Why does evil exist?
Why is there so much pain and suffering?
Is God willing to prevent evil but not able?
Then he's not omnipotent.
Is he able but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is He both able and willing?
Then where does evil come from?
Is He neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?
Why did God make the world if he knew how it would turn out?
Why did God set everything up this way knowing we would fail?
Why even bother testing us if He knew what would happen?
Why did God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden?
And why did God plan the cross right from the beginning before he had even created Adam and Eve?
We know God planned to send Jesus as Savior from the very beginning because of the very first word in the Bible.
The whole of the gospel is right in that first word.
Before Adam and Eve were even created, before anything else happens, God already knows what He’s planning.
Why if He knew everything did you go ahead and create a world that would be so evil.
So the very first word in the Bible is “in the beginning”.
That's one word in Hebrew.
And if you look at the individual letters they actually have meaning.
And the meaning when you lay it out is: “Son of God”, “destroyed”,” by his hand”, “on the cross.”
The very first word, before anything else happens, the plan is in place.
God knew we would need it.
In order to get a good answer, we need to start with a good question.
So here's the question:
Why didn't God get rid of Satan right away when he rebelled?
If we answer this question, a lot more will make sense.
So let's go back before the Earth was created.
Lucifer was in heaven, an angel of light, very high ranking, the morning star, and exceedingly beautiful.
Then, Lucifer said:
I will ascend to heaven above the stars of God.
I will set my throne on high.
I will make myself like the Most High.
This was him usurping God's authority.
He decided that he would be equal to God.
He wanted to be God.
This happened before the world was created.
One third of the angels sided with Lucifer,
which tells me that two-thirds did not.
These angels had a choice to make.
Were they going to follow Lucifer, this beautiful creature of light, incredible beauty and intelligence?
Who is worthy? God or Lucifer?
At this time Lucifer looks most exquisitely beautiful,
so they have a decision to make.
How will God handle this rebellion?
The following video clip gives a good short answer to the question:
Why God spared Lucifer when he rebelled.
When Lucifer the devil rebelled against God in heaven,
God could have annihilated him, but he did not do that.
Instead, Lucifer and his fellow rebels were thrust upon the Earth.
Later God created humans on earth.
As we all know, there have been problems ever since.
On the other hand, if He had finished off Lucifer and his angels at once,
it would give room for his loyal angels to think that God is a tyrant
and maybe Lucifer would have made a better leader than God.
That's why God is letting his angels see how unfit Lucifer is
and what a mess he makes on planet in contrast to all that he boasted.
In the past, Lucifer did try to build many kingdoms upon the earth:
Babylonian, Assyrian, Egyptian, Grecian, Roman, Persian and so on.
However, all of them collapsed unlike the heavenly kingdom of God.
Observing all these, the angels learn that only God's ways are right.
Meanwhile, according to the Bible, Lucifer the devil will make one final attempt to build yet another kingdom upon the earth.
The Bible calls it the anti-Christ kingdom which is a New World Order the elites are working on now.
The Bible goes on to say that it will prosecute the believers and it will last hardly seven years.
At the end of this regime, Jesus returns to earth in all his glory and he puts an end to this anti-Christ kingdom.
And Satan is locked up in the bottomless pit for the next thousand years.
The Earth is going to be governed by godly rules by Jesus and his resurrected followers.
Many will resent it because they won't have any other choice but to submit.
Then at the end of the thousand year’s period, the devil will be released once again for a little while to tempt the people of the world.
At this point, the people who resented the authority of Jesus and the Saints will join hands with the devil to attack the camp of the Saints.
This event is called the Battle of Gog and Magog.
At this point, God throws Lucifer and all his forces, including the rebellious humans, into hell once and for all, for eternity.
Well, that explains, as to why God did not destroy the devil and his angels instantly when they rebelled against Him in heaven.
So if God simply got rid of Lucifer right away, the rest of the Angels would not feel they had a choice
and that they had to follow God out of fear, not love.
Satan is now the ruler of this world.
When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he said to Jesus:
“If you fall down and worship me, I will give you all these kingdoms.”
