought in church. If we continue to blow this off, then God will do more things to get our attention. This is chastisement or can be severe consequences to us and those around us. No one understands God’s wrath or His anger except for what’s in the bible but God has a right to feel or do what He wants because He made us, we didn’t make Him.
So what about natural disasters and things that kill innocent people for no reason. Why does this happen? Well, first thing that I can say is that I have no idea why God does what He does or the way that He does it. In our minds it’s not fair that a serial killer gets to kill thousands of people and before He gets executed he trusts Jesus and goes to heaven. Meanwhile, a preacher that lives right his whole life gets killed by that same serial killer as he desperately pleads for the life of his family and himself. No justice here on earth can ever remove the stain and sting of this injustice. However, God knows what He is doing and does have a plan.
When God chastens people, He usually works on things that are important to them or that they care about.
In my days before excepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I made a certain sin my god. This certain sin was the very thing that I went to when I had issues, happiness, sadness and even discontent. Because I was not able to say no to this sin. It ruled me like a king on a throne. When I trust Christ as my Lord, I had a huge struggle. I wanted to do this sin but the Christ inside me reminded me that it was wrong. I was ignorant and did it anyway despite the warnings from God internally. As a consequence of disobedience I had extreme guilt! I couldn’t shake the guilt so I went to the only thing that made me feel better. That sin. God was still telling me that it was wrong but not like before, this time the voice was much quieter. As I continued in this sin, I found that the consequences seemed get to worse and worse. My decisions were impaired because this sin tried to run my life and I let it. As I continued in this sin, after God told me not to do so, I was approached by many other Christians. They asked if I had unconfessed sin, of course I lied and said no. The sin got easier to commit and the consequences became harder and tougher. This is why the bible says in Proverbs 13:15 “Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.” My life was hard and I was miserable. One day a spiritual friend approached me and began talking to me. He said “God is chastising you for not giving up your sin”. I said “How do you figure that”? He said “because I feel it in my spirit.” He said, “tell me honestly, when was the last time that you asked God to forgive you and you listened to what He was asking of you?” I didn’t say anything. He told me that until I get my heart right with God by confession and repent of ever doing this sin that I will live in a vicious cycle of this behavior. I confessed and I felt this almost heavy weight lifted off of my shoulders and my life began to return back to normal.
In my life God was getting my attention by allowing all kinds of things to happen to me so that I would have no other place to go except to see Him. God will punish people in this manner. His chastisement has mercy and will end but God’s wrath has no mercy and will never end. Not all people that say that they are good are good and not all bad people with the label of bad are bad. Jesus was labelled a bad person while the people that had him killed had the label of good people. If you are a Christian and your life seems to be in shambles and nothing is going right, ask yourself these three questions:
- Is there anything that I’m doing that I know that God hates or doesn’t like?
- Has God spoke to me about this? How did I respond when I knew it was God speaking?
- Are things happening in my life that I cannot explain logically? Have these things got worse since I have not responded to God’s voice?
Today is the day of repentance. I’m not saying that God will fix everything or restore what was lost but I know that if we restore our relationship with Him there will be a closeness. Chastisement is not the end of the road for a Christian but I would respond sooner than later. In tomorrow’s devotional we we will talk about what happens to those that obey God and it doesn’t work out so well for them. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.