God gives food for all creatures (Ps 136:25); even the lions (Job 38:39).

"... a time to be born and a time to die," Ecc 3:1a,2a

"The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil." Isa 57:1b

Some times can be evil. Psalm 37:19; 49:5; Matthew 6:34

"Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." James 4:17

The Lord abhors (as evil) false weights. Prov 11:1; 20:10,23; Micah 6:11

The sun rises on the just and unjust. Matthew 5:45

"Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." Jms 1:17

What exactly is evil, anyway?

a) Whatever I do not like

b) Whatever is not good for me

c) Whatever is not the greatest good for society

d) Other

 

 

Augustine & Thomas Aquinas thought long & hard...

 

 

 

 

Three Analogies of Evil

1. Which part of a ____________ is intrinsically evil?

 

 

2. Is a __________ a thing? Does it really exist?

 

 

3. Did God create the ____________? Do they exist?

 

 

 

 

What is the definition of good? (Mark 10:18)

 

 

 

Do you agree or disagree: While some atheists might try to be good, they have no basis for being good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why does God allow evil in a fallen world?

 

 

Why do bad things happen to godly people?

 

The Parasite

Did God, who is perfect and good, create evil?

If not, then who did?

 

 

 

Does God use pain and moral evil?

 

________________________________1 Peter 1:6-7

 

_________________________________ 1 Peter 4:1

 

________________________________ James 1:2-4

 

_____________________________ Colossians 1:24

 

_____________________________ Philippians 1:28

 

_________________________ 2 Tim 3:12; Php 1:29

 

But sometimes, _____________________________

Job 1:8-12; 2:2-6

Is That OK?

 

 

 

 

"I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." Isaiah 45:7 (KJV)

Modern translations say: "calamity" or "disaster" for "evil".

"Your ways, O God are holy." Psalm 77:13a See also 1 Peter 1:15

"You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell." Psalm 5:4

God does not tempt anyone. Jms1:13 _ _

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,..." Rom 8:28

Joseph said to his brothers, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good..." Gen 50:20

"...I raised you [Pharaoh] up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaim-ed in all the earth.'" Rom 9:17; Ex 9:16

(Bible verses are from the NIV.)

For Disciples Only

 

RESPONDING TO GOD'S WORD

DAY ONE

How do you respond when evil happens to you and not others, and you thought they were so much more deserving? In Psalm 73 how did Asaph almost respond, and how did he respond?

 

DAY TWO

How do we respond to "bad things" God allows or even sends? In 2 Kings 20:1-7, how did Hezekiah respond when he received news of what God said would happen to him?

What were results of his response? In other words, how many years was he given in 2 Kings 20:6, and how old was Manasseh when he became king in 2 Kings 21:1 and 2 Chronicles 33:1. What else do we know about Manasseh in 2 Kings 21:10-16?

 

DAY THREE

The Sunday lesson did not have time to discuss "hidden evil". Ponder James 4:17. What are some "stealth sins", that we usually do not think of as sin, but fall under James 4:17?

How does this relate to Romans 14:23?

 

DAY FOUR

The Sunday lesson emphasized what we should think about good and evil. But what should we feel about good and evil? What should our attitude be towards goodness and holiness?

Psalm 119:9-20; Do you really believe Psalm 119:1-2,5?

How does Philippians 4:8-9 apply to TV and movies that you enjoy?

 

DAY FIVE

For a healthy, devoted Christian, how should we feel about evil?

Rev 2:6; Ps 45:7; 97:10; Jude 22-23. Also Rom 12:19; Lev 19:17-18

When are Christians to flee? 1 Cor 6:18; 10:14; 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22

When are Christians to stand? Eph 6:10-19; Lk 21:19; Jms 4:7; 1 Tim 5:9

 

Why Is There Evil in

God's World? - part 1

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to given an answer to everyone asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect," 1 Pet. 3:15 (NIV)

How do you handle the idea of evil in the world created by a good Creator? Today we hope to stimulate your godly reasoning skills to understand, and to be able to explain this to others.

