Summary: Why are there so many evils in this world? Where do these evils come from? Why does a good God tolerate these evils?
Dealing the issue of evil in the world
NOte: Some materials of this sermon are taken from sermoncentral.com
Just months ago, several destructive natural catastrophes occurred that brought great devastation and mortality. Thousands of lives and millions of crops and establishments were destroyed. These things that happened to the world we live in make us question how safe the world is and why these things happen. For many people it makes them ask the goodness of God, even question the existence of a good God.
Why are there so many evils in this world? Where do these evils come from? Why does a good God tolerate these evils? The parable we are looking this week speaks to the issue of evil in the world. The Lord is teaching us four basic truths in this parable that explain of the evil in the world.
A. WE ARE IN A WORLD WHERE EVIL IS PRESENT AND REAL
This truth is not difficult to see. We see and hear and even experience the evils in the world –man-made and some people called “acts of God.” We might say to ourselves: we thought God is a good God and that He made a good world. How did this evil get into it? Why do all these terrible things happen?” We are much like the Master’s servants in the parable who say, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” We read in the creation account of the Bible that, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). We want to know what happened then. Did God make a mistake, or lots of mistakes? Since he created everything, did he also create evil? After all, millions of good people and Christians died through out the centuries through man-made and natural calamities.
And part of what makes evil so evil is that it is often so unjust and unfair. Good people suffer while bad people sometimes prosper. Why do bad things happen to good people, and why do good things happen to bad people? This was the prophet Jeremiah’s complaint. He said, “You are always righteous, O Lord, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?” (Jeremiah 12:1). There seems to be injustice in the way the world works. We think that it’s unfair that good people suffer and bad people prosper because we believe in our mind that bad things happen to someone’s life because of some specific sins in his life. We forget that we live in a fallen world –a world that has fallen away from God. The human race as a whole has invited evil into the world through our collective sin. To suffer bad things is possible because we are in a world where evil is present and real.
Many people get impatient with God. Many are disgusted with the way God deals mankind in general. The psalmist said: “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:8-10). We like it when God does that for us, but we are angry when God does it for our enemies, or those we consider worse sinners than ourselves. We are angry to see that God did not punish the wicked and destroy them like we think He should. But the truth is: God operates on the principle of mercy. We might see that God’s ways often seem unfair but that it is because, in this dispensation of grace, He chose to exercise His mercy in place of judgment.
B.THE EVIL IN THE WORLD IS THE WORK OF THE EVIL ONE
Theologians use a term called theodicy. It is an attempt to justify God’s actions, and explain the evil and injustice that exists in the world. Thousands of pages have been written trying to explain the problem of evil in the world. But much of what has been written has ignored Jesus’ simple statement found in this parable: “An enemy has done this.” Who is this enemy? The Bible explains that our enemy is the devil who “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). You are free to deny the existence of a personal spiritual reality known as Satan or the devil, but what you cannot deny is that he is a part of the biblical story from beginning to end. You may not believe that he exists, but it is clear that Jesus taught that he exists. Our spiritual enemy is never presented as merely a symbol, but always as a reality.