So Why Does A Good God Allow Evil To Happen?

Over the centuries, people (both Christians and non-Christians) have debated about the existence of evil in our world and the personality of God of being good and omnipotent. According to atheists, skeptics, and other non-believers, if God is all-powerful as we claim, then He would have dealt away with evil and Satan from the beginning. These people add that if we maintain that God is all-powerful and rules over everything including the evil or Satan, then He is not as good as we claim for He allows man suffer under the evil that He would smash in the twinkling of an eye.

The deduction out of all this is simple; God is either too weak to deal with evil or He is too bad to remove the evil.

But what about us who believe in Him? In this article, we are going to understand the meaning of an evil, the author or creator of an evil, who brought evil in our world, why God allows evil to happen, and when shall evil get destroyed and who will destroy it. Follow closely.

What is evil?

According to Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, evil simply refers to morally bad, cruel, or very unpleasant. According to the great Christian thinker Augustine, evil is not as a thing in and of itself, but as a parasite on good. Actually, Robert Valarde, another Christian writer adds, “something that is lacking is not a thing in itself". 

For example, if you have a hole in your jacket, the hole is not something rather is something that is lacking”. Simply put, evil cannot be without good whereas good can exist without evil. Evil is a parasite, a hole in the jacket. You cannot have the hole without the substance (the jacket), but you can have the substance (the jacket) without the whole, definitely yes. Therefore, if evil is not something in itself or of itself, then God must not be the author or creator of it for God created only the good.

But is that enough to convince us? There is more. 

So who created evil?

According to the story of creation in the book of Genesis, it is said that God was pleased with all his creation and remarked, “Everything is good” (Genesis 1:31). God looking at every creation as good simply includes Satan.

While the bible is not specific about Satan to have been an angel before his fall, at least whatever is talked of him refers him to an angelic being or part of heavenly host. Writer Robert cites that Satan is called a cherub by the bible in Ezekiel 28:16 (NKJV) and this word is heavily thought of as an angelic being. Also, 2 Corinthians 11:14, Isaiah 14:12, Matthew 25:41, Revelation 12:9, Job 1:6, 2:1) all portray Satan as an angel or angelic being.

Satan must have been created within the six days of creation too though whatever the day; it must have been before the creation of man. The bible is clear that everything whether in heaven, on earth, visible, invisible, whether dominions or principalities or powers was created by God (Colossians 1:16). This does not exclude Satan.

By the way, Does God know things before they happen? If He knew that Satan would do what he did, why did he go ahead and create him? We shall look at the questions later.

Back to our point

According to all the above passages, Satan resided in heaven with other angels prior to his fall. According to so many bible commentators, the heaven of heavens, the heavens, the sky and everything in them was created by God (Nehemiah 9:6, Genesis 1:31-2:1). This simply means that Satan, all other angels, the heaven of heavens (residence of heavenly hosts), the physical heavens of ours, the universe, and all other things were created within the six days of Creation.

Thus as the book of Ezekiel makes it clear, Satan was part of God’s creation in the creation week and was perfectly righteous till iniquity was found in him (read Ezekiel 28:15). God who is good would not create any bad thing, everything was good. Actually, the writer in Deuteronomy says, “Every work of God is perfect” (Deuteronomy 32:4).

So what happened? How come Satan came to sin?

So many writers agree that Satan and fellow angels could have been created on a day prior to day 3 of the creation week. A clue is got from the book of Job 38:4-7, “where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for Joy?” In this verse, we have to remind ourselves that angels are usually referred to as stars, not the physical stars.

Since God created the earth on either day one (earth) or day 3 (land and water separated), then the angels who witnessed this creation must have been created on early day 1 or day 3 depending on which day of earth creation we take. According to commentator Robert, it is probably on day one that the angels, including Satan must have been created.

After the complete creation week, everything was good which means that Satan had not yet sinned. And since God sanctified day seven, then it is also impossible that the evil was already out. And it is also impossible that God would sanctify day 7, call everything good on day six, when the evil was already out. The bible is clear that God hates evil.

According to the book of Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:15-17, Satan was perfect in heaven but then he was overtaken by pride and he lost his perfection. And since the bible says that God neither tempts nor gets tempted with evil, then it is deducted that the pride was self-born.

