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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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William

Why does God allow the wicked to commit evil?

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Staff

Mark Altrogge

 

Why does God allow evil rulers and terrorists to afflict innocent people and persecute Christians? Why does he allow believers to languish in North Korean work camps and Iranian prisons? Why does he place Christians under bosses who mistreat them or next to neighbors who make their lives miserable? I know a Christian woman whose husband gives her absolutely no money and makes her provide for all her own needs. Why does God allow these things?One of the first principles of interpreting the Bible is to begin with the clear and move to the unclear. So we will attempt to answer our question by beginning with a couple clear truths.

 

First of all there is no evil in God and God cannot sin.

 

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5

 

God is perfectly just and righteous. He never does anything unjust. So it is clear that no matter what evil God allows he never commits any sin and is always perfectly just.

 

Another clear truth is that God is sovereign over all things, including the evil acts of men. If God did not allow them they could not do them. But he doesn’t simply permit evil, he works men’s evil deeds for his own glory and his children’s good.

 

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

 

God uses all things – even the evil intents, wicked plans and actions of men to bring about his glory and our good. The Bible is filled with examples of God doing this.

 

One of the clearest examples is how God used Joseph’s brothers’ sin to bring about good for multitudes. Joseph’s brothers hated him, threw him into a pit, and sold him to slave traders who took him to Egypt. There he suffered unjustly only to have God exalt him at the perfect time to Pharaoh’s right hand, and he led Egypt to store food, which saved thousands of lives, including the brothers who sinned against him.

 

Joseph’s brothers were sure he’d take revenge when their father died, but Joseph said to them:

 

“Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” GE 50.19-21

 

How incredible God is! How glorious! He took the evil intents of Joseph’s brothers and caused their actions to bring about the saving of thousands from famine. Later God used Pharaoh’s wickedness to bring himself glory by delivering Israel from Egyptian slavery. As Pharaoh repeatedly refused to obey God, God sent plagues upon Egypt and display his awesome power and majesty, as it says in Romans 9:17:

 

“For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.””

 

The ultimate example of God using man’s wickedness to bring about his glorious purposes is the crucifixion of Jesus by Pilate, the Jewish leaders and people. As Peter preached to the Jews on Pentecost:

 

“…this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” Acts 2:23

 

Peter says the Jews crucified Jesus via the lawless Romans. They murdered the only innocent man who ever lived, the Son of God. Yet God foreknew and planned Christ’s death for all eternity, and caused the most wicked act in history, killing the Messiah, to bring about the most glorious result: the redemption of multitudes. The result: infinite glory to God and Jesus Christ, and forgiveness, salvation, eternal life, and everlasting joy to those Jesus redeemed.

 

We may not see it now, but someday we’ll see how God turned every bit of evil, from our secret sins to the historical atrocities of wicked rulers to his glory. He causes ALL THINGS, from greatest to least – ALL THINGS to work for good to those who love him and to magnify his infinite glory.

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One of the top reason Atheists give for rejecting God is all the suffering or evil in the world. "If God is all love and all powerful then..."

 

The Bible gives some answers to why there's evil. But, even if we don't appreciate the Bible's answer, rejecting God only means that our suffering is for nothing.

 

Robin Williams didn't kill himself because of any disease. He killed himself because he was an Atheist. He killed himself because he could no longer distract himself from what he saw as a pointless existence. Suicide new takes away more years of human life than any other cause, save heart disease and cancer.

 

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Staff
If God is all love

 

Just pointing out that as a stand alone statement that this is a false premise. The statement in itself deserves to be dissected and rejected. God is equally loving as He is Just, and God does not love at the expense of His Justice (why the propitiation?). I think addressing the first part of the statement will correct the false logic that follows. Not to mention suggesting that God loves all equally would prove bothersome from Scripture alone (Jacob I loved Esau I hated).

 

God bless,

William

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Many people don't understand love. For starters, love isn't: Love isn't keeping someone in a cage. Love isn't feeding a child a diet of cookies. Love isn't letting yourself be used. And, love isn't something that can be applied to anything immoral or evil.

 

 

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God's plan is from the foundation of the world. He is in control of all things, therefore He knows all things. God is love. Love never fails. Part of love involves judgment. There are degrees of love and of hate. The word "hate" can also mean to love less, depending on the Greek or Hebrew word and context. The Bible gives us great examples of what love is and what it isn't in Timothy and in Corinthians. In the OP, God cannot sin. God can hate, and does with a perfect hatred. God loves and with pure love. Many people do not understand love or hate. Robin Williams was Catholic and lost all his faith, so that even what he had, he lost. Tragic. The purposelessness of the feeling of secular society leaves a trail of corpses. It is the lack of God that kills, not the loving of God. Without God in one's life, one has the prince of this world, Satan, in his life... death, spiritually and often physically.

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