God and Evil
Why Would A Good God Allow Evil To Exist?
If God is supposed to be all loving, all powerful, and all knowing, why does He allow evil to exist? Why doesn’t God just stop all of the evil from happening in the first place? God allows rapists, child molesters, terrorists, murderers, and thieves to live and do their nasty deeds. But why?
Before we can tackle that question, we must first understand that evil comes in many different forms and degrees. For example, God declares all sin to be evil. (1 John 5:17 –“All wrongdoing is sin…”) Sin is more than just “the big stuff.” Sin is lying, anger, self-centeredness, greed, pride, lack of self-control, drunkenness, lust , and laziness. So when we ask ourselves, “Why doesn’t God stop evil”…we need to realize that evil is everywhere and we all do evil things all the time.” With that said, let’s tackle this question.
#1 Evil is self-initiated
Evil is not something that comes from God. God is, by definition, the opposite of evil. God cannot do evil because His very nature is love
1 John 4:8 –“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
Human beings have a certain degree of self-autonomy when it comes to their actions. In other words, humans can choose to do good things or to do bad things. God does not force anybody to act in an evil manner, evil comes from within the heart of the person doing an evil deed. Adam and Eve sinned in the beginning not because God forced them to, but because they chose to.
#2 What kind of evil do we want God to destroy
Many people who ask the question of “Why doesn’t God stop all evil,” what they really mean is, “Why doesn’t God stop the really bad stuff, like terrorists and child molesters.” If God were to stop all evil, that means we, as human beings, would be forced by God to never lie, never lust, never be prideful, never be angry, never lose self-control, and never be lazy. The truth is that this is not God’s job. God is not a moral police officer waiting to put everyone in jail who messes up, because if God did do this, we would all be in God’s jail. We as human beings need to learn that our actions have real, tangible consequences.
There is a reason why parents let their teenagers go out into the real world without them. Parents know their teenager is going to make a few mistakes. But it’s not mommy and daddy’s job to be there 24/7 to punish them every time their kid makes a bad decision. Eventually the child has to be accountable for their own actions and learn on their own what is best. Same with us. God gives us guidelines to live by in the bible that are amazing. But God doesn’t force anybody to follow through with them. If we disobey God’s commands for us, we will have to deal with the consequences. The blame needs to shift from God and come back onto ourselves.
#3 God has a plan to rid evil from the earth
We human beings are not hopeless. God has provided a way. God has already devised a plan to rid evil from the earth for good.
Revelation 21:1 –“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.”
Revelation 21 tells us that our current heaven and earth will pass away along with its sin, evil, pain, and tears. Death will be no more and God and His children will dwell face to face in the New Jerusalem.
God has ordained the destruction of Satan, demons, and all that is evil.
Revelation 20:10 –“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”
#4 God hates evil, yet uses it for His glory anyway.
It may be difficult to understand why God would allow evil to persist, but Paul, in the book of Romans, gives us a hint as to why God is waiting to destroy evil for good.
Romans 9:22-24 –“What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known His power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath that are made for destruction, and what if he has done so in order to make known the riches of His glory for the objects of mercy, which He has prepared beforehand for glory- including us whom He has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?”
So what is Romans 9:22-24 telling us? Paul is making the argument that God allows evil and evil people to live, for now, in order to show His patience and power towards the objects of wrath and destruction so that He can make the riches of His glory known to the objects of mercy. Now this is amazing. God uses other people’s evil deeds to show the riches of His glory to those who have been restored through His grace. Paul’s argument is essentially that God allows evil to exist so that His chosen people will understand how amazing His grace and mercy is.
Now remember, God is using the evil for His glory, but God does not desire evil and God is not forcing anybody to commit evil deeds. But God, in His infinite knowledge, has found a way to use bad situations for His good purpose. Glory to God!
In summary: Humans commit evil, not God. God is not our moral police officer waiting to throw us in jail the second we make a mistake. It is up to us to make good decisions, but we as humans are flawed and always end up sinning. Humans have the ability to live a perfectly moral life, but we don’t because we are too prideful to rely on God’s guidance at all times. As a result, we sin.
The good news is that God has sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to bear the punishment that we humans rightly deserve.
Jesus died in our place, allowing us to have forgiveness of all sin
and wrongdoing. All we must do is trust that God is good and that Jesus died for us. We must then enter into a trusting and loving relationship with Jesus Christ.
It is through knowing Jesus that we are forgiven and our lives become transformed through the power of His Holy Spirit. Through Jesus, we humans can live life the way it was designed to be; in a loving
relationship with the creator of the universe. Amen!