The source and solution of moral and natural evil in the world.
Where do we go to get an answer why evil exists in this world? If God is all together, holy, and perfect as the Bible says, then why evil exists in this world? Where do we get a foundational answer?
Is there a good foundation where we can start searching for answers?
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The Bible is a rational place to start because it stands out from all others. It is a true statement that the Bible has the undeniable divine stamp and signature on it. It says about Bible in 2 Timothy 3:16, ” All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” The only reliable divinely originated book – has the answer to this question. The answer Bible gives is not people’s opinion but it is the final say of living God who revealed Himself and His eternal truths through the pages of the Bible.
Evil begins in hearts and thoughts.
Evil begins in the hearts and minds of beings. Bible says in Genesis 6:5, The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” Jesus said in Mattew 15:19, “For out of the heart come evil ideas, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” The original sin and the subsequent sins began in the mind first. This is true for today as well.
The first evil or sin in the universe
The incident of first sin in the universe is apparently described in Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14. The first ten verses of Ezekiel 28 are dealing with a human leader- the king of Tyre. However, the descriptions in verse 13 -19 goes beyond this leader called the King of Tyre to a spiritual being- a high rank cherub in heaven. It says you were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering; The ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx and the jasper….was in you… You were the anointed cherub who covers… you were in the holy mountain of God… you were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.” He apparently became so impressed with his own beauty, intelligence, power, and position that he wanted to be like God. The sin that corrupted him was self-generated pride. This first sin originated in the free will and choice of Lucifer (morning star or son of the dawn) by which he decided or chose to rebel against the Creator God. God rightly judged him. God says, “I threw you to the earth” (Ezekiel 28:18). Isaiah 14:12-16 also gives clue about this original sin in the sin in the universe. Jesus said , “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” (Luke 10:18). We know by this statement from Jesus that Satan fell from heaven. Therefore with the unusual description of this person in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 along with the statement of Jesus we know the morning star (Lucifer) fell from heaven because God threw him to the earth and he became the devil. He wanted to be like God. (He said I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne above the stars of God… I will make myself like the Most High…” Isaiah 14:13-16). He tempted Eve with the same temptation of a desire to become like God in the garden of Eden. He said to Eve, “You will be like God.” (Genesis 3:5 (b).
His proud and selfish action resulted in a high-rank archangel to become the devil and a group of angels followed supported him in his rebelliousness against God and they became the demons. The devil and his demons are still encouraging people to disobey and rebel against God on the face of this earth.
Evil in human race.
In the Garden of Eden, after the creation of Adam and Eve, God specifically instructed them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. See God could have made Adam and Eve robots to obey whatever He says and commands. But robots don’t have meaningful relationships. They are just robots. God wanted a meaningful relationship with you and me.
If I really love my son, I don’t want to see him as a robot and I want to see him exercising his free will and choices. If a girl chooses her ‘would be’ husband, that makes good sense because it’s out of love she made a choice. It’s a good motivation to celebrate wedding anniversaries, right? Because she was not forced by someone. She exercised her free will and chose me.
There are people who say God should not have given a choice by placing a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Freewill and freedom to choose are man’s inherent privilege and God did the right choice by giving the first parents a choice. However, remember, when there is an opportunity for choice, there is a vulnerability for sin. This is what happened with the first parents. But it was their own personal decision to disobey God. Remember the first parents didn’t have to disobey God and they were made in innocence. But when devil approached them and criticized God by saying God doesn’t have good intention in His mind and that is the reason why He asked them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the devil was manipulating the good plan and intention of God.
Then people ask why God didn’t judge evil immediately if He is good and perfect. Suppose God immediately judges and kill people who do sin, then where is the time to reflect and ponder about what they did? If my son sins, why I don’t kill him immediately? Because I want to think about what he did and I want to give him time to change his behavior. I will disciple but won’t kill my son. See, God is your heavenly father far better than your earthly father. Because God is good, perfect, loving. He is over powerful to destroy us immediately. But in His wisdom, He chooses to grant us time to come to repentance. Won’t we give this opportunity to our children? Sure we do.
Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:3-6, “This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people.”
Bible reminds us this truth again in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
God is not the originator of evil.
God is not the originator of evil or sin. Bible says in James 1:13, “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
See the sequence in the above passage. God will not tempt to do evil. God doesn’t tempt anyone to do evil. Then where the temptation comes from? Each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil and selfish desires and enticed. Then the evil desire conceives in the heart, it gives birth to sin and when sin full-grown give birth to death.
Now I heard people say “the devil made me do it”. In fact, Eve said when God asked the serpent deceived me, and I ate. Of course, the devil can influence you and can tempt you to do wrong and sinful things. But a person doesn’t need to succumb to his evil influences. The man has a free will and choice to exercise so that he doesn’t need to obey the influence of temptation of the devil. Remember devil tempted Jesus Christ but Christ used the scripture (Bible) verses to counter attack his bad influences. Many people are fallen to devil’s temptation to do sin because of the absence of the knowledge of the Word of God –Bible. Studying Bible and keeping the Bible verses in your heart equips you to combat the temptation or influence of devil to disobey God. A true Christian, who accepted Christ as his or her savior have another helped in him/her- the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God who helps us in our temptations. Bible says in 1 John 4:4, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Bible also says in 1 John 1:5, “God is light; in Him, there is no darkness at all.” God doesn’t have anything to do with darkness or sin. In contrast, 1 John 1:8 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” In other words, God is light, no darkness in Him and He doesn’t tempt anyone to do evil. But we (people) are sinners. Nobody can say he or she is without sin. If we say we do not have sin in ourselves, we deceive ourselves and truth is not in us. Then verse 9 says, God is so gracious and loving toward us that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
No excuse for sin but there is solution to sin, evil and sufferings
Look, if we sin, we don’t have any excuse. Sin begins in our hearts and mind. We are unable to blame others or devil. Blame it on us only. Bible says we sin because we are the products of a sinful nature. Bible says in Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people because all sinned.” Sin entered into this world through one man Bible declares and that man is Adam. He is the representative of all of us. Apple begets apples. Adam begot sinful nature in all of the humanity. Human death is the result of sin. However, we can switch from the representation of Adam to the representation of Christ. We can change our identity from Adam to Christ by trusting on God’s solution of all our sin problem. God’s solution for our sin problem and resulting suffering and death is Jesus Christ. Bible says in Romans 5:15-17, “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!”
