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   A lot of easy talk is passed about concerning suffering and how Jesus protects those who trust in Him.

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   And this is often associated with questioning about “How could a good God do, or allow, ________?”

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Two Bible passages¹ help us understand this issue.

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For that you need to use the DOOR.

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   [MORE]

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  (1)  “Then he [one of the criminals on a cross beside Jesus] said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ Jesus answered and said, I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in Paradise.’”

                         –Luke 23:42-43

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   (2)  “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me…”

                        –John 15:1-3

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   These are two promises from Jesus, the Son of God.  Consider some observations about them:

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[1]  To me, (1) is one of the most extravagant face-to-face promises in the Bible. Jesus says to the repentant criminal: “Today you will be with me in Paradise. (Without quibbling, let’s consider that to be “Heaven” here.)

[2]  This is, perhaps, the only (recorded) time that Jesus does not physically heal a repentant sinner.

[3]  Implied here it that some true believers will suffer mightily on Earth.

[4]  According to (2) life on Earth is not the end of one’s personal history.

[5]  Not only that, but God is preparing “special places” for true believers beyond Earth.

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   Suffering will come to many true believers, as history has already demonstrated. It is childish to expect a “rapture”² will protect every believer today from suffering before death. It certainly didn’t protect the apostles and many strong and faithful believers who came after them.

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   ¹ Here, as always, you dig farther into the context of short passages to see if they fit what the Bible teaches.

   ² We’re not denying the reality of a literal rapture, as mentioned in the Bible, with these words.