Jesus Died for Our Sins | Devotion #1: Romans 3:10-12
Ryan Story | Student Pastor
Why do bad things happen to good people?
In August of 2015, a family member’s life was taken. He got himself caught up in a really bad situation, and another person took my cousin’s life. This was hard for my family and me. For a period, I became close to him. During his funeral the “pastor” overseeing the funeral started with “sometimes bad things, tragic things happen to good people.” The moment this man said that a cold chill went through my soul. The majority of the people in this funeral were non-believers. I listened as a “man of God” got up and told an entire room that my cousin was a “good” person only to use Psalm chapter 23 as a reference point.
I understand that comforting and mourning with those who are hurting during a funeral is one of the primary responsibilities of a Pastor during a funeral. The other major responsibility is speaking the truth. We live in such a hard, cold, cynical culture, but our culture also is terrified to offend people. Now I am not speaking ill of my cousin, but he was not a good person. I am not a good person. You reading this, you are not a good person. Every human who is alive is not a good person. We all have sinned. We all have this inherited inward disposition to rebel against our God. Hearing a person say “bad things happen to good people” out of the mouth of a man who is meant to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ was nothing more than hurting the people who were listening.
In the book of Romans chapter 3, Paul puts every Jewish Christian and every Gentile Christian reader in the same box. Paul places every person into “the box of sin.” Romans 3:10-12 says, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” We have already covered that God’s Word is perfect and absolute earlier in this Majors Series. To have the Bible say that no one is righteous, no one seeks God, all have turned aside, and no one does good is an absolute truth. The only person to be born of a woman who was born good was Jesus, for the rest of us, we fall into the fourteen indictments that Paul places on all of humanity in the book of Romans. The grim, cold truth is there is no such thing as a good person except for Jesus.
Man’s sinfulness is plainly seen in any act of abuse, violence, neglect, envy, and anger. Those are easy for us to recognize. It is when we start to create our sense of what is “good” is when we get into trouble. The moment we stop using God’s way as the measuring stick to what is good or bad, we are in trouble. In God’s eye, glancing at a woman in lust is adultery. Being angry because someone cut you off in traffic is the same as you purposely, mercilessly murdering him or her. To answer the age-old, “why do bad things happen to good people,” my response is generally, “Show me a good person.” This thought is not meant to be depressing; it should be uplifting knowing we are all on the same playing field in God’s creation. No matter how “not good” we are, He still loves us, and loved us so much He sent His son to die for us.