Welcome to Calvary Albuquerque.
We pursue the God who is passionately pursuing a lost world. We do this with one another through worship, by the word, to the world.
We're going to be in Psalms 73 tonight. And I was told to introduce myself and since I always do stuff that gets me in trouble, I tell everybody I'm Neil Ortiz. But I guess I have to confess that I'm not home. I'm Nelson. But if I do anything wrong, I'm Neil. Psalm 73 is where we're going to be.
Father, if not for your spirit, breathing life into your words, then they're nothing more than words on a page, or words that we hear. So we ask, Lord, that your spirit would be upon us that we would have ears to hear. In Jesus' name. Amen.
A little boy ran to his mom and-- she was in the kitchen-- and said, Mom, Johnny's outside. He's hurt. And as she's running to the back door, it's what's he doing outside? Well, we were playing who could lean out the window the furthest and he won.
Sometimes you do something wrong, and boom, there are consequences. Now sometimes, you get away with it. College classroom, teacher says, this is a timed final. When I say, stop, all pencils go down. If you keep writing, you will fail the final and fail the class. 300 people-- freshman class-- begin. A while later, stop. I told you to stop.
OK. Everybody else, leave, put your papers on my desk on the way out. Come on up. Comes up with the test. He says, I told you would fail.
Do you have any idea who I am? Haven't the slightest. I know.
Sometimes you get away with it. Some of you were like, oh, I got it. He slipped it in the middle of the-- OK. He lifted up half the test and slipped it-- OK.
Sometimes you didn't do anything wrong, but you get in trouble for it. So the question is, how many of you grew up with siblings? OK. Think about it.
Psalm 73 is the third book of Psalms. Psalms are actually four books. Why? Well, because they could only put so many per scroll, so they had to have four scrolls and there are four books. It's the first of the third book.
It's written by Asaph, a choir director. He was the man who led worship. He was the man who taught the others how to worship. He was the man of God that everyone looked to and said, if I could be like him.
But Asaph had a problem. He began to doubt God. Because life wasn't going right. So as we look at Psalm 73, it begins with his conclusion. He says, "Truly God is good to Israel to such as are pure in heart." God is good to his people.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I know that. That's what I teach. I tell you that. But I'm having some trouble right now.
I mean, I say it. I tell everybody that's what it is. But I'm having a problem, in Verse two.
But-- you notice, God is good, but now I'm going to tell you what I really feel. But as for me-- the choir director, the spiritual leader that everyone looks to-- but as for me, my feet had almost stumbled. My steps had nearly slipped.
You see, God wasn't working out for him. Oh, he believed, but God failed. Or that's what he was thinking.
Because life wasn't good. Things were going wrong. And he said, I might be leading the choir and I'm looking all good, and I'm all spiritual.
I got my halo and everything, but I don't believe it, really. I look like a good believer but it's all a fake facade because I'm having trouble with this. Because God is failing me.
Now why does he say this? Well because being bad means nothing. He begins-- in Verses three through five-- and talks about the prosperity of the wicked.
"For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles. Their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from common human burdens. They are not plagued by human ills."
I see those bad people with big bank accounts and good cars and great health and they're good looking and there's just nothing going wrong in their life. Everything they touch turns to gold. And they're wicked.
They're evil. Look how nice their lives are. Where's God?
I'm struggling with this, says the choir director-- says the man of God. I'm struggling with this. I'm envious.
I mean, look at them. They're strong. I need someone to open my jars for me. They're tall. I've got to get a step ladder to change the bulb.
They've got a nice car. I have a pray car. Oh, God. Thank you. Look at them. I was envious.
Now, pain does bring exaggeration. I mean, sure, they had lots of money and they were healthy and strong and you didn't see problems. But they had problems.
However, what we're dealing with here is what's called the straw that breaks the camel's back. Sometimes it's not that one thing, it's all the stuff. Anybody ever have a baby in the house? That baby starts crying and keeping you up all night. And after about a week of sleep deprivation, you're not kind anymore to people.
Somebody steps on your toes-- I can remember a very difficult time, without going into it, and I was going to a store to buy some stuff. And I'm just-- have you ever been there? I don't talk to anybody, I don't want to be around anybody. And I'm trying to buy some stuff.
