Learn From God’s Word
Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering?
This article raises questions you may have asked and shows where you can read the answers in your Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses would be pleased to discuss these answers with you.
1. How did evil start?
Evil began on earth when Satan told the first lie. Satan was not evil when he was created. He was a perfect angel, but he “did not stand fast in the truth.” (John 8:44) He developed a desire for worship that rightly belongs only to God. Satan lied to the first woman, Eve, and persuaded her to obey him instead of God. Adam joined Eve in disobeying God. Adam’s decision resulted in suffering and death.—Read Genesis 3:1-6, 17-19.
When Satan suggested that Eve disobey God, he was mounting a rebellion against God’s sovereignty. The majority of mankind have joined Satan in rejecting God as Ruler. Satan has thus become “the ruler of the world.”—Read John 14:30; Revelation 12:9.
2. Was God’s creation defective?
The humans and angels whom God created were perfectly capable of obeying God’s requirements. (Deuteronomy 32:5) God created us with the freedom to choose between doing good and doing evil. That freedom gives us a way to express love for God.—Read James 1:13-15; 1 John 5:3.
3. Why has God allowed suffering?
For a time, Jehovah has tolerated rebellion against his sovereignty. Why? To show that no effort to rule without him benefits people. (Jeremiah 10:23) After 6,000 years of human history, the issue has been settled. Human rulers have failed to eliminate war, crime, injustice, and disease.—Read Ecclesiastes 7:29; 8:9; Romans 9:17.
By contrast, those who accept God as their Ruler benefit themselves. (Isaiah 48:17, 18) Soon, Jehovah will bring all human governments to an end. Only people who choose to be ruled by God will inhabit the earth.—Isaiah 2:3, 4; 11:9; read Daniel 2:44.
4. What opportunity does God’s patience provide?
Satan claimed that Jehovah cannot win the loyal obedience of anyone. God’s patience allows all of us opportunity to show whether we favor rule by God or rule by man. We indicate our choice by the way we live.—Read Job 1:8-11; Proverbs 27:11.
5. How do we choose God as Ruler?
Satan uses his power to promote immoral, harmful practices. When we reject such practices, some of our friends and relatives may ridicule or oppose us. (1 Peter 4:3, 4) So we face a choice. Will we associate with people who love God? Will we obey his wise and loving laws? If we do, we prove that Satan lied when he claimed that no one would do as God says.—Read 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; 15:33.
For more information, see chapter 11 of this book, What Does the Bible Really Teach?, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
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Adam made an evil choice
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Our choices reveal whether we want God as our Ruler