Will evil ever be defeated
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|If God exists, why is there evil in the world? What is evil? Where did evil come from? Why doesn’t God intervene and stop all evil? How can physical evils such as earthquakes, tornadoes and cancer be explained? Is there a good reason for the existence of hell on which even some atheists would agree? What about those who have never heard the Gospel?
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 8, Cat. No. EVL
Keywords: Defeating evil, Purpose for pain, 2 Corinthians 4:17
- Ankerberg: Atheists hook on to your syllogism and they use it this way. Okay? “If God is all good” – and we say that He is – “He would defeat evil.” “If God is all powerful, He could defeat evil.” But then they say, “But evil never will be defeated.” In other words, it’s going to go on just the way it is here, “therefore, no such God exists.” You’re all pipe-dreaming here.
- Geisler: Yeah, well, that’s exactly what they’re doing because they don’t know the end from the beginning as the God of Isaiah does. They don’t know how things are going to turn out, and God does. So God who knows everything, and God who is all good, permits this, knowing exactly how much it will take to achieve His greater good in the end. And He knows the end from the beginning, and He knows it’s going to turn out well because He has planned it that way; that He would permit evil to achieve the greater good. He would permit pain to produce the ultimate pleasure. He would let us go through the wilderness in order that we can get to the Promised Land. And, of course, when we get to the Promised Land and we look back on it, we’re going to say what Paul did in 2 Corinthians 4:17: “This light affliction, which is but for a moment, worked for us a far more exceedingly greater weight of glory.”
- Ankerberg: Yeah. I think that for the atheist who says that, you have a great note in your book: “There’s no way for the atheist to know evil never will be defeated unless he is God Himself.”
- Geisler: Yeah. He’d have to be omniscient. He’d have to know everything in order to know that it’s never going to turn out well.
- Ankerberg: But let’s come back to the guy who is in his bed and he’s sick, and he is suffering, like my mom. Okay? He’s in it right now. Okay? What is the basis, what are the hooks that he can grab onto that say, “I can hope that it will be defeated someday up ahead”?
- Geisler: I think it was about 1958. I was listening to Paul Harvey one day. He said he went into a hospital to visit a young man dying of cancer. He went in to comfort him and he came out comforted because the young man looked at him and said, “Paul, I don’t believe that the Divine Architect of the universe ever builds a staircase that leads to nowhere.” If you know you have a Divine Architect, and He knows everything and He’s all good, you can be absolutely sure that it’s leading somewhere.
- I’ve been in that kind of bed. I’ve been there, lying on my back, dying of hepatitis – couldn’t raise my hand. My wife and church were praying for me. Somebody gave me a poem I’ll never forget. It was called Overheard in an Orchard. It said,
- Said the robin to the sparrow,
- “I would really like to know
- Why these anxious human beings
- rush about and worry so.”
- Said the sparrow to the robin,
- “Friend, I think that it must be
- That they have no Heavenly Father
- such as cares for you and me.” [Elizabeth Cheney]
- That’s the answer.