Defining Evil – Part 2
1 John 5: 19 NIV The whole world is under the control of the ‘evil’ one.
Ephesians 6:12 NIV For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Colossians 1:13 NIV For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness…
Evil has an origin. Evil has an author. Evil has intention and purpose. Evil has a leader. The bible clearly states that Satan (the devil) is the ruler, or ‘god’ of this present age. As a consequence of the Fall, Satan (the devil) was permitted to introduce the principle of ‘evil’ into the whole of creation on planet earth. What is important for us to know is that God was always in control and remains in control. In the realm of understanding that is relegated to the realm of ‘mystery’, the bible does not explain or provide God’s reasoning for ‘why’ He allows what He allows or ‘why’ He does what He does. God’s ways are His ways. But the bible is clear that God has ultimate authority and control over all things, all time, all events, and that He is pure, He is good, and He is love.
1 John 1:5 NIV God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
1 John 4:8 NIV ..God is love.
Psalm 18.30 NIV As for God, His way is perfect;
James 1:13 NIV For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
“The Bible says that God is a God of love and He desired to create a person and eventually a race that would love Him. But genuine love cannot exist unless freely given through free choice to accept God’s love or to reject it. This choice made the possibility of evil become very real. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they did not choose something God created, but, by their choice, they brought evil into the world. God is neither evil nor did He create evil. Man brought evil upon himself by selfishly choosing his own way apart from God’s way.
Because of the fall, the world now is abnormal. Things are not in the state that they should be in. Man, as a result of the fall, has been separated from God. Nature is not always kind to man and the animal world can also be his enemy. There is conflict between man and his fellowman. None of these conditions were true before the fall. Any solution that might be given to the problems mankind faces must take into consideration that the world as it stands is not normal.
Although evil is here and it is real, it is also temporary. Evil will eventually be destroyed. This is the hope that the believer has. There is a new world coming in which there will be no more tears and pain because all things will be made new (Revelation 21:5). Paradise lost will be paradise regained. God will right every wrong and put away evil once and for all, in His time.
However, some people are still bothered that God even allows evil in the first place. They question His wisdom in giving man a choice in the matter. Dorothy Sayers put the problem of evil in the proper perspective: “For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is — limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death — He had the honesty and the courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game he is playing with His creation, He has kept his own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole of human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worthwhile” (Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos? New York, Harcourt Brace, 1949, p. 4).
The Bible tells us that God’s purposes are sometimes beyond our understanding. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8, 9, NASB). Paul, in a similar vein, wrote to the church at Rome, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable His ways” (Romans 11:33, NASB).
Although the Bible informs us how and why evil came about, it does not tell us why God allowed it to happen. However, we do know that God is all wise and all knowing and that He has reasons for allowing things to happen that are beyond our comprehension.” (Excerpts taken from Answers to Tough Questions Skeptics Ask About the Christian Faith, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart. Tyndale House Publishers, 1980.)