The basis of human suffering is rooted in misused free will. Free will is a necessary ingredient in real love.
When I was young in the 1960's, little girls had dolls with a pull-string.
The string triggered a recording which would say various things, like, “I love you!”
Is a toy capable of love? No.
Would a functional adult feel loved by such a doll? No, love requires free will.
God made humans for companionship with Him.
God too, wants to be loved.
He made us capable of loving Him and loving others.
But real love requires a free will, which also includes the ability to reject someone else.
Newton's Third Law of Physics:
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
There is a parallel spiritual law:
If we have the free will to love, we also have the free will to hate.
And the decision to use free will negatively is the root of sin and pain.
So why does God allow us to use our free will negatively, if it hurts others?
What are His options? Even God has boundaries, which He sets for Himself.
Although He knows the future, what should He do when he knows that one person is going to harm another person in some way?
Should God strike that person dead before the victim is harmed?
If He did that, people would say, “Why did God kill that person? He never did anything wrong!
If God killed people before they sinned, Neither Moses nor Paul would have even seen the positions of leadership they experienced.
And secular leaders like Jefferson and Churchill would not have made their contributions to western civilization.
So, what about an electric zap; a divine taser, perhaps? That would be my choice, but it must not be God’s way.
He gave us the Golden Rule and a conscience, and He expects us to use them both.
History tells us that God leaves us alone quite a bit, to experience the repercussions of our free wills, and the free wills of others.
I don’t understand why, except that pre-sin intervention by death removes the possibility of repentance.
And whether or not it seems fair, God looks for repentance from all, so He can forgive. Amazing Grace.
Some people say the devil doesn’t exist.
Jesus said this to his disciples about Satan:
Luke 10:18 He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Jesus and the disciples believed that Satan and demons exist.
Some Satanists think that Satan is the commander of hell.
As I read it, when Satan finally goes to hell, he will not be hell’s commander; he will be its chief prisoner.
What was Satan’s big sin?
He wanted to live in God’s house, but be in charge of his own life.
(Like proponents of Universal Basic Income)
And eventually, everyone who tries to run their own life while depending on someone else for their existence, will revolt against their provider(s).
This is what Lucifer-Satan did. But everyone is under God’s control.
Then why do we have a free will?
It is a necessary ingredient for love.
Eric J. Rose