Why does God allow evil men like Hitler and Saddam to come into power?

Question: "Why does God allow evil men like Hitler and Saddam to come into power?"

"Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore, whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same" (Romans 13:1-3). One thing that is important here is that the teaching of this portion of Scripture is not on the ruler but our reaction to whatever ruler is in power. Therefore our focus is not to contemplate why God does what He does but our reaction or behavior to whatever God's decision is.

An interesting thing is that the book of Romans was probably written about 56-57 AD. The Emperor or Ruler at that time in Rome was Nero, who ruled from AD 54-68. Nero was an evil ruler, and during that time it is told that there was a terrible fire in Rome that destroyed a big portion of the city. It is told that Nero himself started that fire so he could expand his building projects. The problem was that he had to put the blame on someone, and he decided to blame the Christians. This started one of the biggest persecutions in the history of the church. Therefore, when Paul wrote this portion of Scripture, he was aware of the evil ruler of Rome, yet he does not wonder why God would put him in power. In fact Paul never mentions Nero at all. This also began to spread Christianity. It seems that throughout history whenever evil rulers came to power the gospel would spread.

"Therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Behold, I am going to punish the king of Babylon and his land, just as I punished the king of Assyria'" (Jeremiah 50:18). God at times has used evil rulers to bring judgment on His people, but many times those countries or rulers would overstep their bounds with God, as did Assyria and Babylon, then God would punish them. God, even though He allows evil rulers or kings, would always set boundaries for them. When they would overstep those bounds, they would be punished. The greatest punishment is eternity in hell, and both Hitler and Lenin, who abused the people of God, have been serving their punishment in hell for a long time.

God does not explain why He allows evil rulers in His program, but He does tell us how to respond to them. If we live right in their eyes, we will often live and prosper as Daniel and his friends. At the same time, Peter and Paul both suffered hard deaths at the hands of evil emperors. Persecution is a part of life, but God can use that for good, as in the spread of the gospel.

Related Topics:

Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

Why does God allow the innocent to suffer?

Why did God allow the Holocaust?

Does God make mistakes?

Did God create evil?

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Why does God allow evil men like Hitler and Saddam to come into power?