There are two related answers: the answer you give a skeptic or someone who is wondering, and the answer for someone who is hurting. This explores the first answer, but part 2 gives the second.

If God Almighty is all-knowing and all-loving, why is there evil in this world?

 

God is ____________

notes:

All that God decrees definitely happens. Isaiah 14:24,27; 43:13; 55:11; Jn 10:26-28

God is sovereign over all. Isaiah 6:5; Ps 103:14

He does as He pleases. Mt 20:15; Ps 115:3;135:6; Rom 9:20

Nothing is too hard for God. Gen 18:14; Job 42:2; Jer 32:17; Mt 19:26

He cannot deny Himself (2 Tim 2:13), lie (Heb 6:18; 1 Sam 15:29), or be tempted by evil (Jms 1:13).

Nothing occurs besides what God allows. Job 1:12; 2:6; Jms 4:15

All things work together for His will. Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11

None thwart God's decrees. Isa 43:13; Rom 11:29

Many "succeed" in resisting God's commands. Acts 7:39,51; 4:11; 13:46; 14:2; 2 Cor 6:1

Some things are on our own initiative. 2 Cor 8:17

 

God is ____________

notes:

 

He knows and sees all. 1 Jn 3:20; Jn 21:17; Ps 139; Pr 5:21; 15:3; Heb 4:13

He knows all the details. Isa 40:26; Ps 139:16

God knows for certain every day of the future. Ps 139:16; Isa 46:10; 44:7

 

God is ____________

notes:

 

God is loving (not all-loving) 1 Jn 4:16; Ex 20:6

God is good to all, and has tender mercy over all He has made. Ps 145:9,17

He individually loves us. Jer 45; 35; Gen 20:3-7

 

 

God gives food for all creatures (Ps 136:25); even the lions (Job 38:39).

"... a time to be born and a time to die," Ecc 3:1a,2a

"The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil." Isa 57:1b

Some times can be evil. Psalm 37:19; 49:5; Matthew 6:34

"Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." James 4:17

The Lord abhors (as evil) false weights. Prov 11:1; 20:10,23; Micah 6:11

The sun rises on the just and unjust. Matthew 5:45

"Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." Jms 1:17

What exactly is evil, anyway?

a) Whatever I do not like. A nurse's shot.

b) Whatever is not good for me. 1 Cor 15:12-19; Mt 10:39; Mk 8:35

c) Whatever is not the greatest good for society. John 11:49-52

d) Other

Augustine & Thomas Aquinas thought long & hard...

Evil is a deprivation of a lack of good. If an infant cannot walk or understand truth and beauty, that is not evil, because an infant was not created to do those things while still an infant. However, if an adult cannot do this, this is "metaphysical" evil.

Three Analogies of Evil

1. Which part of a deceitful weight is intrinsically evil? Dt 25:15; Lev 19:36; Prov 11:1; 16:11. Prov 20:10,23 and Mic 6:11 condemn those who use diverse and deceitful weights.

No part. It is the use and misrepresentation, not the physical attributes.

2. Is a hole a thing? Does it really exist?

Yes. It has no mass or energy, but you can sprain your ankle stepping in a lack of ground.

3. Did God create the shadows? Do they exist?

Shadows exist but nobody directly created them. They are indirectly created with the action of light and something to block the light. They really exist, because plants die in the shadows. Likewise a lie does not have independent existence, but it still exists; people can die because of lies.

What is the definition of good? (Mark 10:18)

Good is defined as that matches the character and desired will of God. We are to do good in 1 Tim 6:18, so we can be good in a limited way. God is both the source and standard of goodness, but nothing is totally good except Him. No other definition has a consistent, independent basis.

Do you agree or disagree: While some atheists might try to be good, they have no basis for being good. Agree, because otherwise good is relative. What is good for people and pest control companies is not good for rats, etc.

