Why does God allow evil if He is good?
When tragedies happen in the world, we often ask “Why does God allow evil?” Shouldn’t He be held responsible for controlling all the wickedness and depravity that exists in our world?
We need to understand the origin of “good” and “evil” in regard to God’s divine will and man’s free will. The first two chapters of Genesis reveal God as a God of precise order -- day/night, sky/earth, dry land/bodies of water, male/female. After each day of His perfect creation plan, God saw that it was good. In the beginning, God warned Adam about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the consequences of eating its fruit -- death versus life (Genesis 2:15-17). Yet, man, created in God’s image, using his free will, chose . . . Satan’s lies, not God’s truth; death, not life, knowledge of evil as well as good (Romans 1:18-32). Imagine the sorrow in heaven the moment Adam and Eve exchanged the goodness of God’s commands for their own evil desires!
Why does God allow evil to go unpunished? The Lord God tolerates evil for only a brief time; then, with great sorrow, He judges. Evil is such a stench that God must eradicate all those who practice wickedness -- The Great Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, The Fall of Babylon (Genesis 6:5-7; 19:24-25; Revelation 18). Before we demand punishment, however, we need to realize what God sees as evil: “. . . sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness” (Mark 7:21-23). How can any of us present ourselves as “good” before God?
Why does God allow evil to touch our lives? When we consider ourselves as “good,” any suffering or misfortune seems unfair. Life would be so much easier if good things happened to good people, and bad things happened only to bad people. Instead, we discover that we all fall short of God’s glory. No one is exempt from the effects of evil and Satan’s temptations. Even Jesus Christ repeatedly encountered evil (Mark 1:23-26; Luke 4:1-13).
The worst kinds of evil touched Jesus’ life. “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed!” (Isaiah 53:4-5).
By God’s goodness, we can be rescued from every evil for all eternity. God chose to extend His grace and mercy to us through His Son, Jesus Christ. What choice will you make?
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