“In the beginning” God created all things out of nothing (creatio ex nihilo) (Genesis 1:1). In doing so, God introduced “laws” to promote the continuity and continuation of all Creation. And all these positives were “good” (Genesis 1:31).
At the same time, however, God’s fundamental commitment to freedom meant that he was permissive, and he therefore allowed Creation all the existing negatives, such as chaos and extinction. Later, in the person of emerging mankind, these negatives included the option of consciously ignoring and/or rejecting God’s positive laws.1,2 And this choice was “evil” (cf. Isaiah 45:7).
The Permissive God
Thus, in the process of continuing creation (creatio continua), God’s permissiveness resulted in mankind’s conscious choice of the negative or “evil” — for example, the Genesis stories of the “serpent” and the “sons of God” (Genesis 3; 6:1-6). Moreover, the reign of evil has greatly increased with the passage of time.
Furthermore, the universal result of God’s commitment to freedom and his consequent permissiveness has been that, not only humanity, but all other Creation — the cosmos, including nature and other life forms — has long suffered chaos, death and extinction (Romans 8:22).
So it is that, in today’s world, there is increasing skepticism regarding the survival of humanity, life, nature, and of all Creation.
The Good God
Nevertheless, the one wholly good and positive event in history’s journey to “ultimate freedom” is that the Son of God appeared and “gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message that God gave to the world at the proper time” (1 Timothy 2:6, NLT4). Thus, all Creation “anticipates the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay” (Romans 8:21, NLT).
Then will be revealed the true goal of “ultimate freedom” in the grand fulfillment of God’s “eternal purpose” (Ephesians 3:9-11; cf. 2 Timothy 1:9, 10). That purpose includes universal freedom from all negatives — “from [all] evil” (Matthew 6:13).
Soon God will again appear (Greek parousia or Second Coming) (Acts 1:11), raise the dead (Matthew 25:31, 32; John 12:32; 1 Corinthians 15:22; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17), convene the judgment (John 5:22, 27; 12:31; Hebrews 12:23), enlighten the human race about all that has occurred (Philippians 2:10, 11; cf. Isaiah 45:23), and offer humanity and all Creation the “ultimate freedom” of eternal bliss (John 5:22, 27; 12:31; Hebrews 12:23). God will thus fulfill his eternal promise (2 Timothy 4:8; 2 Peter 3:13; 1 John 3:2) “above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20, KJV5).
The apostle Paul endeavored to express this when wrote, “. . . [T]he Scriptures have declared that we are all prisoners of sin, so the only way to receive God’s promise is to believe in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:22, NLT). “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20, KJV)!
- See Genesis 2:9, KJV: “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow . . . the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” (go back)
- See “The Gospel for the PostmodernWorld III: The ‘Other Side’ of God,” Outlook (January 2008); “The Divine Struggle for ‘I’ and ‘Thou’ III: Command,” Outlook (December 2009); “The Divine Struggle for ‘I’ and ‘Thou’ IV: Possession,” Outlook (January 2010); “The Divine Struggle for ‘I’ and ‘Thou’ VI: Empowerment,” Outlook (March 2010). (go back)
- See “The Eternal Journey IV: Paying the Price,” Outlook (September/October 2012). (go back)
- NLT = New Living Translation. (go back)
- KJV = King James Version.(go back)