1, 2. How did evil begin?
Evil began on earth when Satan told the first lie. Satan was originally a perfect angel, but “he did not stand fast in the truth.” (John 8:44) He developed a desire for worship that rightly belongs only to God. Satan lied to the first woman, Eve, and persuaded her to obey him instead of God. Adam joined Eve in disobeying God. Adam’s decision led to suffering and death.—Read Genesis 3:1-6, 19.
When Satan suggested that Eve disobey God, he was starting a rebellion against God’s sovereignty, or position as Most High. The majority of mankind have joined Satan in rejecting God as their Ruler. Thus, Satan has become “the ruler of the world.”—Read John 14:30; 1 John 5:19.
3. Was God’s creation defective?
4, 5. Why has God allowed suffering until now?
For a limited time, Jehovah has allowed rebellion against his sovereignty. Why? To show that no effort to rule without him benefits people. (Ecclesiastes 7:29; 8:9) After 6,000 years of human history, the evidence is clear. Human rulers have failed to eliminate war, crime, injustice, or disease.—Read Jeremiah 10:23; Romans 9:17.
In contrast to human rulership, God’s rule benefits those who accept it. (Isaiah 48:17, 18) Soon, Jehovah will bring all human government to an end. Only people who choose to be ruled by God will inhabit the earth.—Isaiah 11:9; Read Daniel 2:44.
Watch the video Why Does God Allow Suffering?
6. What does God’s patience allow us to do?
7-9. How can we choose God as our Ruler?
We can choose God as our Ruler by seeking out and practicing true worship based on God’s Word, the Bible. (John 4:23) We can reject Satan as our ruler by keeping out of politics and war, as Jesus did.—Read John 17:14.
Satan uses his power to promote immoral, harmful practices. When we reject such practices, some friends and relatives may ridicule or oppose us. (1 Peter 4:3, 4) So we face a choice. Will we associate with people who love God? Will we obey his wise and loving laws? If we do, we prove that Satan lied when he claimed that under pressure no one would do as God says.—Read 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; 15:33.
God’s love for mankind guarantees that evil and suffering will end. Those who demonstrate that they believe this will enjoy life on earth forever.—Read John 3:16.