What are the consequences of violating free choice
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|If God exists, why is there evil in the world? What is evil? Where did evil come from? Why doesn’t God intervene and stop all evil? How can physical evils such as earthquakes, tornadoes and cancer be explained? Is there a good reason for the existence of hell on which even some atheists would agree? What about those who have never heard the Gospel?
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 8, Cat. No. EVL
Keywords: Free Choice, Source of evil, Free will, Nature of God
- Ankerberg: I’m impressed with the fact that when God gave man free choice – whether or not he wanted to serve that God, to love that God, to be in fellowship with that God – he chose to go the other way. And I’m impressed, I guess, with the consequences, the bigness of that decision. Talk about those consequences of violating free choice.
- Geisler: Well, the consequences are very simple: you can either go the right way or the wrong way. You can will the good of the creature over that of the Creator and end up in misery and ultimately in hell. Or you can will the good of the Creator over that of the creature and end up in Heaven. Remember C. S. Lewis’ famous line: “There are only two kinds of people in the end – those that say, ‘Thy will be done, Oh God,’ and they end up in heaven, and those God says to them, ‘Thy will be done,’ and they end up in hell.” So those are pretty serious consequences. And we can talk about physical and social consequences, but the eternal consequences are far greater. Are you going to live in harmony with the Creator? Or are you going to live in eternal rebellion against the Creator?
- Ankerberg: We’re actually trying to defend God’s reputation in this program in examining the problem of evil, right?
- Geisler: That’s right. It’s called theodicy, which means how can we justify God in the light of the problem of evil?
- Ankerberg: Yeah. I mean, every time something bad happens in the world, it’s very interesting that people say, “That shouldn’t happen.” And that would imply there ought to be somebody there taking care of it. There ought to be an ultimate standard. There ought to be God, okay? Talk a little bit about that.
- Geisler: Well, first of all, I think the thing to point out in this whole issue, John, is that the problem of evil boomerangs for the unbeliever. It boomerangs because they like to say there’s evil, therefore there can’t be a God. Just the opposite is true. If there’s evil, there must be a God because you can’t know something is wrong unless you know what’s right. You can’t know something is unjust unless you know what just is. And you can’t certainly know that something is ultimately unjust unless there’s an ultimate standard of justice, that God is the ultimate standard of justice. So you have to posit God to attack God, arguing in a circle.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. Define the God that we’re talking about, that we’re defending.
- Geisler: We’re talking about a God who is all powerful; who is all good; who is free; who is all knowing. That’s called a theistic God, the God of the Bible. That kind of God is not only a problem in the face of evil, but it turns out He’s the only solution to the problem of evil.
- Ankerberg: Why is He the solution and also the guarantee that evil is going to be taken care of?
- Geisler: Because if He is not all powerful, you can’t be sure that He’ll overpower it; if He’s not all good, you can’t be sure that He has the desire to do it; and if He doesn’t know the end from the beginning, then you’re dealing with somebody who is fumbling along in history and doesn’t know how it’s going to come out.