Nathan Jones: Whew! We’ve gone through quite an election year, haven’t we? And, it’s not quite over yet, is it? I don’t know about you, but I’m quite exhausted by all of the mayhem and uncertainty. No matter how the results will finally turn out, a lot of people are wondering — did evil win?
Tim Moore: I think all of us are tired and dismayed by all of the pandemonium and exposed corruption. Frankly, not only are we tired, but we’re a bit concerned about what comes next. If you are looking ahead with some trepidation at a potential Biden-Harris administration, you naturally have to wonder what’s coming down the road. We’re already hearing about some of the anti-Christian policies they’ll be pushing. We’ve known that throughout this election season how many Americans, unfortunately, didn’t seem to care that our nation is taking a hard Left and abandoning its Judeo-Christian values in many cases. What’s coming will certainly not be good for America and for Christianity.
Nathan Jones: For over 200 years, America has rested on the Bible as its foundation, embraced the Judeo-Christian ethos for its values, and benefited from Capitalism powering its financial engine. Now we’re looking at a country that wants to proceed more into Secular Humanism, which is a rejection of God, and start to pursue Socialism, which has always failed as an economic model. This radical transition for our nation has got a lot of sober-minded people running scared. Quite frankly, they’re scared that evil has won and the nation is lost.
But, is this true? Does the Bible say that evil will always win?
Tim Moore: Well, obviously not in the end, say beyond just the immediacy of this election and its outcome. The problem of evil is an age-old question. Many Atheists claim that the presence of evil and suffering has been their stumbling block when it comes to embracing theism or the Christian faith in particular. We have all asked at one time or another, “How can an all-powerful God who supposedly knows all and is good and merciful, how can He allow evil to triumph in the world and allow people to suffer?” This may be a difficult question, but it is one that the Bible addresses.
Nathan Jones: It does indeed. The doctrine is called the Problem of Evil, and there have been whole volumes of books written addressing this dilemma.
It’s amazing to think that there are people who blame God as being the cause of evil and suffering, but that’s not true at all. The Bible tells us that God is holy and He’s perfect and He’s righteous. God never tempts people into committing evil deeds.
Where does this evil come from then? Some people attribute it to God, and falsely so. Rather, the source of evil and the resulting suffering rests on the fact that all people are sinners. Romans 3:23 reveals, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We are sinners! We stand in rebellion against God’s perfect will and moral laws. We are the ones hurting ourselves and each other. So, there’s evil in the world because we are evil. We, not God, are to blame for all the suffering in the world because we commit evil deeds and those deeds affect other people who interact with us and beyond. Then, there are other people who commit their own evil deeds which cause suffering to befall us as well.
The question that naturally follows then is, “Why does God allow evil to continue, even flourish?” We know that because we are living in a fallen world that evil will flourish. But, why would God allow it to continue over these thousands of years? Why didn’t He just cut it off at the Fall?
Tim Moore: One of the reasons why God allows the “innocent” to suffer evil and be inflicted by the pain of evil is that there is no one who is truly innocent. As Romans 3:10 declares, “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one.'” One may counter, “What about a baby or child?” True, a child has not reached the age of accountability, but they still exhibit the sin nature. It’s clear that for any adult, none of us are innocent. We are all worthy of condemnation. All of the world stands, as Romans 3:19 explains, “guilty before God.” Scripture makes this point very clear in John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son…” by accepting His free offer of salvation and by recognizing Christ as the only way, truth and life, “will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” And, rightfully so! We are all born deserving eternal death.
Remember, though, there’s a sense where humanity stands right in the middle of the story, so to speak. I love an analogy that was shared by Pastor Glenn Meredith of Brookhaven Church in McKinney, Texas. He asked his congregation to imagine that they had a teenage son. You go out and buy him a beautiful sports car and say, “Here, Son, here’s a sports car, but there are just a few rules that you must obey in order to enjoy this sports car and to keep it in pristine condition.” Well, boys being boys, he might rush out and drive that car in a manner that would cause it to be wrecked very quickly. What if you looked upon that wrecked car and thought, “Just what kind of parent would give their child a wrecked vehicle, and when are they gonna make it right?” Crazy thought, right?
Likewise, the Lord gave humanity a world and an existence that was perfect, but we collectively have wrecked it. We’re looking right now upon a wrecked world and wrecked lives, but are ironically asking, “Why did God allow this to happen?” Well, it’s because He gave us the keys to the car, so to speak, but we crashed it.
And yet, God has promised that in the fullness of time He will restore to perfection all of creation. Christ says in Revelation that He will make all things new. In the meantime, we exist in what C.S. Lewis called the Shadowlands. We are living in the time between the wrecking but before the restoration. Therefore, we cannot focus on the here and now and be disappointed, rather we have to look forward to that which is coming — the end of evil and suffering and the restoration of all things.
Nathan Jones: A second reason why God has not yet ended evil and suffering is because He has given us free will. God doesn’t want to populate Heaven for all of eternity with a bunch of robots. He allows us to choose to do good or evil, and often sadly, mankind chooses evil.
I look at humanity as one crop with every generation being a different harvest. The Lord is harvesting through time people who actually want to be with God forever. Eventually, the harvest-time will come to an end. All who accepted Jesus Christ and His salvation will dwell in Heaven with our loving Savior forever. Those who rejected Christ will be eternally separated from God; burned up like the chaff and weeds discarded during the harvest.
The Bible assures us that evil and suffering do indeed have an end. Job’s friends may have given him bad advice, but Zophar the Naamathite made a really good observation. He noted in Job 20:4-7 something comforting: “Do you not know this of old, since man was placed on earth, that the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment? Though his haughtiness mounts up to the heavens, and his head reaches to the clouds, yet he will perish forever.”
Once the harvest has come to an end, Jesus Christ is going to return in glory. He is going to defeat evil. He will then set up His kingdom. At the end of that kingdom, Jesus will hold the Great White Throne Judgment. And then, at last, eternity will be populated by a people who truly desire to live with Him. Evil will, at last, be gone when the sin nature is destroyed at the resurrection, and the harvest will, at last, be completed.
Tim Moore: Even if we have to endure a particular suffering for a period of months or years, in the grand scheme of things, that’s just a short amount of time.
Nathan Jones: So true! Our current sufferings might seem like they consume our lives, but when you start living thousands and even millions of years, the bad times start seeming shorter and shorter, till in perspective they all but disappear.
Tim Moore: Our lives right now are like only a blink of an eye compared to the scale of eternity. That’s why we were created — to spend eternity with our Lord God in perfect fellowship. God seeks to share an eternity with a purified people who live in communion with Him.
All of the sufferings of this present age fade and pale in comparison once you consider what awaits us — a glorious eternity with the Lord God. We can claim that only when we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior (John 3:16).
So, our answer to the question “Does evil triumph?” is — no, it does not. It may seem to have the upper hand for just a little while, but we know that our Lord has defeated not only death and Satan but sin itself, and Jesus has and will triumph forevermore.