Why Does God Allow Evil?

September 11, 2001, was a clear day across the eastern United States—until terrorists hijacked four passenger planes, killing nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

President George W. Bush addressed the nation that evening and said, “Today, our nation saw evil.”

Why did God allow such evil to take place on that beautiful Tuesday? You may be asking a similar question today.

In 2001, millions of Americans were struggling with despair, anger and fear. These feelings are not unique to the 9/11 attacks because we continue to experience tragedy every year whether it’s terrorism, natural disaster or personal harm. We all wonder why bad people and evil powers are allowed to continue on.

Yet, God is all-knowing and understands how we feel. He can be trusted with our emotions and struggles even when we’re surrounded by darkness.

What can we learn from these moments?

  1. God did not create evil. The Lord is a God of love, mercy and compassion—especially during vile moments. The Bible says anyone “who practices sin belongs to the evil one, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning” (1 John 3:8, ISV). The devil was the first occurrence of evil.
  2. There is a mystery about evil. The Bible describes it as “the mystery of iniquity” in 2 Thessalonians 2:7. Merriam-Webster defines iniquity as gross injustice and wickedness. We can’t know everything about evil, but it continues and can’t be dismissed.
  3. Tragedy shows our need for one another. Catastrophe and hardships are opportunities to share each other’s burdens. We cannot go through this life alone. God promises never to abandon us. He cares so much that He wants to surround us with people who can share our struggles and encourage us along the way.

Evil exists and tragedies happen far too often. Yet the Bible tells us that God has provided a solution to evil. Though evil persists, one day it will come to end. When that happens, those who are God’s children—His people—will live with Him forever without evil.

No tears. No tragedies. No injustice.

There is only one way to find freedom from evil, one way to become one of God’s children. Find out how.

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Step 1 – God loves you and has a plan for you!

The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, [Jesus Christ], that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”—a complete life full of purpose (John 10:10). But here’s the problem:

Step 2 – People are sinful and separated from God.

We have all done, thought or said bad things, which the Bible calls “sin.” The Bible says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The result of sin is death, spiritual separation from God (Romans 6:23). The good news?

Step 3 – God sent His Son to die for your sins!

Jesus died in our place so we could have a relationship with God and be with Him forever. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). But it didn’t end with His death on the cross. He rose again and still lives! “Christ died for our sins. … He was buried. … He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Jesus is the only way to God. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6).

Step 4 – Would you like to receive God’s forgiveness?

We can’t earn salvation; we are saved by God’s grace when we have faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. All you have to do is believe you are a sinner, that Christ died for your sins, and ask His forgiveness. Then turn from your sins—that’s called repentance. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you. What matters to Him is the attitude of your heart, your honesty. We suggest praying the following prayer to accept Christ as your Savior:

"Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen."

Did you pray this prayer?