An atheist’s favorite argument against God, or at least an all-benevolent God, is the existence of evil in the world. Their line of reasoning is: if God is good, why does He permit evil to exist and be pervasive in the world? On the surface, it seems like a good way to approach the subject. It looks like an air-tight argument, does it not?
If you think long enough, however, their reasoning actually PROVES that God is good and not evil at all.
Imagine if Satan ruled the world. I believe it is safe to say he would be doing much worse than he is now in tormenting us. Can you imagine him allowing us to shake our fists at him, like many do God now? Would he shower us with untold blessings in giving us his rain, his air, his food, in due season? Hardly. He would, like all human dictators, tyrants, and godless despots, crack down hard. He would punish the opposition, wipe them off the face of the earth. He would rule by sheer terror and fear (imagine the world being like North Korea, or better, Cambodia, when Pol Pot was running things there!). There would be no end to his destruction, misery and through it all, he would find his amusement. His world, whatever Hell that would be like, would be a world full of unwilling worshipers, bowing before him, praising him, not out of love and adoration for him, but out of fear—pure, unbridled, all-consuming, fear. Do this, or face immediate death, would be the character of his horrific reign. That’s how evil operates.
Our God, while omnipotent, and who does bring temporal judgments on men and nations for sure, and an end to all this one day, is not like that. If He were evil, He would not permit our constant rebellion to His will virtually unchallenged. He would not permit His creation, inferior in every way, to treat Him with routine, nonchalant, limitless and shameless, contempt.
Yet He does!
He offers us a choice and a chance to escape judgment to come. That process cost Him the beating, brutality, and death of His Son, Jesus Christ. The question should not be “How can a good God condemn anyone,” it should be “How can a good God save anyone?” Only a good, loving, gracious, God would even want to try.
He came in the person of Jesus Christ to provide a way out, the only way out, of eternal condemnation. In the meantime, He continues to give us good things, but best of all that part of Himself that only HE can give us—love (AGAPE) which we can give to Him and others. He gives these things despite the fact that the majority of people despise, disdain, discredit and otherwise blaspheme His name. Would an evil dictator allow that? Would Satan allow it? No. God does because He is love; because He hopes we will change our ways and our way of thinking that we might live eternally with Him in a perfect, sin-free, pain-free, death-free new world made especially for those of us who believe in Christ. (I still marvel that God actually wants our company, yours and mine. Imagine that).
Next time an agnostic or atheist friend brings out the “a good God wouldn’t…” argument, share this with them. God loves them too, and would have them saved.
 Matthew 5:45
 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff
 John 8:24
 John 14:6; Acts 4:12