My husband is a commuter and listens to the Christian radio station on his way home from work. Tonight he said there was a preacher on saying that God causes bad things to happen for the “greater good”. I told him that is a false teacher because God is light and there is no darkness in Him the bible tells us. We started talking and he brought up things like the flood and Exodus 11, where the first born Egyptian males were killed. I told him the angel of death killed them not God but then I looked it up. God
says in verses 4-7 that in essence it was Him. Then I thought that was the old testament and since Jesus came, it’s different. But God is the same and doesn’t change the bible tells us. How exactly do I answer him based on God’s word?
God did bring judgment upon people in the Old Testament. The difference between the Old Testament and the New is the Cross. Colossians 1:19-20 tells us that because of the cross God has been able to make peace with His creation. Ephesians 2:14 tells us Jesus Himself is our peace, whether for those who were near (Jews) or those who were far away (Gentiles).
During the Church Era the idea that God causes bad things to happen “for the greater good” conflicts with His claim to have made peace with the creation, and can’t be true, unless God was not being forthright in these passages.
For the identity of the real culprit, the one responsible for all the evil in this world, read John 14:30, 2 Cor. 4:4, and John 5:19 where Satan is clearly identified as the cause.
So, during this Age of Grace God does not, can not cause bad things to happen to anyone for any purpose. What He does is to turn the bad things that happen from other sources into blessings, because He works everything together for the good of those who love him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
By the way, this era of peace with God will all come to a crashing halt after the rapture of the Church when God will again bring devastating judgments upon the world such as have never been before or will ever be again (Matt. 24:21).