There is evil in this world—all sorts of evil, and in every sort of place, including the church. I don’t need to tell you; you know about it and could give illustrations innumerable of it. But if God is good—how come? How could this be true?
There are two common answers:
- Evil is coeval with God; He can do nothing about it. But if that were true, how could you worship Him, ask Him for things in prayer, etc.? He would be a feeble, god not worth calling upon, since He might be unable to respond. Such a helpless god could want to change things for the better, but is unable to do so.
- Evil exists, God knows it, but from time to time allows evil to occur.
Both views present a god unworthy of worship.
Well, then, what is the truth?
Simply this: God controls all things, even the existence and activity of evil.
We must remove the word “allows” when speaking of God and evil. He doesn’t merely allow evil to occur. If so, there would be another power, or force, in the universe as great as (or nearly so) as God. It is a force wanting to express itself in various evil ways, but must seek permission from God to do so. So when evil occurs, God has given way to this force and allows it to have its way .
But God is in control of all things. What does that really mean? Think about it—who is the force that determines if and when evil occurs-for His own purposes? There is no second god-like force; He is the sole force in the universe. All evil is according to His determinate purposes—always for some good purpose. God doesn’t allow evil; He has planned all good and evil. Actually, all the “evil” we talk about today is actually a good that we shall someday see to be such. God doesn’t allow it—He foreordains it.