This is part three in answering the question, “Are there innocent people that God allows to suffer?” in the larger series question, “How can a loving God allow suffering?” Parts 1 and 2 were posted in the previous two days.
Cain and Abel inherited a sin nature, which made life a test
God blessed Adam and Eve with two sons, Cain and Abel. Growing up under the discipleship of their parents, they learned that they must worship the Lord and offer sacrifices in the promise of God’s coming sacrifice (Jesus), “But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins. (Heb. 10:3 NKJ) However, Cain and Abel offered two very different kinds of sacrifices.
Cain offered one sacrifice from the ground that he worked with his hands. Abel offered another sacrifice that shed blood on the altar and mirrored what God did for Adam and Eve. God respected Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s.
God confronted Cain regarding his attitude and told him he must control his sin nature, or it would seize control of him (Gen. 4:7). In fact, Cain failed that test, because when he had his chance, he chose to lead Abel out to the field and kill him with the sacrificial knife (1 John 3:12). Cain then suffered greater consequences of fear in life.
Today, All People Suffer by Inheriting the Sin Nature
Adam, as the first man and as the representative of the human race, sinned. However, everyone else would have made the same decision. We prove that by the reality that we sin every day today. Hence we all inherit a sin nature, which Paul wrote as sin,
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned– 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) (Rom 5:12-17 NKJ)
Today, everyone is born with that sin nature into a fallen, cursed world (Rom. 8:18-23). Consequently, everyone will suffer just by being in the human race and living in this corrupt world. As sinners interact with each other, there will often be suffering. Additionally, as people live in a fallen, groaning world, there will often be suffering. We have two choices: to rebel against it and shake our fist at God, or to show that He is sufficient in the suffering for us. We prove that His peace is real in our lives and we can serve others for their good to His glory. We must accept the reality that we fall short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23) and we need Him for salvation from condemnation and dedication (sanctification) in living (1 Thes. 4:3).
Part 4 will be posted tomorrow.