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Friday, September 05, 2014

Why is there evil in the world?

The classic Christian answer is this: When God created people, He gave them the power to choose. If the power to choose was real, then people could choose bad things, with bad consequences. The first, and most profound, bad choice was when Adam and Eve disobeyed God about the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, whatever may have happened then. That choice resulted in a fallen creation, with human death, necessity to work, diseases, extinctions, parasites, hurricanes, earthquakes, pollution, wars, exploitation of other people, and of animals, other types of sin, and violence of all kinds.

God’s answer to bad human choice (sin) is Himself. Christ, who was God and man, paid the price for our sin by personally suffering on the cross, a voluntary, sinless sacrifice. (The resurrection shows that the sacrifice was acceptable.)
There will come a time when human suffering, for those who have chosen to accept Christ’s sacrifice, and accept Him as Lord, will be over. Our bodies will be restored to the state God planned for them in the first place, free from aches and pains, aging and death. The earth will also be restored to the state God planned for it.

God doesn’t send anyone to hell, a place of eternal suffering. People choose to go there, and God honors that choice.
Suffering builds character. We can’t achieve salvation by suffering, but undergoing suffering may help us serve God better.

“I ended my first book with the words no answer. I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?” – Orual, the main character of Till We Have Faces, by C. S. Lewis.

The book of Job is largely about the previous paragraph. Bad things happened to Job. They weren't his fault. He blamed God. (See here, for example.) But, in the end, Job realized that God was infinitely more wise, and good, than he was. (See here.) God also allowed Job to live a long time, restored his health, and replaced the possessions and children that he had lost. (However, there is no promise of that sort of earthly recompense for the suffering of all of God's followers. See Hebrews 11.)

Thanks for reading. Bad things will happen. The most important result of them is what my response will be.


atlibertytosay said...

Thanks for this post … good read.

Related to something you said here.

I'm working on a bible study "Is Hell really suffering?"

My question is, if Satan created it, wouldn't it actually be paradise too? Paradise in the same sense Las Vegas considered paradise? At least until the time of the end.

Martin LaBar said...

I'm not sure what you are asking, if you are asking something.

I wasn't aware that Satan created paradise. Whatever happens to those who reject salvation, between their death and the final judgment, it's not good.