They were Satan's Kingdom to give.
However, God keeps ultimate control.
He allows Satan to be the ruler of this world to show what it would be like if Satan was the ultimate ruler of the entire universe.
God is giving Satan a chance to prove himself.
This planet has become a testing ground, where the character Satan and the nature of his kingdom are contrasted with the character of God and the nature of His kingdom.
Who is right? Who can we ultimately trust?
These are the issues which the great controversy between Christ and Satan must resolve.
So deceptive was Lucifer that before the entire universe could be fully convinced, the nature of his alternative had to be fully exposed.
It has taken time for everyone to really grasp how disastrous Satan's alternative actually is,
But everyone eventually will see that the wages of sin is death and that the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our lord.
After everyone understands the deadly nature of sin and the destructive nature of Satan's philosophy, God can destroy Satan and sin.
He will also have to destroy those who stubbornly resist his grace and clean to Satan's alternative.
God is just as anxious to resolve the problem of sin and suffering as we are to have him do so,
but He is waiting until he can do it on a permanent basis and
until He can both preserve our free will and prevent evil from ever appearing again.
So why couldn’t God show all this in an instant?
Why drag it out so long and make it so painful for all of us?
Well, compared to eternity, the time of this Earth is an instant.
In fact, any finite length of time is an instant when compared to eternity.
So even if it had taken a million years to prove, it would still only be an instant compared to eternity.
The Lord will abolish sin and evil only after every soul in the universe is convinced that Satan's government is unfair, hateful, ruthless, lying, and destructive.
The universe is watching this world.
The Bible says: We are made a spectacle unto the world and to angels and to men.
We each play a part in the controversy between Christ and Satan.
As the controversy ends, every soul will fully understand the principles of both kingdoms and will have chosen to follow either Christ or Satan.
Those who have chosen to ally with sin and Satan will be destroyed with him.
And God's people will be taken to the eternal safety of their heavenly home.
So we see in Genesis, the very beginning of the Bible, that God made the world “very good”.
And he did, so that Satan could not say things were a mess when he started his rule.
God was giving Satan a fair chance.
Here is a perfect world.
Okay, now Satan take over. It's your chance to prove what you can do.
Let's see how you handle this portion of the universe.
God cast Satan to the earth and decreed a set amount of time for Satan to rule the earth.
So it’s not an unending stretch of time.
It’s a very specific time period that God has allowed Satan to rule this earth.
And Satan’s time is almost up.
It has almost been 6000 years since the beginning of creation.
Satan knows he has a set amount of time.
When Jesus cast the demons out of the demon possessed man, the demon shouted,
“What do you want with us son of God? Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?
They knew Jesus had turned up way too early.
This was not the time he was supposed to overthrow their rule.
So man has been given dominion over the earth plants and animals
with Satan as the ruler of this world for this time period.
But God is still keeping an upper hand.
God will not let things go totally out of control.
We were given dominion over the earth and this answers the question:
Why do I need to pray and ask God for something that he already knows I need?
The reason is right here.
God gave us dominion. God does not have dominion over this world.
We can ask God to have input into our life to do something.
But God will not simply take that authority without permission.
If you walked down the street and see a house that desperately needs repairs,
Do you have the authority to just go ahead and repair the house?
Of course not! The house does not belong to you.
But if the owner asks for your help, then you are allowed.
It is the same with us on this earth.
God has given us ownership and responsibility over the earth.
We must recognize our needs and ask for His help.
He does not have right to simply change our life without us first asking for help.
And we do have that ability to choose because man was made with two natures.
so that he could choose which side to be on.
If you read the Hebrew in Genesis, where God is forming the man, the word for form is not spelled correctly in Hebrew.
When God formed the animals, the Hebrew word is spelled correctly with only one of that letter “yod”.
When God formed man, the Hebrew word has an extra “yod”.
It is not an error and copying because it has always been there.
The Rabbis always wondered why the extra letter was added.
They came to the conclusion that God has given us to natures.
We have the ability to choose right from wrong, but God did not give the animals a choice.
They only have one nature.
