“If God is all-powerful and all-loving, then God should stop all the evil and suffering in the world especially disgusting and appalling moral crimes.” While this judgment of God allowing evil and suffering to exist may seem convincing to some and for others it a struggle for many who doubt, one should think of the implications. However, the moral implications for judging God is to place oneself beside or above God as the standard of right and wrong.
Decisions and Consequences
How can God give people the ability to make moral decisions and yet remove the consequences of moral decisions? God could change every bullet fired to murder into bubbles and all knives intended to harm into rubber. God could send an angel to stop every great human tragedy. However, if every act of evil concluded with neutral or positive effects, then evil no longer reveals the depth of its depravity. The reality of evil will become distorted before human eyes. There would be no more distinction between good and evil, and no more reason to do good when no one can see its need.
Some charge God of acting unjustly for allowing disgusting and appalling moral crimes to exist such as the sexual abuse of children. However, people would not care about such moral crimes if they no long perceived them as abhorrent and detestable. If their social circle were comfortable with such moral crimes, they would not care that such evil exists. Such evil exists today among those who justify the murder of the innocent and try to justify themselves. Why would someone want God to remove disgust and detest of moral crimes so that they could feel comfortable in doing evil? Why would someone want such disturbing moral crimes no longer to be disturbing? People would be content with evil whether the evil no longer exists or they were no longer disturbed by it. Many would not care that such moral crimes existed if these crimes were not repugnant and disgusting.
Imagine a World without Evil
Death and suffering have come into this world by moral crimes by humanity’s rebellion against God (Romans 5). Removing all evil removes free will and its consequences. Such a world would not allow the coming of the heavenly kingdom where the faithful and holy live in peace by free will, goodness, and loving one another. Instead, many want this present world to always be a “paradise” where moral choices have no real effect and their moral behavior no longer has consequences. Such a world would exist without morality, consequences, ethical reasoning, or the need for good actions and thus negate the need to love others.
Why God Allows Evil
Why does God allow evil? God allows evil for good reasons even when people do not know every reason. God allows evil to a great extent for the complete and ultimate destruction of evil and end of sin through Jesus Christ (Col 2:13–15; Heb 2:14–18; 1 John 3:8). God allows suffering to communicate that the greatest tragedy in this life is rebellion against God. Suffering is temporary and minimal compared to the overwhelming recovery that God offers for those hurt and abused. God’s grace gives peace to those who suffer (Rom 8:16; Phil 1:27–30; Jas 1:2–4). God allows evil and suffering as God’s grace strengthens a person’s character through suffering and that strengthening cannot exist without suffering (Rom 5:3–5; 8:16, 28; 2 Cor 12:7–10).
Suffering for the Greater Good
God allows evil and that allows the greatest acts of good — repentance, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, consolation, and relief — that cannot exist otherwise (Luke 5:32; 6:20–49). God gives the ability for humanity to choose to flee moral crimes and pursue holy living rather than living in a world with no real consequences for one’s actions (Rom 6:15–23). God allows evil so that people who sin can continue living by God’s mercy so they have opportunities to repent because God loves all and wants everyone to repent and be saved (1 Tim 2:4; 2 Pet 3:9).
God resolves suffering justly and overcomes death through Jesus’s resurrection. God will give eternal life by restoring creation from its corruption and decay (Rom 8:18–25). This restoration includes the redemption of the bodies of the faithful by resurrecting them from the dead (1 Cor 15:53; 2 Cor 4:13–18).
A World without God
The atheistic worldview is always in a continual collapsing as unbelievers are always struggling to hold on to morality, meaning, causality, and reality. The atheistic perspective of reality often sets them in moral conflict with their personal immoral actions so that they are constantly altering their definition of “evil” and changing “good” to fit them. This denies the absolute nature of good and evil. Secular society continues to question and tries to change every moral position. The ancient Jewish writer, Isaiah declared, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
The faithful thank God that He will make all things right even the most traumatic effects of moral crimes. God is the Source of all goodness for God is love. Reasonable people trust God as the only possible objective standard for morality (1 John 4:8, 16). By Jesus’s love of laying down His life for all, every repentant and baptized believer can know God’s love and so love others (1 John 3:16).