Why is it important for us to understand why God made the world this way
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: Creation, Theodicy, Free will, ultimate standard, Matthew 23:27
- Ankerberg: Alright, if we have this theodicy, this rational outline, the “reasons” for God acting the way that He is acting, okay, people need to, I think, realize that if this world is the best way to get to where God wants to get to, and it is just and it is right, and they do have freedom, they don’t want to stand before God some day and make these dumb accusations to Him: “God, you should have done it this way” and then God explains it to them and says, “If I had done that, you wouldn’t have liked that for the following reasons.” This was the best way. Talk about that, the importance of understanding that now, and then, once you do, what should you do with that in terms of your relationship with God?
- Geisler: Well, first of all, it’s kind of dumb on our part to assume that God didn’t do it the right way. He’s the ultimate standard of what’s right and wrong and it’s to assume that we’re the ultimate standard of justice and God isn’t. How do we know something is unjust if we don’t know what just is? How can we say, “God is not just” when He is the ultimate standard of justice itself? So, that’s a self-defeating argument.
- Secondly, who’s in the best position to know what’s the best way: he One who is omniscient and knows everything, or the one who is finite, like us, and doesn’t know everything? So, right there on the top of it, we’re on the wrong side of the argument.
- If God knows everything and if God is all good, then permitting this preconditioning for the greater good is something that we can be sure He is going to accomplish. Because if He is all good, He wants to bring the greatest good; if He is all powerful, He can; if He hasn’t yet done it, hang on, it’s coming. How do I know? Because He is all good and He wants to, and He is all powerful and He can. If He hasn’t yet done it today, then wait. It’s either coming tomorrow, or the day after because you can be absolutely sure that an all powerful and all good God is going to accomplish the greatest good.
- Ankerberg: Yeah. One of the things you say in your book is, “One of the purposes of God for creating this world was that God says He was willing that none should perish.” Jesus says in Matthew 23:37, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem!… How often have I longed to gather your children together,” then He says, “but you were not willing.” Now, people have a choice right now. Are they willing to repent, are they willing to accept God’s free gift of salvation? Do they really have the opportunity to do that? Talk about that.
- Geisler: Yes. They do. And when they stand before God, they’re not going to be able to blame God that they’re not getting into Heaven. There’s only one person they can blame, and that is themselves. Because do you remember what the devil said in Milton’s Paradise Lost? He said, “I’d rather reign in hell than serve in heaven.” Well, God said to him, “You’ve got it, pal! You’ve got it.” And He is going to say that to every other human being. “Do you want to serve Me? Do you want to say, ‘Thy will be done’? Or do you want Me to say to you, ‘Thy will be done!’” That’s a horrendous choice. It’s a horrendous responsibility. But God gave it to every human being and every human being is going to make it and they’re going to suffer the consequences of it.