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Why Does God Allow Death and Suffering?

Updated on January 21, 2016

Have you ever heard someone argue, "How can you believe in a God who allows endless death and suffering in this world?"

When you watch the news, it can be quite depressing hearing of accidents, robbery, gunfire, prostitution and drugs etc..., or how about a miscarried baby or an aborted one?

How about a sexual molestation in the "church," or an untimely death in the family?

The list can go on and on if you really think about it. "If so many innocent people are allowed to suffer, how can I believe my God has love and compassion, and cares for me, when all I see is darkness, misery and suffering around me?" "

How could He allow this, or do this to us?"

Fortunately, there is some good news in all this mess. Biblical history can bring truth and clarity to our dire world situation.

How Can God's Creation Be Good?

God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. - Genesis 1:31

When God created the earth, He said it was very good. In order for God to say that it was good, means that His creation was free from sin, death, disease, suffering etc... , it was perfect.

Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. - Genesis 1:29-30

God says that He gave every green plant for food, which means his creation was originally intended for us not to kill and eat meat; therefore, no animals had to die for human consumption or humans for animal consumption. There was no death.

You may argue that plants then, had to die for food for humans and animals, but the Bible makes a distinction between what is a "living" creature.

Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. - Genesis 1:24-25

You see, plants do not fall into the living or dying in a Biblical sense.

Why Is There So Much Death In This World?

The reason the world is in such a dire state is because of the choice Adam and Eve made.They were the first to experience God's perfect creation, but chose to sin against God by their own free will. As a result, God had to walk out what He communicated the consequences for their disobedience.

The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” - Genesis 2:16-17

Through Adam and Eve's rebellion, death and the consequences of the curse of sin entered into God's creation.

The Curse On All Of Creation

The LORD God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.

“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;

By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you return to the ground,
Because from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.” -
Genesis 3:14-19

These verses clearly describe that the earth we live in is not perfect anymore. Death and suffering now have permeated and infiltrated the world we live in. We are under a curse.

We can try to pass the buck on to Adam and not take responsibility and say, "It was Adam's choice and not mine to disobey God, why should I have to suffer for his mistakes?"

Since we are descendants of Adam, he is a representation of all of us. We are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God..

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned - Romans 5:12

For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. - Romans 8:22

These are the true facts.This is why there are so many strange and terrible things going on in this world today. There are hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis and so on. We don't have to argue that there are no problems in the world, it’s obvious. Our sinful nature is inherited from the rebellious choice Adam made and the rebellious choices we make, which has brought on the punishment of pain, suffering and a cursed world. These are the consequences of sin and rebellion against God.

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. - Revelation 20:14-15

After reading through these verses, you may think that this is a really good argument proving why God is cruel and unloving because He makes us walk through all this pain and misery in our lives.

The Truth - The Good News!!!

Even though we have rebelled against God, He has provided a way for us to be reconciled with Him. It is through His Son, Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose again on the third day. He is the Son of God who took our punishment of sin so that we may receive the grace of our heavenly Father through him. It is only by accepting grace through Jesus Christ that we can receive the free gift of salvation and eternal life. If we accept Jesus as our Savior, we receive His salvation, and he will forgive us of our sins.

And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain - Revelation 21:4

We have only a short time here on earth compared to eternity, and those who truly accept the grace of Jesus Christ will spend eternity with Him in a perfect place, the way God has always intended for us, in a new heaven and earth that is perfection.

The last enemy that will be abolished is death - 1 Corinthians 15:26

So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. - 1 Corinthians 15:45

The last Adam is Jesus Christ.

This world may look hopeless, but there is true hope. I believe God does everything apart from our own free will/choice to bring us to Himself. Accept Jesus and be transformed by his grace; it is what gives us the strength to carry on in this cursed world until His return. We will then spend our perfect, eternal destiny with our good and loving God.

The very affliction we are in should remind us of our constant need for Jesus Christ. We are hopeless without him. We need to tell others about him so they too can receive the truth and salvation from the bondage of sin.

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. - 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

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    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 6 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Some good thoughts here. I like the drawings that carry through from Hub to Hub and they set the tone for the discussion. Nice scriptures that reinforce your own thoughts. RJ

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 6 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Thanks RJ for your encouragement.

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      In Genesis:1 you are splitting hairs as to what we can or cannot eat, for God gave all of it the grains, the fruits and berries, and fish, fowl, and animals for man's consumption.

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 6 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      Thanks Dave for you comment.

      I agree with you. Thanks for pointing that out.

      I am going to edit, His creation was "intended" to His creation was "originally intended" for us not to kill and eat meat.

