I am aware that we have free will to choose right or wrong etc. but why does God allow the devil to perpetrate evil? Why doesn’t God lock him up in hell already? If it is just about free will, why do we need the devil in order to prove our love to God? Are there any good saint quotes on this?
God allows the devil existence because though he is “the father of lies”, God is able to work good out of his evil works and intentions. Through the works of the devil, the righteous must face and overcome trials, and through the trials they become stronger in their righteousness, and grow in their holiness.
James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials,
1:3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
1:4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Good question. I’m tired of the devil and its influence in this world. I’m tired of the devil possessing and obsessing people and creating havoc. Why does God allow this? What did Jesus say about the devil - not much only to “get thee behind me.” I wish he had said “be gone forever!” Nope. Evil is still here, as strong as ever.
I’m going through spiritual warfare with it in three people in my life and I’m tired of it. I prayed and prayed for God to help me with no results. Evil is still there strong as ever. I guess we are to ignore the devil. That’s all we can do on earth. That’s all Jesus did until he finished his mission.
He allows the devil to perpetrate evil for the same reason He allows each one of us to perpetrate evil, and the reason is, (quoting St. Augustine of Hippo) “Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works unless His Omnipotence and Goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil.” Look at the Crucifixion. The death of Jesus Christ was the greatest evil ever committed but God has brought the greatest good from it.
Better question if God is present in both Past, Present & Future, why did he even create the Devil in the first place?
Every time I’ve asked this, I get Politician Answers…something always skirting around the truth with no sound Theological backing.
God did not create “the devil” - He created an angel, among many other angels, all having the choice to serve God. Some refused, in particular the one leader among the some who led them all to oppose God in all ways that they could. They were proud, and refused to serve.
God could have simply stopped keeping them in existence - if He had, or if He were to simply stop allowing them to exist, they would all cease to exist in an instant. They do not possess existence in themselves - they exist only if and as long as God holds them in existence.
God keeps them in existence, because He uses the trials and temptations that he, satan, throws in the paths of believers, trying to draw them into sin - but God uses those trials to test His people that they may grow stronger in the Lord, in His Truth, and in holiness and righteousness. Thus God uses evil to work greater good, in His creation.
Better question if God is present in both Past, Present & Future, why did he even create the Angel that became the Devil in the first place?
Multiple questions, you have, I see.
One reason that God permits men to be tormented by the fallen spirits is that it is part of his Divine Providence. This is the way he has chosen. Man proves his virtue, his goodness, his will to serve God by actually fighting in battle, by suffering, by experiencing evil in his person, yet continuing in Faith and doing what is right.
Saint Catherine of Siena’s Dialogue addresses some of your questions. Perhaps I will look for a quotation or two.
But it seems to me evil has won in this world. One or two people may pass God’s test and become better people, but even those people’s lives may be miserable and surrounded by harassing evil. The greater good only seems possible in the next life. So, avoid sin, satan and evil, you pass God’s test but you will never know you passed until you die, because your life remains basically the same on earth whether you do evil or not. I guess that’s faith. Some days my faith seems lost.
As a sinner we deserve to suffer evil, the devil is only an instrument in the hands of God to chastise us because we deserve it. Only through Christ have the punishments of God become means to purify us and make us worthy of His kingdom, provided we accept these punishments with charity.
Because if God only created creatures that He knew would love and obey Him, He would be tyrannical, narcissistic, and a monster.
If God created in a self-interested way, seeking only to bring Himself love, worship, and praise, it would make sense to only create that which He knew would sing His praises and to either obliterate or refrain from creating any potentially defiant entities.
Thankfully, God does NOT create out of a self-interested way or out of a necessity to make up for a deficiency or defect in His existence that can only be perfected by creating pre-programed worship machines. Instead, God creates us out of Love.
God creates of His own free will; creation is lovingly willed from Him for eternity. He creates both angels and us with free will so that we can freely choose to love Him. He does not taint this free choice with threats of annihilation, nor does He refrain from creating that which would not choose Him. Rather, He gives each created being freedom in their existence; freedom to choose Him and His will or to reject Him and instead cling to our own will.
In doing this, God shows us His love; He sacrifices some of His own freedom and control. He “shrinks into” Himself to allow for there to be a “not Him” so that we have the freedom to choose something other than Him. The problem and evil of the world comes because where there is not Him, there is also not love, not compassion, not forgiveness, not joy, and not hope.
God remains silent in the face of evil because He lovingly restrains Himself from overwhelming His creations into a forced conformity and false “love”. Consider the silence of Jesus when facing His accusers; His absolute restraint of Himself and His power to allow for the transpiration of the greatest evil ever perpetrated. Why would He do this?
Because He knew He could bring about the greatest good from the midst of the greatest evil.
Consider Adam and Eve. Why allow them to be tempted? Why allow them to fall? Because He loved them. He knew that even though they would face temptation and fall, He could bring about a greater good; He could more fully and perfectly reveal to them, and all of humanity, how great His love for us is. His love would be more fully manifested and developed with the introduction of forgiveness, sacrifice, redemption, and eternal salvation.
God is Love; if we choose not Him, we are also choosing not Love, and everything that goes with it. He allows the shadows so that we may better see the light.
No, I disagree. First “God’s test” is not merely a test to “pass” - it is a trial that will - WILL - result in spiritual growing and strengthing toward holiness. This whole life on earth, temporary as it is, filled with trials and difficulties, with blessings, is ordered toward our growth in holiness.
This is very important, Nap66 - we are called to holiness, because the life for which we were created in the first place, is one of holiness: an eternal fellowship with God, and fellowship with the saints, a fellowship of eternal love and justice, peace and holiness.
Trials are thrown in our path by the evil one, but we are tempted to sin in them because of the false desires for sin in our wounded hearts. We must struggle against temptations to sin because sin kills. Sin is death for us. Sin is not good! Sin can bring pleasure for a moment, but it is poison - it is death.
Thus we can be grateful for trials! They are allowed for our good - and they are good, when we overcome them by God’s grace.
Persevere, and you will rejoice in the end.
You do realize, you just asserted that God is doing Evil indirectly.
There is a nuance. God gives us what we deserve, even if it hurts us, it is not evil. A judge who puts a criminal in jail is doing something that will hurt the criminal, but what the judge does is a good.
It’s the same thing for God when He punishes us, it hurts us, but it’s right, it’s good, because justice is good.
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