Why does evil exist?

Why does evil exist?

No other questions in history have generated more debate, anger, curiosity, and confusion than the questions, "Why does evil exist?" and "Why doesn’t God stop evil?” That’s why so many varying opinions exist.

Some think God created evil, so He is to blame.  But evil is not a substance, it is merely the absence of good, just like darkness is the absence of light.  Others believe that God doesn’t even exist; or if He does exist, He is powerless—somehow handcuffed—to halt the parade of evil in our world.

How does God respond in His number one best selling autobiography, the Bible?

“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” Isaiah 46:9-10

Our God, who is the altogether sovereign and powerful ruler of the universe, does whatever he pleases, whenever he pleases, however he pleases, for his greatest glory.

So why doesn’t God stop evil?

Paul E. Little, who spoke at more than 180 college campuses throughout America, Europe, and Latin America, wrote this:

"If God were to stamp out evil today, He would do a complete job... His action would be complete and would have to include our lies and personal impurities, our lack of love, and our failure to do good. Suppose God were to decree that at midnight tonight all evil would be removed from the universe—who of us would still be here after midnight?" [1]

We should be exceedingly grateful that God doesn’t stamp out all evil in our world.  If we could see life from a divine perspective we would better understand just how much our sins of pride, selfishness, hate, and deceit pain our Creator’s heart.  We’d also better understand that the evil in our world originates in our hearts, thereby removing any blame from God.

A big clue as to why God permits evil is found in God’s Word.  Pharaoh, one of the most evil characters described in the Bible, was used to showcase the Almighty’s justice and power.  God says regarding Pharaoh:

"I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

If there was no evil in the world, it would be a great world all right, but it wouldn’t be the best world from God’s perspective.   Because evil exists, God can display to a much greater degree all of His perfections, including His amazing grace, His awe-inspiring love, His mind-boggling mercy, His meticulous justice, His matchless wisdom, and His phenomenal power.

In the end, it’s all about God.

The reason why the question of evil remains such a stumbling block to most of the world is because most of God’s creation cannot remove themselves from the center of the universe to allow the King of Kings to take his rightful position on the throne as the altogether sovereign ruler of mankind.  Only by surrendering one’s life to God, repenting of one’s sins, and accepting by faith Christ’s death on the cross as payment for those sins, can a person have eternal life in heaven and begin to understand God on the tough questions of life.

[1] Little, Paul E., Know Why You Believe (Wheaton, IL: Scripture Press Publications, 1967), 74.


Divergent opinions are welcomed in this forum, however, disparaging or derogatory comments will be deleted immediately. Remember to keep your thoughts concise and to the point, and don't forget to check your grammar and spelling. Enjoy the dialogue!

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