Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 67 - Autumn (Mar-May 2021) > A Serious Question for a God of Love (by Norman Tew)

A Serious Question for a God of Love

by Norman Tew

If God is all-loving, why doesn't he stop people getting cancer, or prevent disasters like earthquakes and the Holocaust?

This is a serious question that does not have an easy answer.  One writer thinking about it came to the conclusion that God could not be all loving and also all powerful.  If he was all loving he would stop the pain of this world so he cannot be powerful enough to do so.  If  he is all powerful then he must be cruel God to allow pains to continue.

Another writer (talking about a different matter) said that if two factors did not make sense together then it would be necessary to look for the third factor.  That is very applicable here.  We find the third factor in the first two chapters of the book of Job.  There is a being named as Satan who is opposed to God.  He is powerful but is subject to the greater power of God.  God allows Satan to cause problems.  But why?

We find one hint to this in chapter 12 of the book of Revelation starting in the 7th verse.  There was war in heaven and Satan was cast out of  heaven.  On commentator suggested that the Greek in this passage suggests that the war was not a physical one but a verbal one.  The idea is that Satan had verbally attacked God.

To get another picture of this we need to go back to Genesis chapter 3.  God had forbidden Adam and Eve to take the fruit of one special tree.  I do not think the fruit was poisonous but God had separated the tree as a test of their loyalty.  Satan told Eve that God was lying, and that if she ate of the fruit of the tree she would learn things that God was keeping secret from them.

Thus we get the picture of a heavenly being who opposed God told lies about him and convinced some heavenly beings to follow his ideas.  If God had destroyed Satan, his lies about God's lack of wisdom and justice might have appeared to be true, so God exiled Satan to earth and let him work out his theories so that their fallacy would be clear to all.

Paul wrote in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death.  But death did not first come as a result of God's action but as the result of the anger of Cain against God when he killed his brother. 

Jesus came in an attempt to reveal God more fully than the prophets had managed.  He also came to take the death that we have earned and give us the eternal life that was his (see  2 Corinthians 5:21 - For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.). 

God plans to bring an end to all the pain and problems when the result of Satan's method is obvious and the destruction of Satan and those who follow his way will be seen not as dictatorial but as cleansing.

Note- In 2007 Norm wrote an editorial for edition 14 of the on-line managine on the subject of God's love.  You may also like to take a look at this.

Editorial (edition 14) - A God of Love

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 67 - Autumn (Mar-May 2021) > A Serious Question for a God of Love (by Norman Tew)