God cannot relinquish His position of being God like occurs with term-limits in politics.
What better response to rebuff the challenge of an unqualified contender using character assassination through deceptive half-truths and unfounded accusations, than to create a physically material universe that no one else could create, and to compose life-scripts for human beings that illuminate the real meaning within the knowledge of good and evil, that otherwise merely eating a piece of fruit could not possibly achieve?
Jesus is recorded in Matthew 20:27-28 as saying: “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
In Matthew 25:31-46, an account of Judgment Day is given in which the sheep ask Jesus the King when their good-works towards other people were equivalent to doing these good deeds to Him.
Jesus the King responds by saying: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Mt. 25:40).
This presupposes that this large assemblage of sheep standing before the throne of God on Judgment Day acquired through their personal relationship with Jesus Christ some measure of His empathy and care for other people.
If there is not evil and suffering in this world, how do disciples of Jesus Christ acquire the care and empathy for others that is designed to last an eternity?
If there is not a bad Pharaoh in Egypt, how does the Passover, deliverance from Egypt, the Exodus in the wilderness, and the conquering of the land of Canaan ever occur for the Jews?
If there is not an “evil generation” (Mt. 12:39) in power in Jerusalem during the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus, how does Jesus possibly make it all the way to the utter rejection and death on the cross?
If Saul/Paul does not run his full course all the way to the revelation on the road to Damascus that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Christ that he entirely missed in the scriptures and in his contemporary society, resulting in actively persecuting the Christian church until that time, Saul/Paul cannot possibly acquire on his own the unprejudiced, enlightened tolerance needed to evangelize the Greco-Roman world.
Finally, when the late Ravi Zacharias was asked in a radio interview where was God during 9/11, the astute answer given by Ravi Zacharias was that God was exactly where everyone wanted Him to be.
The same can be said after the devastation following a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, exploding volcano, avalanche, mudslide, flood, tsunami, or the occurrence of a deadly virus outbreak.
It is an absolute certainty that we all will face death at some point in time.
The outreach of the God of the Bible is eternal salvation by grace through faith in Christ, offered freely to anyone willing to acknowledge His death and resurrection.
Those people over human history not having access to the program of faith as articulated in the examples of journeys of faith in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, because of isolated distances in terms of geography and historical time-periods, I believe will be judged fairly and righteously according to a different standard (Acts 10:34-35).
The reality of evil and suffering in this world does not argue for the non-existence of God or an incompetence on His part to create a world free of evil.
The temptation in the Garden of Eden identifies the earliest example that the complexity in some portions of the broad array of moral concepts eternal in cognitive, sentient reality, need the participation of God like children need adults to beneficially warn them to look both ways before crossing the street.
This is an excerpt from my book Pondering Our World: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.