By Nathan Jones
How can there be a God with all the evil and suffering in the world?
We asked this question on our television show Christ in Prophecy of Carl Gallups, senior pastor of Hickory Hammock Baptist Church in Milton, Florida, and the author of the best-selling apologetics book, The Magic Man in the Sky. He is also the founder of the world famous PPSIMMONS YouTube channel and prominent Freedom Friday radio talk show host.
Origins of Suffering and Evil
Dr. Reagan: Carl, I want to ask you about a basic Atheist's argument, probably their most basic argument. They'll always ask, "If God really exists, particularly the God of Christians who they say is the God of love, then how in the world can He allow all this suffering and evil that's going on in this world?"
Carl Gallups: Right. Well, as you know, that's kind the question of the ages, I suppose. Here's what I say to the Atheist.
So, you're going to use the presence of evil and suffering in the world as an attack against the God of the Bible. It's only fair then that we go to the Word such as the book of Job and see what God says about that. The general message from the Word of God about that question is this — that the basis for evil in the world is all about Man's rebellion against God. Whenever you take away the light of God and the truth of God, in comes the darkness of evil. So, the basis of evil is found in mankind's rebellion.
Now, God through His magnificent wisdom has figured in this rebellion within His plan for the ages. This can be a lengthy discussion, but in my book I deal with it. God fits mankind's rebellion which is evil into His plan. He uses it. Evil is the drill instructor if you will of boot camp. When a person goes to boot camp, the purpose is to come out on the other side equipped and ready in spite of the hardships they've had to endure. So, when mankind rebels against God, that opens the door for evil to come into the world.
But, God tells us that He wins. He triumphs! And, that the believer wins in the end as well.
Evil and its resulting suffering in the meantime are a part of life. The bottom line is, when we come out on the other side of suffering like Job did, when at the end of everything in Job's miserable existence there for a while he could actually sum his terrible experience up like this: "Even if God slays me, yet will I serve Him."
Our rebllion — evil — becomes used in this whole process of redemption. Evil is here because of Man's rebellion against God, but God is going to fix it. He's going take care of it all in the end.
Dr. Reagan: I've even had Atheist say to me, "If God is really a God of love, why doesn't He just annihilate evil immediately?" To that I say, "Well, fine, He would then have to annihilate you and me, and we would then all be gone."
Carl Gallups: That's right, and praise God He hasn't!
Dr. Reagan: God has provided another way, and that was the sacrifice of His own Son Jesus Christ in our place.
The other day I saw a t-shirt on the Internet that said, "God, where were you during the school shootings?" On the other side it said, "You wouldn't let me come in." Certainly, God was there at Sandy Hook and other terrible shootings, but we've purposefully kicked Him out of our schools.
Carl Gallups: The question there is not where is God, but where are we?
In the tenth segment of our interview with Pastor Carl Gallups concerning the existence of God, he'll explain why there's nothing really settled about "settled science."