Evil & Suffering
The antagonist expresses, “A just God would not allow suffering and evil in the world.”
- Why does God allow evil?
- 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.
- 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).
- God allows evil to exist for the greater good of love & free will. God is all-powerful & thus can & will make all things right.
- 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).
- God did not create evil just as light does not create darkness (Jn 8:12).
- 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).
- 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).
- Biblical “slavery” was for war criminals & thieves who were civilly judged (Ex 22:2–3; De 20:10–15).
- U.S. 13th Amd: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.”
- 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).
- God commanded the execution of those who murdered bond-servants (Ex 21:20–27; De 24:7).
- The Law commanded people not to return “slaves” who ran away from their master (De 23:15–16).
- If a bond-servant was struck & injured, then the servant received freedom (Ex 21:26–27).
- 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).
- In Moses’s Law, Israelite bond-servants were released on the 7th year (Le 25:10).
- 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).
- 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).
- God instructed Israel to offer peace to opposing nations requiring tribute & service (De 20:10–15).
- 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.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- Hell is “the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord” (2 Th 1:7–9).
- Jesus reported that “the everlasting fire [was] prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mt 25:41).
- 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).