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When Towers Fall

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
September 4, 2021 12:01 am

When Towers Fall

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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September 4, 2021 12:01 am

When people sought comfort and understanding after tragedy struck, Jesus gave them a difficult word instead. Today, R.C. Sproul examines what Christ's response teaches us about our own response to suffering in this world.

Get R.C. Sproul's teaching series 'The Hard Sayings of Jesus' as a Digital Download for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/1848/hard-sayings-jesus

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Why do I call Romans and best chunky bottled because seducing Christians for centuries. I think of trying to Romans eight because it gives us the gospel in one chapter talks about the doctrine of the Trinity, father, son and Holy Spirit, how to determine one time saying to me that this was in some way calling into question inspiration of all of Scripture isn't all of Scripture great and the greatest and I said well, just answer this question if you gratuitous to live dry read the first few chapters of Chronicles, which is a list of names are driving. Romans eight and I think the answer is always Romans eight because it says everything that needs to be said about the gospel in one chapter. Romans eight a teaching series with Derek Thomas to learn more, visit Liggett air.org/teaching series in Luke chapter 13 we learned of a tower that fell and killed a number of people.

How could something of the enormity of this tragedy take place in a universe that is governed by a holy God is hard enough to understand how human beings could be so inhumane and so wicked in their treatment of other human beings. But how could God allow these things to happen when tragedy occurs. The common reaction is such a waste of innocent life.

They have to go now is a question the people around Jesus asked welcome to Renewing Your Mind on the Saturday I'm really well I'm glad you be with us today.

One might think that Jesus would bring words of comfort.

Instead, use the tragedy as an opportunity to make an even more important. We have been studying the hard sayings of the Bible and in our segment we look at the hard sayings of the Prophet and now in our second segment were going to turn our attention to some of the hard sayings of Jesus again. You will recall what we call a hard saying is a saying that is either difficult for us in the sense that we perceive it as being harsh or severe or we can call it a hard saying because it's hard to grasp or hard to understand is difficult to figure out what it means.

And so will be choosing both of those types of hard sayings and today I want to turn your attention to the gospel according to St. Luke to the 13th chapter 2 an episode that is contained there that I in an earlier series have already spoken about under our series entitled the providence of God, but I want to revisit this episode in light of its being a hard say chapter 13 of Luke begins with these were that were present at that season. Some who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices and Jesus answered and said to them, do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such thing. I tell you no, but unless you repent you will all likewise perish, or those 18, 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 I tell you no, but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Obviously the questions that were being brought to Jesus were questions that people had about catastrophes that had befallen people in their day and they were wondering how a good God, a loving God could allow these tragic catastrophes to take place. I remember the bombing episode that took place in 1995 in April 1995 in Oklahoma City were terrorists took this huge bomb in a highly crowded federal office building that included at daycare center and detonated in the nation watched the news reports of this in the quarter and this was one of those rare occasions where the news media rushing to bring fresh information to the viewers would bring in an edited tapes and the usual shield we have from gory reports of violence in the world were absent on that occasion. Who can forget the picture of the policeman carrying the baby and handing it over to the firemen and then later to realize that the infant had died and I was interested in listening to the adjectives and the language that the news reporters groped for to give an adequate description of the degree of heinousness of this cry. I heard one newsman say that this was an in human sick tannic act and another newsman say wait a minute. We have to realize that people are capable of this kind of atrocity, but there was a national sense of outrage and particularly because children were included in this incident. Somebody said to me why children why would anybody kill children. What's the purpose of terrorism. When I said the purpose of terrorism is obvious, it's to terrorize is to bring people to a state of fear that will cause them to react in ways by which those who are perpetrating this can control their responses. That's what terrorism is all about. But again, the questions were how could something of the enormity of this tragedy take place in a universe that is governed by a holy God. How can God allow such a disaster to take place is hard enough to understand how human beings could be so inhumane and so wicked in their treatment of other human beings. But how could God allow these things to happen with those questions are the questions that every generation seeks to answer and the people in Jesus day were no different and they came to Jesus and reported to specific incidents from their own day. The first one refers to an event that Took Pl. in Galilee where, while people were in the midst of worship in church if you will. Some of the soldiers under the authority of Pontius Pilate came in and massacred them mixing their blood with the blood of the animals.

