Does evil rule the world?
Evil is certainly a reality and Satan has been allowed to be the “prince” of this “present evil world.” (See John 14:30 and 16:11.) You may ask, “If God is love, why would He permit evil to prosper when it is in direct opposition to His character?”
To answer that question we need to go back to the creation of man. God created man in His “image” (Genesis 1:26-27), which means that man has the ability to reason and make choices. God could have made man a robot to always do what is right, but then he would not be in God’s “image.” God could have shielded man from Satan’s temptation, but then man would still have been subject to ambitions from within. In God’s wisdom, He foreknew Adam would sin. However, Adam was master of his own God-given free will and could have chosen to obey God’s command.
God has always allowed humankind the option of choosing righteousness or sinfulness, just as he allowed Adam that choice. When God expelled disobedient Adam and Eve from His fellowship in the Garden of Eden, they began to “know good and evil” (Genesis 3:22) and to appreciate the difference. During all the centuries thereafter, humankind has been learning the same lesson as well.
It is important to remember that we have free will and are on earth to learn lessons in this evil age that will benefit us in the glorious age of redemption to come. The good news is that God will not always permit evil to reign over man. After the true followers of Jesus (those who have dedicated their lives to righteousness by following in the footsteps of Jesus) are united in heaven and reigning with him, then Jesus’ ransom sacrifice (his dying on the cross after fulfilling the Law perfectly) will be applied for the vast majority of humanity during the Millennial Age.
All those who have died will come forth with new physical bodies to a period of judgment, or decision, on earth. The Scriptures are clear that during this time Satan will be bound. “He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:2) Satan will not be allowed to influence people’s minds or create havoc in the world during the Millennial Age as he does today (See Revelation 20:3) while resurrected humanity goes through a complete learning and rehabilitation period.
Does evil rule the world? Even though God hates evil, He allows it so that all humanity throughout the ages has the opportunity to learn the sinfulness of sin and, of his own free will, choose righteousness. Messiah’s Kingdom is coming soon when all injustice and evil works will be dissolved. As the Psalmist tells us,
“I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like the green tree in its native soil, but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found.” (Psalm 37:35-36)
To learn more about God’s plan listen to, “Is it God’s Fault We Have Evil in This World?”