It is a common complaint by critics of God and the Bible that He does not stop sickness and suffering in the world. The accusation is made that if God is truly good and loving and has all power, why doesn’t He eliminate suffering in our world?
These same people openly admit that they don’t believe in God, nor have they committed their lives to Him.
It is important to understand that God made the world perfect at the beginning. No one ever became sick, suffered, or died. There was no evil on our planet until the first man and woman decided that they did not want to obey God’s moral laws. It was we who brought suffering into the world by the introduction of sin. Those who say it’s not fair that God has punished the whole world for the sins of Adam and Eve, also commit their own sins and refuse to submit their lives to God today.
It has always been sin that has caused the evil, suffering, and death that exists on our planet, not God.
A Righteous World Promised
For those who love God, and trust in the salvation that He promised us by the death of His Son on the cross for our sins, God will give us a new world where there is no suffering or death. Evil will not be permitted in God’s future kingdom and all people will live in a perfect world as God intended.
Jesus described two kingdoms that exist in this world—the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. We can serve the Lord, or we can serve satan; there is no neutral ground.
Jesus said that those who are not for Him, are against Him. Every person who refuses to submit to His righteous rule in their life, automatically defaults to the kingdom of satan. You might not think that you serve the devil, but in the words of Jesus who knows the truth, He said that when you turn away from God’s kingdom, you place yourself into the kingdom of satan.
A person might object to the limitation of only two choices, but this is nevertheless the only two options God has given us. If a person will not serve Jesus, then he serves in satan’s kingdom. Someone might claim that he does not serve God nor satan, but neutrality is not an option that God recognizes. Jesus said that those who are not with Him are against Him.
He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters. ~Luke 11:23
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. ~John 8:42-45
Giving someone the freedom to make their own choices is the greatest act of genuine love a person can express. The unfortunate consequences of conveying this freedom to a person is that they may use their liberty to make decisions that cause their suffering as well as the suffering of many others. The continuing consequences of allowing all human beings the privilege of their free will is clear and obvious all over the earth. It is a mistake to blame God for what people do to each other by their own choices.
We forget many times that our acts of sin and the suffering people experience in this world as a result of those sins are a part of God’s patience and His longsuffering in allowing us time to change our minds and come to Him.
The LORD is longsuffering… ~Numbers 14:18
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. ~2 Peter 3:9
The God Of This World
Jesus described satan as the god of this present world. At the garden of Eden, God gave rulership of the earth to Adam. At his fall, he lost dominion of the earth to satan. When Jesus came to earth, he began His ministry by going into the desert for 40 days where the devil tempted Him three times. In one of these temptations, the devil offered Jesus the kingdom of this world if He would fall down and worship him. Jesus never disputed this claim, but instead said that we should worship only the Lord our God and serve only Him.
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ~Luke 4:5-8
At the cross, Jesus not only died for the sins of the world, He also defeated the kingdom of satan and gained the right to rule over the earth once again. Jesus has delayed this rulership so that He might give every person on the planet, time to decide whom they will serve. God has said that He will not strive with us forever, but has appointed a time when He will end this period of Grace when anyone can be saved, and Jesus will come again to assume HIs rightful place as ruler of the earth.
…For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. ~1 John 3:8
As the Lord sees the world in a condition He never intended for us, He longs for the day when He will say, “Enough!”, and the time of His patience with man’s sin will come to an end.
And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever…” ~Genesis 6:3
Parents who observe their children making decisions that cause their hurt, suffer themselves as they see their sons or daughters experience the consequences of their actions. The Lord has been suffering for the decisions Adam has made as well as those who are his descendants, for six thousand years.
God cannot do anything evil. He will, however, not prevent us from doing the evil we choose to do by our own free will. It would be completely unloving for God to stop us from exercising our right of choice, which He has given us, to make our own decisions apart from Him, if that is our desire.
God does, however, suffer greatly for the decisions we make, and constantly seeks to draw us into a close relationship with Him so that He can someday remove us from this present world that is quickly coming to an end. It should be noted that this time—when we can choose to rebel against God—will not last forever. At the end of this age, when Jesus returns to earth, the entire population of this planet will live in conformity to the righteous laws of God.
It was the compassion of God in all our suffering and His desire to end our pain that compelled Him to allow His only Son to die for us by such great torture and misery.
This second Old Testament prophecy that Jesus fulfilled is found in the second part of Genesis 3:15:
…He (Jesus) shall bruise your head (satan), And you shall bruise His heel. ~Genesis 3:15
At the Cross, Jesus not only paid for the sins of every person for all time, He also bruised the head of satan. The meaning of this verse is clear: Jesus would destroy the works of satan by removing man’s slavery to sin and the fear of death that all men have.
