God Did Not Create Evil
There are a lot of people who use the existence of evil as an excuse not to believe in God, or to believe in a totally different god. They see evil as a problem that shows God as the one who created evil. They believe that since God created everything that He also created evil. So evil came fourth from God. This idea is also used as an excuse to believe that sin does not exist or that people are not responsible for their own sins. This is because they think that God created sin and humans were created by God with their sins and that there is no way they can stop sinning.
The truth is that society is increasaingly evil and more atrocities are committed each week. Society is speeding down the road of sin at a rate faster than ever. Looking at this someone might ask the questions, “Why did God create humanity if they are so evil” and that “If God knew they would rebel against Him why did He create them? Why did He not create humans to be perfect and good? If God is a loving God why does He allow so much suffering?” and “Why are human’s punished for sins that they cannot control?” Let’s look into these questions in more detail.
Why did God create humanity if they are so evil?
A better question than the one above would be, “Why did God create?” First of all, it was God’s will to create things and He did it because He could, and wanted to display His glory. Revelation 4:11 states,
“Our Lord and God, You are worthy to recieve glory and honor, and power, because You have created all things, and because of Your will they exist and were created.” (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
God did not create things in order to deserve glory. He always has deserved it. God is who He is and unchanging (Hebrews 13:8). God has always and will always be good and deserving of glory no matter what. He did not deserve less glory before He created than He deserves now. He is the same today as He was yesterday and will always be the same. God expresses in Malachi 3:6, “I, Yahweh, have not changed” when speaking about His promise to Israel. He does not change in essence and He does not change His mind. In Exodus 3:14 God sternly states, “I AM WHO I AM.” This is the perfect explanation for God. He is who He is, and always has been who He is, and always will be who He is. Revelation 4:8 says, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is, and who is coming.”
God also does not need anything, but chose to create and control the affairs of the world nonetheless. God did not create because He was bored or alone. In fact God is one being with three persons that have always related to each other. Jesus said He had glory with the father before the world began (John 17:5). Colossians 1:16 says that “all things were created through Him and for Him [Christ].” He created for the purpose of displaying His glory for His own pleasure because He deserves it, for He is God! God created all things in order to display His glory and show His divine attributes. He created to glorify Himself and for not any other reason than that!
Now to answer why God created men even though they are evil one has to look at who God is. God is good (Nahum 1:7), full of justice (Luke 18:7), mercy (Romans 9:15), grace (James 4:6), and love (1 John 4:8). To make it simpler: God is righteous! In order to display all of His divine attributes to glorify Himself there must be ways to express His goodness, justice, mercy, grace, and love. Jeremiah 9:24 says,
“But the one who boasts should boast in this,
that he understands and knows Me—
that I am the LORD, showing faithful love,
justice, and righteousness on the earth,
for I delight in these things.
[This is] the LORD’s declaration.”
God also desires His creation to follow the laws of the universe He set in place and to know of His righteousness. He wants genuine worship and genuine faith. God is the author of what is good. If man rebel’s against God they are the one’s who have become evil on their own. Evil is disobedience to God. Mankind chose to rebel against God because God did not force humans to blindly follow Him. God created humans perfect in the Garden of Eden whith Adam and Eve, yet they were tempted by Satan and sinned. The seed of sin/evil came through the curse of Adam. Therefore, God did not create evil humans, but allowed evil to tempt them which caused the fall away from righteousness into depravity.
God created humans with their own will. In fact, God created their wills and put them inside each person. Such a thing explains why different people have different interests and desires than others. God designed each individual to be who they are, and God created humans knowing that they would do what they do, including the rebellion of sin. Yet, He created them anyway. He did not design humans that would not rebel against Him. He created humans (as well as angels) that would rebel and fall away from His righteousness. This was ordained by God and intended to happen in order to demonstrate His glorious divine attritbutes for His own pleasure. MacArthur (2007) states, “Evil exists. God exists. God wills evil to exist. He did not create it. He could not create it. But He did not prevent it. He ordained it. He willed it…He had a purpose for evil” (gty.org). One cannot fully knnow God’s righteousness without an understanding of unrighteousness (the knowledge of good and evil). When people understand what sin does and how it offends God they can then understand what it means for God to be holy. This will bring proper worship of who He is.
Why did He not create humans to be perfect and good?
