Why is There So Much Evil in the World?
Is God really still in control?
“…In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
If God is really in control, why are so many people hurt and killed in earthquakes, fires or floods?
Creation: Everything was good
When God created the world and everything that exists, He created it to be good. We read this in many of the verses in Genesis 1 where it tells us about the end of each day’s work – see verses 10, 12, 18, 21, and 25. Then in verse 31, when God had completed creation, He said it was “very good.”
Sin damaged creation
God created Adam and Eve to be different from the rest of creation – He created them in His image. He gave them the ability to make choices, and then He gave them a choice of whether they would obey a simple command from Him – they could eat anything in the Garden of Eden except the fruit of one tree.
Satan tempted Eve and Adam to disobey God, but the choice to do so was completely their own. They chose to follow their own way rather than God’s. Sin entered into God’s perfect creation.
In God’s perfect world, there had never been death. No tree or animal or fish or even a star in the heavens had even begun to age or weaken or die. Our studies in science call this the “Second Law of Thermodynamics” – entropy (or decay) increases. God’s curse on nature, found in Genesis 3:17-19, was simply to remove His hand of perfect life from all His creation so Adam and Eve would be able to see the effect of their choice of following their own way rather than God’s.
The Bible says in Romans 8:22 that creation groans now to be released from this damage. The effects of sin continue to grow. God had created every living thing to reproduce itself “after its kind” (Genesis 1:21). When Adam and Eve sinned, their spirit – the ability to commune with God – died. God removed them from the Garden of Eden where they had walked and talked with Him so they would learn what their choice – to rely on themselves rather than on Him – truly meant. But now every living thing would reproduce itself like itself – without God’s eternal life.
Stars and planets could now die, creating asteroids and comets which become destructive. Earth’s very foundations were damaged by the great flood of Noah’s day (judgment for man’s sin), and storms and earthquakes began. Now storms are arriving more frequently, and earthquakes are increasing in both numbers and damage.
What is my response or responsibility
There is only one thing we can do about the natural disasters around us – turn to Jesus to ask Him to help us touch those who are affected for Him. Thousands of people are asking for help and understanding. Only Jesus can give them what they need – hope for eternity. There is no one on Earth who can change the weather patterns or stop the Earth’s fault lines from shifting, causing earthquakes. When disasters strike (in Matthew 24, Jesus says disasters will continue to increase in the last days), we can be there to help those affected.
The greatest help we can offer is to tell them about Jesus’ love for them. They might ask why Jesus did not stop the storm or disaster from happening, and we must tell them that this world was damaged by our sin. Sin separates us from God. Sin brings death, just as the storm or disaster has done to others near them or even to their circle of loved ones. The hope Jesus offers them is not a magical restoration of Earth to perfection, but eternal life in His presence and perfection where death is destroyed forever and there will be no sorrow, pain or tears for eternity.
Giving someone the Gospel of Jesus Christ is as simple as this word:
* G – God created us to be with Him (Psalm 100:3).
* O – Our sins separate us from God (Romans 3:23).
* S – Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Romans 5:8).
* P – Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again (Romans 5:8).
* E – Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life (John 3:16).
* L – Life with Jesus starts now and lasts forever (John 10:28).
(GOSPEL acrostic by Dare2Share.org)
Where do we, as believers in Jesus, find our courage to keep going? Jesus told His disciples where just before He died, and that message is for us too. In John 14:1-6, Jesus promised He would return. In Matthew 24:5-14, Jesus gave the signs that would appear just before His return. As we read this chapter, we see these signs happening before our eyes today. These signs were never to make us afraid, for His knowledge of these things 2,000 years ago assures us nothing catches Him by surprise. He told us so we could be prepared for His return. He does not want to catch us by surprise. We should be doing His work while we keep looking up for our redemption at His coming.
Pray this week:
Lord Jesus, we trust You to guide us through every day of our lives here, because we know You have already conquered evil. Help us to walk with You by faith today, no matter what is going wrong around us. Help me to be a witness for You.
Who needs your prayer today, and how can we help you pray for them with you?