One trespass of Adam resulted in condemnation for all people resulting in death, so also one righteous act of Christ results in your justification and eternal life with God in heaven. What is that one righteous act? Christ carried our sins on His body on the cross and He died in your place and paid for your sins and resulting death.
See, God said to the first parent (Adam and Eve), the day they disobey Him (by eating from the forbidden tree), they will die. Death has two meanings. They died spiritually on the day they disobeyed God. They had sweet fellowship with God but the sin separated Adam and Eve from God. They used to walk with God before. Now, due to sin, they were hiding behind the bushes from the presence of God. This means they lost the fellowship with God. Then later God pronounced his judgment in Genesis 3:19(b). He said, “for dust you are, and to dust, you will return.” The spiritual death and physical death were the results of original sin.
God turned the table with the best and never imaginable solution-Spiritual and physical resurrection.
Now you can turn the table. To be more correct- God turned the table in favor of you.
Bible says in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” A believer in Christ overturns his judgment of spiritual and physical death. This new spiritual fellowship with God and physical resurrection from the dead are available in the person of Jesus Christ.
We, humans, are unable to find a solution to our problem of the presence of evil, sin, and suffering. Bible says in Psalms 49:7-9 says, “No one can redeem the life of another
or give to God a ransom for them—
the ransom for a life is costly,
no payment is ever enough—
so that they should live on forever
and not see decay.”
But the perfect, loving, graceful God already gave us the solution. 1 John 5:11-12, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
A person who looks to the cross and accept the verdict of God that Jesus died for his sins, two things happen.
1. Spiritual resurrection. Ephesian 2:1-5 says people without Christ are dead in their transgressions and sins. When a person comes to Lord Jesus Christ and accepts Him as your savior and new representative, he will be made alive with God. He is granted the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through whom the fellowship with living God is restored.
2. Physical resurrection. God pronounced man will go back to dust because God doesn’t want a man to live in this sin bound and cursed the world with all its temptations and sufferings forever. God has a bigger plan for you. When you come and accept Christ as your savior, Bible says in Ephesians 1:6 that God already raised you with Christ (like is resurrected) and He already seated you in heaven. It’s a done deal at the moment you pray Lord Jesus to come into your heart. God grants you eternal life and God already placed you in heaven. In other words, even if you die, you will be resurrected with a brand new glorified body. You don’t need the old sin bound body. God gives you a brand new glorified resurrected body like the body of Christ after His resurrection. If you come to Christ and put your faith the Lord Jesus, God looks you through Jesus Christ who is fully perfect and holy.
Not only spiritual and physical death, there were other judgments pronounced by God after the rebellious disobedience of Adam and Eve.
Why natural evil?
I want to make mention of at least one another judgment and that was judgment he pronounced on the earth. Genesis 3:17 says, God said to Adam because He listened to his wife and ate from the tree about which He commanded not to eat, cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil, you will eat from it all the days of your life.
You see, not only moral evil, but the natural evil is also a result of original rebelliousness and disobedience. When we see natural disasters around us (hurricane, earthquake, floods, natural disasters) and watch the news on TV and News Paper, remember this fact. Read carefully what Bible says about the subjection of creation due to God’s subjection in Romans 8:18-21- “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
This passage God already turned the table not only for us but also for the earth and creation. Creation has its curse on it by God. But there is a day coming to this old earth and heaven tainted by the sins will be removed and a new heaven and earth will be substituted for us. The passage above says like we wait for our new resurrected bodies, the creation also waits in eager expectation for its liberation from bondage and subjection.
New Heaven and New earth not tainted by the judgment.
God says in Revelation 21:1-5, “I am making everything new!” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Revelation 21:1 says, “Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…… Look! God’s dwelling place is now among people, and He will dwell with them….. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old things has passed away.”
You see, both moral and natural evil are the results of human choice of disobedience and rebelliousness to God. Whenever we see sin, evil and natural calamities, remember God’s truth revealed in the pages of the Bible. However, the best is yet to come for a child of God who called upon and accepted Christ as his or her savior.
Prayer time: May I ask you this question? We discussed above the answers to the question why moral and natural evil in this world The solution to the problem of evil and sin is Jesus Christ. Bible says Christ delivered us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us. This He did by dying for your sins on the cross. He shed his precious blood to save you from power and penalties of sin and evil. Today you can restore the lost relationship with God by praying a small prayer with me. Would you pray with me?
“God, I come to you in prayer. I believe Christ paid for my sins on the cross by dying in my place. Please save me from my sins and grant me eternal life with you in heaven.”
If you prayed this prayer, you are born again into God’s family and became a child of God. Please go to the contact/prayer page and send me a note. Thank you.