Isaiah 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
God created man not as a pre-programmed robot but as an independent being with free choice.Free choice means having the ability to choose to obey or disobey our Creator.
God has the right to judge his creation on the choices that are made; to bring upon them good as reward for those who obey or evil as a punishment for those who disobey. If this were not so then God could not judge his creation.
Adam was made ‘very good’ and given a commandment to keep.
Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Adam chose for himself and his descendents to ‘know’ (which includes to experience) good and evil by eating of the fruit of the tree.
The good and evil experienced in this life is the route chosen for us by Adam. By eating of the fruit he brought the propensity to sin on his offspring.
Because of Adam’s disobedience this life is temporary. Adam and all his descendents are condemned to death.
Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death;
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Death is the greatest evil from our point of view for it is the complete cessation of our being. We do not possess an immortal soul or spirit which continues in a conscious existence after death.
Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
Psalms 146:4 His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
Because we are under sentence of death we have no guarantee of longevity or quality of life. We are subject to aging, disease and natural disasters or death at the hands of our fellow man.
There are two kinds of evil in this world. The evil that arises from Sin (disobedience to God’s commandments). This is the root of man’s inhumanity to man.
Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
The evil that comes from the righteous judgment of God in the form of punishment for the collective sin of nations.
Jeremiah 18:7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; 8 If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. 9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; 10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
It is shown in God’s warning to Nineveh.
Jonah 3:4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
The concept is clearly demonstrated in God’s dealing with Israel.
Deuteronomy 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth...12 The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow...13 And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:
Deuteronomy 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee... 37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee... 63 And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. 64 And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other... 65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind... 66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:
Individuals suffer evil in this life which is unrelated to their personal sin.
Luke 13:4... those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
This situation will not continue forever. God has provided a way whereby individuals can be reconciled to him and have their sins forgiven. From Adam onwards all who believed that God would provide a way of reconciliation and tried to live by his commandments became eligible for salvation by their faith. Reconciliation was made possible by the giving of his son as an atoning sacrifice for sin.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Righteousness is imputed to those who believe (have faith) in God’s provision.
Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
This is the gospel
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned).
Forgiveness of sins is offered to those who believe and obey the gospel; with the promise of resurrection from the dead to eternal life in the kingdom of God.
Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
This will take place when Christ returns from heaven to judge this world in righteousness.
Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
If we believe and obey the gospel it doesn’t matter how long we live or how we die for our next conscious moment will be at the resurrection. For the obedient believer the evils of this present world become trials of faith which if endured will result in eternal life.
1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
God is inherently good.
Mark 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
He is a God of love – he is under no obligation to create and sustain us – his motive is love. His intention to give eternal life to those who respond to him is an act of love.
1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
All the evil that we experience in this life stems from man’s refusal to obey his Creator. God’s justice is tempered with mercy but this will not clear the wilful sinner.
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
I hope you have found this helpful.
God bless you,