Pastor John MacArthur speculates:
question then comes up...why would God allow sin? Come on now,
I...I...I can only speculate. There's no specific statement but I think
you can make a fairly reasonable speculation beyond which I cannot go
and don't find any value in tempting to go. And it is this, what did
sin...what did sin coming into the world bring about? Well it brought
about, I would say, three things. And these are the three reasons why I
believe God allowed evil.
Number one, it brought about the
salvation of sinners, right? God had to allow sin, God had to decree
sin in the plan though never the author of it, in order that He might
Well why did God want to save sinners? To put on display attributes that otherwise never would have been manifest, right?
is God going to show grace if there aren't any sinners? How is God
going to show mercy if there aren't any sinners? That was a part of
God's nature that God wanted to display for His own glory throughout all
eternity. So God provided a means by which He could demonstrate grace,
demonstrate mercy. He also wanted to show love, love that is so far
reaching that it can reach even His own enemies who hate Him. How is He
going to show that if He doesn't have any enemies?
So God allows
evil in order that He might demonstrate grace and mercy and forgiveness
and salvation. Secondly, He allows evil in order that He might display
His wrath...in order that He might put His wrath on display, His anger
on display, His judgment on display. How would God ever reveal that
part of His true and eternal nature if there were not an opportunity to
judge sinners? And so, all you can do is look at redemptive history and
you see the salvation of sinners and the damnation of sinners and that
is what goes on and you see ultimately a place prepared for those who
are damned and a place prepared for those who are saved and you must
conclude then that the eternal purpose of God was to save some and judge
some in order that He might demonstrate both His grace and His wrath.
then I like to throw a third thought in there. I believe that God
allowed sin in order that He might forever destroy it. As long as His
creatures have any measure of freedom, as long as His creatures have
intelligence, that is they can know and reason, that is they can process
that knowledge toward behavior, and choice, that is they can choose
what to do, as long as they have that capacity there is a potential for
them to fall short of the standard. Right? To make the wrong choice.
Well it didn't take long for them to do it. We don't know how long it
was before Lucifer made the wrong choice before God. We don't know how
long it was even in the Garden before Adam and Eve made the wrong
choice, but it was certainly before they had any children. They had
their children probably around the age of a hundred or a little more.
there is choice and the potential of a wrong choice is there. A
measure of freedom is given to the creatures by which they can choose to
honor God, by which they can choose to dishonor. As long as that is
there, then the reality, the potential reality of evil exists when the
wrong choice is made. And I believe that once the wrong choice is made,
then God goes into action and one, He can demonstrate His grace and
salvation; two, He can demonstrate His wrath in judgment; and three, He
can then finally destroy evil. It's almost as if God wanted evil to
come to the surface so that He could excise it. That's what's going to
happen when the whole of redemptive history is complete, when all the
saved are saved and all the lost are cast into the lake of fire, then
death and hell are thrown into the lake of fire. What does that mean?
No more death and no more hell and no more judgment. Why? Because
there won't be anymore sin. And when you go to heaven, there's nothing
there that smacks of a sinful world, right? There's no more sorrow, no
more sadness, no more sin, no more dying, no more death.
From his 2000 sermon - "The Origin of Evil"