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Did God create evil?

At first, it might seem like God must have made evil since he made everything else. But evil is not a "thing" like electricity or a rock. You can't get a jar of bad things. Evil doesn't really exist on its own; it's just the lack of good. For example, holes do exist, but only in other things. We call the lack of dirt a hole, but the hole can't exist without the dirt. So, when God made things, everything He made was good. One good thing God made was creatures who could choose to do good on their own. God had to let there be something besides good to choose from so that there could be a real choice. So, God gave angels and people the freedom to choose good or bad (evil). When two good things have a bad relationship, we call that evil. However, evil does not become a "thing" that God had to make.

Maybe a different example will help. If you asked someone, "Does cold exist?" they would probably say, "Yes." But this is not the case. Cold does not exist. Cold means that there is no heat. In the same way, darkness does not exist; it is what happens when there is no light. Evil is when there is no good, or even better, when there is no God. God didn't have to make bad things happen; he just had to let them happen.

God didn't make evil, but He still lets it happen. If God hadn't let evil exist, both people and angels would have to serve God because they have to, not because they want to. He didn't want "robots" that were "programmed" to do what he wanted them to do. God let evil exist so that we could truly have free will and decide for ourselves whether or not we wanted to serve Him.

We can never fully understand an infinite God because we are limited (Romans 11:33-34). Sometimes we think we know why God is doing something, only to find out later that it was for a different reason than we thought. God sees the world from a holy and eternal point of view. We look at things through the eyes of sin, the world, and time. Why did God make people if he knew that Adam and Eve would sin and bring bad things, death, and suffering to everyone? Why didn't God just make us all and leave us in heaven, where we'd be perfect and never have to go through anything bad? We can't give good answers to these questions on this side of eternity. We know that everything God does is holy and perfect, and that in the end, it will bring glory to Him. God let evil exist so that we could make a real choice about whether or not to worship Him. God didn't make evil, but He let it happen. If He hadn't let bad things happen, we wouldn't worship Him because we want to, but because we have to.


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