Who’s In Charge Here?

Q. Hello and thank you so much for your website. It has been a blessing to me and I hope you continue it as long as you are able.

I’ve read what you wrote about “Why bad things happen to good people” and I still don’t find it very clear. One reason I’d like to have a clear answer is because my parents (who are not believers) ask me this all the time and I can never explain myself well enough for them.

Is the reason for bad things happening to good people because of Adam and Eve’s first sin? Are you saying that Satan is, in fact, ruling the earth right now and that is why bad things happen? So does this mean that God is not in charge of the earth right now, but Satan is?

Also, another question I’d like to be able to answer to my unbelieving parents is this: If God created us in His image and is all-knowing, why did he create Adam and Eve with the propensity to sin in the first place? God is more powerful than Satan, so why did Satan prevail here (by getting Adam and Eve to sin)? Thank you so much for your time.

A. To put it simply, yes. Satan is running things here right now. He’s called the “god of this age” in 2 Cor. 4:4 and in 1 John 5:19 we read, “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” This world is an evil place and evil things happen. But in addition to that we’re all sinners and sin has consequences.

God created Adam and Eve with the ability to choose their own actions. It’s called freedom of choice and it’s what distinguishes man from the animals. Then He told them the truth about things. When Satan lied to them, they chose to believe Satan’s lies rather than God’s truth. Billions of people after them have done the same thing. Saying that God could have created us without the propensity for sin is an attempt to blame God for man’s sin and avoid the responsibility for our own actions.

God can’t force us not to choose sin, so He provided a remedy so we could escape the consequences of sin. Unfortunately, He can’t force us to choose the remedy either. But He loves us so much that He won’t deprive us of the right to choose our own actions. All He can do is make His presence so unmistakably clear that it’s impossible to miss. It’s up to us to use the incredible minds He gave us to figure that out and make the right choice.

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