by Bill Nugent
One of the most basic and fundamental questions that any religion or philosophical system must answer is “What is your response to the problem of evil?” Thought systems rise or fall depending on how they deal with the problem of evil.
Hinduism deals with evil by claiming that the world is “maya” which means “illusion.” Hindu author Jayaram V put it this way: “Our scriptures declare that creation is the play of consciousness.” Yoga Vashista said “The world is nothing but a mere vibration of consciousness in space . . . It is like the marvelous dream of a person who is awake.” (Hinduwebsite.com) If planet earth is a mere illusion then good and evil don’t exist in any real sense.
The ancient Greek philosophers: the Stoics, the Epicureans and others all wrestled with the contradiction between good and evil. The rationalist philosophers of the early modern era, including Descartes, offered answers to the dilemma. The Empiricist philosophers, the utilitarians and the pragmatists all touched on the problem of evil or wrestled with it down into the mud as they tried to unriddle the universe. In short, humankind has been perplexed by the existence of evil since the dawn of time. However, I will show you that evil is not only not a problem but is actually necessary. I will explain the necessity of evil.
Who am I to offer my two cents regarding this issue of towering importance? Frankly, it’s not me who loftily opines but rather I will simply and humbly transmit what God has to say through the Bible. The Bible describes and deals with evil on almost every page. The Bible doesn’t whitewash or sugarcoat the problem of evil. The Bible describes evil so plainly that there are some Bible passages we prefer young children not read.
One thing is clear: the Bible teaches that God created the world good. “And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31 NASB). Evil entered in as an intruder. God allowed evil to enter in. This is important to understand. God did not do moral evil but merely allowed evil; otherwise God would be morally evil. It is also clear that God created human beings as sentient beings with free moral agency. God didn’t create robots who constantly do good with industrial efficiency without any real choice.
You can reveal virtue only in the presence of its opposite. Love is ultimately revealed as it is contrasted with hate. Courage is developed and revealed only in the presence of danger, which is evil. Joy is revealed in contrast to depression; compassion is revealed as a loving response to poverty. This brings us not to the problem of evil but the necessity of evil. The presence of evil is necessary to develop character and reveal character in people. Evil is necessary to reveal God’s goodness.
All of us have gone into a jewelry store and seen a beautiful diamond displayed on a dark velvet panel. A diamond wouldn’t show very well on a white panel. The moral evil in our world is like the dark velvet on which the diamond of God’s holy and loving character is revealed. God would not allow evil to enter into His world for one second unless it was necessary to reveal and develop character in human beings who are free moral agents. God permits us to choose to be good and do good. God also permits us to be evil and do evil. God permits Mother Theresa and Adolf Hitler.
Imagine if we were to live for all eternity and never know what courage is. Imagine if we never saw love challenged by hate. Would we really know anything about joy and pleasure if we never felt any pain? God created a world in which evil is possible. He allowed evil to flourish for a time in order to reveal good and develop goodness in people who choose goodness. Those who choose evil and refuse to repent and accept the offer of forgiveness of sins through Christ will have their fill of evil in the afterlife in a place of separation from God’s love and mercy. Everyone gets what they choose.
God will ultimately abolish evil. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4). “And there shall be no more curse” (Revelation 22:3).
The secular world has abolished the future. You might ask: “How can anyone abolish the future? Isn’t that a bit absurd?” What I mean is that the atheist existentialist philosophers and Darwinists deny that a human being has any conscious existence after death. Hence, there is no future for any human being. All of the love, joy, courage, generosity, kindness and compassion that is developed and experienced in a lifetime is lost at the moment of death. In this secular thought system, evil makes no sense. In fact good makes no ultimate sense either because all things end when the lights go out at death. This secular futility leads to nihilism and hopelessness. It causes many to become unmoored and turn to drugs and other vices.
Life does make sense and it endures forever. A human lifetime is merely time spent in a womb preparing to be birthed into eternity. God has provided the way to be freed from all evil. God sent His Son Jesus, the Messiah of Israel who came in fulfillment of over 300 Old Testament prophecies. The prophets foretold that Christ would come and live a sinless life, teach us God’s wisdom and then suffer and die for us, taking upon Himself the penalty we deserved for our sins. The prophets foretold that Christ would rise from the dead and offer forgiveness of sins to all who turn to Him in repentance. Call upon the name of Jesus Christ today to receive forgiveness of sins!
Steps to salvation:
Jesus said “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).
Prayer to receive salvation:
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer:
“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask for your forgiveness on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!