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March 24, 2019 - The Answer to Moral and Natural Evil

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Luke 13:1-9 - The Answer to Moral and Natural Evil

Luke 13:1-9
1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things?
3 “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
4 “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
6 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
7 “Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’
8 “But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.
9 ‘And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that[fn] you can cut it down.’ ”

I. Evil

    A. Examples of Evil among us
        1. Christchurch, New Zealand killing - moral evil
        2. 2004 tsunami in Indonesia natural evil

II Moral evil - Galileans brutally slaughtered on way to offer sacrifices at temple

    A. Reason unknown as to why Pilate ordered the murder.
    B. Did not happen because they were worse sinners than all other Galileans.
    C. Was a reminder that because of sin death comes to all. And therefore everyone needs to repent.

III. Errors in thinking

    A. those who suffer in a tragedy are worse sinners than everybody else.
    B. divorcing the Bible’s very clear connection between sin and death.

IV. Blaming God instead of blaming ourselves as sinners.

    A. Terrible conclusion that God either isn’t good, or He isn’t all powerful, or He doesn’t even exist.
    B. Bible adamant that sin and death are connected.
        1. Genesis 2:17 - God told Adam that if he sinned he would “surely die.
        2. Romans 5:12 - "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned––"
        3. Romans 6:16 teaches that sin leads to death.
        4. Romans 6:23 states that “the wages of sin is death.
        5. Romans 7:13 teaches that sin produces death.
        6. 1 Corinthians 15:56 says the “sting of death is sin.
        7. James 1:15 teaches that sin brings forth death.

V. Eighteen killed when the tower in Siloam fell

    A. Reason it fell unknown
    B. Again assumption was those who died must have been worse sinners than everyone else.

VI. Man born blind - John 9:1-3

1  Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.
2  And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
3  Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him."

    A. Point is not that neither this man nor his parents ever sinned - Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
    B.Tragedies can befall anyone.
    C. Furthermore our sin doesn’t just bring moral evil into the world it also brings natural evil.
Romans 8:22 says, "For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now."
    D. But when evil strikes if we trust in the Lord then by His great power, love, and grace He will bring something good out of something bad.
Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
    E. Jesus heals the blind man which proves that He has the power to save us from sin and its consequences.

VII. The word “perish.”

    A. “perish” as a synonym for the word “die.”
    B. sometimes means more than just “die.”
        1. John 3:16 contrasts perishing with everlasting life - so to “perish” is to “die eternally.”
        2. Another reason why "perish" must mean "die eternally" here is because 2,000 years' worth of Christians who believed in Jesus are now dead so Jesus obviously didn't mean that those who believe in Him wouldn't die at all.  Instead believing in Him delivers us from eternal death.
        3. John 5:29 - two resurrections: a “resurrection of life” and a “resurrection of condemnation.” To perish is to die in condemnation.
    C. Luke 13 verses 3 and 5 - “unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
        1. If you repent (if you confess and turn away from your sins and believe in Him) you won’t die and go to hell.

VIII Moral and natural evils remind us of urgency to spread the gospel.

    A. Annie Armstrong Easter Offering
    B. North American Mission Board calendar and statistics
    C. Luke 13:6-9 parable about desperate need
        1. The vineyard owner is God the Father.
        2. The fig tree He planted is Israel.
        3. And the vineyard keeper God is Jesus Christ.
            a. Christ’s earthly ministry lasted for 3 ½ years
            b. at this point in the text Christ’s ministry is almost over and Israel has not responded with the fruits of salvation.
            c. God is ready to bring judgment
            d. God the Son asks God the Father to let Him continue working among the Israelites
            e. Jesus gives Israel another chance but they still largely reject it and are judged.

Don’t let that happen to you.  Be honest with yourself and realize that your sins have condemned you to die and go to hell. Thankfully, Jesus Christ has shown you His grace through the gospel both through His Word and through the witness of this church. All you have to do is repent and trust in Him and if you do then you will not perish, but have eternal life.

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Do you feel an emptiness in your life? Are you seeking answers but don't know where to look? Have you ever wondered if you are good enough? Please read the summary of the gospel message, "Four Things You Need to Know About God"

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