I'm sure you have heard the question asked, "If God is good, and so loving, then why does He allow so much evil in the world? Why doesn't God just stop the evil?" The answer to this question has a couple layers that you need to get a good grasp on before you truly understand. And even then, for some, it may seem like the answer is not complete enough for us to accept it. However, we need to understand that God's reasoning is far different from ours.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
- Isa 55:8-9 KJV
So before we dig in, we need to realize this verse above in it's truest context. Our finite minds can never fully understand the mind of an INFINITE God. We need to have trust in God that He knows what's best, even when we may see things differently from our own perspective.
The first layer of this answer of why God allows evil is rooted in "free will". Of course we have all heard a million times that God gave us free will to choose what we do with our lives. We were created as free agents to choose to be good, or choose to be evil. Here is why... and this is key... Because TRUE LOVE DEMANDS A CHOICE. How is that key? Because God could have created us all to be perfectly good, and programmed us like robots to love Him. Or God could have gave us free will, but then used His divine power to force us to be good and love Him? But is that really TRUE love? No.
In a similar example, can you or I force anyone to love us? I suppose we could if we held a gun to someone's head and ordered them to love us. But what kinda love would that be? It certainly wouldn't be any sort of true love, would it? When we ask someone to marry us, we ASK, and then the other person makes a CHOICE. Would you want them to say yes, even though they didn't really want to, or because you put them in a position where they had no choice? God's reason for giving free will is very similar. He wants us to choose to love Him, so that it is nothing but one hundred percent genuine. What does this have to do with evil in the world? I'm building up to that...
Now we understand God gave us free will so that our choice to love Him is genuine. But why would God design a universe with free will if He knew there would be people that choose evil? My assessment is, there is no universe in which free will can exist where evil will not. Evil and free will are intertwined with each other. Because with free will, you always inevitably have people that will choose evil. Honestly, if you think about it, our free will, at it's roots, really was designed to give us two basic choices. You either love God, or reject Him. That is the MAIN purpose of your free will. If you reject God, then He is going to respect that decision, no matter what it looks like, evil or benign. Because if He didn't, it really wouldn't be a choice at all. How so? Let's say a child goes into an ice cream shop and their father tells them to choose what flavor they would like. But, when the child chooses, the father says, "No, that is not a good choice for you. You really should get this flavor instead." Did the child really have any say at all? In order for the choice to be valid, the father would have to accept the choice made by the child, whether the father thinks it's a tasty flavor or not. God will respect your choice if you choose to be evil, He will not interfere with your free will.
I realize this does not cover why God allows the evil to CONTINUE. I myself, have considered all the different faces of evil in the world. Or even just things that I would consider horrible, but not necessarily evil; such as diseases, natural disasters, and multitudes of freak accidents. As I said in the beginning, God's ways are not our ways. When people die of diseases, natural disasters, or accidents, I would like to think God is simply bringing them home to be with Him. Death is not necessarily always something evil. Although, we are programmed to think that way. If God allows a baby to die, perhaps He just thought it better to bring them to Heaven instead of remaining in this sinful world. Same goes for any other seemingly horrible tragedy.
Even if a person dies that is not destine to go to Heaven, I'm certain God knew they would never serve Him, and perhaps found it best to literally put them out of their misery before they got worse. I KNOW someone is going to cringe at that statement, but hear me out. If you have a sick pet in the house that you know will never get better, what do you do? Out of love, you put it down to end their suffering, and also to protect your family members from that sickness. Understand, sin is ABSOLUTELY a sickness. The only thing that cleanses us from sin is our faith in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. I believe, when God knows sin will never be cleansed from a person because they will always reject Jesus Christ, He too, if necessary, will put them down so the sickness of sin is not being spread to others.
We are all cursed by the sickness of sin. Only those who have accepted Jesus Christ will be deemed sinless before God. But for those who reject Christ and actively do evil acts in the world, they will eventually be held accountable for their actions. God will not interfere with their choices, but does say that He will make all things work for good for those that love Him.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, ..."
- Rom 8:28 KJV
I do believe that God intervenes in certain situations that He feels necessary. I also believe there are angels all over the world helping God's people, or people that God foreknows will eventually come to the saving faith of Jesus Christ. But those who reject God, and will always reject God, I believe they have given evil spirits dominance over their life and are left alone to reap the consequences of their actions, as well as the actions of others. And God allows it to happen because He respects their choices, being given their free will.
However, as it may seem this will always continue, know that it will NOT continue at all. At the appointed time, God will remove His people from the earth, and they will accompany Jesus Christ in the clouds to pour out God's wrath on a rejecting sinful world. It is at this time the evil in this world will see it's end and answer for it's rebellion against God.
I'm sure you're asking, "Well what is God waiting for? Why is God waiting this out for long watching all this evil happen? Is God procrastinating? Does God enjoy watching us suffer?" I wrestled with these questions for a long while, until I realized this answer. God is waiting for that LAST PERSON to accept the work of His son, Jesus Christ. Remember, God knows the future, as well as the past. He knows each and every person that will eventually cry out for Him and be saved. Scripture says God is "longsuffering" and does not want to lose ANY of us.
"The Lord is not slack [lazy] concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering [patient] to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
- 2Pe 3:9 KJV
When God says, "not willing that ANY should perish," He really means ANY! And He will wait for every last one that He knows will eventually call out to Him.
Imagine, if you will, that you were the very last person on the entire planet to accept Jesus Christ, avoiding an eternity in Hell! How grateful would you be? Let that sink in for a second... In my mind, I would think that soul would be more thankful than any other for all of eternity! Remember, God will leave the ninety-nine to get the ONE. Of course that doesn't mean God really leaves any of us, per se, but that He will chase after that lost one that wants to be found. God tells us all of us to hang in there, to stick it out with Him, to be a light in this darkness. We are to have courage, and patience like Him, so that He can finish gathering ALL His people that will spend eternity with Him.
"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither thou be dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
- Joshua 1:9 KJV
Written by: Joshua Berry