And a woman behind me said, smile. I said I don't want to. What's wrong with you? I just thought, oh, I could share right now. But I just asked, how much? She goes, well you're sure being a jerk.
And I'm thinking, now, why don't we just charge this and let me get on my way here. Because you don't want to know. Have you ever? OK. You just-- ugh! Stop telling me to smile when I don't feel like it.
Have you ever been hurt so bad and someone said, oh, just-- (CLICKS) What do want? I got your smile.
Yeah. So here he is, the straw that breaks the camel's back, as he's looking around and seeing all these bad people with good stuff. And healthy and strong and good looking and bank accounts.
And it's like, ooooh. But this material prosperity that they had in Verses three through five led to something called pride before man. They were boastful.
Verse six. "Therefore, pride serves as their necklace and violence covered them like a garment." In other words, they're mistreating other people.
"Their eyes bulged with abundance." Fat, lots of food. "They have more than they could wish. They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression. They speak loftily."
Man, they're ripping people off and they're fat with food, and they're just mean. But they have money and good looks. And I'm leading this choir. We're wearing rags.
So they're boastful. They're putting people down. They're just-- ugh. So this idea of, well, I'm OK. I serve God. No, I'm not OK. I serve God and look at me.
And then this person said, well, I don't serve your God. And look at me, man, I got this. I got that. I got the good stuff. I got this car.
I don't serve your God. Nothing's wrong in my life. And look at your life.
They're boasting, you see. I'm having trouble with this. Pride before man. Because they have material stuff, they think they're better. But then, what's worse, is they have pride before God beginning in Verse nine.
This is blasphemy. "They set their mouth against the Heavens and their tongue walks through the earth. Therefore, his people return here in waters of a full cup are drained by them. And they say, how does God know? There's no knowledge with the most high."
It doesn't matter. Your God is nowhere. Whatever. I don't need your God. I don't want your God. I'm doing just great.
And you're struggling. You have pain. I don't.
So he's having some problems here, this man of God. They're prosperous, they're boasting, they're blasphemous, and nothing's happening to them. Nothing.
"Behold these ungodly are always at ease and they increase in riches." Oh, he says. He's looking at things from the human perspective.
The book of Ecclesiastes does this. It says, "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. All is chasing the wind, vexation of spirit." You build and you die. And it goes to somebody else.
You earn a lot of money and you die. Somebody else gets it. It's just a waste of time. "Vanity, vanity, all is vanity." What a waste.
So inside, he's thinking being bad means nothing. There are no consequences. Look at them. And he's having a conflict.
Then we come to Verse 13. And here here's where his problem is. He says, "Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain and washed my hands in innocence, for all day long I have been plagued and chastened every morning."
If being bad means nothing and being good has no reward, what's the use? They get everything they need and all I get is trouble and pain and hurt and agony. What's the use?
Remember, this is the choir director. That would be like Pastor Skip thinking these things inside of his head. That's what this guy is doing. He's saying, I have a problem. Why should I be good?
I've cleansed my hands in vain. I've followed God for no reason. Look at my life.
Now of course, this is internal. In Verse 15, he stops short. He said, "If I had said, I will speak thus."
In other words, I'm going to start saying this to people. And he said, no, no. I can think it, but I can't say it.
You guys know what I'm talking about? I can think these things-- God doesn't work-- but I can't say these things.
"If I had said I will speak thus, behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of your children when I thought how to understand this. It was too painful for me." Why do I have to go through all of this stuff when I'm trying to serve the Lord? And those other people who are blasphemous and mean and angry, they have no problems?
Now, you can't stop these thoughts from coming in. Temptation comes. You can't stop thoughts. But it's what he did with them.
He stopped short of saying it. OK, that's good. But he had to start taking his thoughts captive. As the scripture tells us, "Take your thoughts captive and bring all things into obedience to Christ."
It was one thing to struggle. We all struggle. It's another thing to be perplexed and have trouble.
We all go there. And it's one thing to even doubt God. But at some point, he put a stop on this and said, you know, I need to gather my thoughts.
