Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Good God vs. Andrew's Suffering? Making Sense of It All

My friend, Bob Glenn, preached a sermon on Sunday reflecting on Andrew's suffering and death. It was so incredibly powerful, I wish you would take some time to listen to it. Briefly, here is the main reflection points:

  1. Andrew Mark's suffering and death are a sobering reminder of the brevity of life.

  2. Andrew Mark's suffering and death point indirectly to the holiness of God.

  3. Andrew Mark's suffering and death are not worth comparing with our glorious future.

  4. Andrew Mark's suffering and death only make sense in light of a relationship with Jesus Christ.

On the very provocative point #2, Bob says this:

If in spite of the heinousness of what he went through, Andrew was treated better than he deserved, and if what he really deserved was hell, and if hell is infinitely worse than any suffering here on earth no matter how severe, and if hell is as bad as God is good, then God must be awfully good.

On point #3:

Think of it like a number line ... make your suffering a negative number ... way across the page to the left of zero and make it a huge number--say, something that corresponds to what Andrew Mark suffered--let's say it's negative one million. Now, take that number and make it a positive number and multiply it by the number of the stars and you won't touch the hem of the garment [of] how much better it will be!

And finally, on point #4:

If life is all about knowing Jesus, if knowing Jesus is supremely worthy and surpassingly valuable, the most valuable thing in the universe, that's what life is all about--then Andrew's suffering and death helped him to know Jesus in a way that only those who suffer can know Him. In fact, that's the only thing that in the end makes Andrew's suffering and death meaningful. Through it he was able to know and enjoy what is supremely enjoyable in the midst of real pain--namely Christ Himself.

I hope these quotes whet your appetite to hear the rest of the sermon. You can either download it here or you can listen to it live on Todd Friel's radio show, Wretched, where he will broadcast it sometime between 2 and 4 CST today. (Yes, that's how powerful the message was--it will be broadcast nationally.)

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