One of the questions that Christians struggle with and are often unable to answer is why God allows horrible tragedies such as the recent murderous shootings in Newtown, Connecticut? How do we as Christians process this? How do we square this with a loving God? Why would He allow this to happen? Why didn’t He prevent it? Can we blame God for all of the many problems in this troubled world?
The Bible says that Satan is “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians:4:3) who has been “a murderer from the beginning.” He is to blame for all of the problems of this world, including murder. He is the real enemy of all mankind, not human beings (Ephesians:6:12).
All human beings are victims of Satan’s hatred of God and His plan, and Satan takes out his anger and frustration on human beings in the form of killing by crime and murder. He often takes advantage of troubled human beings to carry out his evil schemes.
So why doesn’t God stop him? Why didn’t He just get rid of him even before He created Adam and Eve? Why has he allowed Satan to hang around all this time, causing so much pain, suffering and grief?
Nobody can presume to speak for God, nor do we need to defend Him. To answer these questions, we've got to understand the long-term plan of God. It's a plan that extends beyond this life into eternity.
He created us as free moral agents who have to make choices in life. He wants us to choose to obey Him from the heart. He wants us to enthusiastically love and cherish His values and standards, which are based on two overriding principles —loving Him with all our hearts and loving others as much as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:35-40).
But the history of mankind reveals that human beings ever since Adam and Eve have made the wrong choices. They've sought to live their own way instead of God’s way. So God has progressively backed off and allowed mankind to suffer the consequences of turning their back on Him.
The only way that man will ever be ready and willing to live God’s way from the heart is to learn the hard way. We have to learn from the tragic consequences of living by man’s way, especially under Satan’s influence. It has to be bad enough for the lesson to sink in. Otherwise, some could say, “Well it isn’t really that bad.”
But that doesn’t mean that victims of violence are evil people that God has singled out to punish. Jesus made this point about a massacre that occurred in His day: “Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. "Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?" Jesus asked. "Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too" (Luke 13:1-5, New Living Translation).
Many innocent victims—including Christians—since the beginning of history have died as martyrs, whose shed blood documents the evils of this world under Satan’s influence (Genesis 4:10, Matthew 23:34-35, Revelation 6:9-11).
In the famous Olivet prophecy, Jesus said that that world conditions would eventually get so bad that no one would be left alive “unless those days were shortened" but He promised that "for the elect's sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:22).
That’s the bad news. The good news is that God plans to bring all of mankind back to life in a world free of the dangers, suffering, wars and violence that is rampant in today’s world. Those little children that were savagely murdered will live again and have the opportunity to be reunited with their parents and live a full life in peace and safety in a world where war and crime will no longer exist.