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Why Doesn't An All-Powerful God Stop Evil?

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

"But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive." Genesis 50:20 NKJV

The question we are answering is, "If God is all-powerful, why doesn’t He stop evil?" This usually is an emotion-driven question that many secularists and atheists try to use to make the One, True, Christian God look unloving and unreasonable. It is ironic, however, that it is a fairly straightforward answer.

For example, when a patient is in the middle of an operation and they say, “It’s too painful”, does the medical professional stop right then and there? No. The medical professional must continue with the procedure until the objective has been completed.

Let us say that the procedure consists of a gunshot. As the surgeon is trying to take out the bullet, it would be best for that person to go through the momentary, excruciating pain. Going through what hurts in the moment would help to liberate that person from any future pain and infection from occurring within the bloodstream.

Another example would be going to a dentist. We could tell him to stop because our gums hurt, but that would not necessarily be the best time to stop. The job must be fulfilled, even if it consists of pain, in order to complete the work and allow the pain to work out a greater good (which, in this example, would be healthier and better looking teeth).

God, therefore, knows the right time and He knows how much tribulation we are to go through in order to work within us patience, endurance, and character. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5 ESV).

Not only does tribulation build up our patience, endurance, and character, but God knows just how much pain is necessary to produce a greater good in our lives. Just as the surgeon took out the bullet to prevent infection; and just as the dentist must finish his procedure to prevent tooth decay, so God is able to use what was meant for evil and work it out for a greater good (Genesis 50:20).

Therefore, if God is all-knowing, then He certainly knows the right amount of tribulation we are to go through and at what time. Though He Himself is not doing the evil that is done, He allows it to happen and is able to use it to work out a greater good. We know that God is able to work all things out for good because He Himself is good: ““No one is good except God alone”” (Mark 10:18 ESV).

God has morally sufficient reasons for permitting the evil and suffering in the world. As long as that is possible, it is logical. Since God is Omniscient (all-knowing) and Omnibonevolent (possessing perfect goodness), then we can trust that His goodness will be with us as He allows a greater good to be produced through evil and suffering within our life.


Lord, open our eyes to see that You alone are Omniscient, Sovereign, and Good. Protect us from the deceit and lies of the enemy, O God. Give us a desire to know Truth. May Your Truth, O Lord, be revealed to us. May we know that You are in control of all things. You alone, O Lord, possess perfect love. May we come into that love by humbling ourselves and choosing to turn from our wicked ways. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Lance VanTine

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