RESPONDblogs: Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering?

suffering

Have you ever thought to yourself…”if there really WAS a God…he would want to prevent evil from happening in the first place. Right? He would intervene and stop evil acts before they destroyed people’s lives?”

But evil does happen in the world! We see it every day thru the acts of people, not to mention natural disasters. Planes get shot down, innocent people suffer. So maybe there is no God after all? Or if he IS there…he’s not as powerful as the Christians say he is. Or he is powerful…but he just doesn’t care.

You know, the Bible says a lot about this conundrum. And whether you respect the Bible or not…it might be helpful to take a peek at what it says?

1 – GOD created creatures with FREE WILL.

We read this in Genesis when Adam and Eve were free to eat from any tree…just not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17) Who would want to live a life full of nothing but computers and robots? Now, I am the FIRST to admit that computers and robots are fun to play with. But do they truly enrich our lives? Not compared to my wife and daughters – no.

Life is enriched beyond measure thru our relationships with free people who can choose right and wrong. God has created people with true freedom…and this means they can choose to use their freedom in WRONG ways if they want to. That’s what freedom means.

2 – For Free Will Beings to Learn, NATURAL LAWS Must Work NORMALLY

Knowledge happens through learning, and learning through experience. Doing stuff, and watching the consequences of our actions unfold. As we learn the consequences, we are truly free to choose whether we will make a good or a bad choice.

But we will have to cope with the natural consequence that results from those actions. If God were to step in like a nanny every time we were tempted to do something evil and say…”now….stop what you are doing…you don’t want to do that now, do you?”

First – it would be REALLY REALLY annoying and distracting

Second – we wouldn’t actually learn anything on our own!!

3 – God Uses NATURAL CONSEQUENCES to Teach Free People the RESULTS of Rebellion

We read in Genesis that Adam and Eve rebelled against God, and that led to unpleasant consequences. Unfortunately – evil hurts people. It just does.

“The ground will sprout thorns and weeds, you’ll get your food the hard way, Planting and tilling and harvesting, sweating in the fields from dawn to dusk, until you return to that ground yourself, dead and buried; you started out as dirt, you’ll end up dirt.” Genesis 3:19, The Msg

4 – God WILL One Day Deal with All People Who Insist on Choosing Rebellion and Evil

The conundrum is…if God loves us…why does he allow people to continue making evil choices and causing other people to suffer the consequences of their evil actions? Why doesn’t he step in right NOW before anyone else gets hurt?

Well personally, I’m not proud enough to demand anything of God. A genuine understanding of who God is…will drive a person to their knees…not cause them to shout and accuse.

Having said that – I do trust that in his own time, he will bring justice…and those who have continually made evil choices will suffer eternal consequences.

“The picture of thistles pulled up and burned is a scene from the final act. The Son of Man will send his angels, weed out the thistles from his kingdom, pitch them in the trash, and be done with them. They are going to complain to high heaven, but nobody is going to listen. At the same time, ripe, holy lives will mature and adorn the kingdom of their Father.” Matthew 13:41-43, The Msg

5 – Eternity in Heaven Will Make Our Suffering Today seem INSIGNIFICANT

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, The Msg

6 – Enduring Suffering Now PREPARES and TRAINS God’s Friends to INHERIT God’s Kingdom to Come

“We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!” Romans 8:17, The Msg

 

Why does God allow evil and suffering? It’s the law of the jungle, folks. We live in an evil world at evil times. But the story is not fully written yet. Final and complete justice IS coming in the future. And if we keep going with Christ now…thru the tough times…we will know amazing times ahead with him in eternity.

Thanks to Clay Jones, Prepared Defence [CD-ROM]. Austin, TX: WORDsearch, 2005 (v. 2.2, 2014).

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stuartgrayuk

I live in the UK, I'm married to Janet and I'm passionate about proposing a case for the historic Christian faith. You can find me on Twitter at @stuhgray.

4 thoughts on “RESPONDblogs: Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering?”

  1. So Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden…. Eating an apple, causing thousands of years of suffering in various ways as punishment (childbirth, death etc). Is the evil seen here still down to us and not God?

    1. Hey there – if the Bible said that then sure, that would be unreasonable. But the Bible does not say that. You are putting up various straw men there.

      What does the Bible actually say? It says that people are sinners by birth – but we then very quickly become sinners by choice. We cannot blame God for the sinful choices we ourselves make. That WOULD be unreasonable!

      In other words…free will has a downside for us. But – the Bible also promises that there is hope. If we want it.

      Stu

      1. Thanks for your reply. Okay, what does it say about the fruit, and the consequence of sin? If we are sinners from birth, I don’t like the idea that we are to blame for being sinners.

      2. Hey again 🙂

        Well …yes. I agree with you completely. I don’t like the idea that I’m born a sinner either – lol. It sucks in fact. Cos there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I was stuck with it. The fruit of this is…exercising my sinful nature. Digging myself a deeper hole to sit in, if you like. That’s where the consequences come into play.

        So if I’m born a sinner…why does God judge me for my sin? I didn’t choose to be a sinner…but yes I did because I exercised my free will appropriately in that direction. Aaaargh.

        Do you see the problem? Big problem – that’s why there needs to be a big solution. And by the way – I agree with ur name “religionerased”. Religion is NOT the answer to this problem!!

        The answer to the problem is to receive a completely new nature as a gift from God himself. And that’s not religion…that’s the amazing news of Christianity…

        Stu

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