Why does God allow evil in a fallen world?

God gave us free agency to make choices. One consequence of the Fall was God not allowing sinful people to live in a perfect creation (Gen 3:17-18; 5:29; Rom 8:19-22;). God gave man dominion over this world, and Satan now has dominion (1 Jn 5:19; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2; Jn 12:31; 14:30)

Why do bad things happen to godly people?

Rabbi Harold Kushner wrote a book answering this. He gave the wrong answer (God is not Almighty). God allows not just evil, but injustice, but this is only temporary. Everything will be set right one day, which we call Judgment Day. The agnostic Martin Gardiner, in The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener, wrote: if you believe in justice, you have to believe in afterlife.

The Parasite

Did God, who is perfect and good, create moral evil?

If not, then who did? Nobody, there are not two creators. Evil, like a parasite, does not have independent existence, but dependent. Good existed without evil, but evil cannot exist without good.

Does God use pain and moral evil?

Grief and trials refines our faith as gold 1 Peter 1:6-7

Suffering helps us die to sin. 1 Peter 4:1

Trials & testing develops perseverance to be mature and complete, lacking in nothing James 1:2-4

Be not for our sake, but for others. Colossians 1:24

Be a sign for unbelievers. Philippians 1:28

Comes with being a Christian. 2 Tim 3:12; Php 1:29

But sometimes, we see no other reason, except that our perseverance glorifies God. Job 1:8-12; 2:2-6

Is That OK? Sure. God is pure, and is not evil, but nothing restricts God from keeping His promise in Romans 8:28 to use all things, not just good things, for the good of His people.

(Bible verses are from the NIV.)

"I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." Isaiah 45:7 (KJV)

Modern translations say: "calamity" or "disaster" for "evil".

"Your ways, O God are holy." Psalm 77:13a See also 1 Peter 1:15

"You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell." Psalm 5:4

God does not tempt anyone. Jms1:13 _ _

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,..." Rom 8:28

Joseph said to his brothers, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good..." Gen 50:20

"...I raised you [Pharaoh] up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaim-ed in all the earth.'" Rom 9:17; Ex 9:16

For Disciples Only

 

RESPONDING TO GOD'S WORD

DAY ONE

How do you respond when evil happens to you and not others, and you thought they were so much more deserving? In Psalm 73 how did Asaph almost respond, and how did he respond?

 

DAY TWO

How do we respond to "bad things" God allows or even sends? In 2 Kings 20:1-7, how did Hezekiah respond when he received news of what God said would happen to him?

What were results of his response? In other words, how many years was he given in 2 Kings 20:6, and how old was Manasseh when he became king in 2 Kings 21:1 and 2 Chronicles 33:1. What else do we know about Manasseh in 2 Kings 21:10-16?

 

DAY THREE

The Sunday lesson did not have time to discuss "hidden evil". Ponder James 4:17. What are some "stealth sins", that we usually do not think of as sin, but fall under James 4:17?

How does this relate to Romans 14:23?

 

DAY FOUR

The Sunday lesson emphasized what we should think about good and evil. But what should we feel about good and evil? What should our attitude be towards goodness and holiness?

Psalm 119:9-20; Do you really believe Psalm 119:1-2,5?

How does Philippians 4:8-9 apply to TV and movies that you enjoy?

 

DAY FIVE

For a healthy, devoted Christian, how should we feel about evil?

Rev 2:6; Ps 45:7; 97:10; Jude 22-23. Also Rom 12:19; Lev 19:17-18

When are Christians to flee? 1 Cor 6:18; 10:14; 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22

When are Christians to stand? Eph 6:10-19; Lk 21:19; Jms 4:7; 1 Tim 5:9

 

Why Is There Evil in

God's World? - part 1

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to given an answer to everyone asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect," 1 Pet. 3:15 (NIV)

How do you handle the idea of evil in the world created by a good Creator? Today we hope to stimulate your godly reasoning skills to understand, and to be able to explain this to others.

