Why is this world the best way to get to the best possible world
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, Moral creatures, Freedom, free will, perfect world
- Ankerberg: Alright, talk a little bit more about this thing of this is the best way, this world then, is the best way to the best possible world. What does that mean? Let’s talk about it.
- Geisler: Well, if it’s going to be a moral world, if we’re talking about moral best, there has to be moral creatures. So, first of all, it’s best because He made free creatures. And in a moral world, you have to have free creatures. It’s best to respect somebody’s free choice, not to say, “You’re free as long as you do what I want.” You know, like my son is free to grow up and become a doctor, but if he chooses to be a plumber, then I shoot him. Well, then he wasn’t really free. So, you have to give people their freedom and respect their freedom. So it’s good to be free; it’s good to respect their free choices; but as soon as you admit those two ingredients and that God will not force freedom because forced freedom is a contradiction, then you have to have a world in which there is a possibility of a hell; a possibility some people won’t want to go God’s way, they want to go their way. They don’t want to be with Him; they want to be away from Him, to which He says, “Ephraim is joined to his idols. Leave him alone.” [Hos. 4:17]
- Ankerberg: Yeah, and that brings us to the statement, I mean, it’s just saying it a different way but it’s so stark when you say it out loud: “Evil, then, has to be permitted.”
- Geisler: If you’re going to produce a greater good it does, because it’s the condition for producing the greater good.
- Ankerberg: Talk about this “greater good,” because that still fogs people’s minds. What is the greater good where we would have to allow evil to be permitted?
- Geisler: The greatest good is God. So the greatest good for us is to become most like God. If we’re going to become most like God and have God-like characteristics, then evil is a pre-condition for achieving that, because you can’t get patience without tribulation. Tribulation works patience. [Rom. 5:3] You can’t develop character without adverse circumstances because that’s what develops the character. So God has to permit this moral training ground type of world where evil is permitted, evil consequences occur and we can learn from this and we can make our choices based on it.