Does God Tempt?

By Philip S. North

The above question is often asked by Christians and non-christians alike. Hopefully, it is inquired of through sincerity of heart rather than maliciousness of attitude. Let us deal with it in this article.

To answer the question “point blank,” one only needs to turn in the inspired Word of God to James 1:13 where we read, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” God is not to be blamed for the sin that exists in this world today. Mankind is to be blamed (Rom. 5:12-14). One need not blame God for such sinful practices as adultery, murder, lying, stealing, homosexuality, drug abuse, etc.

However, swinging the pendulum the other way around, one also need not blame God for denominationalism, modernism, institutionalism, Neo-Calvinism, etc. God did not institute sin of any fashion in this world. Man did by his disobedience to God and his obedience to Satan. I often hear people speak of how God came and their child, or wife, or husband, or mother, and so on was a punishment to them. Such ought not to be in any way at all preached, practiced, or taught-or even believed one iota. I Jn. 4:8 teaches us that “God is love.” Then in 1 Jn. 1:5 we read that “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” John 3:33 tells us in the last part of this verse that “God is true.”

Certainly we can see that God is not one who would create evil things and cause us to turn from Him as His children! One can even realize in the book of Genesis in Chapters I and 2 just what God is the Creator, author, and finisher of. Time after time Genesis says, “and God saw that it was good.” Every, single, solitary being and thing that our Creator brought forth and formed was good, perfect, and clean. God does not cause evil. He merely allows it to happen. It is a test of our faith to see if we are the children that we profess and are supposed to be. Any individual that stubbornly persists on blaming the good Lord for his faults, shortcomings, and evil happenings is equal to a lying child (brat) that blames someone else for his naughty ways. To blame God is to blaspheme His name! It only shows signs of spiritual and physical immaturity! It is nothing more than using God for a scapegoat. But just how are we tempted and who is behind it all? Who or what is to blame for evil?

Notice James 1:14-17: “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. I beg of you, brethren. Do not err. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Now look at the four verses closely. First, it tells us that we commit sin when we let lust take over our spirit, and allow it to be drawn away. Lust simply means “evil and inordinate desire.” Adultery and fornication are not the only sins that are born out of lust. Your lust might be for the opposite sex, to rob a bank, to kill, to lie, or whatever! In John 8:44 Jesus tells the scribes and Pharisees, “Ye are of your father, the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. . .” So we see here that we yield to sin when the devil places lusts before us and deceives us into partaking of it. Blame God? NONSENSE!! The devil is the author of all evil in this world, and not the good God of Heaven who created us and all the beauties of the heavens and earth. Shame bemoans us when we do what many children do when they do not get their way-I am speaking of “biting the hands that feed you.” Next, we see that when lust is born in our minds and is allowed to conceive, sin is the product. When sin takes and rules over, and continues to dwell there with no repentence of heart, then spiritual damage is the result-spiritual death, which is Hell. Third, James tells us that every perfect gift and every good gift comes from God. Let it not once be said of you, gentle reader, that we “bite the hands that feed.” We are to never do this to our Creator who gives us our food, clothing, shelter, children, our very life, and most important of all, His only begotten Son. We should not think God would desire to place upon us grief, hard temptations, harassment, and sins of any kind.

In fact, God is the exact opposite of such an accusation. One day, He will completely and utterly destroy sin and its father. God will help us as Christians to flee from temptation and sin if we will but only go to Him. 1 Cor. 10:13 sums it all up for us: “There hath no temptation taken you but as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” Good reader, let us never, regardless of what any heady sinner, wayward Christian, agnostic, or vain philosopher says, blame our supreme, wonderful, matchless, and all-wise Creator for our everyday blunders, sins, and shortcomings.

Truth Magazine XX: 32, pp. 502-503
August 12, 1976