One of the foremost questions often asked by Christians and non-Christians alike is why does God allow evil. There are a number of key verses strewn throughout the Bible that point towards what this answer could be. The following will provide an in-depth look at why God allows evil.
If God is Good, Then Why Allow Evil?
Isaiah 6:3 describes God as holy, while Psalm 7:11 describes God as righteous. Daniel 4:17-25 describes God as sovereign, while Deuteronomy 32:4 describes Him as just. These four character traits of God describe Him as being able to do anything, including eliminating evil from the world and preventing evil in the first place. It should be stated once again that if God wanted to, it would be but an instant until all evil was gone from the world, so why doesn't He do this?
The best way to answer this question would be to look at some alternative "scenarios" in which we might have God run our world . . .
When trying to answer this question, it's important to look at the ways in which God could stop all evil from existing in the world. If God wanted to make it to where everyone on earth was incapable of committing evil acts, then all of our personalities would have to be changed. We would no longer have the ability to make choices on what is right and what is wrong, as wrong would no longer exist. As such, free will would also no longer exist, which is one of the key aspects of what makes us human. This would indicate that mankind no longer has a deep connection with their Creator, as humanity could no longer choose between believing in God and not doing so.
In the very beginning of the Bible, it was shown that Adam and Eve were presented with the choice of good and evil, despite the fact that they were made to be innocent. As such, they had the ability to make a good decision or an evil one. As everyone knows, they chose the evil one. God has placed in every person that He has created the innate ability to choose between good and evil. Because of this, it is us who can decide not to do evil. While the fact that evil still exists might be difficult to understand, it was something that was allowed since the first two humans existed.
To look at another scenario, God could also choose to intervene during every single moment when someone is about to commit evil as a means of stopping this evil, as the Bible says that God is omnipotent. Whatever bad things have happened to you and everyone else in the past could have been stopped. All wars throughout the world would cease. No person would ever have to face bullying again. Though this might seem to you to be an appealing alternative to the evil that is present in the world today, it's important to understand that stopping the action wouldn't stop all evil.
God would have to stop us from ever thinking evil thoughts in the first place. No one could skimp a little on their taxes or go ten miles above the speed limit. Though He could, of course, stop only those actions and greater sins from taking place, it is our thoughts and small evils that tend to lead to the larger ones. This would not truly stop evil, it would simply turn humanity into a puppet show carried along on strings that are unable to move past preset boundaries.
To look at yet another possibility, God could allow everyone to still choose between good and evil, yet remove anyone from the world that ever commits an act of evil. The issue with this scenario is that every single person ever created by God will sin. It is because of Adam and Eve's first sin that humanity has this disposition to sin in the first place. Such verses as 1 John 1:8, Romans 3:23 and Ecclesiastes 7:20 all corroborate this fact. You can't just eliminate those who commit truly evil acts, as an arbitrary line would have to be drawn stating that one evil is greater than another, when all evil actions harm others.
Romans 5:12 states that all of humanity are born with a proclivity to sin. Humanity exists in a world wherein all of our choices have consequences, where we have the free will to make a choice to do good or evil. Once God returns to this world, everyone will face judgement for the decisions they have made. The reason that this has not happened yet is because God wants to give humanity more time to repent and turn to Him, as He does not want to condemn them, which is stated in 2 Peter 3:9. However, it's important to understand that God still cares about evil and one day it will be defeated once and for all and He will make all things new again in His perfect timing; read Revelation Chapters 21 and 22.
The laws in the Old Testament were created as a means of heavily punishing evil, while the New Testament states in Romans 13:1-14 that the government entities within the world must be just. Mark 9:36-42 states that there will be dire consequences against all of those that carry out evil actions towards innocent people. God wants us to choose to obey Him, as is displayed in Deuteronomy 5:29 and take responsibility for our sinful actions when we decide to go against Him. Those that choose to obey Him and be saved from their sinful nature can do so by yielding to Jesus Christ through the restoring power of the Holy Spirit that He has sent to all mankind. And remember God does restrain and prevent some acts of evil —the world would be much worse if He didn't. However, rather than accuse or question God's sovereignty we should go out and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which ultimately is the cure to all sin, evil and it's consequences!
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