An explanation of why God allows evil in this world…
A man went to a restaurant that advertised, “Huge buffet, all you can eat for free!”
Being extremely hungry and poor, his mouth watered at the expectation of a gigantic spread of meats, vegetables, fruits, desserts, and all sorts of delicacies. He stepped into the restaurant and was stunned. There was indeed a huge buffet, but every dish contained the same food!
“I thought you had a huge buffet!” he exclaimed to the receptionist.
“We do, sir, indeed. We have the largest buffet in town,” she responded politely.
“But it’s all the same food. That’s false advertising! I have no choices,” the man responded.
“Sir, you do have choices. You can choose the dish from which to get your food.”
“But that’s not a real choice! I end up with the same food no matter what dish I choose.”
The moral of the story is this:
Many people complain that a perfectly good and loving God who allows evil in this world cannot be good. But the truth is that a perfectly good and loving God who wants us to freely and wisely choose Him must give us the freedom and the ability to freely and wisely choose. To do otherwise would be less than perfectly good and loving. The only possible way God can give us the true freedom and the ability to choose wisely is to expose us to the options available, so we can experience and see the consequences of each choice.
Our choice is simple: We can choose the God of perfect goodness or we can choose to reject Him and thereby choose evil.
If God had banished all evil from this world, we would have no real choice – as in the restaurant of the parable above!
But, being a perfectly good and loving God, He doesn’t want us to make the wrong choice. So through the Bible He gave us instructions on how to choose wisely. It’s our choice to follow or ignore His instructions.
But even that wasn’t good enough for our perfectly good and loving God. He wanted to make sure that absolutely nothing stood in our way of choosing Him. Absolutely nothing! Therefore He sent us His Son, Jesus Christ, a physical example of God’s perfect goodness, that we may see Him, desire Him, and choose Him.
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (John 14:9)
There is nothing more a perfectly good and loving God could do to ensure that we make the right choice without compromising our freedom to choose; for by rejecting Jesus Christ we have rejected God’s perfect goodness itself!
Therefore those who reject Jesus Christ in this world will have no excuse when they stand in judgment before Him, for they have fully heard, seen, and experienced both good and evil. Nevertheless they still chose evil over good in full understanding and knowledge. And a perfectly good and loving God will say to them with great sorrow,
‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. (Luk 13:27-28)
The only possible response to God’s terrible words will be, “Your judgment is perfectly just, righteous, and true, O LORD.”
…and suddenly those who rejected Him will find themselves in Hell, where there is eternal torment, weeping, and gnashing of teeth – not because a perfectly good and loving God sent them there, but because they personally chose to be there apart from Him.
Also see The Parable of the Weeds for more of God’s perspective on this topic.
All is not as it looks!