The problem is the wicked are prospering and the righteous are suffering. And I can't share these things because I'm a leader. And leaders don't share these things.
So what we're dealing with is something called theodicy. It's a biblical term that basically means, if there's God, why evil?
If God is all-loving and all-powerful, then why evil? Why suffering? How do you deal with that?
Of course, non-Christians ask that of Christians all the time. Well, if God's all good and powerful, why is there evil? And I usually say, well, if I can answer that, will you come to Jesus. And they say no. And I say, well, then I'm not going to tell you.
It's simple. I mean, you're not asking. You're just trying to push me away.
If you want to know, we'll have a conversation. If all you're doing is trying to push me away, then why should I cast pearls before swine? Have a good day. Jesus loves you.
C.S. Lewis had this struggle. He wrote during the time-- he was an atheist. A brilliant, brilliant man. Taught in-- well, I'll just say a smart guy. And it was World War II.
And he started seeing all the suffering and the atrocities and things that were happening. And he said, it's wrong. And the question is, well, if we evolved, why is it wrong?
They got bigger guns. Survival of the fittest. Why is it wrong?
And that's the thing that-- he said, well, if I believe that evil is wrong, it's not just my opinion, because for them, it's right. Because they're the superior race and they'll get rid of the other races.
So their opinion is right, my opinion is wrong. What makes my opinion right? Because it's wrong. Why is it wrong?
OK. Because there's a God. All right? Because it's wrong. God says it's wrong. That's why.
So what is evil? Well, we answer by saying, well, evil is if this happens or that happens. No.
What is evil? It's not just this event or that event. They're manifestations of evil.
Evil is the absence of good. That's the definition. Evil is the absence of good. It's not the opposite.
It is the absence of. Rust is the absence of wholeness. Rot is the absence of wholeness. Evil is the absence of good.
But I don't want to just deal with theory. C.S. Lewis, again, said, if this toothache would go away, I could write another chapter about pain. We got to deal with theory, but I want to deal with the real world, too.
The fact is you've got to ask yourself this. Have you ever been wronged? Has somebody ever hurt you? And they didn't need to?
I'm not talking about the stuff that's going on out there. There's lots of stuff we can point to. Has anyone ever betrayed you, hurt you, lied to you, misused you, ripped you off? Have you ever been mistreated?
Maybe it's not some big trauma, but sometimes this isn't the way I planned it. Life wasn't supposed to be like this. I'm 50 years old and single. That's not the way I planned it. It's just not right.
A songwriter put these words down. "Bitter are the death of dreams until soon they're few and far between the lines of age." How many lines of age? How much did it just not work out?
I'm not talking major trauma. It could be. But it's just not-- this isn't where life was supposed to be at this point. Anyone understand what I'm talking about? This isn't the way it was supposed to be.
David had this problem. Going through some stuff, he said, "If I had the wings of a dove, I would fly away into the wilderness and hide. I would remain there. I would escape.
For it wasn't an enemy who reproached me. I could have fought against him. But it was my friend.
It was someone with whom I had sweet fellowship. And we went together to worship in the house of God. He betrayed me. How can I protect myself from my friends?"
Have you ever been hurt, betrayed? We think that Christians are going to bring us halos and harps but we find out that they bring us devils and pitchforks. That's because Christians-- we're not real good at being holy all the time. We step on each other's toes, too.
So the church is trying to answer this thing of evil. And I just want to go through some stuff. The church has said, well there's this thing called punishment theology. Because Adam and Eve were put in the garden and they were told don't eat of that tree and they did. And so they separated from God.
"The day you eat of that tree, you will die." Well, the day they eat of the tree, they were separated from God. Death.
They were separated from each other. It's the woman you gave me. No, it's that person.
They're separated from themselves. There's all the guilt and the stuff that's going on-- shame. They're separated from nature because now it's thorns and thistles. Multiple separations happen.
And that's what death is. Life is union. Jesus said, "I would that they would have life. And this is life, that they know you." So life is union with God. Death is separation from God.
We have separation in this life. And then if we die in a state of separation, it's the eternal separation and we wind up in hell, created for the Devil and his angels. If in this life, we come to the Lord and believe in him, then we have union and that continues throughout eternity in His presence.