When these were not warriors on the battlefield. These were supplicants in the worship environment who were stormed upon and treated with the brutal massacre so that their blood was flowing and desecrating the sanctity of the religious buildings there and so they come to Jesus and they say and how can this be, and Jesus answered and said to them, do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such thing ceases and a sense of docs there question and takes this opportunity to instruct them on a very weighty and difficult theological truth. Jesus answers a question with a question and it's very similar to the response he gave elsewhere in his ministry was recorded in the ninth chapter of the Gospel of John, where people brought a man who'd been blind from birth to Jesus and asked this question trying to trap Jesus with a theological poser.

They said that ceases who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind now. Those who raise that question committed an informal fallacy of logic and that fallacy is called the fallacy of the false dilemma or sometimes it's called the either or fallacy. They came with Jesus and I only gave them two options to account for the man's blindness, either. They said the man was born blind because of his own sin or because of the sin of his parents house. Jesus asked the question. Neither the narrator there with this Manson or his parents, but that God may be glorified and he was indeed glorified through the healing of the man born blind. But what was behind that question that the disciples raced of Jesus in John's Gospel was the assumption that all suffering in this world is proportionately related to a person's particular degree of sinfulness.

This is a weighty matter how many times I stood in the hospital room and talked privately as a confessional situation with dying people who've expressed to me their conviction that the reason for their pain and their suffering was some particular sin that they had committed and they wanted to get that author conscience before they died. That is for more present and pervasive among people than we realize. We hardly ever talk about this because we want to divorce ourselves from any thought that there is a relationship between sin and suffering.

Yet, in the broad picture the general scope of Scripture we are told that it is because of sin that suffering and death come into the world so that there was a sound idea at least partially in the minds of the disciples when they asked the question why is this man blind is because of his sin or the sin of his parents because the disciples at least understood that there is some kind of a connection between moral evil and physical suffering. But Jesus took that opportunity to teach them that though in general, there would be no suffering and there be no death in the world if there were no sin in the world. Nevertheless, we cannot rush to judgment leap to the conclusion that everybody suffers in proportionate measure to the degree of their sin in the Bible makes it very clear that that's not the case. There are the wicked who prosper and the righteous who suffer the whole book of Job is designed to belie that misunderstanding and the show that Job was the most upright man in all the world when he was visited with untold misery and suffering, and the error of his friends was the assumption that because Job's suffering was so severe and so great that Job must've been the worst sinner in the whole world will both John chapter 9 and the book of Job should put that idea to rest once and for all, but it should not lead us to a false conclusion, namely that there is no relationship between suffering and sin not. When these people come to Jesus here in Luke and they asked him about this incident in Galilee where Pilate mangles the blood of the worshipers with the sacrifices. Jesus says to them, do you think that these Galileans who suffered were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered such thing. And obviously, Jesus is answering his own question. Isn't he saying no, they're not worst sinner.

So now you would expect Jesus to say hey accidents happen. This had nothing to do with their sin, or you might expect Jesus to save these people who were killed were total innocent people and it's just a dreadful calamity that took place one of those fortuitous circumstances that happened by chance.

That's not the conclusion either. Jesus said don't think that because they suffered you are better than they are, or they were worse than you are. And then he turns them and said, unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 11 people do dreadful things to people who are innocent of any crime against those who injure them. The terrorist works indiscriminately. He doesn't aim at military installments. He aims at the general public key aims of children in order to terrorize as many people as he possibly can and with respect to the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator. The victim is innocent and that's true, and we need to remember that on the other hand, it is also true that when we look vertically in terms of our relationship to God. None of us is an innocent person before God and that's what Jesus is trying to communicate that lets you repent you will all likewise perish. He saying to these people.

You're asking me the wrong question. Instead of being horrified that a good God would allow this catastrophe to both fall these innocent people in Galilee. The question you should be asking is why your blood wasn't spilled in Galilee like she's the same that's a hard saying Jesus is trying to remind these people that there is no such thing as an innocent person and is trying to communicate to us that the real amazing question is not the justice of God, but the grace of God we have a song we sing called amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.

We sing that in church with great gusto and with very little belief. Do we really believe that we are wretches who have been saved by the grace of God.

