Before we can even begin to understand the spiritual warfare we face every day, we must answer the age-old question: so why did God allow evil to exist in the first place?
To help answer the question, let’s take a look at an excerpt from my book, The Non-Prophet’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare.
Lawrence Peter Berra was born in St. Louis, Missouri on May 12, 1925. He died on September 22, 2015 after playing 19 seasons (all but the last four with the New York Yankees) of Major League Baseball and many more years as a manager and coach.
“Yogi” Berra, as he was nicknamed, was famous for many things related to baseball, not the least of which were his world-famous statements that came to be known as Yogi-Berraisms. His comical and perfectly timed paradoxical quips would frequently make sports news headlines.
Here are 5 of my personal favorites:
“It ain’t over till it’s over.”
“It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”
“We made too many wrong mistakes.”
“The future ain’t what it used to be.”
At this point you may be wondering what Yogi Berra quotes have to do with spiritual warfare. Well, because the best place to start this study of spiritual warfare sounds a bit like a Yogi-Berraism. In order to properly understand the very real environment of spiritual warfare in which you and I live today—the best place for us to begin is…before the beginning.
Before the Beginning—Eternity Past
Before the creation of time, space, and matter, God was. God has always existed. He is the great “I Am (Exodus 3:14)”. We can’t fully wrap our heads around this fact, but that is a good thing because we are not God. Even from a logical and philosophical standpoint, humans intuitively understand God’s eternal nature and power must exist. Logically, there has to have been a first cause of everything that exists in our space-time continuum. This is known as the Cosmological Argument.
Romans 1:20—For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
In my book The Non-Prophet’s Guide™ to the End Times, I wrote at length about the nature of God and demonstrated how he is outside of time. In chapter two of that book I wrote, “We’re ‘stuck’ in time, which we experience linearly, but God by his very nature is outside of time. He created it; therefore, he transcends it. To God, time is more like an object than a chronological experience2.”
To God, space, matter, and time (and everything within them) are things he beholds at one glance—similar to a person looking at a hand-held ant farm. Just as a person can see everything going on in a half-inch-thick ant farm, God sees everything simultaneously. Nothing is hidden from his view and nothing is ultimately outside of his sovereign design. Not a single atom, planck length (smallest unit of space) or planck time (smallest unit of time) is out of his control. He is completely transcendent and sovereign.
Definition: tran•scend•ent adj. beyond and above the range of physical human experience
With that understanding it is also important to note here that the trinity—the triune nature of God revealed in Scripture as Father, Son and Holy Spirit—existed in perfect fellowship from eternity past. The idea of a three-in-one monotheistic self-existent God is a great mystery to us—as is the nature of a timeless eternity past. Yet logic demands that something or someone has existed from eternity past. If anything exists, then something or someone has always had to exist. Something can’t come from nothing.
Once again, that may sound a bit like a Yogi Berra quote. But, even atheists—who believe the big bang exploded a sub-atomic “singularity” into 100 billion galaxies stretching 93 billion light-years in diameter—can’t answer the philosophical question regarding where that “singularity” came from or what initially triggered it. Their cosmology—when pushed—does not answer the fundamental questions about the existence of space, time, and matter—or the fixed rules that govern them.
One thing we learn from the self-existent triune nature of God is that he was not lonely or lacking relationship. He is eternally complete in himself. For eternity past, he was perfectly content, living in perfect unity and fellowship with himself—in need of nothing. Yet, something about his nature and perfection demanded that at some point the self-existent creator would create other moral autonomous beings—first the angels, then we humans.
So Why Did God Allow Evil to Exist?
Sticking with our Yogi Berra theme, I’d like to pose the question this way. Why did God make any bad good stuff? In other words, why would he even allow for the possibility of evil? God could have done 1 of 4 things. He had the choice to:
1. Create nothing;
2. Create a universe with no possibility of good or evil;
3. Create beings with no free will (eliminating the ability to choose good or evil), or;
4. Create beings with the capacity of free will.
The final option is the only choice that allows for love because love requires choice. As 1 John 4:8 tells us—God is love. Love can only be expressed if there is a real choice. Love can only be expressed through real sacrifice—logically necessary for putting the needs of others above our own. The essence of God’s nature is love. This, I believe, is the central reason why God created the universe, and it is why he created moral agents with freewill—first the angels, then humans.
So, to answer the question demonstrated by the four possibilities listed above; If God never created other beings, love could not be expressed. If God created the universe with no possibility of good and evil, love could not be expressed. If God created cookie-cutter robot beings programmed to obey, love could not be expressed. But if God created moral beings with the freedom to choose, God’s nature could be demonstrated through their free-choice actions and ultimately through the sacrificial love he would personally have to demonstrate.
John 3:16—For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Interested in learning more about our spiritual battle and how we can be prepared for it every day? Purchase my course, Spiritual Warfare and Bible Prophecy.