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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 . . .

Scenario 1
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. 

Scenario 2
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. 

Scenario 3
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. 

Conclusion
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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Recommended Video: Why Does God Allow Evil?

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Cary Byrd is the founder of ChristiansLikeMe.net, a free Christian social network that is dedicated to connecting people to Jesus Christ and others. He is also the president of eDrugSearch.com, a free price comparison engine for prescription drugs that helps consumers to get safe access to affordable medications.

Comments

  • Brother Cary, Maybe I'm reading this too early in the morning, but here is what I tend to think about this subject:  If there were no evil in the world, then how would we recognize GOD'S Many Blessings?  This way of thinking sounds to me, after reading everything you wrote, too simple, and I believe that I need to re-read and study this more in order to grow more.  Thank you for making me think and making my mind grow, if not by leaps and bounds but at my own pace which is the way the Good LORD made me.  :-)  

    • Thank you so much for your comments and kind words. And yes, that is one of the many reasons why God allows evil but the main focus of the article was to try and point out why free will is so important and if we didn't have free will we couldn't have an intimate relationship with God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus himself forewarned us and told us we would face various trials and sufferings, and then in John 16:33 he said "But take heart! I have overcome the world!".

      It's also important to know that God wants to defeat evil and He has plans to do so one day, God's very nature guarantees this. I hope this helps and God bless :)

      • Brother Cary, Now I think I understand a bit better what you maybe saying.  Is it that we come closer to GOD through the (maybe this isn't the right way to put it) correct choices we make in life?  I mean we have a better relationship the more we make the right choices?  This makes sense to me because it is through making the right choices that we get to know and have a more personal relationship with The FATHER.  That and also I can't leave out studying HIS WORD.  I think maybe I'm learning here but it takes me a bit of time sometimes.  :-)  

  • Brother Cary, I realize that you are very busy with the family and all at this moment, but I wanted to let you know that I have studied this topic being more wide awake and thinking a bit clearer.  From the points you make and thinking of Adam and Eve, it occurred to me that The FATHER wishes for us to make the choice of whether we follow HIM or Satan with sin.  In making the choice to follow our FATHER, it proves our convictions and love for HIM over possibly the more temporary fun bad things in life.  In making the right choices every day, we prove more and more to HIM that we wish to be at HIS side one day.   making the right choices maybe the more difficult way to go, but does show our love for the FATHER as being strong and the more we do just this, our love grows stronger each time we make those decisions and gives us more and more strength to turn our backs on Satan. I believe that or FATHER wants to be First and foremost in our lives and in choosing GOD over Satan.  I want to be one of those who show my love for the FATHER.  This is my conclusion on this topic.  I could be all wet, but this makes sense to me.  Thank you for attempting to get me to see the point you were making, and I don't really think I am that far off from what you were talking about.  Thank you for your help on this topic.  May GOD Bless you and your growing family. :-) 

  • The best possible world is one where evil and pain are allowed to exist for awhile.  The creation afterwards will be better for the experience.

  • To me there is a very simple answer to this question, but let's start at the very beginning.  It would seem that God created the Angels, the Bible tells us that angels are created beings along with everything else.

    “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”  [Colossians 1:16-17]

    God also must have created angels with free choice, just as He created us humans with the ability to make choices.  We also to need to bear in mind that God is eternal and although the angels are not eternal, they inhabit the same realm as God Himself.  As God seems to exist outside of time, then so must the angels [2 Peter 3:8].  However Lucifer must have existed at the the time of the fall as he had been cast out because of the choice that he had made and rebelled against his Creator.  Because of freedom of choice Eve and the Adam were led astray and and chose to defy God and the 'knowledge of good and evil' entered the world.  I say the 'knowledge' of good and evil, because evil had already existed in the form of Lucifer and those who followed him.  So evil stared in Heaven.

    Why was evil permitted? Well it was not permitted in Heaven, which was why Lucifer was cast out.  However, what blessing was there to God if we were just programmed to be good all the time, we would be nothing more that automatons.  God would get as much pleasure from our worship as playing a Praise & Worship CD, that God Himself had recorded to glorify Himself.  God needs us to 'choose' Him, from freedom, to choose between God and the world or Satan, in the same way we choose our friends, they become special to us.  Because we choose God, we become 'special' to our Father.  If there were no choice we could not tell the difference, we would not know what good was.  Nor would we know God as good.

    We have chosen, we ARE special, we ARE His.

    • Yes, Brother Derek, God created us in His image and likeness, giving us free will so we all are alike in our beliefs (mostly) but separate individuals. God doesn't want automatons to spend eternity with! Think of the conversations we can have with Jesus! (come quickly, Lord Jesus!).

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