When they get transformed. What? No, I do not mean the model plastic transformers, or the electric power transformers on poles in your street. Not long after Jesus was crucified, buried and transformed back to life by God, a very zealous Jew (a Pharisee) named Saul hated Christians. He had an I.Q. of around 150, very smart and highly educated as well. He was so well connected he got letters from the Temple Priests and made it his job to catch Christians, put ’em in chains and have them sent to Jerusalem for punishment, even death, just for believing in this ‘Jesus’. Paul and his group were on their way to Damascus to find some more when he got a shock and fell to the ground and heard a ‘voice’ sayig, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” Saul: “Who are you Lord?” “I am Jesus who you persecute.” Saul was now blind and was led by his group to Damascus. He spent several days there in meditation (not used to being blind) and God sent a Christian to heal him, but he said: “But he’s a menace to us.” God said “I’ve changed him.” Saul was healed and was transformed into a Christian supporter in place of the persecutor he used to be. Read it all in "Acts 9:1-31." Google it! There were many attempts to kill him but they all failed and Saul, now known as Paul, could not be silenced. That was called, and still is today ‘A Damascus Road experience’. TV and radio commentators use the phrase today to describe a complete turn around of a person’s way of life. Another word is ‘conversion’. It is often not too difficult in Australia to see in people from other lands, a difference when they become true Christians. There is ‘life’ – a true sparkle in their eyes, and all fear is gone. I do not say that lightly. Becoming a true Christian completely changes a person. SO ... your answer? When those people discover that God is real and truly follow the way of Jesus. Maybe then. Maybe only when we are in heaven – because things look bad these days here on earth. Phew! That was long, sorry.
I have asked this one myself, as have millions of ordinary folk. There is no simple answer. Sorry about that, but is a very common, very complex (hard to understand and explain) question. I broke my back on the tenth anniversary of the birth of my only son. He died six years before. Simple coincidence; or Devil’s work to ‘rub salt into a wound’? Nobody laughed for years in our family, after he died. You may have good reason to ask it too. We all eventually have to ‘deal’ with what we are given (like in a game of cards) because we cannot see the future. God can! Many folk pay money to find out the future from people who think they can tell them the future. They can never be truly sure but they do take people’s money for their opinion. “Humph!” A seventeen-year-old disabled girl, and me, have said “Thank you” to God for the serious disability…and the life that came after it. For me it was not easy! Mrs Joni Eriksson-Tada was one. Joni had a diving accident and became a quadriplegic as a seventeen-year-old girl. Like me, it took years to get used to quadriplegia, but Joni has written, I think seventeen books on how God has led her since her diving accident. She’s helped many! Me, at 39 years of age, I got baptised. A clear voice said then: “You’ll be working with children.” I had no idea what it meant and the guy who baptised me heard nothing. I soon forgot about it. Four years later I had a fall at home, got paraplegia and got into a wheelchair. I was enrolled at University two years later. I became a teacher at 49 yo. Did that for seven years and became a Scripture teacher in 1988. This year is my 23rd year as a Scripture teacher, and this book is a part of ‘big picture’ of which I knew nothing when I broke my back. They have been the best years of my life. If somebody had told me that all of that would happen in the future – I would have laughed at such a ‘wild’ idea. It happened! We ask this question pointing our finger at God. But, is He to blame? No. He can and does do miracles but does not make bad things happen to ‘good’ people. He can ‘make lemonade from lemons’. Complainers who point the finger at God and ask: “Why?” do not give God a thought when things go well. Do you agree? My favourite story in the Bible is about a man called Job. The richest man in all that land. God allowed Satan to harm Job really badly. The whole story exposes Satan for what he is. Read in the Bible the book of Job chapters 1 to 3 and 38 to 42. It tells much of the character of Job, Satan, God and men. “What miserable comforter you are. Will your long winded speeches never end?” said Job (Job 16:1-2). Well worth reading.
No. Put very simply animals are not stupid like people. Some people just seem to hate trees. I love them and the birds that come into my yard to feed on them. Trees can be sold for money, so someone wants to cut it down and sell it! Especially forests. Trees make oxygen and wood from carbon dioxide in the air. “They are the lungs of the world!” But stupid humans cannot seem to stop cutting them down. The young people of the world will have to, somehow, force the stupid people in the world to stop cutting them down. A man in a town near me, camped up in his street tree to stop the council cutting it down. He actually lived up there for over 100 days! All the other trees were cut down and his was too after he finally came down. At least HE TRIED to save his tree. He was even on national TV! So many people think about their trees now that this man became famous because he cared about his one tree!
Those questions cover a host of very awkward questions that cannot be easily answered. Why? Well, the whole truth only comes out many years later! I can assure you that by the time you get to 50 years old many untold facts probably will have been told about this tragedy. That’s how things are today! Lies, and half truths are very common in high places in most countries these days. They all want to protect their image as ‘The good guys’. The others are the ‘Bad guys’ of course. A lady wrote a letter to the New York Times or some paper after those buildings fell. I heard on the radio that the letter simply said: “Really – what did you expect?” Meaning that the USA was NOT innocent of some quite bad things done in other countries. If Muslims did it, it is a bit like the question “Why are there Suicide bombers?” (see Q71). They would really believe that they are getting rid of ‘evil’ people. This world has always had similar evil things happen. Nero (a Roman Caesar) had many Christians killed, stuck on poles and set on fire – to impress on all Christian to ‘behave’ or get the same treatment. In World War II the Germans, under Hitler’s orders, killed 6 million Jews. 52 million died in all. God must hate it all, but they said: “God is on our side.” How wrong. Back to those ‘buildings’. There was a 45-story building not far from the two tall ones. It imploded (collapsed too). And, it seems that no airplane hit the Pentagon – the hole in the wall was not big enough to be made by an airplane and there was no fire. Many questions remain unanswered. And about: “All the bad things are happening?” I personally believe that the world cannot really support 6,000,000,000 people. Why? (my opinion) “The rich are not going to give up the money and ‘things’ they have and live more simply so that others may simply live.” Think about that. The poor people are getting desperate for a better life.
Q58 (Three questions in one): Why did Jesus come back? Why won’t He show up and everyone believe? Why does he make us die? I have to assume that you mean ‘come back from the grave’. First of all He said He would: “rise to life on the third day.” (Mark 8:31 & Luke 18:31-34). Nobody had ever said that before and nobody since, but He did. Coming back to life sets Jesus Christ apart, far apart, from any other ‘religion’ in the entire world. Rising from the dead was proof that His, and God’s promises come true. As for his ‘showing up and everyone believe’? They will not all believe! It was like that when Jesus rose from the grave. Be assured, many did believe but many still persecuted the 12 disciples and anyone who believed with them. God does not ‘make us die’. Our life on earth is like a ‘school of life’ that gets us ready for what is beyond the grave. The Bible says, "... we shall be like Him,” and will have a spiritual body like Jesus had, one that will never die. (See 1 Corinthians 15: 42-44 and Luke 24:36-43). He showed us the way. ‘Thanks God.’ I know it will be good in heaven with you. Please note, the ‘spiritual bodies’ will be for Christians in heaven and with no sickness or tears and sorrow.

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The Answerer

The Answerer - Peter Harris, answered children's questions from his many years of teaching "Scripture" classes.
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