God Does Not Use “Bribery” to Gain Followers
It is remarkable that some ignorantly try to deny the existence of God by saying, “If there is a God, why do bad things happen to good people?” This question has been answered often and is not the focus of this article. A far greater question to be considered is, “If there is a God why do good things happen to bad people.”
It is not because they acknowledge God’s existence. Unlike godly people who willingly submit to their Creator, our world refuses to acknowledge Him and stubbornly rebels against Him. Yet every breath they take is from Him. Job said that God held in His hand “. . . the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:9). Paul reminded the atheists of His day of this fundamental truth. “He gives to all life, breath and all things . . . For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:25, 28). Yet, in spite of such rebellion, good things still happen to evil men!
It is not because they have no need of Him. In the Old Testament the Jews failed miserably to reflect the light of God to the pagan nations around them, yet even then God manifested His existence to evil men. Paul described how God allowed them to ignore Him, yet “. . . He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons” (Acts 14:17). Evil men, then and now, need Him, yet ignore Him. There is not one drop of rain which falls on evil men nor one beacon of light and warmth from the sun which does not show His existence (Matt. 5:45). Evil men deny this, yet still good things happen to bad people.
It is not because evil men have earned good things and therefore deserve them. Had they earned them, then God would be indebted to give blessings as payment to them as rewards. In this sense, they would be even greater than God. Yet we are not the creator of God, but He is our Creator, and His holiness is our objective. In spite of the fact that evil men “deserve” only evil things to come to them, He gives good things to them.
It is because of His nature and not ours. He is the Almighty God and His actions are sovereign. His blessings are proof of His existence, but they are also proof of His love for His us. Consider this. If while the world was filled with wickedness Christ died for it (Rom. 5:8), should we be surprised that our loving God sends physical blessings on His creation? His nature also is not to use “bribery” to get men to serve Him. If good things only happened to good men, then all would serve Him for the wrong reasons.
God is great; He is sovereign; He is good! It is so tragic that evil men ignore the source of the good in their lives.