If there is a God, He is either incompetent or does not care about us.

When it comes to beliveing in God, I tried, I really tried. I tried to beleive that there was a God who created each of us in his own likeness and image and loved us and cared for us and kept a close eye on things...But, the longer your live, you realize that something is f***ed up. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, poverty, torture, crime, filth, corruption...something is definitally wrong - this is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. So IF there is a God, maybe just maybe, hes a little incompitant, or maybe he just doesn't give a s***.

My response is in Green:

Have you ever thought that maybe the problem is that you don't know who God is and therefore can't understand why He allows some things to happen? It is easy to claim He is either incompetent or does not care, but neither of those is true.

Before I get to what God is like, let me address your complaints from another angle. I was a Police Officer for 7 years and believe me I have see enough death and corruption to last me a lifetime. But I will tell you how we could stop all crime right now.

What you would have to do is make all crime a capital offense and give the Police the authority to extract judgment on the spot. So say you were caught speeding; BAM a bullet to the back of the head on the spot. Shoplifting; BAM. DUI; BAM. Child abuse; BAM. Loud music; BAM to the owner of the house. Littering; BAM. Don't pay your taxes by the 15th of April; BAM. Get in a fight at a bar; BAM. No mercy, no second chances, commit a crime and die on the spot.

You know it would not be very long and you would be able to walk the streets with $100 bills hanging out of your pockets at 3:00 am and no one would even bother you. How would you like that? No more crime, no more fear of what criminals would do to you. You would not have to even have keys for cars, because no one would steal them, or at least they would never steal two cars. No more women being raped or assaulted. No more racism, no more hate crimes. And the government budget could be cut way down. You would not need as many Police Officers, just buy lots of bullets for the ones you already have.

You could even get rid of poverty and hunger, because if someone did not have anything someone who had more than enough could be forced to give them some or else; BAM and then the poor person would get it anyway. Would that be your idea of a wonderful world?

I kind of doubt it. Why would you and I not think that would be a wonderful world? It would be a world without any or at least with very little crime. I will tell you why we would not want that, because we both know that we might get caught speeding and get a bullet to the back of our heads. Or we might forget to mail the income tax check before midnight on April 15th. Or we might get reported for having loud music, or you name it... The point is that we would not want to live in fear of dying at any moment. We know that we all do wrong things once in a while.

Now think about that same situation but with God as the Judge. If you lie; ZAP a lighting bolt to the back of the head. Steal; ZAP. Have a lustful thought; ZAP. Covet your neighbor's new car; ZAP. Use the Lord's name in vain; ZAP. The problem is that you would hear more ZAP's then you do in South Carolina on a summers night with a bug zapper plugged in.

Would you think that God was more loving if that is how He handled sin? ZAP ZAP ZAP and the world would be a better place. The problem is that we would all be in danger of being ZAPPed at any moment. God has promised that everyone who has sinned will be punished, but because He loves us and because He knows that we have all sinned, He is waiting to execute judgment. If He had started the ZAP policy before you and I were born, then neither one of us would be here today to have this discussion.

You might wonder what He is waiting for. Well He is waiting so that more people can take advantage of the way out of this mess and that is by believing in Jesus Christ as their Savior. God is holy and demands death for anyone who sins. (Ezekiel 18:4 NIV) For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son--both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.

We are all under a death sentence from a Holy God, who can't stand sin and we have all sinned. God loves us and does not want us to go to hell to be punished for our sins. Because He is Holy He can't just forgive and forget our sins, His Holy nature demands that some one pays for those sins. (John 3:16 NIV) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

(Romans 5:8 NIV) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Instead of ZAPPING us, God took our punishment for us, so that all we have to do is believe in Jesus, confess our sins and turn from them (stop doing them).

If we die without getting right with God we will go to hell for eternity and suffer in punishment for our sins. That is what awaits all of us, because we have all sinned. However, if we will believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for our sins, and if we confess our sins (admit them to God) and ask Him to forgive us He will. And if we believe that after He died God the Father raised Him back to life then we will be saved and if we die we will go to be with God. (Romans 10:9 NIV) That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

That is exactly why God is waiting to punish people for the sin in this world: (2 Peter 3:9 NIV) The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. So next time you are tempted to think that God is incompetent or doesn't care, just look around and listen. If you don't hear any ZAP's and if there are people who are doing bad things, then you can know that God still loves you and still is waiting on you and everyone else who has sinned to come to Him and be saved. Trust me, when God finally has had enough of our sinful ways, we will all know it.

Ralph

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