So death is separation. Adam and Eve are separated. And so that's what it is.
All evil is the result of the separation and sin. And so we see physical evil, unnatural evil, and personal evil. It's all because we're separated and so God is just punishing a fallen world.
I was like, ah, you know, I can see that. I've been spanked. Ever been spanked? I can understand.
But it's not always fair. What about the suffering of innocence? What about the children?
I've worked in psych hospitals. I've seen the horror stories of these children brought in who can't function anymore because of the atrocities put upon them. So if you're going to deal with just punishment, then good. Punish evil and reward good.
But that's not the way it works, is it? So this punishment theology-- there might be some truth. But it's not proportionate.
So then Irenaeus comes along, and says, well, it's soul-making theology. Because the Bible says that the fiery trial that you're brought in is there to increase your faith and you should count it all joy when you fall into various trials and temptations, for the trying your faith makes patience, patience, experience, and experience, hope.
And love doesn't make you ashamed because the Holy Spirit's in your heart. And our momentary, light affliction-- it's just to work out a far more eternal way to glory and all things work together for good. And we got soul-making theology.
And there's some truth to that. Sometimes there's some pruning that has to go on. But if soul-making theology is what it's all about, why do babies suffer? They don't need to grow yet. They don't even understand their left from their right hand.
It's true that the cross came before the crown. It is true that the strength comes through trials and perseverance. That's true. But it doesn't say why. Why would God allow that?
I want to look do a little side note here. Sometimes we run into Christians who are hurting. We shouldn't stand on the side of a drowning person and say, this is how to swim. Romans 8:28.
We throw them a life preserver, grab the rope, pull them in, make sure they're OK. Teach them to swim later. Because even the best of swimmers can get sucked under by a bad current.
And so what do we do want to run into people in pain? This is just a side note. Don't tell them what you went through. They don't care. Wow, that's not as bad as what I saw. I don't care.
You know, there are other people who are suffering. So I shouldn't care about mine? You know, you shouldn't feel that way. Oh, try that on your wife. See how that works. I'm just having a bad day. Stop it.
In everything, give thanks, bro. I was holding a man who's three-year-old baby died that morning. A Christian called him up and said, in everything give thanks. And this man was sobbing in my arms.
Don't try to fix them. What happens is people are hurting and they want to come up and say, hey man, can I talk to you? And the next thing you know, they're being rebuked. You should get it together. Spiritual people have enough faith to be able to deal with this.
I've been on the side of that rebuke. You should be able to take your problems to God. Don't complain around here. We don't need that.
And we teach people to be Pharisaic. How you doing? Praise the Lord, bro. I'm dying.
I buried a baby last week. I buried my mom. Something that I really was planning on didn't work out.
Hey you doing? I'm doing fine. And so we teach people to be Pharisees because we correct them when they're grieving, rather than comforting them. And the Bible says we're supposed to weep with those who weep, not shoot our wounded. So let's slow it down.
It is true that God uses that to build character. Maybe we can talk about that later. But let's get a life preserver out there first and pull them in and hold onto them until they're OK instead of telling them what they need to do to be OK. Just the ministry of presence, walk softly around a broken heart.
So I have problems with this character building because it's disproportionate. Because I've seen some people go through a lot of stuff and they get bitter and not better. I've seen people broken by trials.
I've seen people who are really godly who don't go through some of the trauma I've seen other people go through. It's disproportionate. And it doesn't answer for why God would allow evil in the first place.
So Augustine came up with something called free-will theology. He said, well, in order for people to love, they have to have the power of contrary choice. In other words, I have to be able to choose whether I'm going to love my wife or not love my wife. I have to have the power of contrary choice.
So God created his creation with free will so that they had the power to either choose to love him or choose not to love him. And choosing not to love him brings about this contrary choice and evil is the result. And there's some truth to that.
But there's is a problem. Could God create a universe in which creation had free will and yet never sinned? And that's what Heaven's going to be. You're going to have free will and never choose to sin.
Could God have shown Adam and Eve all the horrors of what would occur, and so repulse them that they never would have sinned? Yeah. Could God have never put the tree in the garden in the first place? Yeah. Of course, we wouldn't be here to talk about it.
