Why Is There Evil In The World?
Why Is There Evil In The World?
How often have you asked this question? If God loves us so much, why does He allow this evil? All evil does is to cause heartache and hardships? It seems to contradict the idea that God does really love us.
To understand this question, we need to understand why God created us in the first place. God created us as free creatures. He did this so He would be able to share His great love with us. Only truly free creatures can truly love. Yet, being truly free means that we have the ability to do whatever we want to. We can even do the opposite of that God created us for.
Read the article “Why Did God Create Us?” That article will give you a basic understanding of who we are and why He created us as He did. This will give us an understanding of why there is evil in the world. God took a great chance in creating us as He did. Yet it was the only way to create a creature with which He could share His great love.
We Were Created As Totally Free Creatures
We are totally free to live as we want to. We do need to understand that included in this freedom is the freedom to choose our eternal destiny. Yes, we can do whatever we want while we are living here on the earth. However, we are only on this earth for a relatively short period of time. After that, our eternal spirit will go to its eternal destination. This destination will be determined by what we choose to do while we are on this earth.
Yes, we are totally free creatures. God has chosen not to control us in any way. However, He has set standards by which we should live. And if we are going to live with Him after we leave this earth, we must meet those standards. See the section on Salvation to understand how we can meet those standards.
Many Have Chosen To Rebel Against God
Many in this world have chosen to rebel against God and his standards for us. They have chosen the opposite of the purpose for our creation. You see, if we are free to create, we are also free to destroy, If we are free to love, we are also free to hate. If we are free to do good, we are also free to do evil.
What About Satan?
But what about Satan? Didn’t Satan bring evil into the world? Yes, Satan is a part of this. To understand evil in the world, we need to know a little something about Satan.
Satan was originally a very high ranking angel named Lucifer. But he wanted to be worshipped instead of worshipping God. He thought that he was equal with God, the Father. When he rebelled against God, he was thrown down to Earth. A third of all the angels rebelled along with him and were also thrown down.
Why Isn’t Satan In Hell?
God created a special place for Satan and his demons called hell. Yet, Lucifer and his followers were banished to the earth. This is a mystery. Why did God banish him where he had the opportunity to destroy His new creation, the human race? Why did He put mankind under such temptation? Why didn’t God just let us alone in our freedom to live however we wanted to?
Could it be that God only wants humans to live in heaven who have committed themselves to Him? If everyone were allowed into heaven, heaven would not be any different than it is here on earth. Is this the type of life you want to live for all eternity?
Could it be that God is forcing us to make a definite decision? Could it be that Satan is forcing each one of us to make a decision either for God or against Him? Could it be that Satan is unwittingly fulfilling God’s plan?
Adam and Eve
When God created Adam and Eve, the first humans, they lived in the Garden of Eden. In that garden there was a tree which represented the knowledge of good and evil. If we are truly free creatures, we have the ability of knowing both good and evil. Yet, God did not want us to have any knowledge of evil because He knew that we would be tempted by it.
Knowledge Of Evil Brought Temptation With It
God created us as He wanted us to be. This was a creature that only had knowledge of what was good. This is why Satan tempted Eve to taste the knowledge of evil. He knew that neither she nor Adam would have the strength to resist the temptation of evil if they possessed its knowledge.
Many movies and other stories have been written about how people are drawn to “the dark side.” There is a lot of truth in these stories. As humans, we have a curious nature. We want to know and understand what we don’t know. Evil was unknown to Adam and Eve. As long as they had no concept of “evil,” they were not curious about it. When they “ate” of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil they became curious about this new conception were drawn to it.
Yes, God knows both good and evil, but since God is the embodiment of love, He can only choose good and that is what He wants us to do. This is why God gave us the two greatest commandments. Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV): “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Good Creates and Evil Destroys
God knows that good creates and evil destroys. This is why God created us with the ability to love. Someone who is full of love will always choose good over evil. We are not forced to love, we are only given the ability to love. If we choose not to love, we will choose evil over good. Evil is that tempting. So we too, must choose to embody love and thus choose only to do good.
This is the meaning of the story of the fall in the Garden of Eden. This is why Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden. They now had the knowledge of evil and God knew that they would be tempted by it. Not only would they be tempted, they would fall into it time after time. God and evil (or sin) are not compatible, they cannot exist together.
God Still Loves Us
But God did not lose his love for His creation. He knew that He had created a creature that could love as much as He did. Not everyone would choose this love, but many would, if they had the opportunity. So He created the opportunity for us. He prepared a way for us to be saved, that is, be brought back into His presence. For more information on this, see the section on Salvation.
Misused Freedom Brings Evil
So, why is there evil in the world? It is because way too many people have misused their freedom and chosen evil over good. They have chosen self-centeredness instead of other-centeredness. They have followed Satan’s example and chosen to worship themselves instead of worshipping God.