Did God create evil?

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1At first it might seem that if God created everything, then evil must have been created by Him. But evil is not a ‘thing’ like a rock or electricity. You cannot have a box of evil. Evil has no existence of its own; evil is really what’s left in something when there is no good there. Let me explain: it’s a bit like how cold is the absence of heat. Or how darkness is the absence of light. In the same way, evil doesn’t exist in its own right; it is the absence of good. An even better definition is that evil is the absence of God.

We’re told that everything God created, including people, was “good” (Genesis chapter 1, verse 31). But when people decided to ignore God and push him away, they were left with evil. The result of not having God in our lives is selfishness, hatred, wars, unfairness, etc. etc. In other words: evil. So God didn’t create evil, but he does allow it. Why?

There are two key reasons.

  1. If God hadn’t allowed for evil, we would be serving God and doing good out of duty, not choice. He doesn’t want us to be robots who simply do what He wants because of our ‘programming’. He wants us to choose him; but that also means he has to allow us to choose evil instead.
  2. If God were to remove evil and everything attached to it right now, what would happen to us? What would happen to you? Would you survive that shake down? Because we’ve all chosen evil, if God wants to save us, he has to allow it to exist for now, so that we can continue to exist as well. But one day Jesus will remove everything that is evil (Hebrews chapter 12, verses 25 to 29). And heaven will be for those who have now chosen him. Everyone else will be judged and sent to hell. The question for us is: what have we chosen? If we haven’t chosen God, we have chosen evil—and we will be removed when Jesus returns.

— Chris, an Our Daily Bread reader

 1 person has responded to this question.
If you would like to ask a question, or respond to one, please contact us.
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