If God created people who could only follow Him and had no mind of their own, or free will to follow their own desires, then that would not be genuine love or faith in Him. God is not a god of fatalistic-determinism, or some sort of coercion against the will of the human; nor did God create humanity without an actual will that was programed like a robot before Creation. But God did ordain all things to happen before they happened, and created man with his will that would follow God’s divine plan. It makes sense that man’s will is compatible with God’s will. Nothing a man can do can be outside of what God ordains and controls to happen for God is soveriegn over all Creation (1 Chronicles 29:11-12). A human’s desire comes from his will that God created in him and therefore affects the human to act and make the choices he does. These choices are the human’s free choice, as a result of the human’s intention. In 1 Chronicles 29:17-18 it says that David and the Israelites “willingly” made sacrifices, gave offerings, and gave praise to God. God works all things out according to His will (Romans 8:28) which makes the human’s will compatible with His. For example, in Genesis 50:20 it speaks about Joseph and his brothers who wished to kill him, but ended up selling him into slavery in Egypt. Joseph made ammends with his brothers later in his life after suffering much hardship and states in verse 20, “You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result— the survival of many people.” This shows that his brothers willed to hurt Joseph and do evil against him; it was their desire to do so, but God at the same time planned for this event to happen for the purpose of saving the Hebrews. God’s plan was compatible with Joseph’s brothers’ plan. This idea is called compatablistic free will. The wills of humans are compatible with God’s will and work inside God’s overarching plan for Creation. God works out their wills to follow His purpose, and their wills cannot work outside of what God has ordained to happen.
If God knew they would rebel against Him why did He create them?
God created men who have sinful desires, and they will nothing, but to reject God and sin. Even though God is all knowing and knew humans would rebel, He created them anyway in order to display who He is in every way. If humans were only given a mind of perfection they would not only be unable to undestand the fullness of His holiness (since they would not understand the depth of unrighteousness and its terrible effects, which in turn would point to the vast glory of His righteousness), they would also not need to rely on God for anything. God desires His creation to depend completely and solely on Him for all fulfillment and meaning. If humans were created perfect they would be able to have self-sufficiency and function on their own doing whatever they wanted. They would be doing good things without any focus on God. But this in itself is a fallacy for it is impossible to do anything good without God. God is the only perfect being, there cannot be anything else perfect like Him. God did not create something equal as Himself. He did not create another God like Him. But even if God created humans with perfect morality so they could function in their minds without focus on God to do good, ignoring God, or living on one’s own strength and rejecting God is itself evil.
God demands faith, and not blind obedience to His laws. If God simply controlled people and forced them to love Him, then that would not be true love. God also loves His creation enough to give them a choice to follow their own desires. Since all of man’s desires are sinful from the days of His youth (Genesis 8:21), they always reject God. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” This gives God the ability to display His divine attributes of grace and mercy. God through the Son, took on the sins of the elect to His own flesh and was crucified on the cross and bore the punishment all Christians should have to suffer for. God gives grace to save humans from their sins through Jesus’s blood. Romans 11:5-6 says,
“…there is a remnant chosen by grace. Now if by grace, then it is not by works; otherwise grace ceases to be grace.”
If God is a loving God why does He allow so much suffering?
For those who believe, God teaches through His Word things that are applied by humans through life experiences. All of the morals and virtuous nature that His children learn through His Word refine people as through fire to make them pure and holy and more like His image. This is God’s desire for all people. If God was just to put humans say, in a machine, that only pumped in pleasurable sensations, feelings, and wonderful experiences, no one would learn anything; or even know virtuous deeds. There would be no knowledge of grace, forgiveness, patience, perseverence, mercy, justice, trust, faith, or any other great traits that humans should have. It would be entirely unjust for God to create humanity to only know pleasure and happiness without knowing other attitudes that point to God’s goodness. God’s entire nature would not be known. Since God is good and desires to be known, He desires to display all forms of goodness throughout His creation.
Human’s learn all kinds of good things through suffering and trials. These are what refine humanity through fire to make them pure. God desires relience and faith in Him during all terrible times of life. God will be known through disaster’s and atrocities that will only point to His salvific nature as well as His just nature that punishes evil. He will also be able to display His loving nature through forgiveness of sins because of His sacrificial death that took the world’s place. Romans 5 speaks of endurance, and rejoicing in afflictions because of the faith in God He has given His elect to overcome the world. Humanity can have the good character traits of hope and trust in God proven in us. In verses 5-8 it describes God’s love displayed in His people,
“This hope does not disapoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:5-8).
