Why did God create all of this the way He did it?

Email Received:

It would seem to me that God has everything he wants. I could see him maybe creating angels or people to "keep him company," but why are there evil angels and bad people? Did he create everything perfect and mankind just screwed it up?

Ted’s Response:

Let us suppose, for the purpose of discussion, that God exists and that He inhabits the realm of eternity, in which there is no beginning nor ending of time. It's not that there is no time in eternity but, rather, an infinite number of planes and lines of multi-directional time. Imagine God—whoever or whatever He is—existing alone in all of that time.

Let us also imagine that God chose to create beings who would have cognitive abilities, enabling them to comprehend and recognize His infinite magnificence and majesty. But if He had made all of these beings such that they had no choice but to admire, praise, and worship Him each and every moment, so what? What possible appeal could there be for God in receiving acknowledgement in such a way—in essence, by "robotic" creatures programmed only to obey Him, every single moment, forever and ever? It would be as though God were applauding Himself continuously and without end. It would seem that this would become very dull and monotonous to Him in a relatively short time.

Would not there be more incentive for God to create if the created beings had a choice in the way they accepted or rejected God? Would not the positive responses to God have even greater significance and value if accompanied by negative responses, maybe even more of the latter than the former? I think so. If such is the case, it seems to be very reasonable to me that the greatest creation of all would be mankind, who has the ability to choose between accepting God, not only as the unique and sovereign Ruler of everything in existence but, also, of one's own life, now and forevermore.

I believe, then, that God created some people to grasp and comprehend the "supreme ideal" that living in the ultimate state of God's "goodness" and "perfection" is the most satisfying and fulfilling existence possible (which I believe it is). These, together with God Himself, will make the transition from the old Creation into a brand new Creation (see old and new Creations), after all of this present existence passes away (which I do believe will be the case, from Revelation 21:1: "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away...").

In the pristine and incomprehensibly magnificent existence in the new Creation to come, nothing bad, unpleasant or evil ever will exist. All who enter that realm will have learned that no disobedience or rebelliousness toward God can occur there. God will attain His supreme goal of being able to commune forevermore, on every one of the infinite number of time lines, with beings who have chosen Him as the principal focus of their existences and who are willing to give all of their admiration, praise, and worship to Him ceaselessly.

I differ with possibly the majority of Christians in that I do not believe this created universe and everything in it were made "perfect"; rather, they were made "very good" according to Genesis 1:31 (see "very good" vs. "perfect"). They are "very good" in the sense that they are sufficient and necessary for God to achieve His chief goal of finding the ones who want to be with Him eternally. Mankind's "sin" (that is, disobedience of God) was not what generated earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and other disruptive things on the earth, nor caused decay and decomposition in the overall universe, as many insist. This world and cosmos were created in a state of entropy and flux. Adam and Eve were imperfect human beings. Had they been perfect, they would not have been capable of disobeying God.

This imperfect Creation was created, at its inception, to be full of deficiencies and blemishes, leading unavoidably (after mankind was created and sinned) to calamaties, pain, anguish, and untold suffering. God's purpose in all of these appallingly horrible things is to demonstrate to mankind that doing things our way—that is, putting ourselves in the "position of God" because we think we know what is best—results only in misery and unhappiness. Left to our own way of doing things, in the due course of time and without God's eventual merciful intervention, I feel quite certain that humanity, inevitably, would destroy itself from the face of the earth. There is not even one mortal human being, nor group of beings, who can play the role of God successfully—though many have tried and will continue to try.

I believe that probably the greatest obstacle to people's being able to acknowledge that God exists, and/or to accept Him for Whom He is, is the presence of evil and all of its multitudinous ramifications in the world. Many feel that God, at best, is exceptionally incompetent in having permitted evil to exist in the first place and, subsequently, in having been unable to stop it. Or else they feel, at worst, that He is extremely cruel to have tolerated evil in this world throughout human history.

In fact, it was God who made all kinds of trees to grow out of the ground, one of them being the tree of the knowledge of both good and evil (Genesis 2:9). However, God is loving and merciful, and He is not unfairly cruel or unjust. So although it was God who implanted evil into the world, there are good and specific reasons why He did. There is a wonderful and magnificent "overall picture" to see, which we do not yet comprehend but God does. Part of this picture is the fact that Jesus, the Lamb of God, was slain from the creation of the world (Revelation 13:8). That is, since God the Father knew that mankind would sin, He predestined, from the beginning of time, for His Son to shed His blood and to die as an atonement for the sins of the world (1 Peter 1:18-20).

God is sovereign over all of Creation, and without Him nothing else but He Himself would exist. As the Creator, He alone is entitled to do things any way He chooses to do them to reach His final goal: deciding and determining all who will be willing to join Him in the brand new, perfect, unspoiled realm that He will create after this one has been "trashed" and "discarded" (Psalm 102:25,26; Hebrews 1:10-12; Revelation 20:11b, 21:1). I feel that if there were another way to accomplish this, it would not be as effective as the way He has chosen.

In essence, God utilizes evil as a vitally important "tool" to separate those who love goodness and righteousness from those who love malevolence and wickedness. This does not mean that bad things happen only to evil people; we know that bad things also happen to people who strive to be good. It means that He created both good and evil and brings both prosperity and disaster (Isaiah 45:7) so that people can observe the consequences of each so they can choose which way they want to go: toward God or away from Him.

There is a self-pride within all of us, and particularly within Satan the great Deceiver, that insists, "If it were left up to me, I could do all of this better than God can!" As such, humankind must witness the worst possible consequences of evil and sin to understand that only by submitting to God's rules and regulations—not by creating our own ways of doing things—can goodness and righteousness, ultimately, be in effect all of the time.

Of course, it can be argued that, if all of this is true, God must be unimaginably self-centered, self-absorbed, self-seeking, and downright selfish to have set into motion circumstances that, in due course, will enable Him to get what He wants, at the expense of the suffering of others. In fact, though, in having taken severely drastic measures to reach His own goal of eternal satisfaction and pleasure, God has paid an infinitely costly price.

The Creator of all things has gone to the extreme measure of humiliating Himself to the point of ridicule, shame, sorrow, and even physical death on a cross. God has accepted His punishment and "done His time," as it were, for "playing" this brutal, ruthless "game" (in the view of many, including the unsaved) with all of Creation. Only the death of Jesus—who was/is the physical manifestation of God (see Was Jesus God?)—could have been enough to have paid the infinitely great price of getting what He wants, because only God Himself is infinite and limitless.

The thing is, God did not have to pay the price had He not wanted to. But since He is a responsible, just, loving and caring Being, He indeed has paid the price. Furthermore, by having done so, He will gain the respect, regard, and reverence of the multitudes He has chosen, who also will choose Him (see Which do you feel is true: God's predestination or our free will?). Only they will understand that He, alone, is good and that His ways, alone, are best. And they, along with others like them, will spend a glorious, satisfying, and supremely fulfilling eternity with Him.

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