What one believes about God’s role in suffering can lead to feelings of God being distant or unsupportive. “Why, me!” can sometimes turn into “why God do you not love me.” One may question why God grants human beings the ability to choose evil in the first place, since much of suffering result from people making evil choices. If one assumes we will one day in heaven be unable to sin, why didn’t God simply create us as unable to sin from the beginning?
It is morally and biblically indefensible to suggest God created evil to accomplish good. A more rational explanation is that evil was not something created by God but originates from the human heart as the result of freedom given by our Creator in the beginning. It can be argued freedom is necessary for God cannot love us if He controls us. Authenticity in relationships is impossible without freedom. Without freedom we could accuse God of not creating the “best” world.
The necessity of freedom for genuine relationships can explain why God allowed freedom. It is plausible that having such choices is a necessary journey so that one day in heaven we are able to choose to not sin. Randal Rauser on his blog explains it this way: “there is inherent value in the acquisition of moral virtues. Think of the distinction between the mountain climber lowered onto the summit via a helicopter vs. the climber who gradually climbs up the slopes. There is intrinsic value in being the climber who fought to reach the top. And there is intrinsic value in acquiring the moral virtues of the image of God over-against having them infused from birth” (randalrauser.com – 8/7/15).
I would be inconsistent to not mention the possibility to sin in heaven to protect the integrity of free will. It is depressing to entertain this possibility, but I am not convinced the Bible promises there is not the possibility of selfishness in heaven. Personally, based on my record here on earth and often under ideal circumstances, I cannot imagine not making some selfish decisions in heaven. We can at least hope God’s presence will have a greater impact then earthly, human authority to dissuade such decisions. We thrive more under certain types of parental love and leadership because of their qualities such as integrity and understanding.
But, there is a plausible explanation of how there can be freedom in heaven without the possibility of sin. Our moral progress here on earth may make choices to the detriment of ourselves or others impossible or at least highly unlikely in heaven. I am growing in my successes and failures that I would not have otherwise without the freedom to make unselfish choices. It is hard for me to fathom that I can murder someone here on earth though I have the freedom to do so. The maturation process I go through here on earth may make the choice to murder impossible. Understanding why God allows freedom and thus suffering here on earth can help to not alienate us but draw us closer to our Creator here on earth in unbearable times.