There are two related answers: the answer you give a skeptic or someone who is wondering, and the answer for someone who is hurting. This explores the first answer, but part 2 gives the second.

If God Almighty is all-knowing and all-loving, why is there evil in this world?

God is Almighty.

God's power is bounded only by Himself. Everything happens that God commands. Nothing happens that God does not permit. God can chose for a time to delegate His sovereignty and to permit some things that break His heart, but ultimately everything is woven together in His plan.

All that God decrees definitely happens. Isaiah 14:24,27; 43:13; 55:11; Jn 10:26-28

God is sovereign over all. Isaiah 6:5; Ps 103:14

He does as He pleases. Mt 20:15; Ps 115:3;135:6; Rom 9:20

Nothing is too hard for God. Gen 18:14; Job 42:2; Jer 32:17; Mt 19:26

He cannot deny Himself (2 Tim 2:13), lie (Heb 6:18; 1 Sam 15:29), or be tempted by evil (Jms 1:13).

Nothing occurs besides what God allows. Job 1:12; 2:6; Jms 4:15

All things work together for His will. Rom 8:28; Eph 1:11

None thwart God's decrees. Isa 43:13; Rom 11:29

Many "succeed" in resisting God's commands. Acts 7:39,51; 4:11; 13:46; 14:2; 2 Cor 6:1

Some things are on our own initiative. 2 Cor 8:17

God is all-knowing.

All the past, present, and future, is avail-able to God. Scripture is silent on God knowing all details of all hypotheticals.

He knows and sees all. 1 Jn 3:20; Jn 21:17; Ps 139; Pr 5:21; 15:3; Heb 4:13

He knows all the details. Isa 40:26; Ps 139:16

God knows for certain every day of the future. Ps 139:16; Isa 46:10; 44:7

God is very loving. He's compassion on all, we cannot fathom His love for elect, but severe wrath too.

God is loving (not all-loving) 1 Jn 4:16; Ex 20:6

God is good to all, and has tender mercy over all He has made. Ps 145:9,17

He individually loves us. Jer 45; 35; Gen 20:3-7

 

Speaker Notes:

When I was a teenager, I grew up in a liberal United Methodist Church, where the Pastor did not believe the Bible was all God's word. One thing he told me that was that if God is Almighty, all-knowing, and all-loving, then how come there is evil in this world. In other words, if God is good and loving, he would not want to have any evil. One does not even have to be all-knowing to know that there is evil. If He is Almighty, He could stop all evil if He wanted to do so. So how come there is evil?

If a teenager like me came to you after being presented with this, what explanation would you give him, how would you answer him? Let's split up into groups and see what we can come up with.

First presented 7/18/04

NOTE, THE REST OF THIS IS UNFINISHED.

 

 

 

 

...Illness

ΠPaul first preached to the Galatians because illness. Gal 4:13-14a

 Epaphroditus almost died when he was with Paul. Php 2:26-27

Ž Timothy had frequent stomach illnesses. 1 Tim 5:23

 Elisha died of an illness. 2 Ki 13:14

 Paul also had a thorn in the flesh. 2 Cor 12:7-10 "...For When I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Cor 12:10

David prayed fervently when he was physically sick and hurting.

...Death

Also, people died who should not have died. Ezekiel &&&

"The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil." Isa 57:1b

"... a time to be born and a time to die," Ecc 3:1a,2a

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." Ps 116:15

Prayer of Jabez

 

 

 

1 Cor 15:35-58 and 2 Cor 5:1-9 show that our heavenly body will be better than our earthly body.

No more death, mourning, crying, or pain in heaven. Rev 21:4

 

Is This the Best of All Possible Worlds?

God did not make any mistakes. But did God really do the best job He could have? Out of all the possible worlds God could have made, how do you defend that God made the best one? - or would you?

