Why is there Evil in the World?
I often get asked, If there is a God, or if God is real, then why is there so much evil and suffering in the world? It is a good question. It is logical to ask if God is all powerful and loves us then why do the innocent suffer? Why does it seem that when catastrophe strikes it is indiscriminate in whom it claims, young, old, Christian, Atheist or Muslim, rich or poor, white or black? Why does it often seem that the wicked prosper greatly while the innocent and the good get taken advantage of? Why would God allow this?
I heard a good point in a recent sermon I watched. The pastor reminded us that in the beginning, a perfect God created a perfect world, with perfect people. But when we look around us we see the opposite. We see death and abuse and greed and fear. So when you read the Bible you have to ask, “what happened?”
He gave the example that goes like this: In the morning you wake and tidy your home. You vacuum, do the dishes, wipe down every surface, do laundry and put the laundry away and when you are leaving your home, you glance back and see that everything is good. Everything is in place and you have staged it with flowers so that it will be pleasantly welcoming when you return. But after a long day at work, you return to find your front door broken, and your home is a mess. There is graffiti on your walls and most of your belongings are destroyed or missing. Your immediate thought would be “What happened?”
Jesus describes it best in Matthew 13:24-30. “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”
Notice how people are questioning the farmer. A good farmer plants good seeds. But the people ask, “did you not sow good seed in the field?” Perhaps in their minds they are questioning whether the farmer is a good farmer or a bad farmer. No good farmer would plant bad seed.
The focal point of the parable is the answer. “He said unto them, An enemy has done this.”
In our world, we see much suffering and imperfection. How could this have happened? How could we have gone from a perfect creation with perfect people to this decay. The answer is simple and speaks to the great controversy. An enemy has done this.
Revelation 12:9, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
So in our world, we see both growing together, the bad and the good seed. “ Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”
The enemy is seldom mentioned when discussing why there is so much suffering in the world. God is blamed. But a study of the great conflict that we are all part of is critical in understanding the forces that impact us daily and how this will end. When will the harvest be?
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” Hebrews 2:14
“For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:25-26