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Such suffering was not God's original intent for humanity. The Bible teaches that God created humans in His image to live in unique, sinless fellowship with Him in an earthly paradise. However, God also gave humans the free-will choice to obey Him or to disobey Him, with consequences for disobedience. The root cause of any misfortune experienced by anyone in this life (including tragedies such as childhood illness and death) is the introduction of sin into the world by humanity's original free-will decision to disobey God and thereby to break its fellowship with Him (Genesis 3). The results of this action were a fundamental changing of man's nature that placed humans at enmity with God, and the corruption of all of God's creation, bringing disease, death, and all other forms of misery to mankind. Even children (as innocent as we may regard them as being, and as heartbreaking as it is for us to see them suffer) are not exempted from this condition (Psalm 51:5). However, God also gives humans intelligence to discover the causes of illness and disease, to develop cures for them, and to alleviate human suffering. (Luke, the author of the gospel that bears his name, as well as of the book of Acts, was a physician (Colossians 4:14).) God has also in love and mercy provided the means (the redemption gained by Jesus through His sinless life, atoning death, and resurrection) by which humanity's fellowship with Him can be restored eternally, and all sin, disease, and death can one day be destroyed (Revelation 21:4), as He promised He would do from the moment that humanity first fell into sin (Genesis 3:15).
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