If God is good, then where did evil come from?

I want you to trust every word of the Bible . . .

. . . even from the very first page. 

That’s why I wrote my last post on science and God.  You see, much of the debate around Christianity today is not whether you can trust in Jesus as your Savior but whether you can trust in God as your Creator, especially in our scientific age. 

But answering scientific objections to Christianity is fairly easy. In fact, if you deny Genesis 1, you also have to deny scientific facts like everything comes from something and only life can produce life

Therefore, I believe, the main objection to Christianity is not scientific

The main objection to Christianity is experiential

We all know there is a God. But our real questions are “Do I like him?” and “Can I trust him?” 

Can I trust in a God who would let my child die of cancer? Can I praise a God who allowed me to be sexually abused? Can I follow a God who allows so much evil in our world? 

How can I love God, if I don’t even like him?

Basically, we all want to know, “Why would a good God allow so much evil in our lives?” 

Here is my attempt to answer the problem of evil so that you would love and trust in him. 

1. Why did God create evil? According to the Bible, God did not create evil. When he created the world, everything was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). God did not create evil because evil cannot be “created.” “Evil” is a lot like “darkness” and “cold.” 

Let me explain.  

Just like darkness cannot be created. Darkness is the absence of light.

     And just like cold cannot be created. Cold is just the absence of heat.

          In the same way, evil cannot be created. Evil is just the absence of good.

               Evil is the absence of God and his loving presence.

2. If God didn’t create evil, where did it come from? God gave his greatest creatures the greatest freedom. When he created spiritual beings like angels and humans, they had the capacity to freely choose to love God and all that is good. Instead, the devil and other angels abused their freedom and tried to take God’s place in order to lead the whole world astray (Revelation 12:9).

When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they cooperated with the devil’s plan. Humans tried to dethrone God and set up themselves as the judges of right and wrong, good and evil. And humans are horrible at defining good and evil; just think of people like Hitler and Stalin.

3. So why doesn’t God get rid of all evil people? At one time, God did get rid of all the cruel people of the world. He sent a worldwide flood, and the Hitlers and Stalins of old were all washed away. 

Righteous Noah and his family survived. And you would expect the world to become “very good” again. But it wasn’t. Noah and his family were infected with the same venom of sin as the rest of humanity.

You see, if God really got rid of all evil people, if he just snapped his fingers and they were all gone . . .

. . . then who would be left?

Not me.

Not you.

4. What is God going to do about evil? Instead of destroying all evil people, he set up a plan. God himself decided to enter history as a human being in Jesus Christ. He never did anything that was evil. But he lived a truly good life. Yet, as God, he decided to absorb all the world’s evil into himself. He let evil crush him on the cross. 

And this story seemed to be a tragedy, but then three days later, he rose from the dead, testifying to his victory over evil. 

God is not the author of evil. 

The devil and humans are. 

Although we struggle to understand why God would allow evil when he could stop it, we can look to the cross and see his ultimate judgment on evil. 

I pray that the Holy Spirit would show you Jesus. And in Jesus you would find a God that you could love again. 

Pastor Ben Sadler has served as a full-time pastor since 2010. He began his ministry serving a Spanish-speaking congregation in Florida. Since March 2014, he has served at Goodview Trinity Church in Minnesota. He is married to Emily, and they have three children. Ben loves to spend time with his family, ride his road bike, read, write, and preach.

 

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