Got a deep, thorny, mind-boggling Bible question? Send it to email@example.com and I’ll do my very best to answer it in 100 words or less.
Yesterday, we answered questions about Satan. Today, we delve into a related topic.
Here’s the question: Where does evil come from and why did God allow it in the first place?
A large-brained theologian named J.B. Phillips once said: “Evil is inherent in the risky gift of free will.” Norman Geisler said: “Whereas God created the fact of freedom, humans perform the acts of freedom. God made evil possible; creatures make it actual.”
Here’s what Jesus’ brother James said:
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:13)
Simply put, God gives us the freedom to choose good or reject it. Without that choice, we’d be unable to love or worship. As Paul Little said:
There would never be any hot words, never any conflict, never anything said or done that would make you sad. But who would want that? There would never be any love either. Love is voluntary. God could have made us like robots, but we would have ceased to be men. God apparently thought it worth the risk of creating us as we are. Thank God.
I know that I’m exceeding my self-imposed 100-word limit, but here’s a quartet of anti-evil verses for your consideration:
Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. (Romans 12:9)
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)
Flee from the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:18)
Want more? Here’s a rather deeeeep dissertation from Christian apologetics expert William Lane Craig.
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