"Why does God allow evil?"1. The Lord is:
a. God is capable of preventing evil, and
b. God desires to rid the universe of evil.
Question: So, if both of these are true, why does God allow evil? If God has the power to prevent evil, and desires to prevent evil, why does He not prevent evil?
2. Answer: Perhaps a good way to look at this issue would be to consider some alternative situations for how people might have God run the world:
a. Programmed Robots. God could change everyone’s personality so that they cannot sin. This would also mean that we would not have a free will. We would not be able to choose right or wrong because we would be “programmed” to only do right. Had God chosen to do this, there would be no meaningful relationships between Him and His creation.
Instead, the Lord Jesus created Adam and Eve innocent but with the ability to choose good or evil. In doing so, they could respond to His love and trust Him or choose to do their own thing. They chose to do their own thing. Because we live in a real world where we can choose our actions but not their consequences, their sin affected those who came after them (us). Similarly, our decisions to sin have an impact on us, and those around us.
b. Lord’s intervention. Another choice would have the Lord compensate for people’s evil actions through supernatural intervention 100% of the time.
1) a drunk driver will cause an automobile accident and the Lord would have to keep him from accident to keep him and other people safe.
2) a lazy father does not fix the leaking plumbing and the Lord would have to make the plumbing not leak, otherwise his household would be inconvenienced.
3) a father gets addicted to drugs and spends all of his money on drugs and the Lord would somehow have to miraculously provide both the food and the social needs of the family.
Consenting/Condoning Parent. In such a world, the Lord Jesus would be like a bad parent who allows destructive lifestyle to go on without correction. There would be no consequences for one’s actions, and as a result no one would learn integrity, purity, honor, responsibility, or self-control. There would be no “good consequences” for right behavior, no “bad consequences” for wrong behavior. What would people become except more deviant and sinful?
c. Removal/Elimination of Evil. Another choice would be for the Lord to judge and remove those who choose to commit evil acts. The problem with this possibility is that there would be no one left, for God would have to remove us all. We all sin and commit evil acts (Romans 3:23; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 John 1:8). While some people are more evil than others, where would God draw the line? Ultimately, all evil causes harm to others.
d. Choices/consequences. Instead, the Lord Jesus has created this world in which real choices have real consequences. Our actions affect others. Because of Adam’s choice to sin, the world now lives under the curse, and we are all born with a sin nature (Romans 5:12). There will one day come a time when the Lord will judge the sin in this world and make all things new, but He is purposely “delaying” in order to allow more time for people to repent so that He will not need to judge them (2 Peter 3:9).
When He created the Old Testament Laws, He established laws that discourage and punish evil. He judged nations and kings who disregard justice and pursue evil. Likewise in the New Testament, God states that it is the government’s responsibility to provide justice in order to protect the innocent from evil (Romans 13). He also promises severe consequences for those who commit evil acts, especially on the “innocent” (Mark 9:36-42).
3. Summary. Our good or evil actions have direct and indirect consequences upon us and those around us. God’s desire is to obey Him that it might be well with us (Deuteronomy 5:29). Instead, man chooses his own way and then blames the Lord for the evil consequence of his actions. Such is the heart of sinful man.
But Jesus came to pay for the curse of sin by suffering death by His once and for all sacrifice of Himself upon the cross. By the power by which He rose from the dead, anyone who turns away from evil and choose to believe and commit himself/herself in Jesus, he/she has salvation, eternal life, and has been changed into a new man. (2 Cor. 5:17) Rather than blaming God and questioning God for why He does not prevent all evil – we should be about the business of proclaiming the cure for evil and its consequences – Jesus Christ!
By Rev. Mario I. Quitoriano
“Why does God allow evil?” by Rev. Mario I. Quitoriano is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.