Our Fall 2017 Series: The God Questions

God Questions

This fall, we will explore some of the most difficult questions about God. This post contains the details!

About the Series

Have you ever ignored people’s difficult questions about God, telling them that they should not ask those questions, or to just have more faith? Maybe you haven’t. But, sadly, those responses are a major reason people cite for leaving the church. That does not need to be!

The God Questions is our six-week sermon series and small group study designed to address the toughest questions head-on.

These include:

God Questions1

  1. Is God real?
  2. Is the Bible really HIS Word, or just an ancient text?
  3. Is there really only one way to heaven?
  4. If God is so good, why is there so much bad in our world?
  5. Why do evolutionists and creationists disagree so heatedly?
  6. What happens when I die?

We have the confidence to believe God is big and loving enough to answer all of these, and many more that will surface. We will uncover truth, grow our own faith, and be equipped to answer others’ questions. We will do so all together in sermons and in relationship in small groups. Will you join us?

Calendar

  • Month of August – August is our busy and active month of identifying and equipping new Small Group Leaders. Is God calling you to lead or host a group?
  • Sunday, August 27 The God Questions Small Group Leader Connection and Training – In the Upper Gym, during 2nd service, 10:30AM-12:00PM
  • August 26/27 – Small Group signups begin, via small group catalogs in service, signup display in foyer, or church website)
  • ministry summit 2015Saturday, September 9 – LCCC Ministry Summit – An exciting day of equipping for several areas of ministry.  9:00AM-1:00PM. (Includes Apologetics training in preparation for the God Questions, and the Small Group Leader Training makeup session.)
  • Week of September  10 – Small Groups Kick Off! – The first two weeks are to get to know each other and set group expectations, dates, and goals.
  • September 16/17 Introduction to the God Questions 
  • September  23/24 – The God Questions #1
  • September  30 – LCCC Membership Class, 9:00AM – 12:45PM
  • September  30/Oct. 1The God Questions #2 
  • October 7/8 – The God Questions #3  
  • October 14/15 – The God Questions #4  
  • October 21/22 – The God Questions #5  
  • Oct. 28/29 – The God Questions #6  
  • November – mid-December – The series finishes six weeks before the fall semester ends, allowing leaders to schedule semester-end activities such as outreach and service projects, worship/communion nights, fun nights, planning for next semester, Thanksgiving Dinner, and a finale Christmas Party!

Books and DVDs

God Questions2

Small group leaders can pick up their group’s books and DVD beginning at the God Questions SG Leader Training on Sunday, August 27. Small group members can get their books as they join a group, starting August 26/27. Children’s and youth small groups will do this series, too, adding to the family experience!

How to Join a Group

Beginning on August 26/27, we will pass out the “small group catalogs” in the worship services, have a signup display in the foyer, and update the online “Group Finder” on lc3.com/connect/small-groups.

I am looking forward to all this fall holds for us, and praying for it now!

Pastor Reg

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” – 2 Peter 3:18

16 Reasons Why People Suffer

Suffer

A few nights ago we experienced a rare Pacific Northwest house-shaking BOOM of thunder which led our daughters quickly out of their bedroom in search for comfort, and answers. Their mom and I reminisced about our developed fondness for thunderstorms growing up in Indiana and Florida, and comforted them with a satisfying scientific lesson and assurance of God’s sovereignty.

But, in the morning, our second oldest wanted MORE answers!

She said, “Dad, God makes the lightening that comes out of the sky and kills people. WHY WOULD HE DO THAT!?” I replied, “And, there, my lovely daughter, you have asked the number one question that keeps people away from God and struggling through life. Why do people suffer?”

16 Reasons

Why do we suffer? My dad tells the story that one of his seminary professors in the 1960’s challenged his class to study the Scriptures to determine that very thing – why God allows suffering in the world. My dad, the young pastor, concluded from his study that Scripture identified five basic reasons why people suffer.  He placed those five on a small piece of paper in his Bible as he visited people with some physical or emotional affliction. Over years of more study his small piece of paper grew into a detailed chart. He ultimately concluded that God’s Word gives 16 general reasons why people suffer in this world.

