The Problem of Pleasure: Why Good Things Happen to Bad People (John Gerstner (1914-1996))We’ve been sold a bill of goods. For years we’ve heard the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”.  That question is all wrong. What we should be wondering is why there is so much joy, pleasure, prosperity, and peace enjoyed by human beings who stand in rebellion against their Creator?

“Wait just a minute!” you may object. “There’s suffering everywhere around the world and people have been enduring it for thousands of years!”  This is true and Dr. Gerstner agrees. But what he argues in this little booklet is that compared to the suffering we deserve because of sin, the suffering we experience this side of eternity is nothing compared to what is to come for those who are not in Christ.  And, conversely, any joy and peace we enjoy are completely and utterly undeserved given our status as sinners.

If we truly understood our state before God as His enemies (Rom 5:10; Col 1:21), deserving only His wrath in this life (and the next for all eternity) we would see our lives here, even as non-Christians, as full of joy, peace, pleasure and fun.  Not because they are always like that, but because they are ever like that for one second!

The real problem is pleasure. Dr. Gerstner does a great job of unpacking the why behind the problem. Is God just fattening us up for slaughter?  Or is He doing something else?  I highly recommend you grab a copy of this book and find the answer yourself. It will clearly establish the Biblical teaching on God’s holiness and man’s sinfulness and humble you as you read it.