… that through death Jesus might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. ~Hebrews 2:14-15
The meaning of “He shall bruise your head” is clearly a reference to a fatal blow that was dealt to satan and his works by Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.
The second part of Genesis 3:15, in this second Old Testament prophecy, describes Jesus as He would experience a bruising of His heel by satan. It was the intent of satan, at Jesus’ death, that He would be defeated and lose His ability to be our Savior. The attempt of the devil to stop Jesus’ efforts to save us, was only the bruising of Jesus heel; the devil could not stop Him.
Satan clearly did not understand the ramifications of Jesus’ death nor that His resurrection would mean the end of satan’s rulership over man. When Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, the reality of what His death had accomplished was revealed to all creation.
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. ~1 Corinthians 2:7-8
As satan understood that he had been defeated forever and his limited rulership over the earth for the past six thousand years was over, he knew that his remaining time was short. In these last days before Jesus returns, satan has drastically increased his activity of evil and deception in seeking to destroy as many lives as possible before the Lord returns.
For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time. ~Revelation 12:12
Jesus’ death on the Cross caused only a bruising of His heel. At the resurrection, Jesus lifted His foot and crushed the head of the serpent forever, who once defeated man in the garden and took away his right to rule and his eternal life.
The Fulfillment of this second prophecy of the Bible is found in these two New Testament Verses:
That through death Jesus might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. ~Hebrews 2:14-15
… For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. ~1 John 3:8
Today, because Jesus did not waiver or fail in His efforts to save us, all people everywhere have the opportunity to have their sins removed and be flawless in the eyes of God. All those who come to Jesus Christ in true and sincere repentance, looking to His sacrifice on the Cross as the payment for their sins, have their record of wrong cleansed.
If you are trusting in Jesus today, and believe that He died for you on the Cross and rose from the dead, your sins are no more, and you are clean and perfect before God. There is therefore NOW no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus… (Romans 8:1)
The Perils Of Those In Satan’s Kingdom
Those who refuse to follow Jesus and submit their lives to Him, are subject to the rulership of satan. He can do whatever he wants to these persons. We see the results of this all over the earth. Massive evil, sickness, suffering and death. The devil has come to destroy and this is what he does everyday on the earth.
Jesus said: “The devil does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” ~John 10:10
When Jesus returns, satan and all those who were a part of his kingdom will be assigned to the prison of hell where they will wait for their final judgment at the end of Jesus’ one thousand year reign on the earth. At the conclusion of this time, the devil and all those who joined his kingdom, will be raised and judged by God at the Great White Throne of Revelation chapter 20. They will all be throne alive into Lake of Fire where they will exist forever.
People Who Choose Darkness, To Darkness They Will Go
Hell is not a place where those who hate God join together to party and live as they please. It is a prison of darkness where no one will ever see light again. Each person will be held in isolation by themselves and have no contact with any other person. The demons will torment and tear at them forever and all their thoughts will be on regret and their foolishness that brought them to this place of torments.
Author Randy Alcorn describes the isolation of hell:
“The aloneness was becoming stifling. He could hear nothing, feel nothing, see nothing, sense nothing. He had only himself. He considered the unthinkable—that this was not a phase, a part of a transition, but the final destination. That this was hell.” ~Deadline, Randy Alcorn, Page 341
In understanding these principles of God’s word, we see that it is we who are the cause of sickness, suffering, evil and death in the world. We permit these things by our willing rejection of God’s righteous rule over our lives. If God ruled over this world, none of these plagues would be present. The fact that they are here now tells us that something outside God has caused sickness and suffering to occur.
You and I have a choice where we want to live. We decide the kind of kingdom we want to abide in. If we choose Jesus and follow Him, we will live in a perfect world and all of our hopes of ending evil and suffering, will come true. No one in Jesus’ kingdom will ever grow old, get sick, or die again. There will never be anyone who commits evil or is allowed to harm anyone again.
Evil in the world is the fault of human beings and the devil who brought these perils to our planet. God has done all that He could do to stop these plagues by allowing Jesus to die for all sins and make it possible for Him to rule over the world in righteousness.
This matter is now in your hands, whose kingdom do you want to belong?
Categories: Book of Life, Common objections by Atheists, Following Jesus, Forgiveness of Sin, How Salvation Occurs, Jesus conquered death and Hell, Jesus destroyed the work of the devil, Justification, Living For Jesus, Not understanding salvation, Religion vs. Relationship, Robert Clifton Robinson, Ruling with Jesus, Salvation is a free gift, Salvation through Jesus, The earth is the Lord's, The fall of Lucifer, The world rejects Jesus, We must repent, What happens after death?, Where Evil Men Are Tormented, Why God Allows Evil, Why Jesus had to die