Hint: For now, yes, but not forever.
In my July 2o column, we discussed one of the principal objections to the Christian worldview, namely, “Oh you Christians are so narrow minded. You keep saying there is only one way to Heaven. What about all the other religions in the world? Are they all wrong?”
Now let’s look at another objection to Christianity that is known as “the problem of evil.”
The argument goes something like this:
- If God is absolutely powerful, then he would be capable of preventing any evil.
- If God is absolutely good, then he would always exercise his power to prevent every evil.
- God is absolutely powerful and absolutely good and consequently, there should be no evil.
- Evil exists, and therefore God doesn’t exist.
The fatal flaw in the above “proof” that God doesn’t exist is in the second proposition (above), that God, “would ALWAYS exercise his power to prevent every evil.” Who says?
Christians agree that God is both all-powerful and all-good. We also agree that evil exists in abundance everywhere you look.
So, Christians conclude that somehow God PERMITS evil to serve a greater good, and the Bible supports this notion from cover to cover.
In the beginning …
For instance, we read in Genesis 2:25, “And the man and his wife were both naked, but they were not ashamed.”
Well, there goes the thought of a perfect Garden. Right in the middle of it was the author of evil waiting for God’s freshly minted imagers to arrive.
A debate followed, and Adam and Eve flunked the test big time. Do you think God was caught unaware? Hardly.
The rest of the Bible is about how God fixed the “problem of evil” His way over the millennia that followed — not through coercion, but through lovingly wooing His wayward children back into His arms.
Jumping to the end …
Looking ahead to the last book of the Bible, we read in Revelation 20:10; 14-15:
“And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever … Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Well, so much for that “evil problem,” but “Oh my” how much it took on God’s part to ultimately rid the universe of the scourge of evil! Indeed, it cost the Son of God His precious life upon a lonely cross to rescue His beloved creation from total annihilation, as described in John 3:16.
The “greater good” that God had in mind from the start is explained in Revelation 21:1-4:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away … And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among the people, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be people, and God Himself will be among them and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’”
It was worth the wait, don’t you think?
And between the above two events above, God spiritually births a faithful human family who voluntarily choose to spend eternity with Him — this happens when sinners place their faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“For the eagerly awaiting creation waits for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only that but also, we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons and daughters, the redemption of our body.”
How About You?
So, which side are you on — for God or against Him? There is no middle ground.