why does god allow sin to exist
Why Does God Allow Evil? By Rick Warren
в May 21, 2014
This is the crisis we're in: God's light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. because they were not really interested in pleasing God. The horrific mass murder of innocent Americans on 9/11 left all rational people shocked, angry, grief-stricken and numb. Our tears flowed freely and our hearts carried a deep ache. With pain is so heartfelt and so personal, it s only natural to ask, Why does God allow such evil to happen? If God is so great and so good, why does he allow human beings to hurt each other? The answer lies in what is both our greatest blessing and our worst curse: our capacity to make choices. God has given us a free will. Made in God's image, he has given us the freedom to decide how we will act and the ability to make moral choices. This is one asset that sets us apart from animals, but it also is the source of so much pain in our world. Every one of us is capable of making selfish, self-centered or even evil choices. Whenever that happens, people get hurt. Sin ultimately is selfishness. I want to do what I want, not what God tells me to do. Unfortunately, sin always hurts others, not just ourselves. God could have eliminated all evil from our world by simply removing our ability to choose. He could have made us puppets -- marionettes on strings that he pulls. By taking away our ability to choose, evil would vanish. But God doesn't want us to be puppets. He wants to be loved and obeyed by creatures who freely, voluntarily choose to love him and each other. Love is not genuine if there is no other option. Yes, God could have kept the terrorists from completing their suicidal missions. He could have short-circuited their ability to choose their own will instead of his. But, to be fair, God also would have to do that to all of us. While you and I aren't terrorists, we do hurt others with our own selfish decisions and actions.
In a world of free choices, God's will is rarely done! Doing our own will is much more common -- much easier. Don't blame God for the tragedy of 9/11. Blame people who ignored what God says to do: "Love your neighbor as yourself. " In heaven, God's will is done perfectly. That's why there is no sorrow, pain or evil there. But this is earth, a fallen, imperfect place. We must choose to do God's will every day. It isn't automatic. That is why Jesus told us to pray, "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. " The Bible explains the root of evil: "This is the crisis we're in: God's light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. because they were not really interested in pleasing God" (John 3:19, Message). We're far more interested in pleasing ourselves than we are in pleasing the one who made us. Many other questions race through our minds during dark days, but the answers will not come from pollsters, pundits or politicians. We must look to God and his Word for comfort and direction, for answers to our questions. We must humble ourselves and admit that each of us often chooses to ignore what God wants us to do. I suspect houses of worship across America have been packed this weekend, as they were the weekend after 9/11. In times of crisis we cry out to connect with our Creator. The urge is deep-seated and universal. The first words uttered by millions on Sept. 11, 2001, were, "Oh, God! " We were made for a relationship with God, but he waits for us to choose him. He is ready to comfort, guide and direct us through our grief. But the choice is ours. Rick Warren is the founding pastor of in Lake Forest, Calif. , one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller. His book, , was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of , a global Internet community for pastors. Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.
Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it. The following is an edited transcript of the audio. Why does God allow Satan to live? This is one of the questions that I try to answer in. And it is not just something on top of what is already said in the book, but it is right at the heart of it. But before I answer it, let s make sure that we agree that it is true that God could take Satan out anytime he chose. Because I think there are some who would say, He really can t, because of some rights (or authority, independence, free will, etc. ) that Satan has. But the reason I know God can take Satan out without turning me into an automaton or breaking any rules is because he is going to take him out. He is going to throw him in the lake of fire. And the question is, Why didn t he do it yesterday? If he had done it yesterday I wouldn t be tempted the way I am today. The Bible says, Lead me not into temptation. Well, the best way not to be led into temptation is to take the Tempter away! Isn t it? Take him out! I ve got sin in my life plenty enough to make me struggle. I don t need Satan on top of my sin making my life more miserable. So God, take him out! You have the right and the power to take him out. You re doing nobody wrong when you take him out. Take him out! And he doesn t do it. Why? The Bible doesn t answer why directly, so we have to go on inferences. But here is my best shot: God has ordained that Satan have a long leash with God holding onto it because he knows that when we walk in and out of those temptations, struggling both with the physical and moral effects that they bring, more of God s glory will shine in that battle than if he took Satan out yesterday. There will be evidences of God s patience with us and of his mercy towards us as we struggle with sin. And there will be evidences of his sustaining grace as we go through horrific physical suffering that Satan was the immediate cause of (as it says in the Bible: This woman. whom Satan bound for eighteen years [Luke 13:16].
She had this bent-over back, and Satan was doing it, and God was ordaining that he be allowed to do it). God ordains all of these things so that his glory his mercy, justice, grace, wisdom would shine more brightly. Now we can argue with that and say, I don t agree. I don t think God should run the world this way. And if we ultimately disagree then we will reject God, we will reject the biblical testimony, and we will perish forever in hell. But I choose to trust him that his way of managing the devil and managing evil that comes at me is wiser than the way I might choose to manage it. Perhaps the other thing I should say is that he sent his Son right into the middle of this satanic warfare. It was Satan that put it into the heart of Judas to betray him. So Jesus exposes himself to the horrors of Satan s deceit and lies and murder He was a murderer from the beginning. [and] a liar (John 8:44) and dies, in order to make a public display of the principalities and powers in his defeat of them (Colossians 2:15). There is more glory that will come to Jesus Christ by his suffering to destroy Satan than by powerfully shooting Satan in the head. And there is more glory that will come to Jesus Christ by our sharing in the sufferings of Christ holding onto his supreme value than if we had been able to say, Satan, Depart! and never have another problem. And I think the reason for that this is my ultimate final answer is that the glory of God and Christ shines more brightly when we are seen to be supremely satisfied in Christ in spite of Satan s torments, rather than if we had his torments removed and liked Jesus because of it. It s when you love Jesus in spite of Satan s torments and through them that his glory shines most brightly, rather than when we have life made easier for us by Satan s removal and we like Jesus because of it.
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