Thursday, September 22, 2016

Where Is God When It Hurts?

We all have our fair share of questions for God, but the one which seems most pressing and personal is, “God, why do you let such bad things happen to me?” Where is God when life hurts? So often it is at just the times we need him most, he seems so distant, so far away. Does he do that on purpose? Is he playing games with us? Or maybe it’s because he just can’t do much about our problems? As a popular author wrote, “God wants the righteous to live peaceful, happy lives, but sometimes even He can’t bring that about. It is too difficult even for God to keep cruelty and chaos from claiming their innocent victims.” 1 But if there are some things God just can’t keep from happening, exactly what can he do? Where does his ability to help us begin and end?

It is rather an unnerving thought to look at all the evil in the world – past and present – and know that the Bible says God has always been in control over everything that happens and always will be. But that means God, at the very least, allows some pretty horrible things to take place without raising a finger to stop it. Are we left between a rock and a hard place? Do we either have a limited, restricted God or a God who doesn’t care about the people he created?

This weekend we’re going to work through the above questions by seeing what the Scriptures say. What we’ll find won’t answer all our questions but it will be a whole lot better than either a God with his hands tied behind his back or a God who doesn’t care. When we’re hurting bad, we need help that is the size of the God of the Bible. The good news, in spite of all the hard questions, is that he is worthy of our trust always, especially in the worst of times.

1 Harold S. Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People (New York: Avon, 1983), pp. 43, 81.

Saturday night worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, September 16, 2016


Somebody says something that is just simply not true, but if they say it with enough emphasis and repeat themselves often enough, people begin to believe what they say even though there is little or no evidence to support their claim.

A couple of hundred years ago some German theology professors wanted to make some excitement for themselves and began to come up with all sorts of arguments to support what they believed to be true: that the Bible is full of errors and contradictions and that it is no more than a collection of legends. Although the evidence for their claims was weak, their message was repeated so often that even the average person on the street with little or no Bible knowledge will instinctively respond to questions about the reliability of the Bible with a response like, “Of course not. It’s an ancient book that is just a collection of myths and legends.”

Fortunately, in recent times faithful Christian Bible experts are setting the record straight on the trustworthiness of the Bible, demonstrating that the arguments of the past two centuries are based on skewered scholarship. The unfortunate side of our current situation is that these rumors of the past still greatly influence people.

This weekend we’re going to address this question, “Isn’t the Bible full of contradictions and errors?” The simple answer is “No”. While there are difficult and challenging portions of the Bible, it remains what it has always claimed to be and is – the Word of God. And there are all sorts of good reasons why we can believe that without feeling antiquated or uninformed. There’s no reason to be afraid of questions by non-Christians about the Bible. Its reliability hasn’t changed in 3500 years and that is a pretty good indication it won’t change in the future.

Saturday night worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, September 9, 2016

Is Faith Believing Something You Know Isn’t True?

There are a lot of people who would like to describe faith as a blind leap of trust, a grabbing at straws when the cause is lost. But that has never been the definition of faith and is not today. The benefits of faith depend much more on what a person believes in rather than the intensity of the individual’s belief. For instance, a man can jump out of an airplane without a parachute believing with all his heart that he can fly only to find out he was wrong. On the other hand, a man may be so distrusting of the parachute he is wearing that he needs to be pushed out of the airplane. But even though he has very little faith, the parachute enables him to land safely on the ground.

One of the shocking observations one makes in reading the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus Christ was his invitation to check him out, to do the research on him in order to verify that what he was saying about himself was true. Jesus always called for an informed faith.

This Sunday we are starting a new sermon and Bible class series called Questions Christians Dread. Each week we’re going to take a question which challenges Biblical Christianity. How do we answer these questions? Can we answer them? What affect do these questions have on us? We’re going to begin the series with the question: “How do you know God exists when you can’t see, hear or touch him?”

Join us for one of our weekend services. You may be surprised to find that the Christian faith is far from believing something we know isn’t true, but instead based on solid and robust evidences accessible to anyone.

Saturday night worship: 6:00 pm
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Friday, September 2, 2016

The God Who Knows

King David wrote the following about God in one of his Psalms:

“Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.”

How does the thought of God knowing you so personally, so individually make you feel? If God already has heard what we are going to say even before we say it, that means he has a direct line to our thoughts! On the one hand, it is a great comfort to understand that the One who made the universe, of which we are but a speck, is concerned about the smallest details of our lives. On the other hand, it us unnerving to think God takes into account what passes through our minds. It leads us to wonder, “What does he think of us?”

The incredible truth of the Bible is that our God, in spite of being aware of all the ugly details of our lives, is completely committed to changing us, making us into the people he intends for us to be. As we study Psalm 139 together this Sunday morning consider these great truths: while God recognizes the depth of the evil within us, he has done everything necessary to make it possible for every single human being on earth to have a second chance with him and ultimately to spend eternity with him in heaven.

God knows us for one reason – so that we might come to know him. Join us this Sunday. Get to know the One who knows you better than you know yourself.

Saturday night worship cancelled this week only
Sunday morning worship: 10:00 am

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

My photo
Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.