THE PROBLEM OF EVIL
A. How do we deal with the horrible atrocities that occurred in Newtown Connecticut?
1. Why did God allow such to occur
2. Why is there so much evil in the world?
B. Judges 6:1-6
1. For seven years Israel was victimized by the Midianites.
2. Israel’s crops were destroyed, their livestock was confiscated, and the people
were forced to seek refuge in the dens and caves of the mountains.
C. During this difficult period “the angel of the Lord” appeared unto Gideon
1. This very question is what many are asking today!
2. Many are asking, If God is with us:
a. Why did my child have to die from cancer?
b. Why was my wife killed in a car wreck?
c. Why was my child molested?
d. Why do bad things happen to good people?
D. These and a thousand similar questions could be asked.
1. These questions grip the human heart.
2. Thousands cry for some sort of an answer.
A. The Problem Stated
1. With many people, the great obstacle to belief in God is the problem of
evil and suffering.
a. Many sincere people agonize greatly in an effort to resolve this problem in
b. Thus, many assume that there cannot be a loving God such as the Bible
2. NOTE: No man should be so bold as to think that he can completely
understand everything about the problem of suffering.
a. Romans 11:33
b. Deuteronomy 29:29
1) God has revealed to us what we need to know
2) The things we would like to know, but can’t, we must accept by faith
knowing that God always does what is right.
c. Genesis 18:25
1) This is a rhetorical question, and needs no answer
2) Of course God will do what is right!
B. The Problem Addressed
1. First of all, it should be noted that when a person raises the question of
“evil,” he is inadvertently appealing to some universal system of justice,
which evil allegedly violates.
a. But if there is no God, there is not a universal system of “rightness,” –
and no such thing as evil?
b. Let atheism, therefore, define for us that standard by which certain
things are judged to be “evil.”
2. God , Who is love (1 Jn. 4:8), expresses His love by giving us the freedom
a. God has given us freedom of choice:
1) Joshua 24:15
2) John 7:17
3) Revelation 22:17
b. God has not slavishly programmed us without free-will.
3. Thus, where freedom of choice is permitted, there is certainly the
possibility that man will make the wrong choices.
a. Wrong choices must entail some adverse consequences
b. Think about this: If all actions [choices], both good and bad,
produced exactly the same effect, how would one ever learn to choose the
good and reject the bad?
c. It is clear, therefore, that finite beings with personal will-power must be
allowed to suffer the consequences of their wrong choices if they are to learn
that the good is to be valued over the bad.
d. In light of this, let us consider several types of suffering in the world.
C. Suffering In Our World
1. Personal wrong choices
a. We frequently bring suffering upon ourselves because of the bad decisions
1) Judges 6:1
2) 1 Peter 4:15
b. If a man steals and goes to prison, is it not his fault?
c. If a man murders and executed, is God to blamed?
d. Yet, someone may argue: God could have prevented the
crime, hence, the suffering.
1) Not if He wanted to preserve man’s freedom of choice!
2) You see, God limits His own activity by lovingly granting man free will-
2. Personal wrong choices of others
a. A considerable amount of suffering is caused by the bad choices of our
b. We cannot argue for our freedom of choice while denying it for others. God
is not respecter of persons…
1) “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34)
2) “there is no respect of persons with God” (Rom. 2:11)
d. So, innocent persons may be killed in a wreck involving a drunk driver.
e. In times of war, many are killed as a consequence of the evil decisions of a
f. We sometimes pay the price for other’s freedom of choice.
3. Personal wrong choices of former generations
a. If we are to reap the benefits of good labors of generations in the past (e.g.
scientific discoveries), can we avoid reaping the evils as well?
b. God warned that rejection of Him would affect generations yet unborn
1) Exodus 20:5-6
2) Starvation in India … scared cows
3) Rowe vs Wade
4. Our world of natural law
a. We live in a world that is regulated by natural law, thus a certain amount of
suffering is inevitable
b. For example: gravity…
c. Luke 13:4-5 … victims of natural law
d. We benefit greatly from natural law, but if we violate this law we will suffer.
e. Could you imagine what would happen if God suspended His natural
D. The Benefits Of Suffering
a. Suppose one’s clothes caught on fire, without pain, would engulfed before he
realized what was happening.
b. Pain causes us to go to the doctor
c. Pain causes us to avoid those thing that will hurt us.
d. Pain helps us to develop noble character, without pain where would traits
like patience and bravery be cultivated?
a. 2 Chronicles 33:10-12
b. Psalm 119:67, 71
c. Romans 8:28
d. 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
e. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
f. James 1:12
3. In the midst of suffering we must realize:
a. That there is a place where “the wicked cease from troubling; And there the
weary are at rest” (Job 3:17)
b. Revelation 21:1-5
4. What should our attitude be toward suffering?
a. Acts 5:41
b. 1 Peter 2:19-23
c. Suffering is a small thing when compared to heaven….. Romans 8:18
5. The results of handling suffering properly
a. Reign in heaven … 2 Timothy 2:12
b. Receive a crown of life … James 1:12
New gun legislation is not the answer to the evil in the world – putting God back in our schools and nation IS the answer.