Can God Prevent Evil?

I found this little ditty in the comments section of a theological liberal:

Old Epicurean trilemma (although also attributed to Carneades the Skeptic):

If God is unable to prevent evil, then he is not all-powerful.
If God is not willing to prevent evil, then he is not all-good.
If God is both willing and able to prevent evil, then why does evil exist?

It sounds profound and deep, but the Bible has answered this question over and over again in its denunciation of our own goodness. When the man said to Jesus, “good teacher…” Jesus replied that only God was good. He was not speaking in hyperbole. He was making a statement about the goodness of man. We don’t have any inherent goodness in us. We are conceived in iniquity and without God’s grace in our lives, we continue on in iniquity until we receive our just rewards in the after life, a punishment that no man wants, but fully deserves.

The problem with the above statement is that those who make it assume the lie that we are born innocent and therefore, with the right education and upbringing, we can be good people. This is just not the case. As Paul wrote Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned… (Romans 5:12). If there are those born innocent and never sin, then they would never die because death is the result of sin. Yet, all sin and all die because of our inherited sinfulness.

So is God being unjust by not preventing evil? Not at all. But we must understand that if He is to wipe out all that which is evil, that means He would have to wipe out all of humanity. It is in His grace towards some that He doesn’t deal immediately with the evil that does exists. Remember that He is not slow in His coming because He still has many to save before that day, since He is not willing that any of His elect would perish.

Yes, He could stop all that is evil, but does not do so for His own glory. He will be glorified both in His dealings with the just and the unjust at the end of time

I don’t suspect that those who hold to the above position to accept my answers here. But for those of us who have tasted His grace unto salvation, we can rest assured that the truths of the Bible about God are trustworthy. Only God is good. Only God is just. And thankfully, only God is truly merciful.

Just one more thought on the above statement: it really does show the arrogance of man. Who are we to question God’s motives, intentions and plans? He is not looking to us for instruction or wisdom. The people who make such statements are foolishly arrogant, and will have to answer to God some day for their stupidity. God will not be mocked, even if their statements seem profound. But that is the foolishness of the non-believer.

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