Chapter 25 – Why God allows Evil and Suffering

Since God is Sovereign and He is Love, then why does He allow so much evil and suffering in this world? This is the big question that has plagued and challenged the minds of many people including theologians and philosophers for centuries. Volumes have been written under the general title of ‘The Problem of Evil‘ to try to make sense of the painful reality of the existence of evil and suffering in the world.

One thing is for certain, any person who believes in the traditional Christian doctrine of hell has no credible answer to give for why the loving and just God of the Bible allows so much evil and suffering in the world. If hell were true, then God would be an extremely evil God, infinitely more evil than Hitler could have ever been. Thank God that hell is a false unbiblical doctrine, as we have clearly demonstrated from Scripture in this book.

There are three important biblical truths, which we need to grasp, before we can understand why God allows evil and suffering to exist in the world. These are:

1. God is responsible for the existence of all evil and suffering without being evil Himself.

2. God uses evil and suffering for His Holy purpose, for the ultimate good of all.

3. All evil and suffering will end permanently at the creation of the Eternal Kingdom of God of the New Heaven and the New Earth.

Without understanding and accepting all of these three truths, ‘the problem of evil’ remains a problem. We shall consider each truth in detail, but first we need to understand what the Bible means by the term ‘evil’.

The Bible defines evil as sin

1 Kings 15:34
He (Baasha, the King of Israel) did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin. 

This verse is speaking of Baasha, the King of Israel, who did evil by sinning in the sight of the Lord. Notice that sin and evil are synonymous. The Bible defines sin as breaking God’s Law.

1 John 3:4 (NIV) 
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 

Sin is breaking God’s Law. All of God’s Law is summed up in one word, love, love for God and love for fellowmen. ‘Love does no harm to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilment of the law’ (Romans 13:10).

As discussed in the previous chapter, evil (sin) first entered the world through Satan and his followers, the fallen angels, during the Pre-Adamic Age. Satan and a third of the angels sinned by rising up in rebellion against God in heaven. God judged Satan and his angels for their sin by throwing them back down to earth, resulting in global cataclysmic consequences for the whole of the Pre-Adamic world.

After God renewed the face of the earth and created man in the Second Age, the Adamic Age, sin then spread from fallen angels to the human world. This happened in the Garden of Eden, when Eve and Adam were tempted and deceived by Satan to sin by eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As a result of man’s original sin, every descendant of Adam and Eve is born with a sinful nature (Romans 5:12).

When Adam and Eve first sinned, God pronounced a curse on them, on their children and on the land, affecting both plant and animal life. The entire human race has been affected and is under God’s judgement because sin and death has spread to all men because of Adam’s original sin.

Here is an important truth. All of God’s judgements are corrective and redemptive, no matter how horrific they may appear from man’s limited and temporary perspective. All of God’s judgements flow out of His love because God is love and He loves the whole world. Father God, Yahweh Elohim, so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, Yeshua Elohim, to die on the cross for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:16, John 3:16). The purpose of God’s judgements are to bring humility, repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, which leads to righteousness, reconciliation and salvation.

Let us now return to discuss the three biblical truths listed previously.

1. God is responsible for the existence of all evil and suffering without being evil Himself.

Colossians 1:16 
For by Him (Jesus Christ) all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 

God is the creator of all things through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and He is responsible for absolutely everything that exists in the whole universe. Evil is a reality, therefore, God is also responsible for the existence of all evil. In fact, the Bible specifically says that God created evil.

Isaiah 45:7 (KJV) 
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. 

Yes, God created evil. However, it is important to understand that God did not create evil directly, but indirectly. God created angels and men with the potential and capability of committing evil by sinning because it was an important part of God’s Plan for them that they would experience both good and evil.

Two beings who represent the pinnacle of evil are Satan and Hitler. One is a fallen angel and the other is a fallen man. God created a holy angel called Lucifer who became Satan when he sinned by rebelling against God. Also, God created Adam and Eve who were holy people before they sinned by eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As a result of their sin, Adam and Eve became sinners and all of their descendants are born with an unrighteous sinful fallen nature.

God has complete foreknowledge of everything that happens in His creation. Therefore, the sins of fallen angels and the sins of fallen men do not take Him by surprise.

Isaiah 46:10 
Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure’. 

It was God’s purpose that sin would enter His created universe through Satan and Adam. This was all within God’s Plan, which includes both separation and reconciliation; separation because of the sins of angels and men, and reconciliation because of the sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of the whole world.

It is important to understand that God takes full and complete responsibility for the existence of all sin and evil, as God is the creator of all things. If evil existed outside of the will of God, then Satan would exist outside of the will of God. This would make Satan and evil more powerful than God. We can all thank God that Satan can do no more than what God permits. The book of Job clearly proves the truth that Satan could do no more than what God permitted him to do. Ultimately, God will overcome all evil with good through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

2. God uses evil and suffering for His Holy purpose, for the ultimate good of all.

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ represents the greatest evil ever carried out by men under the inspiration of Satan. The suffering, which Jesus Christ endured on the cross because of the evil deeds of men, is the supreme example of how God uses evil and suffering for His Holy purpose, for the ultimate good of all.

Without the work of the cross, there would be no forgiveness of sins, no reconciliation, and no Saviour of the world. God loved the world so much that He pre-determined and planned to send His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die on the cross for the sins of the whole world, and to save the whole world.

Acts 2:22-24
22 Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs, which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know 23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 

Please note that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ serves Father God’s Holy purpose as He planned and determined it. Without evil in this fallen world, there would be no need for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and without His crucifixion there would be no Saviour of the world.

