Spreading The Gospel

Why Does Evil Exist? (Part #2)


SIH STSTA ICON
He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand,

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].” (Isaiah 45:7)

“[Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:…” (Habakkuk 1:13)

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:” (James 1:13)

In above set of Scriptures, we find one of the supposedly contradictory texts of the Scriptures. On one hand, from the lips of the Lord Himself, He clearly states that “I create evil”. Then later in the Scriptures we find Habakkuk, as he speaks concerning the Lord, says “[Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:” then, to add confusion to our subject, James states clearly that God “cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”

In this series of lessons, we will be looking into two basic questions, first, “What Is God’s Role In The Existence of Evil ?” and, secondly, “What Is The Purpose Behind The Existence Of Evil ?”

THE STUDY:

Before we begin this portion of our study, let’s pick up with the summary from our last study (Lesson #1)…
1. “Evil” describes something that causes harm or injury
2. “Evil” can be referring to harm that is so severe, that it causes total destruction or uselessness
3. “Evil” can, but not necessarily, involves moral wickedness
4. “Evil” can describe sin or it can describe the results of sin
5. “Evil” can describe the direct results of sin
6. “Evil” can describe the indirect results of sin
7. “Evil” can describe an act that is morally wicked
8. “Evil” can describe, not the act, but the result of moral wickedness

So, in summary, “Evil” can describe an act, or the results of that act, and, in every case that it is used in the Bible, it is describing something that is harmful to man. In other words… Evil is “the condition/act of sin, OR the direct or indirect results of sin, that are harmful, and potentially ruinous, to any part of God’s creation.”

We will now attempt to come to an understanding about the Sovereignty Of God….

Before we actually see the Bible teachings on the origin of evil, we need to lay a foundation of a few other basic truths about our Lord…

Our Lord Is In Control

One of the many attributes that is exclusive to our Lord, is the attribute of “absolute sovereignty”. To put it simply, “absolutely sovereignty” means that our Lord is in total control of all things. The Bible is very clear on this subject. So clear, as a matter of fact, I think it is important to simply let the Bible speak for itself as we read these verses and are in awe at His greatness on display:

The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. (1 Samuel 2:6-7)

And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, And said, O LORD God of our fathers, [art] not thou God in heaven? and rulest [not] thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand [is there not] power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? (2 Chronicles 20:5-6)

For the kingdom [is] the LORD’S: and he [is] the governor among the nations. (Psalms 22:28)

A Psalm of David. The earth [is] the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. (Psalms 24:1-2)

But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. (Psalms 115:3)

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

[There are] many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand. (Proverbs 19:21)

The king’s heart [is] in the hand of the LORD, [as] the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will. (Proverbs 21:1)

The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, [so] shall it stand: (Isaiah 14:24)

This [is] the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this [is] the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul [it]? and his hand [is] stretched out, and who shall turn it back? (Isaiah 14:26-27)

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (Daniel 4:34-35)

But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (Ephesians 1:11)

Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (Hebrews 1:3)

From this sampling of verses we can see that the Biblical teaching of God’s absolute sovereignty is not an issue of the misinterpretation of a few select Bible passages. The truth of His control over all things is a subject clearly declared in many passages and is found in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible.

Let’s imagine a world where the Lord is not in control of all things. Let’s imagine that Satan is not under the Lord’s control and, therefore, could thwart His workings among men. If that was the case….

1. When we pray to the Lord, we would have absolutely no confidence He is able to answer us. He may have every intent to fulfill our request but, Satan could always intervene and stop the Lord’s gracious workings on our behalf. The principle is this…. If God is not in control, there is no reason to believe He would, or could, answer any of our prayers.

2. When faced with trials and temptations, there would be no reason to look to Him for help. Again, He may intend on helping us, but Satan could always intervene and stop the Lord’s actions. This, in effect, would isolate us from the Lord’s presence and aid, and therefore leave us to stand alone to face Satan…. If God is not in control, there is no reason to rely upon Him in our times of need.

3. In the area of our lost loved ones, there would be absolutely no need to pray for them or even share the gospel with them. After all, if there is one thing we would be certain of, it would be that Satan would stop the Lord’s workings in the lost person’s sins hardened heart. Out of everything the Lord would try to do, Satan would certainly put the priority upon stopping a lost person from coming to Christ… If God is not in control, there is no reason to look to Him to save our lost loved ones.

4. Think of all the future promises our Lord has given us. Do we realize if He is not in control of all things, He is not to be relied upon to keep His promises? Think about it. The wonderful promises of an eternity with Him, rewards for faithfulness, an eternity separated from sin, the future resurrection and glorification of our bodies etc etc etc . Even the assurance of salvation can no longer be relied upon as certain, if Satan is able to overcome the plans and intents of the Lord… If God is not in control, there is no reason to have any assurance of future with Him.

But praise the Lord, we know that no one, not even Satan, can do anything that the Lord does not allow. One example of that is…

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.” (Job 1:6-12)

And we have the assurance the Lord will have the ultimate victory over Satan, we can know this based upon the truth of His sovereignty over all, and His ability to perform the future prophecies found in the Word….

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:” (Matthew 25:41)

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (Revelation 20:10)

Based upon the indisputable fact the Lord is sovereign, we must come to the conclusion that the evil that takes place in the world around us is under His sovereign control. No evil takes place in this world that He does not allow….

the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (Ephesians 1:11)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

What we have seen in our study so far….

We have attempted to come to a very basic understanding of the term “evil” as used in the Bible. We have come to see that:

1. “Evil” describes something that causes harm or injury
2. “Evil” can be referring to harm that is so severe, that it causes total destruction or uselessness
3. “Evil” can, but not necessarily, involves moral wickedness
4. “Evil” can describe sin or it can describe the results of sin
5. “Evil” can describe the direct results of sin
6. “Evil” can describe the indirect results of sin
7. “Evil” can describe an act that is morally wicked
8. “Evil” can describe, not the act, but the result of moral wickedness
9. Evil is “the condition/act of sin, OR the direct or indirect results of sin, that are harmful, and potentially ruinous, to any part of God’s creation.”
10. Our Lord is in absolute control of all things, this principle is clearly presented throughout the Bible
11. It is because the Lord is in control of all things that we can place our unwavering faith in His enabling, His responses to our prayers, His ability to save, His prophecies of future events
12. The Lord is in control of Satan himself, who can do nothing apart from the Lord’s allowance

In our next study, we will examine the holiness of the Lord and the source of evil in this world.

May the Lord bless you as you continue to seek His truth.

For The Free Study Guide For This Series:  .pdf format    .docx format

Please visit…
Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org
Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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