Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Problem of Evil

Theodicy is an old term. It means the problem of evil: If God is so powerful and so loving, why is there so much pain and suffering in the world? Why is there so much evil?

This is a question that has been around since the Fall of man, and which I do not have an "easy" answer to, but it is an important question that must be answered (to some degree) in the mind and heart of every believer: If I am to trust God, how should I think about the problem of evil?

Here are some, I hope, helpful principles:

#1 - God is good. - God is morally perfect. He cannot sin. Nor can He tempt anyone to sin.

Luke 18:19 -
And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
James 1:13 -
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

#2 - God's ways are not our ways. - He is much wiser than we are. No one can search out His plans and decisions to fully understand them.

Isaiah 55:8 -
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.
1 Samuel 16:7c -
For the LORD sees not as man sees
Romans 11:33 -
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

#3 - God brings good out of evil. - It is His way. That's what redemption means; all of biblical history is a story of redemption.

Isaiah 47:4 -
Our Redeemer—the LORD of hosts is his name— is the Holy One of Israel.
Jeremiah 50:34 -
Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD of hosts is his name. He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon.
Romans 8:28 -
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

The sum of these principles gives us an idea of God's character: God is absolutely perfect. He does not and cannot sin because He cannot be tempted (this is also why Christ took the form of a man so that He could have a nature that could experience temptation).

God's ways are not our own, so we cannot expect to completely comprehend the ways of God by our own wisdom. There will be many things about God's character that remain a mystery to us which we will have to take on faith, but we can still trust Him because of all that He has revealed about Himself.

Observing the history of mankind, God has always been about the redemption of people (and Creation). He was and is Israel's Redeemer; He is the Redeemer of the Church; He is the Redeemer of Creation and History itself. He makes miracles out of messes and heals what is broken.

Finally, questions of how God could ever have used godless societies to chasten Israel--societies that had no mercy on the helpless and defenceless like women and children (Isaiah 13:17-18)--and how God could use a sinner such as Satan to bring about His purposes (see Job) should always be viewed in light of the singularly darkest and most evil day in the history of the universe: the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

On that day, the greatest evil ever committed took place. The Son of God--God in the flesh--who was absolutely and altogether blameless...was betrayed into the hands of sinners who put Him to death, though He was deserving of no such thing.

If you want to ask how? Ask how God could possibly crush His only begotten Son for the sake of sinners like you and me (John 3:16). Ask how God could possibly say it "was His will to crush Him" (Isaiah 53:10). Ask how He could make Christ to be sin, that we might be made His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21)

The greatest evil ever committed...against the most innocent of persons who ever existed...became the single greatest and most blessed event in all eternity past or present! For, through Christ's stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5), that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29) and bring MANY sons to GLORY (Hebrews 2:10)!

Praise be to God, who even uses our evil for His good ends (Genesis 50:20)! And that it all exalts His most Holy Name (Psalm 106:8)!

5 comments:

  1. I am not baptized. My parents wanted to me live life to the fullest, and believe in what I wanted. I have good morals, great friends, family, etc. I have two beautiful children. I am engaged, however- not married. I am a hard worker, a loving person, honest, and live a full life. According to this " Bible" I will burn in hell. According to the " Bible " my children will not go to heaven because they are not baptized... I think this is horrible to say. NOBODY knows where we came from... and I think the bible is a story.. not fact.. I think a lot of religion is brain washing people... and I also think that life is too short to be wasting time on it... If god was good, or is real, than why are their murders? rape? Catholics or religious people sleeping with kids.. beating their wives... ??? I am so confused by this stuff, and think it's absolutely horrible to be preaching this ..........

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  2. I'm sure whoever made this blog is a nice person and means well.. ( but was brainwashed )As I said above, it's not right .. to a lot of people.... Religion is the main cause of war today.. Something is not right about it.

    You control your life for the most part.. start looking forward, and stop looking up... Life is too short for this silliness :O)

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  3. Thank you so much, friend, for your comment!

    No one will go to Hell for not being baptized or for not knowing about God. They will go to Hell for their rebellion against the living God! We don't go to Heaven on our merits, but on the merits of Jesus Christ! We all live for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ; in the end, He will get glory from us one way or another. Either we will bow to Him here or we will bow to Him in the hereafter.

    Friend, I pray that He will open your eyes to see His beauty and His majesty! I pray that He has mercy on you as He has had on me by not giving me the due penalty for my sins but taking the punishment I deserved!

    Much love to you, friend! :-)

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    1. It is: will you go to heaven when you die? Here's a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything, or used God's name in vain? Jesus said, "Whoever looks on a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart". Have you ever looked with lust? Will you be guilty on Judgement Day? If you have done these things, the Bible sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell.


      ...... that's ridiculous... This is all i'm trying to point out : ) I don't mean to offend anyone.. I just do not agree. I had two children before marriage, and myself and fiance are good people. I have told a lie once.. stole from my parents as a child.. ( i know now it's wrong haha )

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  4. But I was a child.. and it wasn't anything serious... The Bible is a story made up over thousands of years.. I believe that if you follow this, and base your life on it you will not live a full happy, experienced life. This is why I have a hard time believing.
    I believe in spirits, faith, and an afterlife.. but I just do not agree with what the bible states.. :O) And Thank you for your honest response earlier.

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