Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

AT THE OUTSET, we need to realise that God loves the world with an everlasting love: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16). Salvation has come to humanity by means of Jesus Christ. It is the gift of God: ‘In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself’ (2 Corinthians 5:19). Human Wickedness God has given everyone the opportunity to choose between right and wrong, good and evil. He has promised everlasting life to those who choose to follow His way. Sadly, we often make the wrong choice. We ignore God’s principle of love. Down the centuries, millions have died in countless wars. Wars start because of human pride and greed (James 4:1–3). God is not to blame. Hunger, too, has brought suffering to millions. Yet one nation selfishly hoards food

Mighty God, Everlasting Father

Mighty God, Everlasting Father

LOOKING FORWARD in time to the life of Jesus Christ, the prophet Isaiah wrote: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this (Isaiah 9:6–7). Among these majestic titles there are two which sometimes cause confusion. Why is it that Jesus is referred to as ‘Mighty God’ and ‘Everlasting Father’? This passage is often used to support the idea that Jesus Christ is part of the Trinity—that is, he is God.

Luke

Luke

LUKE WAS A DOCTOR (Colossians 4:14). As well as his Gospel he wrote the Acts of the Apostles. He records names, places and events with meticulous care, showing Jesus as both Son of God and Son of man. His birth in Bethlehem was announced by the angels as ‘good news of great joy’ to all (Luke 2:10). Jesus was also proclaimed by the angel Gabriel as the heir to the throne in Jerusalem where David once ruled (1:32–33). He will bring peace among men (2:14). But before he takes his throne Jesus had to become a Saviour from sin. Luke portrays Jesus as a man of prayer and records how he ‘set his face to go to Jerusalem’ where he was to die (9:51; 17:11; 19:28, 37, 41, 45). Jesus foretold that the temple and the city of Jerusalem would be overthrown, which happened in 70 ad—yet he will return

Your E-mails- October 2021

Your E-mails- October 2021

Why is Jesus sometimes referred to as the Son of Man and sometimes as the Son of God? HE IS BOTH. His mother was Mary, his father was God. As the angel said to Mary: ‘And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High’ (Luke 1:31–32). The terms ‘son of man’ and ‘son of God’ are both used throughout the Bible. ‘Son of man’ can be a general term for a human, for example ‘Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation’ (Psalm 146:3). ‘Son of God’ usually refers to Godly people, for example ‘all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God’ (Romans 8:14). But the majority of times each phrase occurs,

Mark

Mark

THIS GOSPEL was written by John Mark, the nephew of Barnabas. He went with Paul and Barnabas on their preaching mission to Cyprus (Acts 13:4–5). He was well known to Peter who called him his “son” (1 Peter 5:13) and may have been the “young man” referred to in Mark 14:51. Four Views of Jesus An interesting connection has been made between the four Gospels and the four faces of the “living creatures”, or cherubim, of Ezekiel’s prophecy (compare Ezekiel 1:10 with 10:14–15). Just as those creatures each had four faces—a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle—so the four Gospels, while offering a full portrait, present characteristically different views of the Lord Jesus Christ. The lion is a fitting symbol to represent Matthew’s view of the ‘King’. The ox corresponds to Mark’s view of the ‘Servant’. The human face relates to Luke’s view of Christ the ‘Man’ (often

The True Vine

The True Vine

The Gospel of John records a number of sayings of Jesus which begin “I am…” In this series we think about some of the profound things he said about himself. You can catch up with the previous articles at https://gladtidingsmagazine.org/previous-articles/ I AM THE TRUE VINE, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you

The Man of Sorrows

The Man of Sorrows

THERE ARE JUST TWO occasions in the Gospels on which we’re told that Jesus Christ wept. The first is recorded in John chapter 11. Lazarus, a close friend, had died, and Jesus went to meet his grieving family. He could have gone earlier and healed Lazarus of his disease. But he deliberately waited till Lazarus had died, then went with the purpose of raising him back to life: ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him’ (John 11:11). In this episode the Lord was teaching profound lessons about his mission to the world: ‘I am the resurrection and the life’ (v. 25). He is the Lord of life, and death has no power over those who are his. As they approached the village of Bethany, Lazarus’s two distraught sisters came out to meet them. Jesus and his disciples were escorted to the tomb by the mourners.

Worse Than the Virus

Worse Than the Virus

COVID 19 has been a worldwide tragedy that has changed our lives. Some people are traumatised by it, while others deny its severity or try to ignore it. We can be enormously grateful for those scientists who worked hard to understand the virus and formulate vaccines. The Problem Many people don’t realise that there is a worldwide problem which affects us all, and is far, far worse than the virus. It is an old-fashioned word, and it is an unpleasant concept. But it features strongly in the Bible. It is ‘SIN’. Like it or not, we all sin. And like it or not, we all die as a result. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8). For the wages of sin is death.… (Romans 6:23). Isolation is a good precaution against contracting the virus, but it cannot

The Choice

The Choice

MOSES STARED AGHAST at the bright blood seeping into the sand. He had killed a man. For a moment he stood still, paralysed by the enormity of his deed, and then, panicking, fell to his knees and began to scrabble a shallow grave. Soon the Egyptian taskmaster’s body was covered from sight, and only the footmarks showed where they had fought in the hot sun. It had been a fateful day for Moses. He was 40 years old, in his prime, strong, resourceful and self-confident. Brought up as the foster child of Pharaoh’s daughter, he had enjoyed the privileges of his station, and a real taste for luxury and power. Lately, however, a change had come over him. Although the crowds cheered as enthusiastically as ever when he drove out in his splendid chariot, he hardly seemed to hear them. He found himself drawn repeatedly to the new cities his

The name of God

The name of God

IN THE BIBLE names often have meaning— they tell us something about the person. For example Abraham was the ancestor of the Jews and many of the Arabs, and the spiritual ancestor of all God’s people (Galatians 3:29): and his name means ‘Father of a multitude’. There is one name which occurs far more often than any other name. It appears only in the Old Testament, but it appears nearly 7,000 times. It’s a beautiful and majestic name which is full of meaning. As you would expect, it’s the name of God Himself. If you’re a Bible reader you may just be wondering how you’ve missed it. The answer is that most Bibles don’t print it—but they indicate where it should be. Wherever you see the words Lord or God in capital letters, that’s where God’s name was in the original Hebrew manuscripts. Some Bible readers insert the name wherever