The idea of could God have done that. Yeah. So it wasn't necessary, was it? That leads to a problem.
Why evil Asaph really had a problem with it. What's going on? Why evil?
I'm a Christian. I'm a Jewish believer. I'm a believer. I'm a person of God. And my life isn't going well.
I've buried loved ones. I've seen suffering. I've had relationships not work out. I've had financial setbacks.
I've had bad health. I've had dreams that never came true. And bitter are the death of dreams until soon they're few and far between the lines of age.
Why, God? Why? Punishment theology. Eh, there's some truth. Sometimes we deserve a spanking. But sometimes we get spanked when we didn't need it because we had siblings. And y'all know what I'm talking about.
I used to offer to go get the switch. Mom, you're going to spank my sister? You want me to get the switch?
(WHISPERING) Big one. Green. Yeah. Stand behind my mom. No. My name's Neil Ortiz. OK.
Soul-making theology. There's truth to that. God can use it.
The mast of the ship was always taken from the cliff that the wind beat on because it was the only thing strong enough. Not from the valley, where there were no winds, because it wasn't strong enough to hold the wind. So yeah, there's truth to that. We need some truth to that.
Free will? Sure. Yeah, there's truth to that. But they don't answer why. Why?
Well, there's actually four parts to this answer. We're going to do a little thinking before we move on to the rest of it. The first is Job. All that are familiar with Job-- Job was a great man and his life fell apart and lost his health and his family-- except for his wife-- his kids, everything.
Everything. And then his health. I mean, it's just all gone. It's wiped out.
And Job and his friends-- they're all trying-- well, it's because there's sin in your life. This, that, and the other. And Job said, I would ask God. God showed up. And I'm going to summarize Verses 38 and 39.
Job, I want to explain to you why evil as soon as you answer this. How many planets did I make, Job? When did I put them out there? By the way, the Leviathan, can you make him jump? Do you know where he sleeps at night?
Do you know the names of the stars? Um, the fountains of the deep-- where do they start? Where do they end? How much rain is in the clouds right now, Job? Answer me, Job. (STAMMERING) He said, right. You'll never understand, Job.
So there are parts that are beyond us because God is infinite. His ways are higher than our ways. I got that. There are some things where I just had to say, I've reached the end of human knowledge and I'm going to have to trust. So part of the answer is there are some things I won't understood.
But the other is-- and here's where our thinking caps come on-- the transcendency of God. OK. Transcendent, imminent. God is the only being that lives outside of time. Even the angels live in time. Even when we go to Heaven, we're going to live in time, because we pass through moments.
God is the only who dwells in eternity. So for a visual, let's say you take an epic movie. Somebody is born, they live 100 years, and you got every day of their life. And you can take that and condense it into a slide one inch. And you can see everything at the same time.
Because you're transcendent. You're outside of it. You can see it all simultaneously. You see the end, you see the beginning. You could step in-- he's five years old-- and say, I know where you're going to go to college.
You're not prophesying. You know. You're transcendent. You can see all things in the eternal now.
Well, God is infinitely more. He dwells outside of time. So he sees all things simultaneously, without recall. With that in mind, Revelation 13:8, "Behold the Lamb of God, slain before the foundation of the world."
Jesus Christ died at a moment in time. He was forsaken a moment in time. We look in history, we can go back. There was a day.
But in God's transcendence, that whole thing is condensed. There is never a moment in God's transcendence that Jesus isn't saying my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? There is never a moment in God's transcendence that he's not watching them beat his son. There is never a moment in God's transcendence that he has not seen the agony of the cross and point his wrath upon him while all the sins of humanity are put on him. In God's transcendence, that moment never passes.
In imminence, it passes. Slain, once for all. But in transcendence, it's not a passing moment. It's the eternal now. Everything is the eternal now.
Having said that, why would God allow the greatest evil-- that all the sins of all of humanity would be put upon Jesus Christ-- so that even before he created the world he can see the suffering of his son paying my debt? That's the greatest evil. I might go through stuff. But that's the greatest evil.
So we start with, I don't fully understand, but God would allow this when he didn't need to. Why would God allow this to happen to him when he didn't need to make it happen? He didn't need us.
