Is Evil Necessary?

Certain religions and philosophies see evil and good as eternal forces that will always exist in the universe. Both are necessary for the right operation of the universe. Evil and good are opposites that require each other. If there were no evil, there could be no good. The yin and yang is a classic picture of this viewpoint.

A more modern version of this concept is the idea that evil is absence of good. Just like dark is the absence of light and cold is the absence of heat so evil is the absence of good. Since there is light dark must also exist. Since good exists, there must also be evil. But must it?

Evil is not necessary. God existed for eternity before creating the universe. God existed without evil. God continues to exist without evil. God will exist through all the eternity to come without evil. Evil is not necessary to God, but what about to men?

When God created the universe everything was perfect. Satan had not rebelled and man had not sinned. How long things lasted before sin is unknown. The universe functioned just fine without sin.

Evil is not just the absence of good. Evil is the rejection of God. Sin originated in Satan when he determined to rebel against the rule of God. Sin came into the world when man doubted the goodness of God and chose to reject God’s commands in favor of a promise to be like God. Evil is always the rejection of good and rebellion against God.

Evil is not necessary. Evil is sand in the gears of creation. Evil is a destructive influence that hinders the proper working of all things. Evil and all the consequences of sin- death, pain and sorrow- are not necessary. They will not last. The present age is marred by evil but this age is short.

A time is coming when all evil be removed from the universe. All of wicked humanity, all the rebel angels and Satan himself will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. The influence of evil upon the universe will be removed.

The universe that now exists is entirely corrupted by sin. “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together.” (Romans 8:22) God will destroy this universe. “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10) God will create a new universe which will be as perfect as the original creation. Revelation 21 and 22 describe the coming universe as eternally unstained by sin.

Evil is not necessary. Evil exists for a brief time, but the eternal universe which is coming will be forever free of sin and all its consequences.

Why do good things happen?

Man is guilty and condemned by God. The whole earth groans and suffers under the curse of sin. Since the world and all its inhabitants suffer under the wrath of God, why do good things happen? If nature is “red in tooth and claw” and survival is only of the fittest as claimed by those who believe there is no God, why are do any good things occur?

Consider the many good things that occur across the globe. Every spring the flowers bloom in a vibrant panorama of loveliness. In winter the snow covers the earth in a blanket of sparkling white. The stars fill the night sky in a wonderful display. Technology has allowed man to see ever deeper into the universe and into the atom. Looking into the depths of the sky man has discovered nebula and galaxies of startling beauty. Looking into the depths of the atom man has beheld an arrangement of such magnificence as to leave one breathless in wonder. If all is a product of chance or if God is a cruel, capricious god, why is the universe filled with such winsome displays?

If nature is careless and unconcerned, why is the earth filled with so many good things for men? Every year crops produce abundantly, with provision sufficient for the world’s inhabitants. The rains continue to fall in their season, nourishing the earth. The sun continues to shine, stirring the plants to growth. Herbivores large and small grow strong on the abundant supply from the earth. Carnivores enjoy the fruits of all this labor in perfectly cooked steaks and bacon wrapped buffalo wings. Why all these good things? Why is the world filled with things that provide a riot of happiness for men to enjoy? A godless world has no answer for these questions. A cruel God does not give such bounty. One can assume life evolved to exist on such things as the world produces, but the question still remains. Why such an abundance? Why such beauty? Why such pleasure? Why not a bare existence of meat and drink in a monotonous landscape that sustains but does not delight.

Bad things happen. The problem of evil will continue to bother men until the end of time. The curse of sin has left the world in agony. The bigger question to consider is why do good things happen. The grace of God gives good gifts to all men. To the just and the unjust, the saved and the lost, the innocent and the evil, God gives good things for men to enjoy. The Psalmist David answered this question best in Psalm 65,
“Who by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power: Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people. They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice. Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.”

Good things happen because God is good and compassionate to all men.