      What I as trying to portray was that there was no animal or human death when God finished His creation. I believe God originally intended for plants and plant products to be for food, but once sin entered the world, God included animals for sustenance.

      “Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant."

      Genesis 9:3


    • Ghozt profile image

      Ghozt 5 years ago from Nowhere

      I really do not understand....the bible was written by men. I hear voices but I do not believe they are God speaking to me. How can a man 2,000 years ago claim God said something? How can we believe what any man says? God did not write the bible nor did he make anyone write it. Do not get me wrong either I believe in a God just not this God....

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 5 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ


      Yes, the Bible was written by men; however, it is unique in that is was "penned" by many different men from a period of over 1600 years from many different cultures and times. It is unique in its unity, harmony, and controversy.

      ("How can a man 2,000 years ago claim God said something?")

      The Bible is the revelation of God to over 40 men into a human language.

      ("How can we believe what any man says?")

      Of course we can't believe any man.

      The followers of Jesus Christ weigh out what man says according to the standards set in Scripture, but first true faith is received by God drawing man to Himself.

      “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me *draws* him; and I will raise him up on the last day. -- John 6:44

      It is only after the revelation of God proving Himself to man where the choice is made to accept or deny Him. Without that, it would simply be blind faith to accept Scripture as relevant or inspired by God for a person's life; it would be putting the cart before the horse.

      Having faith should be an informed decision. The revelation of the one true God will not leave any doubt.

    • vagabond mystic profile image

      Tim Sutterby 4 years ago from missouri

      I disagree with the assumptions in this hub but I do not comment to make judgement either . Everyone has the right to believe ,disagree or not , but it doesn't mean either are wrong . An individuals beliefs are their own its their story they can tell it anyway they want to . I'm just glad my God is a loving God and not all that fire and brimstone . My personal beliefs are unimportant (unless asked and you wouldn,t agree with me either ) but people should not be in judgement of each other over imformation that is second hand at best and debatable from now until eternity and that my friends is a very long time . I would bet my very existance that we all will be very awed at what the real truth is and I would bet it double or nothing that it will be nothing less than out of this world . Peace , Love and Light .

      Vagabond Mystic , Missouri

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ

      vagabond mystic,

      (I'm just glad my God is a loving God and not all that fire and brimstone .)

      Part of God's love is His judgement and justice. Fire and brimstone is not about our self righteousness, but God's justice. We often forget that God does not fit into our standards, but the standards He has set out for us.

      Scripture tells of God's grace, but also His wrath when we choose to ignore Him. When we take one of these away, it is not the God of Scripture, but another god.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading. God Bless!

    • vagabond mystic profile image

      Tim Sutterby 4 years ago from missouri

      OK, I stand corrected , I doubt I could inject anything to this discussion that would make it any more clearer than you already have . I,m taking notes . Peace ,Love and Light .

      Vagabond Mystic

    • Jerami profile image

      jerami 4 years ago from Houston tx

      Good dayPlanksandNails This comes to mind after reading this thought provoking hub.

      We should ask ourselves … when an egg is fertilized in the womb, is a new soul created? Or is a shell formed that a soul then enters and inhabits? If the latter is true; that soul knows that it’s experiences will be temporary. We all know (subconsciously) that there is but one escape from this physical world and that is for the physically body to release the life force from within itself. Thus death of the body is not a bad thing. However death of the life force before the body releases it is an entirely different issue.

      Unfortunately many of us (including myself) at some point in our lives, find ourselves worshiping our physical life. This in its self is not a bad thing except that in doing so we have brought into our life fear and doubt where they should not have been.

      God allows death because it is necessary in order for us to return to where we came from. God allows the misery because he allows us to create in this life those things that we create. He knows that this is only temporary.

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ


      Our soul is a manifestation of our uniqueness and individuality. After the physical death, it will transfer into eternity. Knowing the temporariness of this world is a desire to return from where we came from.

      The physical does not create the spiritual. In order for something to change/ happen in the physical, something must happen in the spiritual first.

      ("However death of the life force before the body releases it is an entirely different issue.")

      Unfortunately, there are people who want to deny their biological and spiritual link to their Creator.

      Thanks for your insightful comment.

    • profile image

      buddhaanalysis 4 years ago

      Why vegetarian lifestyle is not promoted in bible?

    • PlanksandNails profile image

      PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out ones of the ekklesia of Christ


      The vegetarian lifestyle is not promoted in the Bible because it is an individual lifestyle choice. In Biblical times most people did not eat much meat, or any at all because they had no choice.

      And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of a honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. - Luke 24:42-43

      Jesus ate fish and fed thousands with it. Additionally, the Passover meal required a lamb.

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