A Question I Was Asked:

Why Would an All-Knowing God Create a World of Such Cruelty?

Can you help me Robin?

I'm struggling to understand why an all knowing God would choose to create a world where he knew many would descend to such cruelty towards others.
For all the good in this world, I'm struggling to accept that it is worth the suffering of many innocents and woud prefer it was never created!
Also, if we are all to be saved because of Jesus sacrifice (which is more palatable to me than a gospel of 'choose to be in') how will we not choose to bring evil to the new heaven too?

UK Apologetics Reply:

One of the problems here is that you are deciding what constitutes 'cruelty' and what does not; you are not deciding this from a background of eternity and eternal knowledge as God is able to do. The world is the way it is right now because our first parents wanted to decide such matters for themselves without direct input from God (in their 'eating' of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil).

If you are not accepting what I would call the great truths of the Gospel, it is hard to know what to say to you, since - never having met you - I cannot judge your level of understanding. Maybe your eyes are just not being opened to spiritual truth at present, yet I find that a little hard to believe; maybe you are even running away from a clear calling. I think I would simply put a few points to you:

1. Has mankind, or any other religion, got anything better? In my opinion, absolutely not; all those things offer is a little happiness mixed with suffering right now, followed by eternal death.

2. Does not your own love for your family teach you that love is meaningful (evolution says it is ultimately meaningless), are we not all inspired by decent and brave acts which are done in love? Even all the great poets recognised that love is a spiritual matter, something extra-worldly, lifting it above the average and mundane matters of everyday living. Where does this mystical/spiritual dimension of love come from? Does not Jesus' sacrifice and act of selfless love stand supreme here?

3. You say you struggle with why "an all knowing God would choose to create a world where he knew many would descend to such cruelty towards others..." Have you not read the correct Bible explanation regarding why this occurred and was even ultimately necessary? There are a few things on site which might help you, here is one, why not go through this carefully:
Why Does Not God Simply Destroy Satan?

4. There is both good and evil in this world, the world is not entirely cruel even now although my questioner infers that it is all bad; there is also beauty, love, hope, kindness and generosity. The purpose of the existences of all of us is that we should learn that sin is harmful and destructive and to pursue good, decency and righteousness; do any of us do this perfectly? Of course not, but it's about our life direction; we need to keep travelling the right way even if the final destination is never realised in this life, but in the life to come.

Ultimately, God allows evil; he wants to create perfect human character; this character comes from exposure to evil, learning the damage it does, then developing the character to turn from it and to wholeheartedly follow righteousness. If we had no exposure to evil at all we could never develop a flawless human character. Another point is that my questioner is looking purely at our present human existence where many may suffer but there is Eternal Life ahead where God is able to forgive, to dress wounds and to raise people up. The promises of the Bible go well beyond this present life! Paul the Apostle even said if we only have hope of God in this life we are the most miserable of all people. (1 Corinthians 15:9).

5. I am asked, 'how will we [people] not choose to bring evil to the New Heaven too?' Because it will be completely impossible; at that stage evil and Satan will have been defeated; only those who have surrendered to God and His will then exist. Does anyone seriously think that God will allow killers, embezzlers, rapists, and other malevolent and malicious people to inhabit the New Heavens and New Earth?

6. Perhaps some might think that 'science' now has the answers, that God is not needed. Let us just remind ourselves that modern science cannot even explain consciousness, neither can it explain why we have a conscience; it gropes around in the darkness in its attempts to explain these things. Leading philosopher and atheist Raymond Tallis admits evolution cannot provide an explanation for human consciousness; he has even pondered whether evolution's failure to explain consciousness could lead to the eventual demise of evolutionary theory. It is no good just having some sort of explanation for the physical, there is a mental, intuitive and spiritual side to mankind as well. Evolutionary theory may have some sort of explanation for the physical side (although it never attempts to explain where all those ideal chemicals and amino acids came from in the first place!) Neither can modern evolutionary science explain why there is information in the world and why it (information) is a meaningful - yet not physical - entity. Theism and Christianity can explain all these things.

Faith is Needed to Embrace Christ

For any to respond to the Gospel they must hear the Word in a situation in which it is "mixed with faith," in that way they 'enter His rest' - becoming believers:

1. Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: "So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest,'" although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. (Hebrews 4:1-3 NKJV).

The 'bottom line' is that God says this to every single one of us:

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19).

See also:
You Say You Don't Believe in God, But Wait a Minute...

Robin A. Brace. October 29th, 2017.