 

This is the _________________ to ________________.

The concept of a just world meets the Tower of Siloam

Can be punishment for sin.

Some never for punishment, but only to glorify God.

 

View that the amount of suffering an individual has is always exactly proportional to how righteous or unrighteous they are is thoroughly unbiblical.

Some sickness is discipline.

Uzziah, Naaman, Ananias and Sapphira

Some sickness is not.

"I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me." Ps 57:2

2 Cor 1

Problem of pain

C.S. Lewis

Long life

Old age: Psalm 71:7-9

God can use our feeling. God even wants to use our unhappy feelings, when we give them over to him.

How wicked society is 43, 120, 141

We need to "fight" against God's enemies, but the weapons we use are not of this world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...Passing though!

"All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever." 1 Pet 1:24-25. See Isa 40:6-8

 

...The Goal

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Heb 12:2-3

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Rom 8:18

Life is fleeting. Ps 39:4-6

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,..." Rom 8:28

(Bible verses are from the NIV).

 

For Disciples Only

 

RESPONDING TO GOD'S WORD

DAY ONE

In 1 Sam 1:8-18, Hannah was in tears because she could not have children. Eli, a godly man, did a particularly poor job of comforting her. Why did that not bother Hannah too much? How do respond when you could use some comfort, and you get someone like Eli, or Job's friends? (If you want a hint, read 2 Cor 1:3-11.)

 

DAY TWO

Psalm search: People need different kinds of comfort in different situations. Find verses in Psalms that address each situation.

Sickness 6, 30, 41, 102, 103

Feeling alone 13

Dangerous situations 23, 46, 88, 91, 116

 

DAY THREE

Regardless of whether someone is just paranoid, or people really are out to get you, people need to pray those situations to God. How do Psalms 3, 7, 11, 22, 56, 69, 70, 74, 140, 143 help. What if you were betrayed by a former friend, as in Pslam 55. Who is really the only friend we can count on?

 

DAY FOUR

Someone can feel very depressed after they sin. But be careful with that: while godly sorrow leads to repentance, worldly sorrow leads only to death (2 Cor 7:9) What can we learn about comfort after repenting from sin in

Psalm 32, 38, 130, 51 + 2 Sam 12:13-19,22.

DAY FIVE

Do believers ever get depressed for no specific reason? David did. How do Psalm 40, 42, and 63 help us pull out of that?

 

Why Is There Evil in

God's World? - part 2

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to given an answer to everyone asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect," 1 Pet. 3:15 (NIV)

You are at a hospital, and someone there is dying. What do you say to them and their loved ones? Do you discourse on moral vs. metaphysical evil, what atheists who have no hope think, and why they are wrong? No, because this could be a case of saying the right things at the wrong time. That is not what they need. But what do you tell them?

Before you say anything, look behind the question and see what it is they are really saying. It might be this: "How can I be comforted, when it makes so little sense to me that this bad thing should happen here right now."

 

When someone asks you why they are suffering, what do you say?

When you answer, there is one thing you have to make clear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaker Notes:

The Protestant Gottfried Leibnitz (1646-1716), co-inventor of calculus was brilliant. He knew both Latin and German at 8, when his father died. He began teaching himself Greek and Protestant theology by age 12. He wrote on mathematics before he was 21, and wrote a critique of Locke's philosophy. He thought a newborn soul is not a blank tablet, but rather an unworked block of marble, with hidden veins that affect its ultimate form.

Leibnitz wrote extensively defending that this is the best of all possible worlds God could have made.

 

Atheistic materialists say the only things that exist are matter and energy. Philosophers say that is only physical existence; morality, love, etc. have conceptual existence. Christians add that besides matter and energy there is spirit, and there are spiritual concepts.

 


For more info please contact Christian Debater™ P.O. Box 144441 Austin, TX 78714 www.BibleQuery.org