By Wayne Reynolds, Pastor

I often hear people say, especially when they are going through troubles and trials, "Where Is God? Why does this happen to me?"

Other questions include: If God is in charge of this world, why is there so much wickedness? If God is so good and loves us so much, why is all the misery in the world? If God is such a God of love and mercy, why does he let all this misery continue? Why does death continue to take our loved ones? Why is sickness and misery literally filling our land? Why do children get terribly sick, some even dying of miserable diseases?

Why does God allow natural disasters: earthquakes, fires, violent storms (tornadoes and hurricanes), volcanic eruptions, famines where literally millions of people (children included) die by starvation, while in other parts of the world people have more than they need to eat?

Why is the nightly news full of murder, child abuse, and sexual crimes of all descriptions, robberies, political misconduct and political crimes? Why, if God is in charge of this world?

Why doesnít God do something about drive by shootings, and gang shootings when innocent people and children get caught in the crossfire and die?

Sin Is The Problem

Ecclesiastes 7:29 declares, "Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions." This verse makes it abundantly clear that man is the reason there is so much wickedness in this world. Genesis 1:31 confirms, "And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

When God finished creating the universe, he said it was very good. Not just good, but very good. When God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden, he gave him only one command: Genesis 2:16,17 declares, "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

Adam had only one command, but he didnít keep that one command. Adam disobeyed Godís only command, and died spiritually in the day of his disobedience, and began to die physically. Adam lived a long time, but as recorded in Genesis 5:5, "And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died."

The Result of Sin

Adam passed on his sinful nature to his descendants; therefore every person that is born into this world has a sinful nature, and will come to the time and place of death.

I Cor. 15:22 states, "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."

The consequences of sin, which end in death, come to every person, because, as stated in Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God". Sin is why bad things happen. Sin is why there is so much wickedness in the world. Sin is why babies are born with terrible deformities. Sin is why people get terrible illnesses and die. The newspapers are constantly full of bad news because of sin. Sin is the problem. God did not bring sin into the world, Adam did. And Adam passed sin and the sinful nature to all of his descendants.

Prosperity Causes People To Disregard God

Some believe that if we throw enough money at a problem, it will go away. Job 21:7-15 speaks about the wicked, who have much abundance. They live to a ripe old age, and see their children and grandchildren grow up around them. They are not chastened by God or troubled by men. They have plenty of wealth, and spend their days in happiness, then die quickly.

Job 21:14 reveals what they think of God, "Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?" The material prosperity of the wicked causes them to disregard God.

The truth is: when the wicked prosper, they say they have no need of God. When the wicked donít prosper, they still donít need God.

Sin Wears Out This World

The story is told of a man who bought a run-down farm in Virginia. For three years he worked hard and finally was able to produce the necessities of life. One day his pastor visited him. As the farmer took the pastor over the farm, pointing out here and there patches and fields of good crops, the pastor remarked several times that it looked as if he and the Lord were partners in farming. As the preacher took his leave, the old farmer said, "Reverend, I agrees with all you say about me and the Lord being in partnership. I agree with every word. But Reverend, I jest wishes you could aí seen this place when the Lord was running it by hisself!"

This irreverent joke does not in any measure teach that the sin and misery in this world is the fault of God. That worn-out farm was not Godís exhibit of what he was able to do. That worn out farm was the result of sin; it is the abuse of the good things that God made. The thorns and briars and weeds that had grown on that run-down farm were a reminder of sin. They did not speak of what God could produce, but of what man did produce. God made the earth fruitful of good; sin caused it to abound in thorns and thistles. A run-down farm does not represent the best God can do. The run-down farm represents the result of sin.

What Can We Do Now?

First of all, we must recognize that the problems, the wickedness, and the injustices in this world are not the fault of God. It is the fault of men, and sometimes the fault is ours.

Secondly, we must recognize that God has the answer to present day wickedness. God placed man in charge of this world, and he intended man to rule this world according to his precepts, which are revealed to us in his own precious Word, the Holy Bible.

If you want to know what should be done, read the Bible. If you have questions about how to get along in this wicked world, read the Bible. If you want to know how to raise your children, or how to treat an employer that is treating you wrong, read the Bible.

God handed man a perfect world, perfect in every way. It is man that has brought sin into this world. God did not bring sin, grief, death or wickedness into this world. It is man that has caused all these problems, not God. It is man and his sinfulness that has caused all this misery. God is not the cause of misery. God is still a God of love and mercy. If sinners (both lost and saved) will come to God, confessing their sinfulness, God will forgive their sin, and bless them. They probably will not have a life of ease, but their eternity will be worth it all!

If You Are Tired Of Sin

If you are tired of sin, and of seeing and hearing all the wickedness in this world, you are invited to do something about it. You may not be able to erase all the dirty talk on television, but you donít have to watch those programs. You may not be able to stop crime waves, but you donít have to commit crimes. You may not be able to stop the downward spiral of our society into the depths of filth and depravity, but you can stay away from that filth, and declare to others that such activity is wrong and will lead to their suffering terrible consequences.

Are you looking for a place of refreshment, a place of refuge from the filth of this world? You are invited to attend the services of Independence Baptist Church. Our church has been called old fashioned. And we are old fashioned because God has blessed us with the "Old Time Religion." Independence Baptist Church is in touch with God, and we want you to come see for yourself.

Some have even stated that Independence Baptist Church is against a lot of things. That is true, we are against a lot of things. We are against cursing, drinking, smoking, abortion, homosexuality, fornication, adultery, divorce, abusing children, pornography, lying, cheating, double-dealing, two-facedness, false doctrine, and a whole host of other wicked things. These things are sin. Arenít we supposed to be against sin? Arenít we supposed to take a stand against wickedness? Independence Baptist Church is against wickedness in whatever forms it takes.

There are also a lot of things Independence Baptist Church is for. We are for God and everything he is for. We are for the United States being a Christian nation, and we continually pray that God will be merciful to us as a nation and forgive us and bless our land once again. We are for Biblical doctrines: the King James Bible; the sovereignty of God in salvation and everything else; salvation for whosoever will come; scriptural baptism; the local church; holy living because we are saved, not in order to be saved; treating each other with righteousness, respect and dignity; right speaking; right acting; right thinking; happy homes; joyous husbands and wives who work together; scriptural education; unity in the church, home, and job; and joy and happiness that comes from living a life pleasing to God.

Independence Baptist Church is a happy church, a friendly church, which has a great desire to share Godís happiness, Godís joy and Godís friendship with you.