Genesis 2:17, “But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
God allows evil in the world because man freely chose to disobey Him in the Garden of Eden. When man sinned he, (a) brought spiritual death to all mankind, (b) was cursed with the knowledge of both good and evil, and (c) was then given the freedom to act on either. The first example of man choosing evil over good after the fall was Cain murdering Abel, Genesis 4:7-8.
In the 3rd century before Christ (BC) the Greek philosopher Epicurus came up with the following argument against God known as the “Epicurus’ Trilemma,” it goes as follows, “If an all-powerful and perfectly good god exists, then evil does not. There is evil in the world. Therefore, an all-powerful and perfectly good god does not exist.”
The conclusion to his trilemma is simple, “If evil exists, then God cannot exist.” The philosopher David Hume made this argument against God based on evil popular again in the 18th century. Hume wrote, “If God is unable to prevent evil, he is not omnipotent [all-powerful]. If God is not willing to prevent evil, he is not good. If God is willing and able to prevent evil, then why is there evil?”
In both examples given against God from evil, the philosophers are using a definition of evil as “morally wrong.” In other words, when they refer to evil they mean things like murder, child abuse, and the like. However, without God existing as the ultimate “Moral Law Giver,” there cannot exist an “objective right or wrong” because evil itself is just a matter of one’s opinion. Thus, the atheist has the real “problem with evil” because without appealing to a higher law how can they define what is evil? They cannot. Thus, if God doesn’t exist, then neither does evil and their argument is self-defeating because its first premise (evil exists) cannot be established.
On the other hand, if evil does exist (which everyone knows it does), then there must be a God that gives each person the ability to recognize evil, i.e., “a moral compass.” Thus, the story of God creating Adam and Eve gives the best explanation to why the knowledge of good and evil are both on earth. In summary, Adam and Eve freely choose to disobey God by following Satan’s temptation and eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Genesis 3:1-24. From that time forward mankind has not only known goodness but also evil.
Jesus came to die on the cross to destroy the power of Satan and bring redemption to all those effected by sin, 1 John 3:8. He also promised to one-day return to “once and for all” rid the universe of evil. Therefore, choose God and His goodness today by accepting Jesus as the Lord of your life. And in times of evil look to the cross to find the love and comfort of Jesus Christ.
Do you believe Jesus is the answer to the problem of evil?
- Repent of the evil you have done.
- Accept Jesus into your life and follow His commands.
- When you meet someone who has a problem with evil- let them know Jesus solved it!