A common objection against the Bible is the Problem of Evil, which is basically this:
The Problem of Evil Argument
- First, the Bible teaches that God is all-loving and all-powerful.
- Second, an all-loving God would be opposed to evil, and an all-powerful God would be able to end evil.
- Third, evil exists in the world.
- Therefore, the Bible is not true, or God doesn’t exist.
The answer to the supposed Problem of Evil is actually really simple. First, we’ll summarize the proper answer to the Problem of Evil, and then we’ll explain what’s wrong with the “free will” answer to the Problem of Evil.
The Answer to the Problem of Evil
The proper answer to the Problem of Evil is that the Problem of Evil makes the incorrect assumption that an all-loving and all-powerful God would want to end evil immediately. Obviously, it’s possible that evil exists in the world because God has a good purpose for evil, and He will eventually end evil.
God’s Purpose for Evil and Suffering
The obvious next question is, “What kind of good purpose would God have for the existence of evil?” Well, the Bible teaches that God’s purpose for the existence of evil, sin, and suffering in the world is to glorify Himself by graciously and mercifully saving hopeless and rebellious sinners through the sacrifice and atoning work of His son, Jesus Christ.
The existence of evil, sin, and suffering both magnifies God’s grace and mercy in saving sinners and results in greater joy for sinful humans who realize that although they deserved God’s wrath and punishment for their rejection of and rebellion against their creator, although they deserved this, God, by His free and infinite grace, has provided both salvation and eternal life with Him for them through the atoning sacrifice of His only son Jesus Christ.
To be even more specific, God’s ultimate goal is not human happiness, but rather to glorify Himself through the demonstration of His free grace and mercy in saving undeserving sinners, who then experience a happiness that they could not experience if they had not been saved from sin and hell by God.
This Solution is Rational and Logical – Subjective Opinion Does Not Change This
Some would argue that this is not a legitimate reason for the existence of evil and suffering in the world, or that this is not a good enough reason for the amount of evil and suffering that exists in the world. But, that’s just an opinion. Rationally and logically speaking, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the explanation we just gave for how a loving and omniscient God can exist along with evil and suffering in the world, and in fact, we would argue that God’s plan to use evil and suffering in His plan to save sinners and grant them eternal joy with Him in heaven is a very good plan.
Problems With the “Free Will” Solution to the Problem of Evil
Before we conclude, we want to address the “free will” answer to the Problem of Evil. The “free will” answer to the Problem of Evil is that evil and suffering exist in the world because God has created humans with free will, and giving humans the free will to choose good and choose God is worth the consequence of evil and suffering.
The problem with the “free will” answer to the Problem of Evil is simply that the Bible does not teach that humans have “free will,” but rather, it teaches that God is completely sovereign over everything in His creation. This means that the “free will” answer to the Problem of Evil is simply not what the BIble or Christianity teaches. You can check out our other videos to learn more about what the Bible teaches about predestination and “free will.”
To conclude, the Bible simply has no “Problem of Evil.” The existence of evil, suffering, and sin in the world is perfectly compatible with an all-loving and all-powerful God. God has a good purpose for the evil and suffering that exists in the world.