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Did God create evils to punish or test us?


A friend of mine believes that God created everything—including things like diseases in order to punish us and things like pornography in order to test us. How do I respond?


God doesn’t do evil to anyone. Those things spoken of in Scripture as punishments from God are things God has allowed rather than caused to happen as a result of people’s sins. God does test people in the sense that he allows them to encounter temptation or adversity, but he himself does not cause these things. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire” (Jas 5:13–14).

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