Does Evil Exist?
This is just a story I found on the Internet but it helps illustrate a concept that can be hard to explain...
The university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists? A student bravely replied yes, he did!" "God created everything?" The professor asked. "Yes, sir," the student replied.
The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil."
The student became quiet before such an answer.
The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.
Another student raised his hand and said, "Can I ask you a question professor?" "Of course", replied the professor. The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?"
"What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?" The students snickered at the young man's question.
The young man replied, "In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Everybody and every object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (- 460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have too little heat.
The student continued. "Professor, does darkness exist?"
The professor responded, "Of course it does".
The student replied, "Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn't this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present."
Finally the young man asked the professor. "Sir, does evil exist?"
Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. "These manifestations are nothing else but evil."
To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love, that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light."
So if someone says they do not believe in God because of all the suffering in the world, then I would ask how there can be any compassion, love, generosity, justice or honesty when survival of the fittest is the basis for your belief system? Without an absolute standard (God Almighty), nothing could actually be considered good or evil. Everything would be relative & subjective. However, the God of the Bible declares there will be a final judgment and only those who submitted to Jesus will enter His Holy Kingdom. Everyone who complains that God is not judging the evil all around us does not understand that they have no chance of standing before God without the grace and mercy God provided through Jesus. You need to come to God on His terms, not yours.
"In his pride the wicked does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God" - Psalms 10:4
"Next I turned to consider all kinds of oppression that exists on earth. Look at the tears of the oppressed — there is no one to comfort them. Power is on the side of their oppressors; so they have no comforters." - Ecclesiastes 4:1
"The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some people understand slowness, but is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to perish, but wants everyone to repent. But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will disappear with a roaring sound, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be exposed. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, think of the kind of holy and godly people you ought to be as you look forward to and hasten the coming of the day of God, when the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved and the elements will melt with fire. But in keeping with his promise, we are looking forward to new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home." - 2 Peter 3:9-13