Sermon Snippets – Why Do Good Things Happen To Bad People?

“Why do good things happen to bad people?” asked Pastor Adrian Rogers. Admittedly, when I first heard this I thought he said the famous saying wrong. Shouldn’t he have asked, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” After all, bad things do happen to good people. You have probably experienced bad things in your life. I know I have.

Oh, but Pastor Rogers, explains it this way – Good things happen to bad people because of God’s grace. There is none good, not one, so you, me, the guy down the street, the lady you are fighting with, the ones you see as less favorable than you – all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. None, the Bible says, none of us are good, not a single one. So you and I and all those you struggle to like and love have been extended the grace of an Almighty God.

Let’s ask the question again – Why do good things happen to bad people? Why do good things happen to us? God’s grace, that’s why.

In spite of our sins, God extends his grace to sinners such as us.

What is life about? 

We’re here. Life is a puzzle. It’s unspeakable joy, mystery, things we cannot control, things that don’t make sense, misery, magnificence, beauty, struggle, and much more.

We will learn God’s magnificence in and through it all.

Pastor Rogers shares four truths about us if we have come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

First, I am graced by His purpose. Let’s look at Romans 8:28-29.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

God has a purpose. What is his purpose? Why did he create Adam and Eve in the beginning? Why did Jesus suffer on the cross? Why are we here? What is the eternal purpose of God?

Answer – to make us like Jesus; to conform us to the image of his Son.

Next Pastor Rogers gives us definitions of some big words.

a. Regeneration – When we’re saved and we’re made partakers of the Holy Spirit.

b. Sanctification – We’re being made more and more like Jesus.

c. Glorification – When Jesus comes, we will be made like him.

Are we becoming more like Jesus? 

This is not about becoming more like your favorite celebrity, sports figure, best friend, spouse, boss, or favorite idol. 

No, this is about becoming more like Jesus. God’s plan is not to make you healthier and wealthier, or even more prosperous. It’s about making you more like Jesus.

29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

God never predestines anyone to hell. Predestination doesn’t deal with the lost. It deals with the saved.

Let that just sit over you for a moment. Personally, I don’t believe God ever looks at someone and says, “Yep, you to hell, you to hell, and you to hell. See ya.” I believe the gospel message is for EVERYONE, not just a few select. Will everyone choose to follow Jesus as Lord? No. But they have the opportunity to choose.

Pastor goes on to say that when God sees me receiving Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, he predestines me to be like the Lord Jesus.

Predestined means – already done in the heart and mind of God.

Here’s an airplane example for an explanation of that definition.

When I get on a plane, it has already been decided that I will fly from point A to point B. The pilot has chartered the course. He has point B in mind for us to arrive. What I choose to do while on the plane is my choice. I may choose to read, sleep, eat, or converse with other passengers, but the plane is heading to point B. It was predestined from the beginning once I decided to book the ticket and take my seat on the plane.

When we choose Jesus as Lord, God from that point has predestined to take us to point B. But we have choices to make along the way, choices that will be good or bad. Those choices don’t change what God is wanting to do – make me more like Jesus. We have been graced with God’s purpose. Predestination is a hard concept to understand.

Vance Abner said, “I don’t understand how electricity works, but I’m not going to sit around in the dark until I do.”

You don’t have to understand the Bible first. The Bible is to be believed first.

Secondly, I am guided by God’s providence.

Providence comes from two words – pro meaning ahead of time, and vidence meaning video – see the event ahead of time.

God sees it ahead of time and moves everything he has in mind. Look at Romans 8:28 again.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.”

God makes provisions. We do not live by appearances or explanations. We live by promises. 

There is evil in the world, and not everything that happens is God’s will.

Rape, murder, racial hatred, perversion, adultery, and sodomy to name a few are not God’s will. Man has a will and an evil heart.

Sometimes there’s evil and where God does not rule, he overrules. And sometimes the things that God does do not seem too good to us, but they are good. Pastor talked about a boy’s foot being twisted. The father took him to multiple doctors and no one could help his son. So he researched everything about the condition and ideas on how he could possibly help his son and he created a wood block with screws. Each night the father turned the screws just a little and after a few months of the boy wearing this wooden block, his foot was straightened. The boy thanked his father for the painful experience because it helped him walk again.

We don’t always understand what God is doing in our lives, and sometimes it’s painful, but what seemed painful, God meant for good. 

Remember Joseph and his brothers from Genesis, chapters 37-50? His brothers sold him and many years later he meets up with his brothers in Genesis 50:20. The Bible says, 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

So when we read Romans 8:28, we need to be careful how we read this. Look at it again. 

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.”

All things are not good. There are some terrible things in the world. The point of the passage is not that all things are good, but that God is good.

Ephesians 1:11, “11 In him we were also chosen,[a] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,

Rob Ketchum said, “God is too good to be unkind and too wise to make a mistake.”

3. We are guarded by God’s power.

Romans 8:31, “31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

The world will not honor you for your servant’s heart or serving the Lord but will try and break you down and break your neck.

If God is for you, who can be against you? Jesus took your place, he died for you. Whoever comes against you is ultimately coming against God who stands in your place.

Satan wants you to doubt and have questions in your mind. Remember what he said to Eve in the Garden of Eden?

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

What about regarding Job. Look at Job 1:9.

“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied.”

What does Revelation 12:10 say about Satan, our accuser? 

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the power
    and the kingdom of our God,
    and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
    who accuses them before our God day and night,
    has been hurled down.”

Pastor Rogers highlights five questions Satan cannot answer because we are guarded by God’s power.

Romans 8:31, “31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

If God is for us who can be against us? There’s no intimidation because Jesus died for us. Isaiah 41:13-14

32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

What would God withhold? There is no deprivation.

33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

Who can lay charge against us? No one. There is no incrimination.

34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

Who can condemn us? Ever have anyone tell you to go to hell? You don’t have to because of Romans 8:1. The Bible says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Who can separate us from Christ’s love? There is no separation. The devil says these things can – trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, sword. No, they cannot. Nothing can separate us from Christ. Some of those things may happen to us, but they draw us closer to the love of Christ, not separate us. 

4. I am gladdened by God’s presence. Romans 8:37-39

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

No matter where – see the list above from Paul. 

Neither death, life, angels, demons, present, future, powers, height, depth, or anything in creation – none of that will be able to separate from the love of God.

God means us no harm. He wants to grow you.

Good things can happen to bad people when they trust Jesus.


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