To many Christian writers, it seems that Satan just man was created with the power of contrite choice. This brings in the question, do angels have free will? And the answer is; yes. According to the got questions website, some scholars believe there was a sort of probation period and those who chose to obey God were perfected or became ‘elect’ (1 Timothy 5:21) and those who chose to sin were cast out along with Satan (2 Peter 2:4). The bible says that about 1/3 of the heavenly angels were cast out with Satan.

Back to our concern, it is now clear that out of the free will or choice, Satan chose to sin by trying to exalt himself above God and since GOD was and is omnipotent, Satan was immediately cast out with all his followers.

According to Archbishop Ussher, the great 17th century Bible Scholar, Satan must have sinned and made to fall on 10th day of the first year, which is the Day of Atonement. This may need another day’s exposition, but what is clear is that Satan was originally perfect, decided to sin by exalting himself above His creator and was cast out of the heaven of heavens with all those who decided to follow him. And this happened at least any day, but after the 7th day of the creation week and God’s resting.

The fall of Man

When Satan fell onto the earth, he decided to deceive man too. While we usually attribute our sinning to Satan, the bible does not exactly teach that. The devil showed the fruit to Eve, and Eve desired the fruit herself and sinned. In Robert Valarde’s words, “In the garden of Eden, the woman was convinced by her own desires (the tree was desirable to make one wise-Genesis 3:6). Satan had not entered her; she was enticed by her own desire.

God is not the author of sin; our desires are. God did not trick or deceive Satan into becoming full of pride. God hates pride (Proverbs 8:13), and it would not be in his character to cause one to become prideful”. However, this same author says, “We sin whether Satan enters us or not”. He draws this from the same story of sin, “Satan was influencing the serpent when the woman sinned and when Adam sinned; they sinned alone on their own accord without being able to claim, ‘Satan made me do it’. There we go.

Simply said, Satan’s desire caused him to sin in heaven and man’s desires caused him to sin here on Earth. We cannot exactly say that Man’s sin was as a result of Satan’s rebellion though it is right to cite that Eve’s desires or concentration on the fruit was because Satan showed it to her and even convinced her. However, the choice remains personal.

God is not the author of evil, but we are or the devil is depending on the context.

Many scholars try to cite that God casted Satan onto our earth instead of directly to hell because he was merciful and was giving a chance to Satan in case he was to repent, but I personally like the reasoning that it is God who knows the exact reason He did that.

So why does God allow evil to continue?

Answering this question is quiet tricky, but let us visit the writings of Rick Warren, one of the respected pastors of our times. In his approach to this question, Warren says, “The answer lies in what is both our greatest blessing and our worst curse: our capacity to make choices”. 

Unfortunately, our real world works on the principle of action-reaction or cause-effect and thus our choices always produce consequences. We wrote something great on Action-Reward Philosophy, read it too. And while we can control what we choose, we rarely have control over the consequences.

Our sins (when we choose to our will) bring disasters to us, the sinners and the people around. Certainly, you could say that it is unfair to have the consequences reach everyone, including the innocents, but we know that all people are sinners and thus none gets what he does not deserve.

God can control or stop evil by simply stopping our free will, but certainly that would be the denial of which he is; love. According to Warren, “Love is not genuine if there is no other option”.

Talking about God’s love and our free will, I like the words of author Max Lucado in the book, in the eye of the storm, “Wouldn’t it be easier to not plant the seed? Wouldn’t it be easier not to give the choice?” “It would”, the creator answered himself, “but that would mean to remove the love”. That is the whole idea. God does not want us to live like robots or puppets; he needs us to purposely choose to fall in love with him, which is when love makes sense.

The second option of how God would stop evil from escalating is dealing with evil ones and intercept or stop their acts. This option seems attractive and effective. Since God is all-powerful and controller, it is possible that He can overlook all over the world and prevent evil things from happening by simply intervening or interrupting their happening. The problem here is that He would interrupt us too.

Usually, there things that we consider as horribly evil, but even those we do not see as bad or we consider to be less evil ultimately cause the greater evil and are thus not acceptable to the righteous God. To look at this point keenly, let us consider the words of Norman Geisler as cited by got questions website, “Should God only stop the actual sexual affairs, or even our access to pornography or end any inappropriate relationships? Should God stop real thieves or even our cheating on taxes? Should God stop murder or even our lesser actions done to people pushing them to commit murder?” In other words, this option leaves no one behind and thus nothing can be going on for our world is under the governance of evil or human nature.

