Summary: If God ordains whatsoever shall come to pass, does that mean that He is also the author of evil and sin? We have a look at human evil and the role it plays in Gods eternal plan for us.
Is God responsible for human evil
Over the last few weeks we have been looking at providence and what that means to us today.
We saw in the first lesson that providence means that God sees everything, past, present and future, and He sees what causal effect every single action or event will have in the world, and that He is not only a spectator but rather that He is the author of history.
Secondly we saw that God is the primary cause of everything that exists, but also of everything that happens in this universe, and that everything thing that is, and that everything that happens can only be, or happen with His divine permission.
Last week we had a look at the whole question of chance, and as we saw, there is no chance that something can happen by chance. Chance is no thing, it is nothing, and it has no authority, no power, and no influence on anything that happens. It is rather God who ordains everything that happens according to His own free and sovereign will.
Let me begin with a little story some of you might be familiar with. On February 12, 1938 two men were having a private meeting in a mountain retreat. In the course of their conversation one of the men said to the other one: “I have a historic mission to fulfil, and that mission shall be fulfilled because providence has destined it to be so”. He went on to say that anybody who was not with him on his mission would be crushed. Some of you know who that was? It was Adolf Hitler.
Now you may be wondering why I’m telling you about Adolf Hitler this morning. Well, quite simply, whenever you have a serious discussion about human depravity, and human wickedness, then somewhere along the line the name Hitler will emerge as one of the most wicked men to have walked the planet. You can probably add a few names to the list, such as Joseph Stalin, Idi Amin, Ivan the Terrible, Vlad the Impaler, Nero.
Now, with all of this that we have said, that God allows, ordains or causes everything that happens to happen, what about the reality of human wickedness. Does that mean that God is responsible for human wickedness; does it mean that God sometimes causes people to sin so that His sovereign and eternal plan can come to fruition? Was Hitler right? Was he ordained to kill 6 million Jews? What about Adam and Eve, were they doomed from the moment that God created them, to sin, because remember that the Messiah, Jesus Christ was part of Gods plan before He even created Adam and Eve?
Obviously these are very difficult questions, and I can tell you right now that I don’t have all the answers, but we are going to spend some time considering these questions, and hopefully we will leave here with peace in our hearts and minds with the fact that God is good, that He is holy, that He is perfect, that He is sovereign, that He is omnipotent, that He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords and that His decree, His will is far above that of humans, and also settled in the fact that He is not answerable to any human being despite what we sometimes might think.
Before we get to some answers this morning, I need to share with you what seems to be the common belief in society, and in Christian circles, and in Christian churches today. People all over are telling us that God is good, that He is loving, that He is kind, that He is forgiving, that He only wants the best for His children, that in Him is no darkness, and therefore anything and everything that is bad is contrary to the will of God, but that He then rearranges His plan so that those things which are contrary to His will can be ultimately used to bring about the good of those that love Him.
This is the modern teaching, this is the popular teaching, and while they have a part of the truth, they are also terribly mistaken. You see, God is good, God is loving, God is kind. What we can never forget is that God is also.. just and He is also... righteous, but for the purposes of this discussion the vital thing that we cannot forget, cannot deny, and in fact cannot even debate because it is a fundamental aspect of our belief in who and what God is, is the fact that God is also sovereign, and He is omnipotent!
As we’ve seen in the past few weeks, this means that there cannot be anything that frustrates His will, or that is contrary to His will! (That is a non-negotiable truth about our God! Take that away and you might as well serve Allah or Buddha or some other idol)