Why does God allow such great evil to exist in the world today, such as man's inhumanity to man?
There is so much evil and badness in the world, such as man's inhumanity to man. If God is so good, why does he allow such evil to exist?
That is a good question, mainly because almost everybody has wondered the same thing. I don't really wonder that anymore myself because I am satisfied and content with my belief that all of it is part of God's overall plan, and I trust Him. There will be a time when such evil and cruelty will come to an end, but it must be in God's time.
The quick answer as to why world conditions are the way they are now is that all people are sinners who have strayed from God's commandments. Generally speaking, suffering, affliction, and death are a direct result of not acknowledging and/or disobeying God. But if we focus and dwell only on the terrible conditions in the world, it is difficult to understand that God still is in control and that He has awesome plans for the future of those who love Him and want to be with Him.
To be able to comprehend why God allows things to be the way they are, it is essential, first of all, to step back and look at the bigger picture. This includes understanding how magnificent and perfectly good everything ultimately will be in the future. That way, we can have something to which we can compare the way things are presently, and also we can get a better understanding of why bad things continue to happen around us now and until the end of this age.
I hope you know that our Savior and Messiah, Jesus, is coming again. For a thousand years, Jesus will rule and reign on this present earth, along with resurrected people who have been given authority to judge and reign with Him (Revelation 20:4,6). This thousand-year period is known by Christians as "the Millennium," during which the Kingdom of God will exist on the earth.
Many Christians believe that there will be no sin or evil in the world during the Millennium, but that is not the case. We know that the ultimate penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23). However, death will not be destroyed until the end of the thousand years, when it will be tossed into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). So death will be around during the Millennium, and so will sinful people. Paul wrote this about the purpose of Jesus' reign on the earth:
Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Corinthians 15:24-26)So one purpose of the Millennium will be for Jesus to overcome and conquer all forms of sin and, ultimately, death. Then He will turn over the Kingdom to God the Father. Some may wonder how the world during the Millennium will differ from the world we live in now. Today, there is a great deal of pain, suffering, and inhumanity among people. But when Jesus is King over all the earth, He will rule with an "iron scepter" (Psalm 2:9; Revelation 19:15), which means that He will rule with pure righteousness and justice over all the earth, quelling and punishing all iniquity and rebellion when it arises.
Today, people get away with corruption, deception, stealing, cruelty and murder. During the Millennium, however, even the smallest act of evil will be uncovered and exposed immediately. People will not be able to hide their criminal behavior or iniquity. Those who do right and obey the law will flourish and prosper. Under the rule of King Jesus (Jeremiah 3:17; Zechariah 14:9), this world will become as good as it possibly can be before God eventually creates a brand new heaven and earth, after the Millennium is over (Revelation 21:1,5).
Life during the Millennium will show humanity how things could have been in this present world if only people had obeyed God's commandments and rules. It is not possible for human beings now, throughout the entire world, to obey God all the time. There is not even one righteous person who always seeks God and does His will continually; all people are sinners and have turned away from God (Psalm 14:1-3, 53:1-3; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:10-12). This is why there is so much anguish, grief, and sorrow in the world. Human beings, as a whole, bring this upon themselves. When Jesus returns, people all over the world will live in peace and harmony with one another, whether voluntarily or by force. Wars, rebellions and anarchy will be essentially non-existent.
Even though righteousness, justice, and truth will be present throughout the vast majority of the world during the Millennium, the best is yet to come after that. The Bible reveals that, ultimately, a brand new heaven and earth will come into existence, since the present heaven and earth will be burned up and will pass away. God's existence will never end, and those who want to serve Him will live in His presence always, which means for eternity. Here are three Bible passages that indicate these things:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. ... He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" (Revelation 21:1,5)More about the new Creation to come can be found in my old and new Creations section. Even though we are confused and puzzled about the way things are now, we should keep in mind something important that Peter wrote. He reminded us that since everything we see now will be destroyed by fire, we need to live "holy and godly lives" as we look forward to the "day of God" (2 Peter 3:11,12).
By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire... The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be burned up. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. (2 Peter 3:7,10-13)
In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end. The children of your servants will live in your presence; their descendants will be established before you. (Psalm 105:25-28)
The "day of God" is the same as the "day of the Lord." Peter also said, "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." (2 Peter 3:8) So the "day of the Lord" is not just one 24-hour day. The longest part of the "day of the Lord" will be the thousand-year Millennium, with a brief, dark portion at the very beginning known as the "day of vengeance" when God's wrath will be poured out upon the earth.
Jesus died for the sins of the world, and all who have accepted His shed blood as a cleansing of their sins will live eternally with Him. During the Millennium, believers will rule and reign with Him when His kingdom comes to this earth (2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 5:10, 11:15, 20:4,6). Then, in the new and perfect Creation to come, after the thousand years are over, there will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain for anyone, because all sin will have passed away (Revelation 21:4); and we will reign forever and ever with Him (22:5).
So when you see all of the bad things in the world happening now, especially when they happen to you and those you love, do not be discouraged. Keep in mind that the best things you can do are to show your love toward God by trusting and obeying Him, performing acts of kindness for other people, and telling others about God so that they can know Him, too.
By keeping God first in our lives, we are more likely to be protected and shielded from harm as the evil in the world gains momentum and the end of the age approaches. And even if we die, we know that we will live again and will rule and reign together with Him, when that New Day dawns and continues forevermore.
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