One of the questions regarding the existence of God I often hear is “Why would God allow evil people to live long and thrive while so many good people die young?”
The answer I give isn’t hard to understand, but it’s a tough one to accept for a person who doesn’t have faith in God.
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Before I give you my answer, I should say that I don’t have a lot of scripture to back this up and that it is based on my understanding of the nature of God.
I believe God has a purpose for everyone and a plan for their life. We are, each of us, allowed to do whatever we want to do so we can follow God’s plan for us or reject his plan and make our own. And even if we reject God’s plan for us, there is always an opportunity for us to change course, as I did when I was in my early 40s, which has led me to this ministry and writing the books I have written, and (best of all) by accepting God’s plan for me I was able to receive salvation and his Holy Spirit.
That is how I changed course, but most people do not accept God’s plan for them and do evil instead of good. So why does God allow that? It is because they still serve a purpose; what that purpose is we may not know or realize during our lifetime, but I believe, faithfully, that when someone refuses to do as God says, he will find a way to use their rejection of him to bring someone else closer to him. We can see evidence of this in the Bible, many times when God used Pharaoh, the Philistines, and the kings of Assyria and Babylon to do evil things that brought the Israelites back to him.
So, if that explains why evil people are allowed to prosper, why do the good die so young, so often?
Again, I believe because God had a specific purpose and plan for them and once they have fulfilled that purpose, he calls them to their reward.
Remember, dying is only a sad thing for those of us left behind- for the ones who are saved by God’s grace and their belief in Messiah, they leave a fallen and cursed world to come into the eternal joy of God’s presence! Instead of being sad, we should rejoice in their victory.
But we are sad because we will miss them, and that is OK.
We all have a purpose and a part to play in God’s plan for humanity; often the ones who are godly suffer and die too soon while the ones who reject God, do evil, and abuse others are allowed to thrive and succeed in life.
This is where it becomes hard for those without faith or understanding of God to make sense of it all: the reason we are here, the reason for this existence, is to choose where we will spend eternity. Eternity is what matters, and God gives us enough time to choose where we will go after we die. That is why we often see good people die early- they’ve done what God wanted them to do.
The evil people get to live longer not as a reward, but because God is giving them extra time to change their decision. That is part of what Grace is about- he will patiently allow evil people to continue in order to give them time to repent. God doesn’t want the evil to die in their sin (Ezekiel 18:23) so when we see evil thriving and think it unfair, in reality, they are doomed and running out of time to save themselves.
The answer to why evil people thrive and good people die young is that the evil ones need more time to repent, and the good ones have fulfilled their purpose and are receiving their reward of eternal joy.
When you think about it, the ones who die early have it better than the rest of us who have to stay behind and keep working.
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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!