The notorious Kaing Guek Eav has finally been sentenced. He will receive 30 years imprisonment for the torture and murder of an estimated 14,000 people. The evil that he participated in is almost unbelievable. It poses hard questions. Why is there so much evil in the world? How long will God tolerate such evil? Theologians and philosophers have long struggled with these questions.
More than three decades ago, the Khmer Rouge regime created a nightmare in Cambodia. More than two million people were killed. Many were tortured. During this brutal time, the sadistic Kaing Guek Eav was the notorious head of the Tuol Sleng prison. Located in the Cambodian capital, Tuol Sleng was a former high school that was turned into a ghoulish killing center (Financial Times, "Khmer Rouge prison chief found guilty," July 26, 2010).
How can we understand such horrific evil? The 18th century philosopher David Hume famously asked, "Is He [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is impotent. Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent. Is He both able and willing: whence then is evil?"
God is neither impotent nor malevolent. But, there is evil. Why? Theologians and philosophers continue to needlessly struggle with this question, because the Bible provides plain answers!
Those who adhere to Zoroastrianism or Manichaeism try to reconcile a loving God with the reality of overwhelming evil by denying God's omnipotence. However, Scripture reveals that God is omnipotent (Isaiah 46:10, 1 Corinthians 15:28).
Others, such as Spinoza, Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Scientists take an opposite approach. They attempt to deny the reality of evil, or even that the physical world truly exists. However, the physical world does exist (Genesis 1:1) and there is evil (Jeremiah 7:30, John 5:29). The realities of war, sickness, rape, crime, abortion, poverty, suffering and death cannot be denied.
What does Scripture reveal?
Scripture explains that God's will is "perfect" (Romans 12:2), He is "good" (Mark 10:18), and there is no sin in Him (1 John 3:5). He is love (1 John 4:8) and He loved the whole world so much that He gave His Son to redeem the world (John 3:16).
However, sin is to break God's laws (1 John 3:4). Sin is the source of evil, and Satan is the father of sin (Ezekiel 28:15, John 8:44). Sin causes suffering, correction and death (Romans 6:23). And since the Garden of Eden, humanity has never stopped sinning (Romans 3:23; 5:14, 1 Corinthians 15:22).
Because of sin, God sometimes allows suffering, but He has no pleasure in it (Ezekiel 33:11). Because of sin, He sometimes painfully corrects, but His correction is always good and righteous (Psalms 145:17, Hebrews 12:6-10). Godly correction, although sometimes unpleasant or even very painful, is to accomplish His righteous will. Notice Psalms 9:5, Isaiah 2:4; 45:7, Amos 3:6 and Revelation 19:15.
God did not cause the evil in Tuol Sleng prison and He had no delight in it. Tuol Sleng was a wicked and Satanic episode (2 Corinthians 4:4); the creation of a sinful, rebellious world. God takes no pleasure in this wickedness (Psalms 5:4) and will not much longer tolerate it.
Christ will soon return. Satan will be bound for 1000 years (Revelation 20:2). And, Christ will establish righteousness, peace and goodness throughout the earth (Isaiah 9:6, Zechariah 8:3-8, Revelation 22:2-3)! This is the "good news" of the Kingdom of God that God's faithful Church must proclaim with all of its might (Matthew 24:14, Mark 13:10)! And this is the only real hope for mankind.
Those who understand this wonderful Truth are passionately praying for Christ's return. They are zealously supporting the commission to proclaim this message of hope to the entire world (Mark 16:15).
To better understand God's plan of redemption for all humanity, please watch the excellent Tomorrow's World telecast, Death, Resurrection, and Your Future", and read the Tomorrow's World article, "A Different Gospel?"