So God offered a way out for men, but it would be man's free will to choose it.
God did not let Satan reign without restraint, nor did God make man without a choice during his time on earth.
God sent his only begotten Son, Jesus, to provide the way to be saved from evil.
God knows Satan is going to make a mess of things and God does not want us to be left at the mercy of Satan without a choice or chance to escape.
This is a testing ground.
Jesus needed to be fully God and fully man because if he was only fully God He would not have authority on Earth to do anything.
He has to be a man.
Only man has authority on Earth.
Satan may be the ruler, but we are the ones who have authority.
Jesus needed to be fully human so that as a man he had authority in the world to make changes.
And as God he had the ability and the power.
So the plan was in place right from the beginning, even before the world was created.
Before Satan could ruin this world, God set in place a plan.
We are not just under Satan’s rule with no way out.
Now we understand what is meant by:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
God has made this world good.
He knows what is going to happen.
He really doesn't want it, but He has to prove the point to the entire universe
and so he is also offering a way out for us because we are caught in this test.
God knows that Satan's way will only lead to death.
So God has given us a way out to life.
As surely as I live declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked,
but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways!
When you see the whole picture, what's happening here with Satan and his testing ground,
then this verse has much deeper meaning because really God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
He really, really wants us to turn.
He has given us the choice. He has given us the option.
He knows how difficult the situation is, and when we choose God's way,
there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
The angels in heaven are just watching this unfold, this test.
And when someone decides not to follow Satan, there's a big cheer goes up in heaven.
Good someone got it. Someone got out.
At the end of Satan's time limit, God will step in.
Satan will be bound for 1000 years while Jesus Reigns on Earth.
Satan will not be allowed to be the ruler of this world for the last thousand years, the Millennium.
This physical world will still exist, but not under Satan's rule.
Satan has a certain amount of time to prove his point.
Then God will say, okay, your time is up.
Now Jesus is going to reign for 1000 years.
Let's see how his kingdom goes.
And after the thousand years of Christ reign, there will be an epic battle that will take place.
Satan will be released for a very short while to deceive people again.
And then we have the final epic battle of Gog and Magog.
God will destroy Satan. Satan and his angels will be cast into the burning Lake of Fire.
This is why God does not wipe out evil.
It’s not that he can't. But that is not yet time.
He is being just in fair and allowing evil to show its true colors.
When God makes the final judgment, no angel in heaven or man on earth will be able to say that God is unjust or not rightfully God.
So let's go back to the Epicurean Paradox and see if we can solve it now.
Here it is in a flow chart form.
Evil exists? Yes.
Can God prevent it? Yes.
Does God know about all the Evil? Yes.
Does God want to prevent Evil? Yes.
Then why is there Evil?
Here we get down to the key question. Some options are:
It is necessary for the universe to exist? no
“Another reason” - what is in that other reason?
I think we've discussed that other option.
Is to test us? But if God is all knowing he would know what we would do if we were tested.
Therefore there is no need to test us.
But you see this test is happening on a cosmic level for the whole universe to understand what is happening.
It's not just our test.
Is it because Satan exists?
But an all powerful, all knowing, all good God could and would destroy Satan.
And the answer to that is “Yes”, He will destroy him.
It's just not time yet.
Could God have created a universe without Evil? Yes, he could.
Then why didn't he?
Well, the universe will exist without evil when this testing period is finished.
Once this is proven, then God can and will create a universe with freewill but without evil.
So the final box –
Could God have created a universe with freewill, but without evil
that is the whole process that's happening here.
That is the reason why we are in this world right now.
So what was missing from that chart is the element of time.
There's an end to this.
And when? Well, that's not on the chart either.
God set a decreed time for these problems to exist.
If you only look within this time, you will not find the solution.
Because it is outside of this period of testing time.
God is giving Satan time to prove himself.
This is a cosmic display of proof to all the world and heavenly beings to end evil forever.
Which side will you choose to be on?
If you don't choose, your default is with Satan.
You have to actually make a choice to move out of Satan’s kingdom.
Our father in heaven
Your kingdom come
Deliver us from the evil one.