This was originally a Facebook Post. It only addresses one point for a subject with many points. But maybe it will cause some to consider their theology regarding God’s sovereignty and humanity’s free-will. And may it help reconcile what we experience and see in society with what we read in scripture.
In light of recent tragedies, It came to my mind while I was praying today that there are some Christians who are fighting to reconcile what they have been taught biblically with what they are experiencing in reality. However, this in NO WAY lessens the suffering or tragedy. It only helps us to understand that God “has not changed” but maybe we just misunderstood?
Why is there evil?
Because God, from the beginning, created free-will to "choose" Him or to not choose Him. Here is one point which causes some confusion regarding this: Ephesians says, "we are saved by grace, through faith, this is not of ourselves, it is a gift of God". Now, if we read this as "faith" being the "gift" and some people receive it and others don't, because God "appointed from the beginning" who would be saved. Then there is no point to evil on earth. However, in the Greek the emphasis in this passage for the word "gift" is on the word "Salvation" meaning that Paul is saying not that "faith" is the gift, but "Salvation" is the gift, given to us by grace, and accessible by our own faith which God has given all humanity to receive through the gospel. So, evil is on earth so that humans have a "choice" to love God and worship Him or to not love Him and worship Him. Because "love must have a choice". Now, if we understand this, it will help us understand the "various ways", yes, you read that correctly, the "different" ways in which election, chosen, and predestination are used depending upon the subject in the text and depending upon the audience being written to. So, grace is a gift unto Salvation for ALL who "will" (willing) to believe, accessed by the faith (not work) which God has given all humanity and understood "by hearing" the gospel (you will find this in Ephesians between Chapter 1-2 when Paul says "but YOU , when YOU HEARD the word of truth, the gospel of YOUR salvation, AND BELIEVED, you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit") Hopefully this helps someone.
Lastly, we are not without hope. “For God so loved the [entire] world that He gave His One and Only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life”. Only Jesus has the answer. And only Jesus is the answer…HOPE