Why Does God Allow Death and Suffering?
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
- The Concept of Evil
If everything that God created was good as written in Genesis 1, then God did not create evil. When we alienate ourselves from good, the consequences and collateral damage of evil cannot be avoided.