God can now display His glory in redeeming us, and to the sinners who reject Him he can display wrath and judgment (Romans 1:18), which means He will display His justice. All of the atrocities committed by men will be accounted for (Revelations 20:11-15). Romans 9:22-24, speaks of this issue when it talks about God displaying His wrath on objects of wrath, and glory on objects of mercy. If God only created pleasure and fun for His creation then no one could fully understand the goodness and great power of God.
Why are human’s punished for sins that they cannot control?
The problem with this question is that it assumes that human’s have no control over their sins. The truth is that human’s chose to sin and reject God from the beginning starting with Eve, and then Adam (Genesis 3). Now humanity is under the curse of Adam (because they are his offspring) which means they all will sin. Romans 5:12 states,
“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
One could assume that this verse is saying that Adam is at fault for our own sin, but this is not the case. Sin originated with Satan in the angelic fall from Heaven. Satan’s pride got in His way and He desired to be like God. God ordained that Satan would have a free mind to think on His own and He become jelous of Him and want to be God. Satan was able to decieve 1/3 of the angels in Heaven and bring them down with Him to earth. God cast Him and the demons out of Heaven. This event is mentioned in Revelation 12:7-9.
Satan is the ancient serpent (Revelation 12:9, 20:2) in Genesis 3 that decieved Eve into eating from the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” Eve was not forced to sin, but through her conscious mind (her will) she chose to listen to someone else besides God. She willingly ate off of the tree and then told her husband, Adam, to eat off of it as well. When Adam sinned he brought sin with him to his offpsring. The knowledge of what is good and evil was now available for everyone to know about. Not only because human’s are Adam’s seed, but because sin was now known in the world and observed by the examples of fathers and mothers to their children. Mankind has since desired to follow His own mind instead of the wisdom of God. Humanities greatest desire from its youth is to sin. Mankind cannot do anything other than his greatest desire. Perman (2010) states,
“As humans, we make choices according to our greatest desire of the moment–we choose what we think is the best option at the time. This means that our choices reveal our character, since it is our character which produces our desires and therefore determines what we will consider the best option. A good character will generally desire good things, and a bad character will desire bad things. What we choose therefore reveals the condition of our heart…If we correctly apply this doctrine, however, and see the freedom it gives us to diligently obey, it reveals the goodness that God is working in our hearts.” (italics mine)
In Proverbs 16:9 it says “The mind of the man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Since his greatest desire is to sin and be curious to see what is on the other side, he is destined for Hell. Man is unable to set his mind to God because its mindset is in the flesh (Romans 8:7). His sin is selfish pride that does not trust God and decides to make his own way that denies God. Hell is a just punishment for evil because God is so holy and pure and righteous that sin cannot be in His presence. Gesnesis 6:5 says that “man’s wickendess is widespread on earth” and that every scheme of his mind is “nothing but evil all the time.” God directs the step of the sinful person and makes them one of the elect and creates holy desires in him. John 6:44 states, “No one can come to Me [God the Son] unless [God] the Father who sent them draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:65 further states, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted to him by the Father.” It is impossible in man’s sinful nature for him to draw near to God and gain salvation on His own. It cannot happen. So God has done it all for His elect and granted salvation as a loving gift through His grace and mercy and has witheld judgment for them. For the sinners who remain in the flesh God’s wrath remains upon them also, and they are punished with Eternal damnation for this is what they deserve because they made the conscious desicion to reject God since their youth (Genesis 8:21).
Through all of this, one can understand that God has created all things to display His glory and for His own pleasure. Human’s were not created for themselves, but created for God. God did not create man to benfit himself, but created them to benefit God. Their wills work inside God’s overarching plan for the Universe and God ordains all things to take place. Their wills are compatible with His will. Life is about worshiping and giving God the honor He deserves for being who He is as life has no other reason. It is our obligation to follow Him. Since we have sinned, He has brought about salvation for His elect because He loves them. He has brought damnation on unrepentent sinners whose will’s are to only reject God. Through all of this God displays His attributes of divine justice, mercy, grace, love, and absolute righteousness. Without the trials of every day life humans could never truly know who He is, so people are blessed and given a great gift in Himself. Humans should be humble and follow Him completely with our lives. There is a reason for God allowing problems, and disapointments and suffering to exist. It makes the elect more like Him. All evil will be punished and Christians should be greatful for His justice. Thank God that it is by His own merit and not ours that we can be saved. This should humble us. God really does love His elect.
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