(Message 3) Where did God come from?  We all ask this question, and if you're a parent you've likely been asked this question. Justin, from our teaching team, will address this question along with the problem of evil and the apparent conflict between human free will and sovereign predestination. Join us for a round of questions about God, because, you asked for it! #GCYouAskedForIt

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Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.

  • During your lifetime, did you ever have an authority figure who made you feel comfortable coming to them with your questions and doubts? Share memories with your group.

Start thinking and sharing. Ask a question to get your group thinking and to create openness.

  • How do the opening words of Genesis 1:1, John 1:1, and Exodus 3:14 help you address the questions, "Who is God?" and "Where did he come from?"
  • Read Exodus 3:14 again and John 8:58. Discuss the quote, "But God alone can say "I AM" without saying anything more."
  • Read and discuss Ephesians 2:1-3. Discuss the article, "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? on the back of this sheet.
  • Read and discuss Psalm 139:1-4 and Romans 11:33-36. We can go back and forth discussing how do free will and predestination co-exist, but ultimately it comes down to trusting God. Read and discuss the following passage/verses from "How does God's sovereignty work together with free will? "First, we are to trust in the Lord, knowing that He is in control (Proverbs 3:5-6). God’s sovereignty is supposed to be a comfort to us, not an issue to be concerned about or debate over. Second, we are to live our lives making wise decisions in accordance with God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:5). There will be no excuses before God for why we chose to disobey Him. We will have no one to blame but ourselves for our sin. Last but not least, we are to worship the Lord, praising Him that He is so wonderful, infinite, powerful, full of grace and mercy—and sovereign.

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.

  • Think of times of great difficulty or crisis in your life or in the life of someone you love. How did (or is) God use those times in your life or the lives of those around you? Share stories to encourage one another. Remind yourself of these experiences the next time bad things happen to good people.
  • Challenge each other to start going to God by journaling and praying about any doubts or questions. Encourage each other to remember to listen to His answers through His Word, the Holy Spirit, and other Christians.

Start praying. Be bold and pray with power.

  • Pray that God will help you focus on Him, His power, His presence, and to trust Him in every situation. Remember Isaiah 49:23 "Those who hope in me will not be disappointed" and Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." AMEN!

Start digging. For further study.

Questions we will address today:

  1. I have a few questions. Who is God? Where did He come from? How did He get so powerful?
  2. Why does a loving God allow bad things to happen to good, innocent people - e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, murder, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc.?
    • Consider: What is a “good, innocent" person?
    • Consider: Why does a righteous God allow good things to happen to sinful, guilty people?
  3. How can free will co-exist with predestination?
    • What is free will?
      • Man’s ability to choose without intervention
      • Often associated with the Arminian movement, “Arminianism"
      • Makes the most sense from man’s perspective
    • What is predestination
      • God’s sovereignty, His sovereign desires always fulfilled
      • Often associated with John Calvin, “Calvinism"
      • Makes the most sense from God’s perspective

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