The third option would be for God to judge and remove all those who commit evil. The problem with this option is that no one can be left for we all have sinned (Romans 3:23). So we cannot have this option applied now though God will one day do it, He is delaying waiting on us to take up his mercies so we can be saved.

The fourth option is; if God did not create anything, there would certainly be no evil. However, we all know that something is better than nothing at all. And there is no justification for this option since God created not just something, but only good. As we earlier saw, evil is not a thing in itself, it is simply what is missing in a thing. Thus God created us completely good and we missed something that makes up that good complete, and that thing we miss or the hole in the good is the evil.

What is clear is that we bring about evil by our daily choices and God’s job is not to do hide and seek with us, He controls what is happening to His pace and will and whether he stops some acts and allows others to happen, He is still fair for He is not the cause of any evil. What He bases on to stop some evil, I may not tell, but the bible is clear that our God is with us in daily matters of our world. We would even be worse. 

According to Josh McDowell (Christian writer), “because of the fall of man, the world is now abnormal. Things are not in the state that they should be in. Nature is not always kind to man and the animal world can also be his enemy”. This gives an inclusion of natural disasters too; they are part of the evil we receive. As cited earlier by Robert, the earth was cursed and this was not when Satan sinned, but when Adam sinned.

In summary, we are perpetrators of evil in this world and to blame God for it is simply a shift of blame for He did not create it. And also stopping it would instead bring injustice if He used the above options. 

However, since our God is not limited by options or methods (Isaiah 55:8-9, Romans 11:33), it is wise to deduct that He could probably use more other options that we cannot even fathom and stop evil without suffering any injustice or injury to His personality.

But since He did not do that, then we can deduct that the best reason is best known by Him. So Josh McDowell writes, “although the bible informs us how and why evil came about, it does not tell us why God allowed it to happen. However, we do know that God is all wise and all knowing and that He has reasons for allowing things to happen that are beyond our comprehension”.

Whatever the reason, we know it is for the good of those who love and Trust Him (Romans 8:28) and that could be the reason Paul emphasized that the evil we face now cannot be compared to the glory that is yet to come (Romans 8:18). And thus Robert Velarde sums it up, “God knows best and, as such, He knows that our world is the best way to the best possible world”.

Finally, what shall happen to evil and who will destroy it and when?

These questions are the simplest in our article, let us consider them quickly.

First, as we earlier saw, the evil one (Satan) is bound with time simply because he was created and thus not infinite or eternal as God is. This means that time will come when he won’t be any more. Satan and all who will follow him to the end will be punished eternally in hell (Revelations 12:12, 20:3, 20:10, 20:14, Matthew 25:41). God will do this and He already partially did it when He sent his son Jesus who defeated evil and death and provided a way of reconciliation of people with God.

And when? The bible does not tell us when this will happen, but we know it is when Jesus Christ returns for his church. Then all nations and people will stand before the throne of Judgment and all of us judged according to our deeds and those found guilty will suffer with their master, the evil one or Satan.

The above should not scare you as if there is no way, the way is Jesus Christ, Just believe in Him and invite Him to be your personal friend and savior. And mind you, your call on Jesus should not be because you fear hell and wants heaven, but mainly because you feel He deserves your love back after all He did and continues to do for you though heaven and eternal life are certainly your rewards at the end. 

SUMMARY:

The devil is the creator or the author of evil in heaven and we are the creators or authors of evil on earth. The reason why God allowed Satan to live yet he foreknew his fall and why the evil continues to escalate is best known to Him but we know that it is good for us, his creation (we shall come back to this later).

To try to reason out how God must have dealt with the devil or with the evil in the universe is more tempting. Consider Charles Ryrie’s writings, “It’s tempting to assume that things would be better if Satan had never been created or to declare that God should have done differently. But such assumptions and declarations are unwise. In fact, to claim we know better than God how to run the universe is to fall into the devil’s own sin of promoting himself above the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).

The evil is temporary, but those who believe in Jesus Christ will live forever. God bless you all

The Complete You Ministry, 

www.nemvicx.blogspot.com

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