When bad things happen it is very easy to, and there is a tendency to blame something outside of ourselves for what happens. It happened in the Garden, and still happens today.
Genesis 3:12 And Adam said, “The woman, whom you gave to me as a companion, gave to me from the tree, and I ate.”
3:13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “Why have you done this?” And she responded, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
The Bible talks of sin, of missing the mark, either of what should be done, or should not be done. This is referred to as sins of commission and sins of omission. Problems arise from either sins of commission, sins of omission, or a combination of both. Throughout the earth, people are tempted every day to do something they should not do, not do something they should do, or a combination of both. Therefore, the results in an individual’s life, a family’s life, a community’s life, a state’s life, a nation’s life, and the world’s life, is the sum total of of the interaction of these play of forces, of good and evil, bad deeds done and good deeds left undone.
How do we know what is good and what is bad? There is a foundational truth that if someone does not accept this, there is not much anyone can do to help him or her. They will have to find their way on their own through the school of hard knocks until they finally cry out for help from the Almighty. The foundational truth is this. The Bible is the Word of God. It will guide us if we read it, reread it, and keep reading it everyday to learn more.
How do we know this? There are a number of methods and if someone is really sincere in finding these out, they will seek it out on their own and learn the truth. But a few things will be mentioned here. The first and foremost is prophecy. There is a lot of sensational prophecy about the end times, about things that have not happened yet, and which frankly, the writer does not subscribe to because it was not historically passed down from the early church. It was invented first, during the Spanish Inquisition, and resurfaced in the 1800’s in Scotland. This is only being mentioned in passing, as it is not the focus of this post or article.
However, there is a lot of prophecy that was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ, so much so that it would be mathematically impossible to happen unless it were God himself fulfilling the prophecies, which it was. There were prophecies about Christ’s birth, his life, his death, and his resurrection and his future reign. There is no man, no matter how great, no matter how great a teacher or philanthropist, who had scriptures about himself spoken hundreds of years before his birth, by different individuals, living in different times and cultures, and in different segments of society, and yet all these diverse prophecies were fulfilled; there is no God-man but Jesus the Christ who accomplished this. If someone cannot understand the significance of this fact, there really is no hope for them until they do.
However, if someone can understand that the prophetic part of the Bible is correct, that means the other parts of the Bible are correct as well. And there are other ways to confirm the truth of the Bible. Archaeology has confirmed it. Computer programs dealing with statistical occurrence of words has confirmed it. Numerical studies based on the fact that both Greek and Hebrew are alpha/numeric systems meaning the letters have both a “character” significance as well as “numeric” significance assigned to them. All these things have been statistically studied. So beyond prophecy, there are other confirmations.
In any case, due to these confirmations that the Bible is the Word of God, the actual instruction book from God, this means things like the Ten Commandments should be the rule for mankind. It means scriptures that define interactions among men such favor property rights, no bribery in terms of politicians, no usury, health laws, and other divine guidance is valid for today. Mankind, as a whole ignores the information freely given in the Bible, the instruction book to mankind. So the world goes astray in political, monetary, and social policies that never should even be given a passing thought. And so the craziness of society continues.
What about the believers, though? Why should they suffer if they know better. Well, there is the part of sins of omission. Even if believers may not commiting certain sins of commission, are they omitting some things they ought to be doing?
“The sin of omission shall condemn many to hell, be they layman or hierarchy. I repeat: not the sin of commission, but the sin of omission will commit many to hell. Among them there will also be mitres.” – Our Lady of the Roses, October 6, 1980
This scripture alludes to sins of commission and sins of omission, but certainly these are not the only sins that can be committed or omitted.
Matthew 25:34 Then the King shall say to those who will be on his right: ‘Come, you blessed of my Father. Possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
25:35 For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in;
25:36 naked, and you covered me; sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.’
25:37 Then the just will answer him, saying: ‘Lord, when have we seen you hungry, and fed you; thirsty, and given you drink?
25:38 And when have we seen you a stranger, and taken you in? Or naked, and covered you?
25:39 Or when did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit to you?’
25:40 And in response, the King shall say to them, ‘Amen I say to you, whenever you did this for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did it for me.’
25:41 Then he shall also say, to those who will be on his left: ‘Depart from me, you accursed ones, into the eternal fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels.
25:42 For I was hungry, and you did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and you did not give me to drink;
25:43 I was a stranger and you did not take me in; naked, and you did not cover me; sick and in prison, and you did not visit me.’
25:44 Then they will also answer him, saying: ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to you?’
25:45 Then he shall respond to them by saying: ‘Amen I say to you, whenever you did not do it to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.’
25:46 And these shall go into eternal punishment, but the just shall go into eternal life.”
It has been said that a person can choose their actions or beliefs, but not the consequences. This is true. We sow actions or beliefs contrary to God, and we reap, but generally not in the way we expect.
A story that illustrates this is one this writer heard years ago. A person prayed to lose weight. This person ended up in an accident where he could only drink through a straw. He lost weight.
We expect sweet and soft, warm and fluffy answers to our prayers. Experience dictates that God sometimes goes to the heart of the matter and the answer will get the job done, but not necessarily in a way that we expect.
The point is, each person on this earth, if things are happening that are distressful, should ask God. What am I doing or not doing to contribute to this? Maybe it is not so much a sin of commission, but a sin of omission. God actually will answer every sincere prayer, but sometimes we don’t see the answer because we don’t want to see the answer. God’s answers require repentance and change in our lives.