Summary: Why does God allow evil? Jesus answers this question in the parable of the weeds.
In his book, The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel introduces us to the puzzling life of John Templeton. You’ve probably never heard his name, but Templeton was a contemporary of Billy Graham. In fact, they were both behind an evangelistic crusades in the 1940’s and 50’s. A short time later John Templeton pastored a church which soon overflowed it’s 1,200 seat auditorium. If you look up this man today, you’ll find that his faith is dramatically different from that of the 1940’s and 50’s. Templeton now describes himself as an agnostic. He jettisoned his previous faith due to doubt in God’s very existence. What prompted John Templeton to leave the Christian faith? In his own words: "It was a photograph in Life magazine. It was a picture of an African woman. They were experiencing a devastating drought. And she was holding her dead baby in her arms and looking up to heaven with the most forlorn expression. I looked at it and thought. ‘Is it possible to believe that there is a loving or caring Creator when all this woman needed was rain.’ How could a loving God do this to that woman? Who runs the rain? I don’t; you don’t. He does - or that’s what I thought. But when I saw that photograph, I immediately knew it is not possible for this to happen and for there to be a loving God. There was no way. Who else but a fiend could destroy a baby and virtually kill its mother with agony - when all that was needed was rain?"
As I share Christ with people I often run into the same question over and over - “If God exists and He is powerful and good, then why is there such evil in the world?” All around us we are reminded that something is wrong with the world today. In America:
• A woman is beaten every 15 seconds
• 1.3 women are raped every minute
• 45 were killed in alcohol related traffic deaths every day
• About 6 children are reported abused and neglected every 60 seconds
• There was a murder every 15 minutes
• There is a robbery every 51 seconds
In the fall we celebrate Thanksgiving as a time of harvest. It indicates that the growing season is over and that it is time for all the food to be gathered into the barns. It is a time of celebrating the goodness of God during the growing season. Likewise we are presently in a growing season and the Harvest time is approaching.
Matt. 13:24 Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 "The owner’s servants came to him and said, `Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 "`An enemy did this,’ he replied. "The servants asked him, `Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 "`No,’ he answered, `because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’"
The servants of this master asked three questions. Two were asked and one was implied. These 3 questions are often asked of God in the world today:
1. Planting Good Wheat - (vs. 24-27)
The first question of the servants was “wasn’t the wheat good”. They questioned whether the planting had been done properly. Perhaps the weeds got into the field because the wheat seeds were contaminated. The same thing is said about God today. People see the wars and famines, the injustice and hatred and they ask “can God really good”. The argument is this: “if God made everything, and evil exists then God is the author of evil”. In other words, God it is YOUR fault!
Gen 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good
God made creation good and declared it so. Like the man sowing in the field the wheat sown was healthy and vibrant. So where did the evil come from. It has come from us.
Gen 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.