He didn't have to do this. Why? Why would he, for all eternity, look at this when it wasn't necessary.
Point two is the character of God. He's transcendent. And that's going to build.
Point three is the image of God, the Trinity. The Father always glorifies the Son. The Son always glorifies the Father. The Spirit always glorifies the Son and the Father.
They live in an eternal dance of love, uplifting the others. That's what the Trinity does. And he said, "Let us create man in our image, in our likeness."
And then later, you see, "Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we should be called the Children of God." He created us for the purpose of inviting us to a dance of love that lasts for eternity. But he didn't just want to say, I love you. He wanted to prove it.
And that takes us to the proof of love in Romans five. "God demonstrated his love toward us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." let's put this together. We don't understand all the particulars, but we know this. God always sees the cross. There's never a moment that that's not before him.
God loves us so much that he wants us to join the dance of love for all eternity. That he might exalt us and lavish his love upon us and build us up and we would join in that. And yet, it's not just some concept.
He said, I'm going to prove my love. And I've heard this where it says, I ask God how much he loved me and Jesus spread out his arms and said, this much. And then died.
The cross brings salvation, but the cross is the eternal proof of how far God would go to say, I love you. I will pay your debt for eternity that you might join the dance of love and I might build you up. I created you that I might have you join the dance of love forever.
But I just didn't want you to think, oh, he loves me. Yeah, that's what he said. I wanted you to know how far I would go. And I'll pay for this forever. Will you join the dance of love?
"When we were without strength, in due time, Christ died for us. For scarcely for a godly man would one die. Yet even for the ungodly, some would even dare to die." God proved his love for us, in that while we were still sinners-- separated from God, spitting in his face-- Christ died for us. How much more than being justified by his blood will he now save us from the wrath to come?
So, why evil? Well, we're not going to fully understand why this or this or this. But we know that the greatest evil is God transcendentally looking at the cross and Jesus taking the wrath that I deserved. Though it was a moment in time for us, from God's transcendence, for all time.
That he might invite me, whom he created in his image, to join the dance of love and say, you see how far I'd go? These aren't just words. I'm going to prove my love. I'm going to demonstrate my love.
When you don't understand, you hold on to what you know. God loves you. And there have been times in my life , that's the only thing that got me through. I think of Peter, when the disciples-- a good bunch of people forsook Jesus. And Jesus said, these have left.
Will you leave? And Peter said, where else are we going to go? You're the only one with the words of life.
I've been there. I got nothing, but I've got nowhere else to go. And you know what? I'm going to hold on to what I know. God loves me. I don't know why this happened. I've had stuff happen. You've all had stuff.
I've had dreams not come true. Anybody have a dream not come true? I've had horrible things happen. I don't need to tell my stories.
If I invited each of you up here, we could get a lot of horrible stories here tonight of things that have happened. But the fact is when you don't understand, I hold to what I know. God loves me.
So this brings us to two questions. Can you trust someone who loves you so much? The answer would be yes. That's easy.
Here's the other question. Will you trust someone who loves you so much? Will you join the dance? That one's not as easy to answer, is it?
The turning point of Psalm 73 comes in Verse 17. See, timing is everything. He thought these things-- the choir director, the spiritual leader, the man of God, who teaches everybody how to worship. He's doubting God. Struggles and pain in his life and the prosperity of the wicked have caused him to say, God's not working out the way he should, the way I expected.
But he kept his mouth shut and, hey, husbands-- just saying. OK. Have you ever said, I cannot believe I spoke. I should have-- OK. Just saying.
He kept his mouth shut and he went to the temple. For us, it would be going to church. Verse 17-- "Until I went into the sanctuary of God and I understood their end." What he did was, he didn't look at it from today's circumstances, he looked at it from the eternal perspective. And said, you know? When you come to the end of all things, the bill is due.
It's not that evil isn't dealt with, it's that evil isn't dealt with today. Let me ask you-- has anybody ever been driving and said, oh, please don't let there be a police officer around right now? OK.
Now, if we had evil always dealt with the moment it happened, how many of you would have had your licenses revoked by now? How many of you would have insurance that's greater than a house payment on a billion-dollar mansion?
