One of the most frequent questions an atheist will use to challenge a Christian is something along the lines of “If God is good, then why is there so much pain, suffering and death in the world?” It is a legitimate question and one Christians should be able to answer. Hopefully this article will help equip you to stand for what you believe.
The first thing to realize is that God did not create suffering. In fact Genesis 1:31 it says “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.” God called His Creation very good. Very good excludes pain, suffering, and sin. So where did the pain and suffering come from? Romans 5:12 answers that for us. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Sin brought death, and everything associated with it, into the world. God did not create the suffering. Man did, by sinning.
If man’s sin brought suffering into the world, could not a good, loving God remove it? The answer to this is a bit more complicated than figuring out where suffering originated. The God of the Bible is omniscient and all powerful, so it is certainly possible for a God described as being the essence of love in 1 John 4:8, to remove the suffering from the world. However, while God is most certainly loving and good, He is also just. Deuteronomy 32:4 says “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” A God of justice cannot permit the guilty to escape the consequences of their actions.
Who is guilty then? The Bible tells us that we all are carriers of a sin nature, that we acquired from our ancestor Adam. Galatians 3:22 tells us “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” So, by His right as a just God, no one should be permitted to avoid any suffering at all. It is only God’s mercy that permits mankind to exist at all, let alone avoid pain and suffering.
Of course, none of this theory is any comfort to people who are going through difficult times. It doesn’t always seem fair when people suffer. In fact, many times it seems very unfair and unjust. However, Romans 8:28 tells us “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” We may not see it as good, but God does, because He knows the result. The unsaved have no such guarantee of good being given to them. However, because God is a merciful God, He extends many opportunities to the lost to repent. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” While not everyone will choose to repent, God wants to give everyone the opportunity.
However, all of this is based completely on the authority of the Bible. Evolutionists, who reject the authority of God’s Word, will therefore reject the above verses out of hand. This is where your own personal choice comes into play. God does not force Himself on anyone, nor does He expect anyone to mindlessly follow Him. If you do not want to follow Him, He will not compel you. It’s a choice you make. If following Christ is not a choice you have ever made, and you would like to know more, please feel free to message the facebook page. We would love to speak with you about that. If you have received Christ, we hope that this article was helpful to you and you were blessed in reading.