In the Wake of the Las Vegas Massacre, Many Ask, Why Does God Allow Pain and Suffering?

They call it “The Mandalay Massacre.”

A 64-year-old man armed with more than 10 assault rifles shot and killed at least 58 people in what is being called the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. At last count, more than 500 were injured in the tragedy.

The question that comes to mind at a time like this is, why? Why did God allow such a horrible thing to happen?

A Barna Poll asked, “If you could ask God one question and you knew He would give you an answer, what would you ask?” The most common response was, “Why is there pain and suffering in the world?”

If you are sharing the gospel, it won’t be long before someone asks, “How could a God of love allow tragedy, pain, and suffering?” C.S. Lewis said that the “problem of pain is atheism’s most potent weapon against the Christian faith.” More than any other rationale, people point to the problem of evil and suffering as their reason for not believing in God.

Here’s the classic statement of the problem: Either God is all powerful but not all good, and therefore He doesn’t stop evil—or He’s all good but not all powerful, and therefore He can’t stop evil. It is not merely a problem; it is the problem. The general tendency, of course, is to blame God for evil and suffering, transferring all responsibility to Him. So, let’s look closer at the core question: If God is so good and loving, why does He allow evil?

The first part of this question is based on a false premise. People who express those words are essentially suggesting—or saying outright—that God must meet their own criteria of goodness. But who are they to set standards for God? When did they become the moral center of the universe?

God isn’t good just because that’s my opinion of Him, or because I personally agree with His words or actions. God is good because He says He is. Jesus said, “No one is good—except God alone” (Luke 18:19 NIV). God is good, whether I believe it or not. He and He alone is the final court of arbitration. As Paul said, “Let God be true, and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4 NIV). And what is “good”? Good is whatever God approves, and it’s good because He approves it! Some might say, “That’s circular reasoning!” Well, maybe, but everything begins and ends with God. I think of it more as biblical reasoning.

In Isaiah 1:18, God invites us, “Come now, and let us reason together” (NKJV) or “Come, sit down, let’s argue this out!” (MSG). You see, God’s thoughts are above our thoughts. There’s no higher standard of goodness than God’s own character—and His approval of whatever’s consistent with that character. So, God is good. Period.

Now let’s come back to the second part of the question. Why does He allow evil?

Remember that mankind was not created evil. In our original state, Adam and Eve were innocent, ageless, and immortal. But from the very beginning, from the time that God gave life to Adam and Eve, man has had the ability to choose right or wrong. He made his choice, and then of course, his choice made him.

Had man never sinned, there would have been no resulting curse. But now it’s too late. Romans 5:12 says, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.”

What this man did in Las Vegas is pure evil. The point to keep in mind here is that humanity—not God—is responsible for sin.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Greg Laurie