Answers to "Ask Mike" Questions
11. Did God create evil? If so, why?
Another form of this question is, "Why would a good God allow evil to occur?" Believers wrestled with similar questions for centuries. Answers ranging from simple to complex resulted.
Here is a simple answer followed by my reasoning. God did not create evil, but He did create the potential or possibility of evil. Several times in Genesis 1, God surveys all He created and saw it was good. When He completed the whole creative process, He saw all that He had made, and it was very good (Genesis 1:31). I understand from those statements that God created that which was pure and good including the first pair, Adam and Eve.
When God created the universe, He considered all the possibilities. He chose to create the universe as described in Genesis 1. In doing so, He recognized the potential for evil realized when Adam and Eve disobeyed and ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17, Genesis 3). In other words, when God made Adam and Eve, and gave them the privilege of free moral choice, the possibility of evil became real. When Adam and Eve sinned, actual evil came into existence. I believe, according to Genesis 3, that Adam's sin caused a fundamental change to himself and Eve along with the rest of the universe. What we experience today is God's damaged creation. It is no longer pristine and unblemished as it was when God created it. As beautiful as this earthly ball is, it is a marred and damaged creation.
You may wonder why God chose not to act immediately to correct the situation. Why did He not step in, destroy evil, and return creation to its original condition? He could have. To do so, however, would require the elimination of human free will. God values free will in His sentient creatures more than the immediate elimination of evil. As Paul Harvey says, however, God "is not doing something about that." God foreknew man's sin and prepared a way to deal with it. He sent His only begotten son into the world to die for sinful man. God laid His plans for Jesus' sacrificial death prior to creation as He recognized the possibility of Adam's sin. Those who now receive Jesus, receive the forgiveness of sins and become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Today all humanity moves towards the consummation of the ages when Christ will return and God will restore the universe to its pristine condition before Adam's sin. By then, all those in Christ will have chosen to allow God to eliminate our proclivity to sin and we will reign with Him on the new earth.
The central message of Christianity is more than Christ dying for the individual. Christ died to redeem the whole universe from the effects of Adam's sin not God's creative "mistake" (note Romans 8:22-25, Paul says the whole creation years for the redemption of the believer's bodies - Christ's return and our resurrection).
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