The risk inherent in freedom with its ideal of love is that free moral agents with their majestic potential for love might choose selfishness instead. God lives within that risk, as do we, with all its glorious possibilities and horrific dangers.
In biblical thought, evil is not an eternal principle inherent and necessary to the operations of reality, nor is it God’s will. Rather, evil is the product of personal free moral agency gone bad, first with angels, and then with human beings. Speaking of the evil in our world, Jesus said,
“An enemy has done this” (Matthew 13:28). In other words, God is not the source of the bad things in our world. Rather, Satan is, with human consent and cooperation. Thus Satan’s anti-love mode of existence was implemented in our world: “God made people good, but they have found all kinds of ways to be bad” (Ecclesiastes 7:29, NCV).
READ AND DISCUSS ISAIAH 14:15-17, REVELATION 12:12, 1 PETER 5:8, AND ROMANS 1:28-32 to discover that all evil, oppression, enslavement, prejudice, hatred, violence, abuse, and everything else contrary to love, has its origin in the principles of Satan’s kingdom.
Then READ AND DISCUSS JAMES 1:17 AND GALATIANS 5:22-23 to discover that everything pure, lovely, liberating, noble, healing, peaceful, joyous, and beautiful has its origin in the principles of God’s kingdom.
This brings us to the final point of the Bible’s logic regarding evil, and it is this: because evil is fundamentally contrary to the character of God and to the natural operations of His love, it is temporary and will ultimately be eliminated:
“For evildoers shall be ______ _____; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth” (Psalm 37:9).
“They shall not _______ nor _________ in all My holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9).
As we continue our study of Scripture, truth by truth, point by point, we will discover God’s plan for eliminating evil and restoring other-centered love to human hearts as the only principle of our existence.