Evil: Its Existence and Continuation

     by Joe Westbrook

     If you are a Christian and attempt to talk to a non-Christian about God, one thing that many will invariably bring up is the question, “If God is so good, why does He allow evil to exist?”  Sadly, many Christians are unprepared to answer a question like this.

     First we need to address one very important point that is often overlooked.  How can you know what evil is without knowing what “good” is to compare it to?  In science, darkness doesn’t have physical properties of its own.  We measure darkness as an absence of light.  Just so, we can look at evil as an absence of goodness.  A person who is evil is a person who does not abide by God’s standards and does not allow God to live and work in his/her life.  By admitting that there is evil in this world, one is admitting that there is some force of good by which to define evil.  Henceforth, this force of good shall be referred to as God.

     In the article on this site “How can a loving God allow evil to exist?” it was stated that Adam's sin is what brought evil into this world and our sins today help to perpetuate evil.  God did not desire this for humanity, but because He gave us free will, it is our decision as to whether or not we allow evil to continue.  God could easily have superseded every decision humanity has made since creation that has been contrary to His will, but that would have stripped us of the gift of free will, and it would also have made the death of Christ unnecessary.

     Romans 8: 28 says that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  Christians, who love God and should be serving Him with their lives, will not be immune from suffering in this life – they will likely suffer more than non-Christians because of their faith.  Ever since the fall, pain and suffering are commonplace, and pain and suffering by themselves are not good.  However, God will use all of the things that happen to us to draw us to Him, shape our lives and our perspectives, and refine us for His service.  The times of the most intense, spiritual growth of the church throughout history have been the times of greatest persecution.  It is ironic that the efforts of those who seek to shut us up and shut us down are really being used by God to make us bolder and dig deeper into the truth of Scripture.

     In summary, evil exists because of what man has done, and we can only know it exists because God is good and we know it, even if we are unwilling to acknowledge it.  Evil continues to exist as part of God’s ultimate purpose and will.  And evil will continue to exist until God’s purpose and will are fulfilled, until His patience has reached its limit and He brings our world to an end, separates those who follow Him from those who do not, and either welcomes into or casts out of heaven all of humanity from all of time based on the decision that each individual made about Him.

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