Are we just on earth to know evil before heaven?

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By BibleAsk Team


The question of human existence has been a subject of philosophical, religious, and existential inquiry for millennia. Among the myriad of inquiries, one particularly intriguing notion persists: Are we merely on Earth to acquaint ourselves with evil before ascending to heaven? This question delves deep into the essence of human nature, the purpose of life, the freedom of choice, and the intricacies of morality.

I. Understanding Evil in Human Existence:

Evil, a concept deeply embedded in human history and consciousness. Theologians often depict evil as a departure from divine goodness. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, evil traces its origins to the biblical narrative of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-24). This act introduced sin and suffering into the world, shaping the human condition and prompting theological reflections on the nature of evil.

II. The Human Experience and Moral Agency:

Central to the question of knowing evil before heaven is the notion of moral agency – the capacity of humans to discern right from wrong and make ethical choices. The biblical narrative portrays humans as endowed with free will, enabling them to choose between good and evil (Joshua 24:15). This freedom entails moral responsibility and accountability for one’s actions, suggesting that the earthly journey encompasses moral development and spiritual refinement.

God didn’t intend that humans may know evil and fall into sin. But when He created free will beings, there was a risk that some of His creatures may exercise their free will to rebel against Him. By giving intelligent beings total freedom, the Lord knew beforehand that He would face danger. But He knew it would be better to create nothing at all than to create creatures without free choice (Joshua 24:15).

God understood that only creatures with freedom of choice could have a loving relationship with Him because true love doesn’t use force. And because the very nature of free choice is to be free from force, any decisions made are the humans own responsibility (Galatians 6:5).

There is no reason for Lucifer to have rebelled against God, but Lucifer chose a different path in opposition to God. If the Creator were to destroy immediately all those that opposed Him, freedom of choice would not exist and God’s beings may harbor doubts and worship Him out of fear not out of love (1 John 4:18). So, the Lord allowed the devil time to display His principles.

III. The Role of Earthly Existence in Moral Development:

The earthly realm serves as a crucible for moral development and spiritual growth, where individuals confront ethical dilemmas, moral challenges, and existential struggles. Through these experiences, humans by the power of God, cultivate virtues such as compassion, empathy, resilience, and moral courage (Romans 5:3-5). Moreover, adversity and suffering provide opportunities for moral refinement, prompting individuals to seek meaning amidst affliction and to respond with acts of kindness and altruism.

IV. Redemption and the Pursuit of Spiritual Transformation:

Central to many religious traditions is the concept of redemption – the possibility of moral renewal, reconciliation, and spiritual transformation. Christianity, for instance, emphasizes the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, who offers salvation and deliverance from sin (John 3:16). Through faith and repentance, individuals are invited to experience spiritual rebirth and embark on a journey of moral renewal and sanctification.

The only One that truly suffered from giving God’s creatures freedom of choice is God Himself. For He took the responsibility of saving humans upon Himself by sacrificing His innocent Son (John 3:16) to give mankind that was deceived a second chance at making the right choice. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

V. The Eschatological Hope: Anticipating Restoration and Redemption:

The Christian eschatological framework envisions a future state of restoration and redemption, where evil is ultimately overcome, and divine justice prevails (Revelation 21:1-5). The Lord will finally destroy sin only after every being in the universe has seen that the devil’s rule is deadly. And when the controversy ends, humans will fully understand the principles of God’s kingdom and the devil’s kingdom. Everyone in the universe will see the difference between the love of God and the cruel hate of the devil (Philippians 2:10; Isaiah 45:23).

This eschatological hope inspires believers to persevere amidst earthly trials, trusting in the promise of a heavenly inheritance and eternal fellowship with God. Moreover, it underscores the transformative power of divine grace, which enables individuals to transcend the limitations of their fallen nature and participate in the unfolding drama of redemption.

VI. Conclusion: Embracing the Mystery of Human Existence:

In conclusion, the question of whether we are on Earth to know evil before heaven invites contemplation and personal search. It probes the depths of human nature, the complexities of morality, and the mysteries of divine providence. While the earthly journey may entail encounters with evil and suffering, it also offers opportunities for moral growth, spiritual transformation, and the pursuit of transcendent meaning.

Through the lens of biblical wisdom and theological reflection, we gain insights into the reason of our existence. As we ponder the profound question of knowing evil before heaven, may we find solace in the assurance that our earthly pilgrimage is imbued with divine purpose and eternal significance, leading us ever closer to the fulfillment of our ultimate destiny in the presence of God.

References:

  1. Genesis 3:1-24 (NKJV)
  2. Joshua 24:15 (NKJV)
  3. Romans 5:3-5 (NKJV)
  4. John 3:16 (NKJV)
  5. Revelation 21:1-5 (NKJV)

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