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If God is good, why is there evil in the world?

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You didn’t listen
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genesis 3:1-
Genesis 3:1–19 ESV
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” 16 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” 17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Introduction:
One of the most persistent arguments against the existence of God is based on the existence of physical and moral evil in the world. The question that many unbelievers voice is, if God is real, perfectly good, and omnipotent, how can evil exist? John Frame details the classic “problem of evil” as follows:
Premise 1: If God were all-powerful, he would be able to prevent evil.
Premise 2: If God were all-good, he would desire to prevent evil.
Conclusion: So, if God were both all-powerful and all-good, there would be no evil.
Premise 3: But there is evil.
Conclusion: Therefore, there is no all-powerful, all-good God.
MacArthur, J., & Mayhue, R. (Eds.). (2017). Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth (p. 222). Wheaton, IL: Crossway.
One of the favorite arguments against the God of the Bible and the God of Christianity specifically is the problem of evil. In other words, How can the God of the Bible portrayed as good and holy and loving allow evil? And not just evil but massive evil in the world? And dominant evil in the world?
Now, I find it interesting that this is the question that many skeptics who feel like this is question that disproves the existence of God. But it’s not…in fact, dealing with the problem with evil is what actually proves the existence of God. Because only within the pages of this book and within the embraces of a loving savior we actually find the ONLY answer! If this is you, chances are this message will not help you. Nothing I say or the Bible says will convince you. I can only pray that God will, in his mercy, bring you to a point of humility where you have no where to turn but to Him. I can only promise that you will be accepted.
However, there is another person who asks this question. It is not out of ridicule or being argumentative. It is in the pain and suffering of life that we wonder how a loving God would allow us to go through the pain we are currently experiencing. And this goes for Christians too. How do we know that God has not abandoned us?
But maybe you’re here today and not a Christian and you are desperately seeking answers to that question. I hope that you find in this message a beginning. It will not be a comprehensive review of everything. But it will be a start of a journey if you are willing to take it. It is a journey that as you will see ultimately leads us to the cross.
Let’s pray.
This whole section is narrative. It’s not poetry as some seem to contend. And it is vitally important that we see this as a historical event. Otherwise, we have no original sin and we have no answer to the origin of evil, pain and suffering in the world around us.
The syllogism says, “All I need is one case of someone suffering who doesn’t deserve it, to disprove the existence of the Christian God! How can He allow anyone to suffer for righteousness sake when he has the power to prevent it and stands by and does nothing? He is either not all powerful or corrupted?”
It was actually written in a time when Israel needed an answer to the question of why they were suffering. They needed hope but they need a reason.
But the truth is if we want to see the truth of why there is evil in the world, we don’t need to look at God, but to look at ourselves.

Big Idea: Don’t Blame God, look within.

1. God created a good world.

In order to understand this we need to look back in chapter 1.
Genesis 1:31 ESV
31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Gen 2:31
This verse is the summary of all of chapter 1 and the story of creation. After God had created everything, he saw that it was really good.
It throws out the argument that God did the best he could but it still had flaws. Even Adam and Even were created blameless and innocent. Sufficient to stand in God’s love. No earthquakes or hurricanes. No evil in the heart of man or beasts. The rest of the 7th day was evidence that no more tweaking needed to be done.
Illustration: Have you ever created something? And no matter how much you worked at it, it was never quite right. It was good…but in reality it was only good enough. Everyone else might look at it and say, “Wow! That’s awesome!” But in your mind you question.
That was not the case for God. His world was perfect.
So for us today, many of us look around and ask, if the world was created good. If man was created innocent.
If God is loving, all powerful and all knowing....then what happened to His creation?
I’m glad you asked…I’ll let Logan take this one.

2. Adam and Eve sinned bringing consequences.

Logan’s part!
a. There is natural evil. (The cursed earth.)
b. There is moral evil. (Within us)
c. There is supernatural evil. (Satan and his demons.)
d. Eternal Evil (In eternal hell.)
Sinners deserve to suffer. Only jesus didn’t deserve to suffer but His suffering brought us peace.
a. God commits no moral evil when He uses evil inflict righteous judgement. (We see this when God uses pagan kings to discipline Israel for it’s idolatry.) God not only defines moral evil, but also defines what is moral good. And if he has seen fit to use suffering then who are we to question God?
In God’s world, no one suffers meaninglessly.

3. God overcame evil with the cross. (3:15)

Now we must understand that evil exists.
a. There is natural evil. (The cursed earth.)
b. There is moral evil. (Within us)
c. There is supernatural evil. (Satan and his demons.)
d. Eternal Evil (In eternal hell.)
Sinners deserve to suffer. Only jesus didn’t deserve to suffer but His suffering brought us peace.
a. God commits no moral evil when He uses evil inflict righteous judgement. (We see this when God uses pagan kings to discipline Israel for it’s idolatry.) God not only defines moral evil, but also defines what is moral good. And if he has seen fit to use suffering then who are we to question God?
In God’s world, no one suffers meaninglessly.

In banishing his rebellious creatures from his presence in Paradise, the LORD still extends his grace.

And even in the midst of hopelessness, they are not left without a promise that a plan is already underway.
Genesis 3:15 ESV
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
It’s small…it’s subtle.
gen 3:156
In your ancestor will come one who will destroy the serpent, but it will come at great cost.
Jesus will die on the cross. And the devil will think he won, but Jesus’ sacrifice will deal with sin and death once and for all.
Speaking of evil, can you think of any greater evil than Jesus hanging on the cross. The sinless son of God…God in the flesh who deserved not to suffer. Now that’s evil.
But God used this great evil to bring peace.
So what happened at the cross....Jesus solved the problem of evil by harmonizing God’s justice and mercy. The wrath of God was satisfied. And again, we see that God is equally merciful in His wrath.
Judges 21:25 ESV
25 In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
judges
While there are consequences for sin and we see them everyone from the hospital bed to the 10 oclock news.

Jesus solved the Old Testament problem of evil by harmonizing divine justice and mercy. By his atoning death, he is the divine theodicy, vindicating both divine justice and mercy at the cross (Rom. 3:26; 5:8–9, 20–21). Grace reigns through righteousness, which is revealed by the gospel of grace (Rom. 1:17). And so through grace God moves us to praise his righteousness. Many Old Testament saints suffered more severely than any contemporary believers, and yet they died before seeing God’s conquest of evil through Christ’s cross. They had to trust that God would one day vindicate himself. How much more should new covenant believers trust God to vindicate his justice at Christ’s return according to his faithful promises.

Parents understand this…when are kids make us mad, it doesn’t make us less merciful in our love for them. Unless you’re a monster.
So before we get all hung up on the question how could God allow this? Let us ask, what did God do about it? Which leads us always to the cross.

Reflection: Have you considered that the answer to our question is the cross?

Apart from the cross, we all deserve God’s wrath. But in His mercy, He made a way for us to overcome the evil in our own lives not by working harder or sinning less. Not by standing for what is right or even passing laws that limit evil. The only answer to the question of evil is the cross. The only way to overcome evil is the cross.
The only way that we get to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus is by the cross. Let’s look at that picture of heaven without evil.

Isaiah (11:1, 4–9) prophesies:

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse.…

With righteousness he shall judge the poor.…

Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,

and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

The wolf shall live with the lamb,

the leopard shall lie down with the kid,

the calf and the lion and the fatling together,

and a little child shall lead them.

The cow and the bear shall graze,

their young shall lie down together;

and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,

and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den

[the serpent has been rendered harmless].

They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain;

for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD

as the waters cover the sea.

How is this possible? By the cross of Jesus Christ!
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