Why does God judge man when God is responsible for all evil? 

Without God’s judgement, we would not understand good from evil, light from darkness and the righteousness of God from the unrighteousness of men and fallen angels. The gift of God’s Righteousness, through faith, cannot be appreciated without us first understanding the seriousness and consequences of sin. The righteous judgement of God brings men to the awareness of their sinful unrighteous nature and leads them to repentance for their sins. This is why God makes men accountable and judges them for sin. Even the holy angels who never sinned, now fully understand the holiness and righteousness of God through the experiences of fallen angels and fallen men.

Romans 3:5-8 below is an important scripture to help us understand why God judges man’s unrighteousness, even though God is responsible for all evil.
 
Romans 3:5-8
5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world? 7 For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”? as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just. 

There are three important points covered in this scripture.

The first point is that God demonstrates His Righteousness through our unrighteousness. This is simple logic. Light exposes darkness. In the same way, God’s Righteousness exposes man’s unrighteousness; hence, we need a Saviour. God’s mercy, His grace, His forgiveness, His kindness and His love are all demonstrated because of our unrighteousness. God has defined what is good and what is evil, and He has the knowledge of both good and evil. Without us first understanding evil and suffering, we would never be able to appreciate God’s goodness and blessing. In His wisdom, God has ruled that all who are in Adam (Adam and Eve and all of their descendants) experience evil and suffering before they embrace God’s goodness through Jesus Christ.

The second point is that God is the Judge and He judges the world. Our unrighteousness unleashes the wrath of God. God is not soft on sin, and He does not condone it. There is no contradiction in God being responsible for the existence of sin and evil, and Him judging us for our sinful acts. God’s judgements always flow out of His love, and ultimately, lead to us receiving the gift of His Righteousness through the finished work of the cross.

The third point is that since God’s Righteousness exposes man’s unrighteousness, this does not give man an excuse to sin more through deception in thinking that he is helping God out by highlighting God’s Righteousness. Some accused Apostle Paul of preaching ‘let us do evil that good may come’. Apostle Paul warns us that this is faulty reasoning and it will result in even greater judgement and condemnation for those who believe that it gives them a license to sin more. God requires that we hate sin, and do everything we can to avoid it.

The suffering of this present time

Nobody can escape the evil and suffering of this present time. Since we are all born into this sinful fallen world, we all experience evil and suffering to one degree or another before we die. Some people go through horrific and very distressing suffering. It is not easy for us to comprehend why some people’s share of suffering is so much more than others. However, the Bible says that whatever the extent of suffering in this world, it is not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18-19 
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

Yes ultimately, God’s Plan is to reveal His glory to all people whom God has created in His own image, which means the whole of humanity. Every one of us, without a single exception, is destined to enter the Eternal Kingdom of God of the New Heaven and the New Earth as sons of God and be part of the one huge Elohim Family of God, the Family of the one true Father God, Yahweh Elohim, and His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, Yeshua Elohim.

Romans 8:20-22
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 

Please note that the creation was subjected to futility, which is another way of saying that it was subjected to sin, and sin brings suffering. In His wisdom, God allows the ugliness of sin to have its full expression over thousands of years through the sins of Satan and his fallen angels, and through the sins of Adam and Eve and all of their descendants. However, the wonderful truth of the Bible is that the whole of God’s creation will be delivered from the bondage of sin and corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

The Bible compares the suffering of this present time with birth pangs. A mother knows the intense labour pains of giving birth, but she also knows the intense joy of embracing her beautiful new-born baby on her bosom. Once the child is delivered, all of the mother’s pains are immediately forgotten. Notice that the scripture says that the whole creation groans with birth pangs.

We believe that God Himself also suffers along with His creation, and He is looking forward with great joy to the fulfilment of His Grand Family Plan for the Salvation and Reconciliation of All. This is when Father God with His Son Jesus Christ will welcome His whole family, multiple billions of the whole of humanity and all angels as sons of God, into the Eternal Kingdom of God of the New Heaven and the New Earth.

Jesus endured the cross because of the joy that was set before Him

Hebrews 12:1-2
1 Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

We need to look to Jesus. He endured the horrendous evil, pain and suffering of the cross because He was focusing on the joy that was set before Him. This joy is the Universal Salvation and Reconciliation of all of God’s created beings, men and angels, multiple billions of them who will be part of God’s huge family in the glorious Eternal Kingdom of God of the New Heaven and the New Earth.

3. All evil and suffering will end permanently at the creation of the Eternal Kingdom of God of the New Heaven and the New Earth.

All evil and suffering will end permanently when The Holy City, New Jerusalem, descends onto the New Earth with its New Heaven. This will be after the Lake of Fire Judgement Age when this present earth and its heaven (earth’s atmosphere) will have been physically and spiritually cleansed and renewed by God’s physical and spiritual fire, and all things will have been reconciled to Father God by Jesus Christ through the work of His cross.

Revelation 21:1-6
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away“. 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new”. And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful”. 6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End“. 

What a wonderful and glorious scripture this is. Father God Himself will come down to earth, after it has been cleansed and renewed, and live with men forever. There will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain, for the former things will have passed away.

The Eternal Kingdom of God of the New Heaven and the New Earth, as described in this wonderful scripture, concludes God’s Plan for All. When Father God, Yahweh Elohim, proclaims ‘It is done’ He will have fulfilled His Grand Family Plan of Universal Salvation and Reconciliation of All, through the work of cross of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, Yeshua Elohim.

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