We want justice for them. Mercy for me. I always get in trouble with my wife because I drive the speed limit.
We go on a road trip. It's like, we got cruise control. It's 55. Left lane. The speed limit.
Little old ladies pass me by, 90 years old. She's-- look, even the old people pass you. Yeah. Speed limit.
I'm a little passive-aggressive, though. That's why I get in the left lane. But that's neither here nor there.
OK. I'm sorry. My name's Neil Ortiz. OK.
So it's not that evil is not dealt with, it's that it will be dealt with in the future. There is coming a day when there will be no more pain, no more suffering, every evil thing will be dealt with.
And you know? I am so thankful that God didn't deal with all the evil that I did at the time I did it. A little bit of mercy. Thank you.
Oh, the blood of Jesus, I'm free. But you know? I went into the temple of God, he says, and I saw their end. Verse 18-- "Surely you set them in slippery places."
Oh, wait a minute. Verse two was "I was slipping." No, no, no, no. They are slipping. I'm on the rock.
"You cast them down to destruction." My faith isn't destroyed. "Oh, how they are brought to desolation as, in a moment, they are utterly consumed with terrors, as a dream when one awakes. So Lord, when you awake, you shall despise their image."
See, the Bible deals with the present. But the Bible says, it's all going to be taken care of at a certain point. Payment's due.
And I'm glad God didn't hit me for payment every time I messed up. Anybody out here can say that? OK.
Go drive tonight. Think about-- God, if I ever do anything wrong, let there be a police officer. who had a bad day because they had a baby who hasn't slept for three days. That's what I want. I want instant justice. No, you don't.
So the Bible is about what's going to happen. You see, the cross is where God's righteousness and God's love kiss. And I want to be on the love side when it comes to the end, and not the righteous side. I can trust Him. Will I trust him?
Verse 21-- "Thus, my heart was grieved. I was vexed in mind. I was so foolish and ignorant. I was like a beast before you." In other words, I was blaming you for everything. And I was angry with you and I was upset with you.
It's OK to hurt. It doesn't mean the pain is less. Don't ever try to correct the hurting. You shouldn't feel that way.
Again, husbands-- try that on your wife when they're upset. If you'd just stop thinking about it and stop feeling that way, everything would be fine. By the way, your dress looks fine. We'll see.
We have counseling. Kerry Rose is the best. Kerry, your life is over. I just want you to know. And for those of you and Nob Hill, we've got Jared. That's him, right under the bus. OK. Sorry.
My heart was grieved because I realized, I'm all angry with God and all he's trying to do is love on me. You ever do that? You're mad and angry-- well, mad means you're crazy. You're angry and someone comes up and tries to give you a hug? It's just-- ugh!
He said, you know, God, I was like, just don't love on me! I want to be angry. You've never done that to God, right? Don't you be loving on me right now.
I got something I want to do first. I got something-- I'm going to have a conversation with them. I'm not going to talk to them. But I got a-- you get angry, you leave the house, and you talk to your wife for an hour before you come home.
You're laughing, but you know what I'm talking about. Anybody ever do that? Don't raise your hand. I see see some guy raising a hand, and his wife is going--
Kerry Rose, look for the man in the orange shirt because he needs a place to stay tonight. I'm sorry. OK. My name's Neil Ortiz.
"Take heed then beware of covetousness, for your life does not consist of your possessions." don't look at the things that are seen, but the things that are not seen. These things are temporal, that is eternal.
Does it mean the pain isn't real? No. It hurts. I'm angry with God.
I buried my mom three months ago after two years with cancer. And I held her the week before as she screamed in pain. We buried my wife's sister three months ago-- four months ago-- November.
Two godly women struck down by cancer. I could tell stories. So could you.
Our first child didn't make it. I could tell stories. And I can remember lying on the floor saying, God. And people saying, well you just need to get back to work and get busy. It'll be fine. Yeah, I got to go to work and get busy. Let's take it outside fellowship.
We got fellowship. You know, why don't you just sit down and be my friend? Throw me a life preserver, don't correct me.
Yeah, this is true. But don't use this on a hurting person. Strengthen yourself and be ready to throw the life preserver to another.
