Why Did God Create Adam and Eve Knowing Humanity Would Fall and People Would Go to Hell?

Question from a reader:

Can you explain to me why God created Adam and Eve? Knowing we would be a great disappointment and the countless people that will never experience Heaven, why were we even made? I’m having a conversation on this topic with my adult daughter, who is calling God selfish. Referring to those who go to Hell, she says, “Why create mankind at all? They didn’t ask to be born.”

Answer from Stephanie Anderson, EPM staff:

In his book If God Is Good, Randy writes about how God is “accomplishing an ultimate plan of redemption that will glorify him through his conquest of sin and death.”

Randy also writes:

God speaks of “all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). Before creation itself, God had written myriad names in the book of life. That book belongs to “the Lamb that was slain.” Before God took his first step in forming this universe, already he had determined to sacrifice his Son for our sins, like a lamb on the sacrificial altar.

From the perspective of a timeless God, Christ’s sufferings and death did not confine themselves to a few years or hours. Before the world fell—even before he created it—God knew exactly what he would do to redeem the world. He knew the horrors of evil before Adam and Eve knew them. When you consider that the distant future is as real to God as the present is to us, then this passage takes on paradigm-shifting meaning.

God’s redemptive plan was not an ad-lib response to unanticipated events. From before the very beginning, God knew the very worst. And the very best it would one day bring.

Paul writes, “This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time” (2 Timothy 1:9). How could God give us grace before our lives began, even before the universe itself existed? Only because God knew and determined in advance the work of Christ for us on the Cross.

God wrote the script of the unfolding drama of redemption long before Satan, demons, Adam and Eve—and you and I—took the stage. And from the beginning, he knew that the utterly spectacular ending would make the dark middle worth it.

I love what Randy says there: that God knew in advance all that would happen but also knew that the ending would make it all worth it. It makes me think of Romans 11:33: “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” And it makes me worship God, thankful that He chose to make me and my family, and then sent His Son so that I can know Him and love Him and live with Him forever.

I’d also encourage you to read this article, taken from a chapter in If God Is Good.

And here is an answer from Got Questions that may be helpful.

I think I would gently ask your daughter this question: if God had wiped out all humanity at the moment of sin (or had never created people at all, so that no one would reject God and go to Hell), then what? There would have been no Jesus, and no you. Your family. Your friends. Everyone you care about. You would never even be alive to ask this question!

Life is a gift. We may not understand exactly why God allows some things and why He allows people to be born who don’t choose to follow Him. But we also have to understand that God has given us free will. He could have created a bunch of robots who automatically follow Him, but He didn’t. People choose Hell when they turn their backs on God. He gave us the gift of choice, to choose to know and love Him. To Him, that was worth creating us, and even sending His Son to die for us so that we could eternally know Him and be with Him forever. That is the very opposite of selfish.

Randy writes, “If God decided all the suffering of history is worth the price paid, who are we to say otherwise? He knows everything, and took upon himself the lion’s share of human suffering. Hasn’t he earned the right to be trusted?”

Randy also writes, “If you could snap your fingers and remove all evil and suffering that has ever happened, would you? If you did, then Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, and William Wilberforce would just be names. Without his deafness, we don’t know whether Beethoven would have written his symphonies. Had John Bunyan not been unjustly imprisoned, he almost certainly would not have written The Pilgrim’s Progress.”

Here's another answer from Got Questions.

This is a long answer to a similar question, answered by an EPM volunteer years ago, but some of what he writes may be helpful.

Photo: Unsplash

Stephanie Anderson is the communications and graphics specialist at Eternal Perspective Ministries.