Why Does God Permit Evil?
read in Genesis 1:31: "God saw every thing that He had
made, and, behold, it was very good." But everything
is certainly not "very good" today. What happened
to change the situation? Why did God permit evil to get a
start in the world and develop to the extent that it has?
And why doesn’t He put a stop to all this madness?
Basic Foundation of Faith and Trust
is a reality. "God is love" is a reality. How can
we find harmony in these two statements? To believe in God,
one must have faith that He is loving and wise, and providing
all things for man’s ultimate good. God, whose character
is supreme love, would not have permitted 6,000 years of evil
to reign over His creation without an ultimately useful purpose
and grand outcome. It would truly be a horrible thought that
a God who claims to be love would create billions to live
on earth in sorrow, only to send them to a future of eternal
torment. We know that God is just and good, and hates evil
of every kind. "Thou are not a God that hath pleasure
in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee..."
understand why God permits evil, we must first realize the
difference between permitting and causing. God has permitted
man to have a temporary experience with evil, so that all
will come to know firsthand the contrast between living righteously,
or selfishly in disobedience. And, by faith we trust that
God would not permit this experience with evil to last forever.
His Lie, Disobedience and Death
cause of evil is sin—not only personal sin, but inherited
sin. "Dying, thou shalt die" was our inheritance
from father Adam. Gen. 2:17 Fellowship with God having been
cut off, man’s distressed mind affected his physical
health, and soon disease permeated the perfect organism.
lost his dominion over himself and his dominion over nature.
Yes, the calamities in nature are the result of disobedience,
as well. God said, "Cursed is the ground for thy sake."
Gen. 3:17 Man must endure an unfriendly earth as part of the
penalty for disobedience.
purposely made the test upon Adam simple, plainly stating;
"Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt
not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou
shalt surely die." Gen. 2:16-17 If it had been a difficult
thing the Lord required of him, Adam might have been excused,
because obedience would have been beyond his capabilities.
No, Adam was simply forbidden to eat of the fruit of only
one of the many trees of the garden.
Satan found an opportunity to carry out his prideful scheme.
He had concluded that if he could convince mother Eve that
God was withholding something beautiful from her, he could
slowly win the confidence of the first couple. Eventually,
Satan thought the whole dominion of earth would be his. Little
did he know that his lie, "Ye shall not surely die,"
would plunge the entire human race into a spiral of mental,
moral and physical disease, and finally, death. Satan did
gain the fruitage of his pride! Paul titles him "the
god of this world." 2 Cor. 4:4 Yet, Satan’s rebellion
has cost him not only the lives of all who have ever lived,
but his own life. Embodied in the curse to Adam and Eve, is
the curse to Satan that one day, the seed of the woman will
cast a fatal blow to the serpent’s head, and he will
surely die. Gen. 3:15; Rev. 20:10&14
the Best Teacher
intuition, observation, and information, the only other way
to learn is by experience. Why did Eve believe Satan, when
God said plainly, "Thou shalt surely die"? Because
of Eve’s innocent inexperience, she was childlike and
naive, and was easily deceived when the crafty Adversary said
to eat the forbidden fruit for it would make her wise.
without the benefit which we now have of experience, Eve believed
the first lie, and Adam, in turn, knowingly disobeyed his
Creator. The death penalty was enforced, Adam began to die,
and all his descendants have been born dying ever since. "...as
by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and
so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
by benefit of experience, mankind will have learned to hate
evil and to desire obedience and its resultant rewards. "This
sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised
therewith." Eccl. 1:13 Experience has truly been the
Right to Choose
could have prevented sin from entering the world by programming
man to be blindly obedient. But man would be no better than
a robot, without true happiness. No, he was created in God’s
image with the ability to love and obey by choice. Because
of the vivid lessons provided by the cruel consequences of
disobedience, man is learning why obedience to God is the
most beneficial option. Man will choose to love and respect
his fellow man and environment. More importantly, he will
render to God the love, respect and obedience He desires and
Knows the End From the Beginning
God is love, He will not always permit evil to reign over
man. Knowing Adam would disobey, God lovingly planned for
man’s redemption. Jesus was the lamb "slain before
the foundation of the world." 1 Peter 1:19-20 God’s
gift of salvation was the greatest demonstration of fatherly
suffering in history–watching His only begotten Son
suffer the agony of being vilified and crucified. Is there
any doubt what great love God has for the human race? "God
commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:8
God’s plans include a merciful escape from our suffering
and death: "As by the offence of one judgment came upon
all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one
the free gift came upon all unto justification of life."
Rom. 5:18 Just as Adam willingly forfeited his right to live
in perfection, Christ willingly gave up his perfection to
pay the penalty for Adam’s sin. This corresponding price
guarantees every descendant of Adam a resurrection and a fresh
opportunity to live his life in righteousness. "As in
Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive."
Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done on Earth
prophecy of Hosea 13:14 will soon be completely fulfilled,
"I will ransom them from the power of the grave."
