SERIES: 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly
MESSAGE: Pain: God’s Biggest Problem
SPEAKER: Skip Heitzig
SCRIPTURE: John 9:1-7

MESSAGE SUMMARY
Perhaps the biggest impediment to believing in God (as stated by those who don’t) is the presence of pain and suffering in the world. How can there be a God who is benevolent and omnipotent with the sheer volume of grief, misery, travail, and torment at any given moment? Today we explore the theme of a loving God in a universe pockmarked by pain. As Jesus was in Jerusalem with His disciples, they came across a blind man. I’d like to show you four features of this most common and universal of human experiences.

STUDY GUIDE
Connect Recap Notes: August 23, 2020
Speaker: Skip Heitzig
Teaching: "Pain: God's Biggest Problem"
Text: John 9:1-7

Path

Perhaps the biggest impediment to believing in God (as stated by those who don't) is the presence of pain and suffering in the world. How can there be a God who is benevolent and omnipotent with the sheer volume of grief, misery, travail, and torment at any given moment? In this teaching, Pastor Skip explores the theme of a loving God in a universe pockmarked by pain.

  1. Pain Produces Questions (vv. 1-2)
  2. Pain Defies Our Explanations (v. 2)
  3. Pain Requires Clarification (vv. 3-4)
  4. Pain Brings an Obligation (vv. 4-7)
Points

Pain Produces Questions (vv. 1-2)Pain Defies Our Explanations (v. 2)Pain Requires Clarification (vv. 3-4)Pain Brings an Obligation (vv. 4-7)Practice

Connect Up: Theodicy means"the vindication of divine goodness and providence in view of the existence of evil" (Wikipedia). Discuss the two key words from this definition below. How do they relate to pain and God working all things together for good?Connect In: Pastor Skip told us to ponder two questions: Are you willing to embrace suffering if it drives you to God? And are you willing to alleviate suffering to drive others to God? Answer these two questions. How has suffering drawn you closer to God? In what areas are you—or have you been—willing to alleviate suffering in the world?

Connect Out: How would you answer a skeptic or atheist regarding the problem of evil, pain, and suffering in the world? How can you show that Jesus is the final answer to pain, the vindication of God, via His resurrection and future eradication of all evil (see Revelation 21:1-8; 22:3)?Here's food for thought using a summary of Alvin Plantinga's argument: "Though omnipotent, God could not be expected to do literally anything. God could not, for example, create square circles, act contrary to his nature, or, more relevantly, create beings with free will that would never choose evil" (Wikipedia). Plantinga further argued that God could use the moral value of human free will as a morally justified reason for permitting the existence of evil.For helpful resources, see Norman Geisler's If God, Why Evil?, Alvin Plantinga's God, Freedom, and Evil,and C.S. Lewis's The Problem of Pain.

OUTLINE


  1. Pain Produces Questions (vv. 1-2)

  2. Pain Defies Our Explanations (v. 2)

  3. Pain Requires Clarification (vv. 3-4)

  4. Pain Brings an Obligation (vv. 4-7)


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