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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

2 thoughts on “Evil

  1. Mr. Adams, I am on pg 354 of your book, “Competent to Counsel”. I have been extremely blessed by what you wrote. Also the notes you have at the bottom of the page have been helpful. The counsel you have given on helping people with anger is not only practical but is also very informative. I can learn more reading a few pages of your books than entire books written by other authors whose books I have read.

  2. Dear Jay, This very topic has surfaced in 2 conversations with nonbelievers in the last week!! They can’t get by the fact that there IS evil and can’t understand violent deaths to children, uprisings in places all over the world, inhumane treatment in the world. Your answer, though a thoughtful one, does not give me enough to give them! I trust God is sovereign and in charge and know He works all things out according to His plan. I agree He has ordained all of it. The only answer I can give is that man’s heart, left to itself, is deceitful and desperately wicked and if the Holy Spirit were gone, we can’t even imagine how wicked people could be! I can be thankful for His restraining power, but that doesn’t give the unsaved who are questioning this aspect of God much in answer to their question. Is there more you can say? Thank you for all you do in sharing! Hope you are feeling better all the time! God bles, deb