Wars and devastation. Sickness, disease, and death. Disasters of various kinds. Where is God in all these? If He is kind, loving, and good, why does He let these happen?
To answer this, let’s go back to the beginning of time.
Following the creation of the world, “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31). Everything was perfect but what happened?
Let’s go back further—back into heaven where the trouble began.
There were angels in heaven. “Bless the Lord, you, His angels, who excel in strength, who do His Word, heeding the voice of His Word” (Psalm 103:20). Hebrews 1:14 adds, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”
Unfortunately, there was one angel named Lucifer who thought he knew better than God and determined to no longer follow His Word. He wanted to rise above Him and be his own god.
Lucifer is described in Ezekiel 28:12-15 as follows: “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty…You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you.”
Isaiah 14 adds, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High'” (verses 12-14).
Therefore, sin was brought about by Lucifer’s pride. “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor” (Ezekiel 28:17).
With this, Lucifer, then Satan, deceived one-third of the angels, who joined him in rebellion. “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:7-9).
Satan brought his deception to earth, particularly in the Garden of Eden. He won by convincing Adam and Eve to take the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, resulting in their disobedience to God, expulsion from the garden, and miserable life.
Since then, the entire humanity has been in a cosmic battle between good and evil. As our eighth fundamental belief states, “All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe.”
It continues, “This conflict originated in heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became Satan, God’s adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the angels. He introduced the spirit of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. This human sin resulted in the distortion of the image of God in humanity, the disordering of the created world, and its eventual devastation at the time of the global flood, as presented in the historical account of Genesis 1-11. Observed by the whole creation, this world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be vindicated. To assist His people in this controversy, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and the loyal angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation.”
Indeed, the great controversy is real. This world and our hearts are the battlefield. Which side are you on? Pastor Wilson would like to invite you to surrender your heart and recommit it to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Learn more about this fundamental belief at www.adventist.org/the-great-controversy/.
Belief #8: Great Controversy [What is It and What Should We Do About It?] – Pastor Ted Wilson