Q: Since the Bible says God created everything, doesn’t this mean he also created the devil? And if he created the devil, doesn’t this mean God is actually responsible for all the evil in the world? A friend of mine who likes to argue about religion asked me this, and I didn’t know what to say. — B.W.
A: I seriously doubt if your friend really wants an answer to his question; I suspect instead that he is only using this as an excuse to keep from facing his need to repent of his sins and submit his life to Christ.
Unfortunately some people are like this; they enjoy talking about God, but they have no intention of taking him seriously. They are like the philosophers in Athens who (the Bible says) “spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas” (Acts 17:21). They were happy, therefore, to listen to the Apostle Paul, but most of them laughed at him and refused to take seriously what he told them about Jesus. They said they’d invite him back, but they never did.
Your friend is wrong, of course; God is not responsible for the evil in the world — not at all. God is holy and absolutely pure, and Satan alone was responsible for his rebellion against God. Neither can we blame God for our own evil deeds; we alone are responsible for our sins.
Pray for your friend, and ask God to give you wisdom as you deal with him. If God opens the way, confront him with his failure to face his own need for God’s forgiveness and new life. He needs Christ, and God can use you to point him to Jesus. Only Jesus could say, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or visit www.billygraham.org.