“Why Does Evil Dominate the World?”
The book of Job is regarded as the oldest in the Bible, but it might as well have been written yesterday. In a book of forty-two chapters, thirty-five of them concern the same prominent question people wrestle with today: If God is good and the all-powerful Creator of the world, then why does evil exist in the world? It is the question of theodicy.
So how can we reconcile the evil world we live in with the good God who made it? Most of us have wrestled with that question at some point, usually when faced with an unexplainable tragedy. We can’t make the problem of evil vanish by ignoring it—it is ubiquitous. None of us will make it through life unscathed.
We need answers—both for ourselves and also for those we evangelize. We need to have a biblical response available whenever we encounter those bearing the fresh wounds of a tragedy. We need to be able to correct atheists who use the problem of evil to impugn God’s character. We need to be able to rebuke those who are self-righteous and can’t fathom why bad things happen to “good people.” And we need to be able to expose the error of liberal theologians who try to get God off the hook by inventing a weaker, more powerless version of the Creator.
In his sermon, “Why Does Evil Dominate the World?,” John MacArthur explains why all man-made explanations are inadequate and idolatrous:
To design a God with limited knowledge, to design a God with limited power, to design a God who is more concerned about the will of every single human being than His own will is to design a God that is not the biblical God. If God is not in total control of evil, if He has not ordained it, and if He does not have it under complete control at every millisecond of history, then this universe is out of control at the most crucial point. If God is not in control of this completely, then how and when will He get the knowledge and the power to get it under control? And I would ask you this. Would you rather have a God trying to get control of evil, or a God completely in control of it? Take your choice. But the God of the Bible is in complete control of evil for His own purposes. It is really heresy to say that the world is full of evil apart from a predetermined plan and purpose by God that is far above the willy-nilly choices of people.
John goes on to demonstrate that Scripture provides a robust answer to the problem of evil. An answer that doesn’t impugn God’s character, but rather establishes His power, greatness, and goodness.
“Why Does Evil Dominate the World?” tackles a thorny issue in a way that the Christian layman can easily grasp. John biblically establishes three propositions: Evil exists, God exists, and God thus wills that evil exists. He then uses Scripture’s peerless testimony to answer the resultant question—the real question we should have been asking in the first place: What is God’s purpose for evil?
The answer may surprise you but it will certainly comfort you, as well. Moreover, this sermon will equip you with the biblical answers you need to resolve the problem of evil in your own mind and explain it to a skeptical world. Here’s what one of our staff members had to say about “Why Does Evil Dominate the World?”:
It was one of the most eye-opening sermons I had ever heard in defense of God’s character when the human heart asks about the problem of evil. I was a new believer when I heard it, and it totally magnified my understanding of how awesome God is and explained clearly why the world around me was the way it was. It has been years since I have listened to it, but it left a lasting impression. —Janet D.
Click here to watch or listen to “Why Does Evil Dominate the World?”
Question: “Why does God allow evil?”
Answer: The Bible describes God as holy (Isaiah 6:3), righteous (Psalm 7:11), just (Deuteronomy 32:4), and sovereign (Daniel 4:17-25). These attributes tell us the following about God: (1) God is capable of preventing evil, and (2) God desires to rid the universe of evil. So, if both of these are true, why does God allow evil? If God has the power to prevent evil and desires to prevent evil, why does He still allow evil? Perhaps a practical way to look at this question would be to consider some alternative ways people might have God run the world:
1) God could change everyone’s personality so that they cannot sin. This would also mean that we would not have a free will. We would not be able to choose right or wrong because we would be “programmed” to only do right. Had God chosen to do this, there would be no meaningful relationships between Him and His creation… more