Recently in relation to the post on The Problem Of Evil a friend texted two questions. They were “Is evil eternal?” and “Is evil necessary?”. This post will deal with the first question.
The two words we are dealing with are of course, eternal and evil and both must be defined. For now, we can simply define evil as anything that opposes the perfect nature of God. The subject of evil goes much deeper and will require another writing. Frankly, I struggle with the word eternal. The dictionary does not help much in relation to the way I understand God and eternal. Let me explain.
God is eternal but He is also infinite. Eternal mainly refers to time while infinite can refer to time, space or dimension. How we see God from our finite point of view will have bearing on this discussion and many others.
The words “was, is, and will be” are terms we use for time, past, present, and future. This is how a man thinks. In my view, this is not how God sees things. Of course, He understands time. God created it for us to experience but that is not the nature of God. He is the Alph and Omega, beginning and end. There is no past, present, or future for God.
Revelation 1:8 I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.
To God past, present, and future are one thing. This is emphasized so much in scripture, in both Old and New Testaments, that we often refer to God as “The Great I Am”. Surprisingly there is a Wikipedia article on the subject! Here is a link to more Bible verses that may help us understand the infinite and eternal nature of the God we worship.
So, the question is “Is evil eternal?” We are grappling with a concept we cannot fully understand. We could say that since God is eternal and infinite in power, knowledge, and presence then everything is eternal if no other place than in the eternal and infinite mind of God.
A better question might be “Will evil be an eternal experience for God’s creation?” Will He isolate evil in such a way that it is not part of our experience? I believe that God will isolate us from evil. I do hope that helps to answer the question.