Today I’m addressing a question I hear over and over again from non-believers and believers alike. “Why doesn’t God stop evil now?” The reasoning goes something like this. God is all-powerful and God is love. He should use His omnipotence now to strike down evil so the righteous can live peacefully. Let’s discuss this and see if the Bible answers it for us.
Why is Evil in the World?
That’s a good question. Let’s start here.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
This verse declares that the unchanging God gives “every good gift and every perfect gift.” God does not change, therefore he does not send any “bad and imperfect” gifts. This is the first great lesson to learn: God is good! You can almost see the word ‘good’ in God, can’t you? Of course! God is good and can only give that which is good.
Lesson 1: Don’t blame God for the bad things that happen in this world and in you own life.
Where does evil come from then? It comes from the enemy of God, the devil. The devil was named “Lucifer” which means “light bearer.” He was probably the top angel in God’s angelic hierarchy and he was charged with ‘guarding’ the earth.
God created the angels with free will, just as he does mankind. Having free will, an angel can make a self-determined choice to obey God or not. Lucifer was filled with pride and decided he’d like to be God himself. He wanted to usurp God and take his place. He attempted to do just that and a third of the angels in heaven followed and supported him in his effort to overthrow God.
God had nothing to do with it and cast the devil and his fallen angles to the earth where his man would defeat the devil for him. When I think about this, it seems as if God was saying to the devil, “You think you’re equal or above me in strength power and wisdom — but you are only a created being. You were my top angel, but now that you have done this, I’ll show you how futile your attempt to overthrow me was. I don’t need to defeat you personally, the man that I create will do it for me. My man will defeat you, oh devil and you shall have no authority any longer.”
That’s a total hypothesis from my own mind and heart, but from the scope of God’s Word, that’s the impression I get about Lucifer’s fall and defeat at Calvary.
God made man and placed him in the garden. God told Adam that he was given total dominion over the earth. God made Adam his landlord of earth so to speak. I believe Lucifer was put in charge of the earth before his fall, but he was transferring that authority to Adam upon one condition: Adam obey God.
Evil was introduced in the world when God’s man, Adam, failed to obey God and instead succumbed to the devil’s words. Since Adam sided with God’s arch enemy, his offense constitutes high treason, punishable by death.
Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.
Genesis 3:1-7 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;
but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”
The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die!
“For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.
This is the ‘fall of man’ as recorded in the Bible. Let’s take a quick look at a portion of the resulting consequences from man’s disobedience to God.
Genesis 3: 16:19 To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”
Death and evil were introduced into the world through man’s fall. We live in a fallen world, not paradise, and we witness the evidence of this truth on a daily basis.
Do Not Blame God when Evil Things Happen
When evil things happen in your life, be like Job. No matter what the devil threw at Job, he did not blame God. His wife at one point told Job to “…curse God and die,” but Job would not and did not.
Job 1:22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God with wrong.
Evil is in the world because of the original fall and because a third of the angels who sided with the devil are hell-bent on causing chaos in the earth. They are very involved with attempting to cause trouble for the people of God and those who would be come God’s people.
Evil came to Israel because of their own fall (read: backsliding) which was the result of their hardened hearts. They had been warned over and over again, but they kept getting involved in pagan worship. They attempted to mix pagan worship with worship of the one true God, which diluted the truth they knew into a religious set of laws that they observed.
So God dispersed them into the nations, but he promised to bring them back one day. That started with the national rebirth of Israel in 1048.
Jesus Won the Victory and Defeated the Devil and Evil
Immediately after the fall, God promised that a coming ‘seed of the woman’ would ‘crush’ the devil’s head. That was the first prophecy of the birth of Jesus Christ. When Jesus came, he obeyed his father and did his father’s will rather than his own.
I John 3:8 The one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.
Ephesians 4:8 Therefore he says, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Ephesians 1:20-23 …when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Evil Will Stay Until Christ Returns
Here’s the conclusion to the matter: Jesus is Lord and he is going to return to forcefully remove the devil and his host of fallen angels from influencing the earth. In the meantime, evil will continue to exist and will even flourish, but we look to t
Matthew 13:24-30 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who 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 grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’
But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
There is your answer. Systems are so ingrained in this world that in order to remove the evil, much of the good would be uprooted also. Because of that, God is waiting until the proper time to finalize the forceful re-acquisition of earth and earth’s people from the jaws of the ‘god of this age,’ which is the devil.
I hope this has helped explain why evil exists in the world and why it isn’t being rooted at as we speak.