From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
If God were to eradicate all evil from this planet, He would have to eradicate all evil people. Who would be exempt? The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10).
This is a difficult truth for many because by human nature people think they are basically good and that “some” fall prey to evil, but evil is in the heart of mankind. God would rather transform evil people than eradicate them.
The story’s told of a man on death row, but his sentence was changed. His close brush with death pointed Him to salvation in Christ, and though still imprisoned for life, he became a vocal witness for the Lord. Rather than death (eradication), he was transformed—gloriously saved—and found a purpose for living.
If God were to remove all evil from our world (but somehow leave man on the planet), it would mean that the essence of “humanness” would be destroyed. Man would become a robot.
If God eliminated evil by programming man to perform only good acts, man would lose the ability to make choices and be reduced to robot status.
God created man with the capacity to love; robots don’t love. Man could be programmed to love, but the element of love would be lost. If man were forced to do good, suffering would be eliminated, and so would love.
God’s love for man restrains Him from removing evil from our world by the display of His power, His work on the cross for mankind. The hope for mankind is to be transformed.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)