Bible Study Christian Life

Why Is There Evil in the World?

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Written by Ivan Sutton

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

Each person therefore should have a great conflict world view.  Imagine if everyone had an understanding that we are in a war against Satan and sin.  Imagine if we understood that when acts of evil happen, we are at war.   “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12.
If we all understood this battle, it would lead us back to the Word of God.   The Word of God leads directly to the feet of Jesus.  And Jesus is our salvation.
It is natural and expected to question why there is so much evil in our world.  I have heard people that do not believe in God ask that question with no clue for an answer.   When we observe evil, injustice, hatred and murder, we must be moved to ask why?  The Word of God has the answer and I encourage everyone to prayerfully study.  It is sobering to know that the devil is angry and is seeking to destroy us with him.  Consider the following when thinking about the evil you observe in the world today:
“Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” Revelation 12:12
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11
“To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’” Acts 26:18
“And they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” 1 Timothy 2:26
“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 1 Corinthians 4:4
“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” Revelation 14:12
In the end, this will all be over and God will recreate this world to be perfect and the faithful will be changed to be immortal.  Sin will never happen again.  “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4.  

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Ivan Sutton

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