“All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matt. 24:8) Billions of people are going to die. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matt. 24:22) Try speaking these words to a lost person, and see what type of reply you get, not the one you are expecting, I am sure.
The lost, and far too many saved individuals, completely against Philippians 2:14, enjoy complaining, they do not do it so much though unless someone is around, unless someone will listen to them. The old saying, misery loves company, is still very true, and miserable people, complainers, are very difficult to stay around for very long. Rarely do they have any viable answers, and so when, and if, you were ever to bring these two verses up, in context of course, in a conversation, they would complain about the plan of God after just a short time, and inevitably the words “God is love” would be spoken in one form or another.
“How could a loving God…” is generally the question asked, and although they are not spiritually discerning (1 Cor. 2:14) you should try to answer them. Bringing up the omniscience, the Sovereignty of the Almighty, will not suffice, they will just say then that He is a cruel and vindictive God, judgment upon the evil men of this world would be your best opportunity, but in a certain manner. You could name off some evil men, at least in the way that they perceive evil, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, fairly recognizable to most people, and they would agree, but remember the context of the conversation, billions of people are going to die, along with nearly all the animals, “There should no flesh be saved.”
The word “sin” is foreign to them, for they are not under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, the word evil resounds to them only in what could be considered its darkest form, Satanic, without any compassion at all. You may as well try to explain to them that the most loving, wonderful grandmother is going to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire, if she does not accept Jesus Christ as Lord. They will not understand and will more than likely take offense.
I will ask you the same question that was posed to me many decades ago, and it did not register at first, “Who is the worst sinner that you have ever known, or heard about?” If you answered, “I am,” then you will understand that there is one answer for these individuals who say, “If God is love, then why does He allow all this pain and suffering?” The answer to them is simple, “How about He starts with you.”
Lie, cheat, steal, look at what you should not have looked at, covet, caused someone to cry, pride. The list is endless, so what if He decides to start with you? It will change the tenure of the conversation immediately. They will either complain, and then probably leave, or will hear that first “spark” of the Holy Spirit talking to them. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10) How about, you could say to them, how about if the Lord starts with you, if He removes you from the planet, will that end the world’s problems.
Well then, according to that verse, if the Word of God is true, this planet has a very large problem, because all have sinned, and so apparently to get rid of sin, God needs to get rid of all the people on the planet. Now, my brothers and sisters, you have an opening, now you can begin to speak of grace, of mercy and long suffering, of the reasons that the Lord Jesus went willingly to that cross. From there, as is everything else in this life, it will be up to them what to do next.