The existence of God and the problem of evil

-just found this in my old digital storage, a write-up I made long time ago, wanted it to share to the world-

“God does not exist, because if He does, the Connecticut shooting should not have happened, ” said by one lady senator in the Philippines in a TV interview.

If God exists, why is there evil?

There is a widely-popularized logical statement that goes this way:
A. God is all-good.
B. God is all-powerful.
C. There is evil.

If statement A and B is true, then C should not exist. If statement C is true, then either A or B is a false statement.Fact: Reality shows that evil exists. Critics who deny the existence of God use this logical statement to prove their notion. Otherwise, if such God exists, either He is not omnipotent or omni benevolent.
Looking at their logical pattern, either the person fail the logical sequence or just did not take time to further study the statement they are fighting against and just proceeded to a hasty generalization.

Since God is both good and all powerful, then, the correct conclusion should be: “Evil is under the power of the good God.”

Such a God exists and in His hands lie the power and authority over evil and good. God said, “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create evil (calamity), I am the LORD, who does all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)

Job also has a profound understanding of this when he uttered, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil? So in all this, Job did not sin with his lips” (Job 2:10). What helped Job to easily accept tragedies in his life? It is the fact that evil came from God. Before you protest, consider the following statement.

There are two kinds of evil that we can draw out from God’s Word, and that is (1) Natural evil (calamities) and (2) Moral evil (sin). God is not the author of moral evil because in Him dwells righteousness and purity (Colossians 2:9). God is holy, holy, holy (Isaiah 6:3). God is not the author of temptation also. As James states, “no one should say, ‘I am tempted of God, for God cannot tempt us of evil. For He Himself do not tempt anyone.” (James 1:13) Natural evil is known today as calamity or disaster. It could be natural, medical or catastrophic.

Take note that God has the authority to execute calamity because He is God and we as sinners could not deny the fact that we deserve His wrath. God is God and that makes everything fall into its proper place. If not because of Jesus who intercedes for sinners (Hebrews 4:14-15, 1 Timothy 2:5), this world have been destroyed long ago. As God, all He does is right and man has no right to question Him. God does not violate anyone when He executes calamity because He is a good Judge and He owes no one an explanation. The mind-boggling truth is… He does not owe us salvation. When salvation comes, it is only because “salvation is by grace alone.” Ephesians 2:8-9, and grace is a favor we do not deserve.

God’s power and goodness goes in harmony with the justice He endows to a world of sinful humanity. When God sent flood to Noah’s wicked world, does He not have the right to do so? Does any one has the right to question Him? Because God is good, He sent the flood. Without it, He will become an unrighteous judge who lets the wicked go unpunished (Proverbs 11:21). Without hell, God will be put to shame, His reputation destroyed and the universe will be a place of no justice.

The fact that God is good is the most frightening truth in the whole Scripture. It may be surprising to some, but because God is good, He has the right to judge and execute calamity to sinners. God is good and this leads us to a frightening conclusion: we are not good and we deserve punishment.What does a sinner deserve? Reward or penalty? If one has a good sense of judgment, he will never say that a criminal deserve reward. What do we as sinners deserve? It is penalty. God should have punished us long time ago, but in His mercy and grace, He endures the children of Adam and gives grace of salvation to those who don’t deserve it.
Of course we don’t want evil things to happen to our lives and we abhor massacres occurring in our societies, but we must carefully consider how we view these bad things and let us lay hold of the principles that would direct us on how to deal with these kind of situations.
We must have a high view of the holiness of God, the depravity of man and the continual providence that God is giving. This special favor to mankind is not forever, and thus it is a “frightful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

As we hear the words, “why bad things happen to good and innocent people” we should bear in mind that it is often a misleading statement. In the truth of God’s word, there is no such thing as “good and innocent people” for “although they knew God, they glorify Him not as God, neither were they thankful, but became vain in their imaginations.” (Romans 1:21)

No one is good. “There is none righteous, no not one.” (Romans 3:10). Many people may look morally good, it is only in the sight of men and not of God. Charity workers, donors, heroes, martyrs and noble men may look so dignified before the world, but in the sight of God, all failed His standard. If something bad happens to bad people, it is safe to say that bad people simply deserve it. Since no one is good, the truth is, “good people” never existed. “For all have sinned..” (Romans 3:23).

Is mankind good? Jesus is clear that “There is only One who is good” (Matthew 19:17), and that is God alone.

Such truths humble down man and place him in his rightful place, but it should not also lose our compassion to the lost. We are to continually agonize, pray and be compassionate just like the Lord Jesus Christ.

The question should not be, “why do bad things happen to me?…” Instead, we should ask, “why are there still good things happening to my life?,” “why am I still alive?…”

If man demands for his rights before the tribunal of God, justice demands only one thing to be obtained by man, and that is hell. Were it not for the grace of God, all we justly and rightfully deserve is His wrath.

The reason why man clenches his fists towards heaven and curses before the Lord in his heart, is because he is blind to see how evil and undeserving he is. He thinks he deserves the good things of this life and the grace of his Creator. He taps his shoulder and comforts his soul with the words, “I did this my way,” “I can do it on my own,” or “I am the captain of my soul.”

He does not recognize that all things he received in his life is only because of God’s mercy and favor. “For what do you have that you did not receive? And if you receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).

Connecticut shooting is gruesome and disturbing. It should alarm us and awaken our sense of urgency to pray harder for redemption and formation of a godly society. But this should not lead us to question God in anyway. Instead, we are to thank Him that He still endows mercy and grace to our fallen world.

Since the fall, man wanted to be autonomous. His heart is always wanting to depart from the presence of His Creator, and so he devised his own trap that led him to destruction. On the other hand, God has always been on the redeeming side. Where are thou,” he said to Adam (Genesis 3:9).

With all of God’s rights, one of His biggest right could be just to leave us on our own self-destruction (Romans 1:28). God does not owe any man. Instead, in the bright side of His own will, He chooses to show mercy to undeserving and rebellious people and that’s what we should magnify and beg Him for. We are to be beggars of His grace and not complainers of His righteous judgment.The problem of evil is indeed a difficult topic to handle from God’s word that raises up further challenging questions.

But we thank the Lord for giving us His Word that somehow help us in our understanding of Him in a lot of ways. This should also help us in our dealing with calamities that blow away our serenity.Though we will not be able to know Him fully on this side of heaven and for all eternity, His words should settle our hearts that “my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts…” (Isaiah 55: 8-9).

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by Bryan Villarosa

by Bryan Villarosa

Bacolod City-based Marketing Services Provider | Licensed Financial Advisor

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