Apologetics Notes

Evil & Suffering
The antagonist expresses, “A just God would not allow suffering and evil in the world.”

  • Why does God allow evil?
    1. God allows evil for the complete & ultimate defeat of evil. God allows evil for the great acts of good such as compassion, mercy, & forgiveness. God allows evil as the only option for free will to exist.
  • God made this world good, but man has sinned & caused this world to go wrong.
    1. The Bible teaches that suffering and death are in the world because of humankind’s sins (Ge 3; Ro 5:12; 8:20–22; Ep 2:3).
    2. God allows evil to exist for the greater good of love & free will. God is all-powerful & thus can & will make all things right.
    3. The world is an ideal environment for humanity to seek, find, and love God.
  • Love requires free will, & free will allows people to hate & abuse others. God has a place where people can heal, & where there is no more suffering & pain (1 Co 15:50–56; Re 7:16; 21:4).
    1. God did not create evil just as light does not create darkness (Jn 8:12).
    2. God comforts & saves victims in this life & the next, & He uses suffering to make the faithful stronger (Ro 5:3–4; 8:28).
  • Jesus suffered death and rose from the dead (1 Co 15:1–4).
    1. Jesus came bodily rose to live to conquer death (1 Co 15:25–28, 54–57). For this reason, those who believe will rise to eternal life (Jn 3:16; 6:39–40).

The Allowance of Slavery
The antagonist asserts, “The God of the Bible condones slavery.”

  • Moses’s Law condemned enslaving others, & God commanded the execution of those who enslaved others (Ex 21:16; De 24:7).
    1. Biblical “slavery” was for war criminals & thieves who were civilly judged (Ex 22:2–3; De 20:10–15).
    2. U.S. 13th Amd: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”
    3. These bond-servants were regarded as an investment & property (Ex 21:21; Le 25:45).
  • Some sold themselves as indentured servants to overcome poverty & debt (Le 25:39–40; Mt 18:21–35).
    1. God commanded the execution of those who murdered bond-servants (Ex 21:20–27; De 24:7).
    2. The Law commanded people not to return “slaves” who ran away from their master (De 23:15–16).
    3. If a bond-servant was struck & injured, then the servant received freedom (Ex 21:26–27).
    4. Sexual relationships with bond-servants were forbidden unless by free-will marriage & the spouse treated the other as a spouse and not as a servant (Le 19:20).
  • God commanded masters to compensate substantially all servants (Ex 21:2; De 15:12–14).
    1. In Moses’s Law, Israelite bond-servants were released on the 7th year (Le 25:10).
    2. Furthermore, no one was to oppress anyone for race or nationality (Le 19:34; De 24:14).
  • Moses’s Law is not the standard for Christian morality (Mt 19:7–8).
  • The NT condemns enslaving others (1 Ti 1:9–10), warned masters to give fairly to servants (Ep 6:9; Cl 4:1), & instructed equality (Ga 3:26–27; Pm).
  • The Apostles encouraged bond-servants to seek freedom, but otherwise to obey their masters (1 Co 7:21–24; Cl 3:22; 1 Ti 6:1–2; 1 Pe 2:18).
    1. Whether in bondage or free, all Christians are slaves in Jesus Christ (1 Co 7:20–24; 12:13; Ga 3:26–28).

War against Nations
The antagonist perceives, “The God of the Bible condoned and commanded genocide.”

  • God commanded Israel not to slay the innocent & the righteous (Ex 23:7; cf. Ge 18:25).
    1. God instructed Israel to offer peace to opposing nations requiring tribute & service (De 20:10–15).
    2. Regarding the flood, the wickedness of humanity brought suffering & destruction upon their own including their children (Ge 6:5–9).
  • God drove Adam & Eve out of the garden for which they died after long lives, & likewise God commanded Israel to put to death corrupt nations by driving them out.
    1. Adam & Eve’s death by removal from Eden consisted of the same words for slaying man, woman, & child of corrupt nations by driving them out of the land (Ge 2:17; 3:22–24; 1 Sa 15:2–3).
  • At Baal Peor, Israel protected women & children, but Moses commanded the execution of the guilty women & males hiding among the children (Nu 31:10–11).
    1. Philo & Josephus made the same historical interpretation that children were not killed by Israel at Baal Peor.
  • God’s instruction to destroy completely the Canaanites meant to drive them out (De 9:4–5; 20:16–17).
    1. God was patient for 4 centuries waiting for these nations to repent before declaring punishment for their atrocities & perversions (Ge 15:16).

The Existence of Hell
The antagonist expresses, “A just God could not have created Hell.”

  • Sinners kindle their own fire (Is 50:11). Each person condemns oneself to Hell (Jn 3:18–20; Ro 2:1–11; 5:12, 16, 18).
  • Jesus proclaimed that Hell is just, & each person will receive their just stripes (Lk 12:47–48).
    1. Eternal Hell is just for those who are immortal spirit, made in God’s likeness, and profane God’s holy and right nature by acting contrary to God’s goodness.
    2. Hell is “the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord” (2 Th 1:7–9).
    3. Jesus reported that “the everlasting fire [was] prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mt 25:41).
    4. Jesus confirmed Isaiah’s description of Hell, “For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh” (Is 66:24; cf. Da 12:2).