Perhaps you or someone you know has had the thought “why do bad things happen to good people”. This is a common reason given as to why people refuse to believe in the God of the bible. They think, “how could a God that is called loving allow this to happen to a good person”.
The problem is they have taken the God of the bible and made Him a god of their own making. There are fundamental problems with a question like this that, intentional or not, lead people away from a right understanding of God and us.
First, it is a misnomer to call anyone good. To have the understanding that you are genuinely a good person is to profoundly misunderstand and discredit your sin. No one is truly good as everyone is a sinner.
Romans 3:10- “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”
Romans 3:23- “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”
In Matthew 19, Jesus makes this point as clear as can be when He tells the rich young ruler who called Him good master, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God”. If God alone is good (and He is) and He alone sets the standard for goodness (and He does) we fall a far cry short of being good.
Next to the perfection of God’s holiness our sin is a nasty blot that marks us as guilty. Our righteousness, the best we can actually produce, is nothing more than “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). Therefore, no one is truly good.
Furthermore, to think of God as only a God of love and not also a God of justice is to believe in some false view of God. Since God is the creator He decides the standard by which to judge the world. His standard is His perfect holiness and, as we’ve seen, we vastly fall short.
Therefore, He is perfectly righteous and just to judge however Je sees fit. As it says in Romans 2:2, “we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth”. God is a God of justice and He will do so perfectly.
So, the question shouldn’t be why do bad things happen to good people, it should be how does anything good ever happen to sinful and wicked people. The fact that any of us have anything we consider good is nothing more than the grace of God. The fact that any of us have breath in our lungs is nothing more than the mercy of God.
The truth is there has only been one time in the history of mankind where something bad happened to someone good. And it is only because of this event we can be justified before God. As it says in 2 Corinthians 5:21- “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him”.
So, let’s make sure we’re not throwing false accusations against a God who loved you enough to do for you what you could never do for yourself.
God created everyone to be an image bearer of His glory. No matter our differences, that is our created purpose. Black, white, national, or foreigner all of us have this inherently in us. Isaiah 43:6-7- “bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
The problem is our sin. The fall of man places within us a sin nature that has passed to every person. This nature makes us naturally sinful; instead of bearing the image of God for His glory we distort that image to try and gain our own glory.
The bible is clear- there are sinful divisions that we place on ourselves. Yes, there are cultural differences, there are differences in the way we live based on our governing, but there are no real racial differences. We are all one race; descended from Adam.
Paul, while preaching in Athens, tells a group of Gentiles, “God that made the world and all things therein… giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:24-26).
Any division we make that goes beyond, “one blood” is something that goes beyond God’s creation. Obviously, we are not all collectively the same- but to claim that there is any inherit difference in us based on the color of our skin is simply unbiblical.
So, because of the fall, where there was once perfection there is now brokenness; and that which is broken needs something to make it whole again. That something was Christ and the work He did on the cross.
Colossians 3:11- “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.”
Galatians 3:26-28- “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
The work that Christ did is a unifying work. Not only does it unify my life with Christ’s, but it unifies me with you. Jew or Greek, male or female, all are made one in Christ through His atoning sacrifice.
However, it must be noticed that this oneness is not for all- it is for those in Christ; it is for those who have been made new by the blood of Christ. Paul makes this point clear in Ephesians 2:11-14:
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us”
This is important for us to remember. We can’t expect those who have not been renewed by the cross to act, think, and live like those who have. It shouldn’t surprise us to see the division we’re seeing in a country that has routinely rejected Christ and His sacrifice.
Our country doesn’t need more politicians or legislation- it needs Christ, and it needs the people of Christ to preach the gospel of Christ. He alone can truly change a life- He alone can truly bring unity.