Some Common Objections
I have heard people say such things to the effect of: “Well, my loved one didn’t believe this, so even if this message is true (which it is), I don’t want to go to some sort of heaven where they won’t be allowed in, because it wouldn’t really be heaven without them there.” I have a couple of things to humbly suggest in response to this. First, please know that no mere mortal living here on this side of eternity has the comprehensive list of those residing in or destined for heaven or hell. None of us know who may have in their last moments, or even seconds, put their trust in Christ, which again of course is the one and only requirement for salvation. Secondly, if your loved one is in Heaven, he/she wants you to join him/her there. If he/she is not in Heaven, he/she most certainly DOES NOT want you to join him/her where he/she is (Luke 16:27-28).
Another objection that I have heard from people when they are pondering suffering, either their own or that of others, is something to the effect of them asking: “If there is a God, then why does He allow such terrible things to happen?” Or perhaps they do believe there is a God, but they are angry at Him for allowing something to happen to them, or to someone else, that they do not see as being “right.” One of the early church “fathers” said something to the effect of, “If God could be fully understood by humans, then he wouldn’t be God” (Isiah 55:8- 9). Also read Job chapters 38-42 for more perspective on this. A God who’s entire scope that one could fit inside the confines of a 3 and-a-half pound human brain wouldn’t be much worth worshiping, as he would certainly have limits; something the real God does not have. The only ability that God does not possess is the ability to make a mistake. I give this topic additional treatment in the section below entitled “Live Your Life In Order To Please God.” Please also know that Jesus (God) is well acquainted with suffering and has done plenty of it Himself, on our behalf (Isiah 53, also read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). In the scope of all things, some suffering seems to be necessary (please refer to most of what is written above in this book).
Please understand that man brought death into the world by his sin that he chose to commit (1 Corinthians 15:21, Genesis 3:19). Having already discussed here at great length the just deserts/wages of sin, the current predicament that our world is in makes perfect sense. As I have also already discussed here at length, God has provided us with a way out, at His own expense. There will be some suffering in the meantime, until we (those of us who have believed on Jesus) see Jesus face to face and are then like Him, and see Him as He is (1 John 3:2, 1 Corinthians 13:12). He does indeed love us, and He will not allow the suffering that we (believers) experience to be in vain (Romans 5:3-4), as His suffering was NOT in vain. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for good for those of us who love God and who are called according to His purpose. The people who love God and who are called according to His purpose are those of us who have believed on Him, who are born again; born of God, with the sinless second birth (1 John 3:9), that keeps His commandments perfectly, and therefore loves Him as one should (Matthew 22:37-40); those of us who have been promised (possess) eternal life according to His will (John 6:40, 47). Remember that our new nature is perfect, but our flesh is sinful.
I most certainly believe that God did not create evil (Psalm 92:15), however I do believe that He did see it necessary to create the possibility of evil, so that those of His creation would have to love and choose Him by their own free will. Do you want to be loved because someone has been forced to love you? Do you want to be chosen because there is no other choice but you, or because whoever chose you was somehow forced into choosing you? You are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). I would respectfully argue that He sees such things as this in much the same way you do. He wants His relationship with you to be real and genuine, just as you desire your relationships to be.
We all know that there are times when we to have to go through difficult circumstances. We will have go through those difficult circumstances, whether we choose to or not, however we can choose to go through them with Jesus (God), and therefore have them result in growth and blessing from Him (Romans 5:3-4, 8:17). We can also choose to go through those difficult circumstances without Him, and not only miss out on that growth and blessing, but become more calloused; bitter; unhappy.
Please also know that God can handle your anger. Bring it to Him. He wants you to (Psalms 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7). He will use it for your ultimate benefit, as opposed to Satan using it to your detriment, if you stubbornly hold on to it. Read the Psalms. There is plenty of anger expressed and dealt with there, as well as other places in Scripture.
Another objection that sometimes comes up is that many non- Christians are nicer, more generous, helpful, etc. people than many Christians are (I agree). Please remember that each and every one of us have our flesh (which has sin), with each person’s flesh being unique to him or herself. The nature of some people’s flesh is simply more unpleasant and uncooperative than that of others. If a person is unsaved, yet generally comes across as being relatively pleasant, helpful, cooperative, etc. in their flesh (the old nature/man and the flesh being all that they have; being unsaved), they will likely be more desirable to be around than someone who does not come across as pleasantly and cooperatively in their flesh, who has indeed been born again, yet isn’t walking in the Spirit. If a Christian is not walking in the Spirit, he/she is living in the flesh, and thus really is not living any differently than he/she did before receiving salvation/the new birth.