Why Does God Allow Suffering, Sickness, and Death?
Introduction: To answer the question, “If God is good, why does he allow people to suffer and others to rob and murder ‘innocent’ people?” I will address the nature, necessity, and responsibility of free will.
- Mankind, by nature, possesses a free will.
a) Free will gives us the liberty to do or not to do anything that is against his nature or desire.
b) Mankind, in four estates, is endowed with that same liberty with different degrees of ability to do evil or good.
i. In mankind’s original sinless condition we[i]had the ability to do both good and evil, but desired to do only good.
ii. After the fall we were at liberty to do either good or evil, but because the original blueprint is flawed, we did not have the ability to do good anymore.
iii. When mankind is re-generated by the new birth we are at liberty to do both good and evil and we are able to do good, but not perfectly because the re-creation process in not yet complete.
iv. When the re-creation process is completed and mankind is again the image of God, we will have the liberty to do both good and evil, but our nature will be completely contrary to all evil and we will no longer have the ability to do evil.
c) Mankind is free to do the things we want to do within the limits of our ability.
- Mankind’s being was in God’s true image.
a) We could think thoughts of our Creator.
b) We had the power to explore and discover.
c) We had the power to know God.
i. We had the right knowledge of the nature of God.
ii. We had access to God’s will and purpose.
iii. We had the power to set our will in agreement with God’s will and purpose.
- Free will gives us both the freedom to make choices and the ability to choose good or evil.
a) In Adam, we made the choice to interpret truth apart from the Word of the One who originated and determined truth.
b) We rejected the authority of our own reason and became marred from the original design of God’s image.
c) The whole of human nature was flawed.
i. Human nature became perverted and contrary to god.
ii. Human nature was re-created in our own image and our offspring were flawed.
iii. We had corrupted ourselves and all of our descendants.
We see that man was created in the image of God, with the ability to make choices. We, in Adam, made the choice to turn from the truth of God and believe a lie. This damaged the perfect image we were created in and the altered form was passed to our offspring; therefore, instead of being in the image of God with his magnificence, we are born in the image of the distorted figure, which is mankind now. The good news is that God loves us in spite of our deformities and does not throw us away, or leave us in our unactable condition with all of its resulting terrors throughout eternity.
[i] Covers both sexes