Evil, Pain, and Suffering
The Sovereignty of God
Everything flows from your view of God. Everything!
The Sovereignty of God,
and Coexistence of Evil
Not a theodicy to justify God for the existence of evil, nor an explanation of the origin of evil. Simply an answer to Epicurus, the ancient Greek philosopher currently experiencing the second death, and the generations today hurtling toward oblivion.
"If God is Sovereign, then why is there so much Evil, Pain, and Suffering in the World? "
How we view truth, how we live our lives, and how we conduct ourselves is to be according to the divine principles of God's Word, that we may live good, safe and peaceable lives that honor Christ our Lord and our God.
Jesus said, For this cause was I born, for this cause I came into the world, to bear witness to the Truth. That is a significant statement in a world of lies, lies and more lies.
Who hasn't noticed the dramatic loss of great statesmen, the increase in pervasive evil, injustice, political insanity, societal decay, violence, and loss of the American dream?
Evil, in a word, is Godlessness. The absence of all that God is. Satan is the current example, and Hell will forever be the eternal example.
“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.” –George Müller
A thick veil of destructive lies and demonic darkness has spread over our land, where the killing of 60,000,000 children is a Choice. Where men are not men, women not women. Where good is called evil, and evil good, under the pretense of some political obscurantist view of social justice.
The consequence of such pervasive evil becoming the accepted societal norm in America is predictable, God's judgment.
November 2020 will be the most critical election in our history. Where's the church?
What Would You Surrender for God?
Christians in the Middle East, in much of Asia, and in Africa are still being martyred for the faith, but how many American Christians are willing to lay down their smartphones, let alone their lives, for the faith?
Being a Christian in America doesn’t require much these days. Suburban megachurches are more like entertainment venues than places to worship God. The lives that American “Christians” lead aren’t much different from those of their atheist neighbors, and their knowledge of theology isn’t much better either.
Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire exposes the pitiful state of Christianity in America today, lays out the stakes for us, our families, and our eternal salvation, and invites us to a faith that’s a lot less easy and comfortable—but that’s more real and actually worth something.
The spiritual junk food we’re stuffing ourselves with is never going to satisfy. As St. Augustine said over a millennium ago, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him. Only God Himself can make our lives anything but ultimately meaningless and empty. And we will never get anywhere near Him if we refuse to take up our cross and follow Jesus.
This rousing call to the real adventure of a living faith is a wake-up call to complacent Christians and a rallying cry for anyone dissatisfied with a lukewarm faith.
God is sovereign. What have we to fear? If God is not anxious or fearful about tomorrow, why are we?
The Sovereignty of God,
and Coexistence of Evil
1. God has a good and moral reason for everything He does or permits, including the yet undisclosed reason for the temporary existence of evil.
2. God did not create evil. He permits it to exist for His glory. All that He creates or ordains to occur is for the ultimate good of those who love Him.
3. A sinful, finite creature in rebellion against the infinite Holy God is not competent, nor qualified morally or intellectually to judge whether God has a good and morally acceptable reason for the existence of evil.
4. Evil is not something. It has no essence or being. It is the inverse position of God's very nature, attributes, and revelation of Himself. Evil is the absence of all that God is; as darkness is the absence of light.
5. Evil is a proof of the existence of the Biblical God. Without the Biblical God in the paradigm, evil would no more exist than a one ended stick.
6. Evil is not sovereign. It operates solely on the basis of God's good pleasure, within the limits assigned to it by His sovereignty, to accomplish His divine purpose, and none other.
7. Evil is not eternal, but time bound. It is a temporary straw-man that God will destroy forever in His good time when it has fully served His divine purpose.
8. "Without the presence of evil, God's glory best seen in His grace, mercy, and unconditional love would have been locked away in His person forever." —A.W. Tozer
9. The paradoxical coexistence of good and evil does not constitute a valid argument against the existence of God. Quite the contrary. They are antithetical, yet, totally compatible.
10. At the cross good and evil are seen for what they are. We are seen for who we are. And God in Christ is seen reconciling the world back to Himself by His own substitutionary death on our behalf, in love.
11. Evil first appears with Lucifer, God's highest creation choosing to exalt himself above his Creator. Choosing to honor and serve himself above God, to assert his dominance over God, just as we do.
12. The chief end of man is to love God and enjoy Him forever. The chief end of life is holiness (loving and obeying God) which overcomes evil with good.
13. "Evil is evil. It is a sin to call evil good. But, when God ordains evil to occur, it is good that it occurs for the fulfillment of His divine purpose." —R.C. Sproul
14. One day very soon, evil will be no more. God will destroy evil forever in His good time when it has fully served His divine purpose.
The existence of evil serves God's eternal purpose, or it would not exist. We will always find it difficult to give an acceptable answer for the consequences of evil in our world until Christ returns. Nevertheless, as Berkouwer once put it, "There can be no sound theology without a sound demonology."
Augustine, the greatest of all the Church Fathers, writing three centuries after the death of the last of the Apostles, at a time when Christian doctrine had come to rich maturity, frequently insists upon the terrible power of demons both in the times that had preceded and in the days that were yet to come. It would seem they have arrived.
Logical fallacies are like landmines; they're easy to overlook until you find them the hard way. Here's some examples:
Ravi Zacharias answering a false dilemma-based argument, which is fallacious, for the simple reason that there are many more options than initially stated.
Theodicy is a branch of theology which studies of the problem of evil and defends the goodness and justice of God in the face of the problem of evil.
Epicurus, a Greek Stoic philosopher initially posited the problem this way:
- Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
- Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
- Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
- Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
The issue is raised in light of the sovereignty of God. How could a holy and loving God, who is in control of all things allow evil to exist? This is a question that has kept brilliant minds in philosophy and theology busy for millennia, and we still don't have a more definitive answer than for God's glory. However, if we, like God, knew all things—then why call him God? But, since we don't, we do. Ergo, his sovereign reign and rule is in no jeopardy from mankind.
Do not dignify the problem of evil as if it's a logically valid impasse to faith in God. Rather, present it as prima facie evidence for God's existence in an evil world.
Doing so, you will never be at a loss for examples of Satan's handiwork in this world as his minions go about fulfilling scripture calling good—evil, and evil—good.
"Therefore, it should not be thought that "the problem of evil" is anything like an intellectual basis for lack of faith in God. It is rather simply the personal expression of such a lack of faith. What we find is that unbelievers who challenge the Christian faith end up reasoning in circles. Because they lack faith in God, they begin by arguing that evil is incompatible with the goodness and power of God. When they are presented with a logically adequate and Biblically supported solution to the problem of evil (viz., God has a morally sufficient but undisclosed reason for the evil that exists), they refuse to accept it, again because of their lack of faith in God. They would rather be left unable to give an account of any moral judgment (about things being good or evil) than to submit to the ultimate and unchallengeable moral authority of God. That is a price too high to pay, philosophically and personally." Greg Bahnsen
When speaking of what is considered good or evil, Ravi Zacharias states that human will is at the center of the definition. When humans reject God they are rejecting His definition of good and evil, and are in effect, redefining it for themselves. Ravi Zacharias
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in their own eyes. Judges 17:6