Dear Dr. Graham:

Why doesn’t God just do away with all the bad people in the world? The world sure would be a lot nicer place to live in if he did, and maybe we’d even have lasting world peace.

— N.W.

Dear N.W.: Let me ask you a question: If God somehow took all the “bad” people out of the world, how many would be left? Not very many, I’m afraid — because we all have within us the capacity to do bad things (even if we don’t like to admit it).

In fact, if God actually applied his perfect standard to the human race, no one would be left — because his standard is nothing less than perfection. You see, we all have within us a spiritual disease — a disease the Bible calls sin. At times it overwhelms some people and they become moral and spiritual monsters, oppressing and killing vast numbers of people. Most of us aren’t like that — but we still are filled with jealousy, envy, anger, and a host of other evils. The Bible rightly says, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).

But the Bible tells us an amazing truth: In spite of our sin, God still loves us! If he didn’t love us, we’d have no hope; he might even do exactly what you suggested, and destroy us all. But we can have hope — and the reason is because God sent his son, Jesus Christ, into the world to make our forgiveness possible.

Someday we will know peace — when Christ comes again to establish his kingdom. But in the meantime God offers us the gift of his salvation — and it becomes ours as we reach out and by faith and ask Jesus Christ to cleanse us and forgive us. Turn to Christ and commit your life to him today.