Isaiah confirms this saying, "And the ransomed of the
Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting
joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness,
and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isa. 35:10 God’s
Kingdom to come on earth, with Christ as King, will bring
to mankind a time of restoration and renewal. Satan will be
restrained during this thousand year Kingdom, and righteousness
will be the rule rather than the exception. Isa. 32:17; Rev.
20:2 This will be the first real chance for man to know their
loving Creator under ideal circumstances. Everyone will then
have a fresh start in life; a new life. If obedient, they
will live forever, and having learned by experience the truth
that "the wages of sin is death," they will want
no more of sin but will gladly follow righteousness. Rom.
Who Choose Righteousness Now
a few in this present evil world escape the corruption that
is in the world now. 2 Pet. 1:4 Jesus called these his "little
flock," and Paul called them "the Church."
They have not only received the invitation to the "high
calling of God in Christ Jesus," but they have answered
this call. Phil. 3:14 This small company of Jesus’ followers
who choose to live righteously now are counted worthy to share
in Christ’s sufferings and are rewarded to sit with
Christ on his throne. "Unto you it is given in the behalf
of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer
for his sake." Phil. 1:29
scriptures are clear that the suffering of the little flock
of Christ will be rewarded: "If we suffer, we shall also
reign with him;" "Be thou faithful unto death and
I will give thee a crown of life;" and "Blessed
and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection...
they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign
with him a thousand years." 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 2:10 &
there is, then, a "first resurrection," by implication
there must be a second resurrection of the dead. This is the
purpose for which Christ and his Church reign a thousand years–to
bring the resurrected world of mankind up the highway of holiness
to perfection. "...when thy judgements are in the earth,
the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness."
Isa. 26:9; 35:8
what a marvelous God we have! "In our affliction He is
afflicted" (suffers). God’s "compassions fail
not!" Lam. 3:23 This is our assurance that His chastenings
are rehabilitative so that His "beloved" wayward
children might be restored to the bosom of His favor. Yes,
God chastens to heal!
permission of evil will have been a useless torment unless
man is given an opportunity to use his experience to make
positive choices. To return to the days of one’s youth
is to begin again! All the troubles and tribulations of the
past, instead of being worse than useless torments, will be
valuable guides. Death is not the irrevocable end of human
existence; it is the final experience of an everlasting lesson.
Prospects: "The Desire of All Nations" -
people in every nation desire a benevolent and stable government
with wise and just laws. But, where on earth can we find true
justice and liberty for all? Ironically, the desire for these
qualities has actually resulted in countries going to war
for the sake of peace. We know the Scriptures speak that one
day, under God’s Kingdom, there will indeed be peace,
harmony, and liberty for all. But, we cry, "How long,
will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall
come..." Haggai 2:7 What is meant by the phrase "shake
all nations"? When a new building is being constructed
on a sight where an old, condemned building exists, the contractor
must tear down the old first. God, through His faithful Son
Jesus, is shaking the old order to usher in this righteous
Kingdom for which we pray: "Thy kingdom come, thy will
be done on earth as in heaven." Matt. 6:10 God is clearing
the way for this glorious prospect. "Nevertheless, we,
according to His promise, look for a new heavens and a new
earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." 2 Pet. 3:13
is not only a universal human longing, but God, too, desires
life, health, peace, and joy for all. 1Tim. 2:4 Think of the
memory that never fails, of the judgment that never errs,
of the wisdom that plans for eternity without the possibility
of failure, and of the power and skill which can harness even
every opposing element and make them all work together for
the accomplishment of His grand designs. Think of one whose
eye never sleeps, whose ear is ever open, and who is ever
aware of all the necessities, and active in all the interests
of His broad domains.
close your eyes to the scenes of misery and sorrow that yet
prevail on account of sin, and picture before your mind the
glory of the perfect earth. Not a stain of sin mars the harmony
and peace of a perfect society; not a bitter thought, not
an unkind look or word; love, welling up from every heart,
meets a kindred response in every other heart. There, sickness
shall be no more; not even the fear of death. Think of all
the pictures of health and beauty that you have ever seen,
and know that perfect humanity will be of still surpassing
loveliness. Mental and moral perfection will stamp every radiant
countenance. Such will earth’s society be; and all tears
will be wiped away, when thus the resurrection work is complete.
believe the book of Revelation is filled with fearful foreboding,
but, the preceding is the theme of its concluding chapters.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and
there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things
are passed away." Rev. 21:4-5
as an architect should not be judged by his unfinished work,
so God should not be judged by His unfinished work with mankind.
Like any contractor, God has an optimum time table for accomplishing
His master plan. When the population of humans has filled
the capacity of earth, and man has had his fill of the evil
consequences of sin, God will provide His Kingdom on earth.
Those who died without hearing "the only Name under heaven
whereby one might be saved" will come forth to learn
and to live. "The inhabitants of the earth will learn
righteousness... They also that erred in spirit shall come
to understanding." Isaiah 26:9; 29:24 "They shall
not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD."
Isaiah 65:25 Praise God that His desire is man’s desire!
Soon all mankind will live in perfect harmony, when God’s
will is fully done on earth even as it is done in heaven!