His hope begins in Verse 23. "Nevertheless"-- after all of this doubt, after all this pain, after all this struggle, out of all this shaking my fist at God and saying God doesn't work-- "Nevertheless, I am continually with you. You hold my right hand."
We are told that when we are faithless, he abides faithful. He will not abandon himself. That the gifts and the callings of God are without revocation. God is OK with your pain. It's OK. God is OK with your hurt and your doubts. It's OK.
What you've got to do is find a trusted brother or sister in Christ that you can talk to who's not going to try to correct you and shoot the wounded, but is going to try to comfort you and build you up. And don't you shoot the wounded. Don't correct a hurting person. Well, you know what I mean. You can correct them, but "you shouldn't feel that way" type correction.
"Nevertheless, I'm continually with you." You see, God is faithful even when we are in doubt, even when we struggle, even when we have pain, even when we hurt, God is faithful. Jesus said, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
The idea is his eminence-- he is always there. I will never leave you, I will never forsake you. I hold you in my hand and no one can take you out of my hand. My Father holds us in His hands and no one can take you from His hands.
I got you. I'm going to carry you through this. It's OK. Because for all eternity, I paid for that. And I can see-- my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? I can see the wrath for this being poured out so that I can hold you.
For he made him, who knew no sin, to be our sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. It's two-fold. He took my bad and gave me his good. Now, I don't mean like, my bad. He took my bad to give me his good.
"Nevertheless, I'm continually with you. You hold me with your right hand. You guide me with your counsel." Oh, that would be the word of God stuff? Be renewed, in the inner man, by the regeneration of the mind. "And afterwards, receive me to glory."
That's the end. That's the end. That's when I finally begin to realize that you proved your love-- not just at a point in time, but forever. Whom have I in Heaven but you?
"There is none upon the earth that I desire beside you. My flesh and heart fail." Ah, yeah. "But God is the strength of my heart to my portion forever.
God is faithful. He guides me with his word. He brings me into his presence. For indeed, those who are far from you shall perish."
OK, I shouldn't be jealous of them. Because it's not what they have in the moment, it's what's coming. You ever hear this? You just wait till your father gets home. That's, you just wait till the Father comes back. That's what's coming.
"For you have destroyed all those who desert you. But it is good for me to draw near to God." Draw near to him, he will draw near to you. "I have put my trust in the Lord God."
Can I trust in Jesus? Who, at a moment in time, and yet, at the same time eternally, would experience the wrath I deserve? Yeah. "That I may declare your works."
Why suffering? I don't really know the particulars. But I know that God proved his love toward us while we were still sinners so that he could invite us to the dance of love of the Trinity forever. And I can trust Him. Will you trust him?
Father, you are God and you are infinitely greater than all that we could think or imagine. And yet, Lord, we walk around in these little shells of bodies and sometimes get filled with hurt and doubt and pain and struggling because, let's face it, pain brings focus on pain. And we need you. We need you to carry us through. We need you to comfort us. We need the body of Christ to hold us and lift us up, as you would.
I pray, Lord, that we would be confident in our trust of you and we would make that trust real, even in the midst of our trials and tribulations. For you're a God who loves us and is willing to not just say, but to prove, that love. And while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed, I'm going to remind you that sin was separation from God.
And if you have never come to Jesus Christ, you are separated from God now. And when you pass from this life in that state, you are separated from God forever and you wind up in a place called Hell, created for the Devil and his angels. I want you to think, can you trust God? Will you trust Him? Will you?
There will be people up here afterward. If you're hurting, come talk to them. If you don't know him, come talk to them. The church is a hurting place and its place for the wounded to be healed.
So Father, in Jesus' name, in Jesus' name, we worship you. Now, may the Lord bless you and keep you, and the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. And may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
And unto him, who was able to keep you from falling and to present you before the presence of his glory, blameless and with exceeding joy, to the only wise God, our Savior, to him, be glory, honor, dominion, and power, now and forever. Amen. God bless.
What binds us together is devotion to worshipping our Heavenly Father, dedication to studying His word, and determination to proclaim our eternal hope in Jesus Christ.
For more teachings from Calvary Albuquerque and Skip Heitzig, visit calvaryabq.org.