Dad’s journey was years. I want everyone to have this in their hands right now. So, I have put his chart below, and have attached a printable Word document here. It is not a simple question, but it is a vital question for us to answer; and, one which will lead to glories, faith, peace, assurance, and convictions of many kinds. Please consider these 16 reasons prayerfully, and research the Scriptures for yourselves.

Suffering Chart

Notice that there are some things God holds as more important than our comfortable circumstances – His glory, the fulfillment of His redemptive plan to eradicate evil, and our relationship with Him. By His grace He shares His glory with His children. In future glorification in heaven believers attain likeness to the glorified Christ and are freed from both physical and spiritual defect. We will never again experience bodily decay, death or illness, and will never again struggle with sin. We will see God as He is, face to face, and walk and reign and rule with Him forever.

What About Right Now?

Right now, in the face of your struggles today, the delight of knowing Him and being His brings joy, peace, satisfaction, and contentment in this life, in all circumstances. If you grasp these truths, you will experience routine praise. You will not be shocked at any bad thing. You will say to suffering, the lower you lay me the higher you raise me.

Or, you might waste it. In an article called “Don’t Waste Your Cancer,” John Piper and David Powlison identify several mistakes that can make us waste God’s plan in our suffering. I’m going to change the word “cancer” in these to “sufferings” because they apply to all. They write:

  1. You will waste your suffering if you do not believe it is designed for you by God.
  2. You will waste your suffering if you think that “beating” it means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ.
  3. You will waste your suffering if you grieve as those who have no hope.
  4. You will waste your suffering if you treat sin as casually as you did before.
  5. You will waste your suffering if you fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and the glory of Christ.

Are You a Child of God?

But, it all starts with salvation from sin. Whether you are in a time of prosperity and comfort right now, or a time of suffering, pain, and disappointment, God says that we are all sinners and stand condemned without repentant trusting faith in Jesus Christ. But, Jesus suffered for our sins so that He may save us from our sins. So, don’t wait any longer. Repent of your sins and call on Him for salvation today. He will answer.

Considering the hardest parts of life, together, with patience and endurance, for God’s glory and our joy,

Reg

P.S. Volumes have been written and discussed on this subject, but in your searching for answers I would most recommend the resources on http://www.desiringgod.com under a search for “suffering.”

Answers to the Questions Most Often Asked by First Year Small Group Leaders

Whether you’re  a new leader, a veteran with some very common questions, or maybe open to leading a small group in the near future, here are some helpful resources given by small group guru Rick Howerton, with a couple of my own additions.

Just click on the title to go to a blog post on that particular topic.

What do I do about the overly talkative group member?

Suggestions for Helping the Overly Talkative Group Member

What should I do when most of the small group doesn’t show up for the group meeting?

When Only a Few People Show Up for the Group Meeting
Leftover, When a Small Group Gets Smaller

How do I get group members to talk more during the meeting?

The Importance of Conversations Between Meetings

How do I get group members to make a meaningful commitment to the small group?

Small Group Covenants, Why Covenant, How to Covenant

How can I bring our Bible study time to life?

Journeying, Five Necessities for Guiding Your Group Beyond Bible Study

How do we handle confrontation in the group?

Confronting in Small Groups, Wisdom from Joel Comiskey

Lake City Small Group’s resource articleConflict Resolution – a Biblical Model for LCCC

How do I make sure that our conversational Bible study isn’t a night of shared ignorance?

Bible Study, A Night of Shared Ignorance

What should we do about childcare!?

Lake City Small Group’s Childcare Statement

Our season of training and kick-off is just about here!  Blessings and prayers on your preparations. I look forward to our ministry, for His glory throughout the earth,

Pastor Reg