Do we really believe that the favors we received from the hand of God are unmerited and earned an undeserved see Jesus is saying we should be saying, why didn't our blood flow in that place. How could we escape. How could God who is a good God allow me a sinner to continue to enjoy all these benefits, that's the question that should be being asked and likewise the next incident that is contained in this narrative are those 18, on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them. Do you think they were worse sinners than all the other men who dwell in Jerusalem, I tell you now, they were any worse. They wanted a better 18 innocent people in a building and the building collapses. It's not like they were standing there outside the construction of this Temple playing sidewalk superintendent and harassing the construction workers and so as a result God judge them have the powerful on their heads. Not walking down the street minding her own business.

The tower collapse. Boom there to question how can God allow that to happen. Jesus answered his heart he saying, why shouldn't God allow that to happen. The question should be asking is why the temple doesn't fall on your head if you really believe that we live by grace. That's the response you have to and sometimes it takes the hard saying of Jesus in the question in a situation like this to get us to remember that that we are not exempt from tragedy or suffering or calamity or injustice from the hands of people as I've said over and over and over again.

It's very possible for me to commit an injustice against you and for you to commit an injustice against me because in terms of our relationship.

We may be innocent with respect to one another, but anything that the false me that is painful or sorrowful or grievous that comes to me from the hand of God. I can never see as an act of injustice because God does not owe me freedom from tragedies, God does not owe me freedom from temples falling on my head or towers bearing me beneath their rubble because I am a debtor before God, who cannot repay an Jesus warning is hard unless you repent you will all likewise perish.

Let's look at that again Jesus says that there is a necessary condition that has to be met here, unless indicate something that has to take place for a consequence to follow unless a B cannot occur or unless a B will occur. And in this case, Jesus said, in less there is repentance, you will all likewise perish. The only antidote to perishing at the hands of God is repentance so we can all look forward to the temple falling on us or our blood being mingled with the sacrifices unless we repent and have it really gets hard when you realize that even if we do repent temples can still follow our heads in this world. Although the final tower will not collapse upon us. The tower of God's final judgment.

We will escape that. And yet, if a person makes it safely through all of life never has an automobile accident never was in a plane crash or train wreck or never has the house fall upon their head if they remain impenitent to the last day there will be a tower that will crush them and they will perish.

That's the hard saying of Christ, and so I say to the 11 watcher for following powers and stuck Darcy's role with a message from his series hard sayings of Jesus as we heard today. Sometimes Jesus answers seemed harsh to his listeners and they can be harsh to us as well. That's why Dr. scroll taught this series will share more lessons as we returned to the series. Each Saturday. What did Jesus mean when he talked about that unpardonable sin, then why didn't Jesus know the time or the hour of his own return in five messages. Dr. scroll covers some of the most difficult sayings of Jesus ministry.

We like to provide you with digital downloadable all five messages from the series to give a donation of any amount to look in your ministries and that once you've completed your donation will have access to the five video lessons, both on the linear app as well as online.

There are couple of ways you can reaches our phone number is 800-435-4343 or you can give your gift online at Renewing Your Mind.war.

If you haven't downloaded the free app yet that let me encourage you to do that is full of resources that will help you in your study of God's word that only will you find articles in daily videos.

You'll have access to a library of past Renewing Your Mind programs to search for Liggett here in your app store before we go today. Dr. scroll is a final comment regarding the difficult words of Jesus. Surely we struggle with the kind of hard saying that we've looked at today that Jesus is not being insensitive or thoughtless or trying to be harsh with us here, but he does have to jolt them and jolt us into looking at things from the eternal perspective, and that's the only way we can deal with tragedy and with calamity is to understand that behind things that were experience in the here and now stands the eternal purpose of God. And it's funny how differently we respond to pain and the sorrow and the tragedy for some of us if we lose a loved one, or experience a painful loss. It makes us better and angry towards God, but for others in the midst of that pain. We are driven to our knees and to rush to the presence of God to seek the soloists, the consolation in the comfort that he is prepared to give to his people.

Remember the promise of God to his people that on the last day he will personally dry the tears from our eyes. And when God drives our tears. They stay dry and let a comforting thought. That is the next week. Darcy returns to address another difficult question why didn't Jesus know he is God in the flesh so shouldn't he have known when he would return for that next week as we continue the series. Hard sayings of Jesus here on Renewing Your Mind. I hope you'll join us


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