Why doesn’t God stop the evil consequences of someone’s 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, Free will, Consequences
- Ankerberg: Some people may say, “Well, then, I don’t understand why God didn’t stop it.” Okay? Well, if God stopped that for those people, or Saddam Hussein, or the drunk from driving, it would sure cut into the rest of us in the things He would stop in our life. Okay? Talk a little bit about that.
- Geisler: If there were no consequences for actions, we’d never learn from our actions. If God stopped everything before we got to consequences, you know, every time I pulled a trigger, if He turned the bullet into putty and there were no consequences for the action, then how would we learn? If you could jump off a cliff and not hit the bottom, or God could give you a soft landing, you know, there’s no consequence for your evil choice.
- Ankerberg: Well, I mean, I love your illustration about parents and kids – if this actually worked there. Talk about kids throwing knives and stuff.
- Geisler: Well, obviously, if you threw a knife at somebody else and it turned to putty every time and it didn’t actually hurt, how would they learn it was wrong to throw knives? Or if you did anything – a word can hurt other people. If you never felt the consequence and no one else felt the hurt of words you use, how would we learn that it was wrong to speak like that? All of life is filled with free choices that have consequences, we learn that good consequences are a result of good choices; bad consequences are a result of bad choices. It’s a moral world; we’re moral creatures. It’s a moral proving ground and God is allowing us to exercise our freedom.
- Finally, your children would never grow up if you never gave them freedom. If we never allowed our kids to take the family car, they would never learn to drive. But every time we allowed them to do that, we took a risk that they could hit somebody else. I remember one time our daughter did a glancing blow off a bus, but she would never have learned her freedom if we didn’t give it to her. If we were just pulling the puppet strings, she would never grow up.
- So this is a universe in which God allows us to grow up by learning right from wrong, consequences for wrong action, good consequences for good actions, and then He can achieve His higher moral good, which is to make us more like Himself. Back to the illustration of, how do you purify gold? You turn the heat on, and the dross comes to the top, and then you scrape it off and then the master can see his image in the molten gold. God is turning the heat on our lives. Imperfections are surfacing. He can scrape them away. It’s called “sanctification” in Christian terminology. And then He can see His image reflected in our life