Everything was perfect in the beginning, so what went wrong?
Adam and Eve were created to live for eternity in a close and personal relationship with God, along with all their descendants.
So what went wrong?
Lucifer went wrong, and then Adam and Eve went wrong, that’s what...or who...went wrong.
Here's what happened:
God created Lucifer (Latin "morning star", lit. "light-bringing") as a perfect, beautiful, high-ranking angel.
(Yes there is a hierarchy in Heaven, however it’s a hierarchy based on love, respect and reverence, not power or status-seeking. It’s the natural order of things in the best possible sense).
Lucifer became dissatisfied with his position and wanted to be even higher up and have a position next to God, or thereabouts.
God, for good reason, couldn’t allow this.
Lucifer reacted by publicly casting doubt on God’s good character, motives and methods of government and incited discontent and rebellion against God amongst the other angels.
There was "war" in Heaven.
(The Greek word suggests it was more of a heated war of words i.e. a political stoush).
Lucifer and his followers lost, unsurprisingly, and they were cast down to earth (lucky us).
Lucifer, now Satan (lit. "adversary", "one who plots against another"), tempted Eve with the fruit of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil". Gen 3:1-6
God had told Adam and Eve that they may eat from any tree in the garden except one. He warned them that they would die if they ate from that tree.
Satan very cleverly placed doubt in Eve’s mind about God’s motives concerning His instruction not to eat from the one tree.
He portrayed God as not wanting the very best for them, as He was withholding from them this beautiful fruit i.e. God is less than perfectly generous, indeed He is selfish.
Satan said they wouldn’t die, rather they "will be like God, knowing good and evil" i.e God is a liar and He wants to keep His own position secure.
He subtly caused Eve to doubt God’s word and His warning, and he cast aspersions on God’s very character.
Satan succeeded in destroying the true picture of God in Eve's mind.
(As Solomon said: "there is nothing new under the sun" Ecc 1:9).
Eve chose to trust Satan more than God and she ate the fruit.
(The Bible doesn’t call it an apple).
Adam chose to follow Eve’s example.
Adam and Eve’s close, intimate relationship with God ended.
This manifested in their losing their covering robes of innocence and purity, and their eternal life.
Everything changed, for the worse, from that moment.
Sin (evil) had entered the world, and with it came suffering, decay, and death.
There now entered predators and prey; thorns and thistles; toil and woe.
Time passed and the human race went so far downhill ("the wickedness of man was great" and every intent was "only evil continually") that God decided to start again, so He brought on the global flood and preserved only 8 people.
God didn’t create evil.
God created Lucifer.
Lucifer chose to rebel against God's government; he chose pride, personal ambition and self-seeking over his Creator’s perfect love.
Adam and Eve chose to listen to Lucifer and also rebel against God and so passed on a sinful nature to all their descendants.
Here we are.
God’s justice is fair. He wants the best for us, however sin hurts His children.
There must therefore be a price to pay for wrongdoing, otherwise anarchy would reign and no-one would be safe.
God is just.
This element of God’s character fits our picture perfectly.
God knows the end from the beginning, so why did He create Lucifer knowing he would become Satan?
Why didn’t God destroy Lucifer and the other angels when they rebelled?
If God is omnipotent and loving, why did He allow death and suffering to start, and continue for so long, when He could have stopped it and still can?
Why doesn’t He just come down, show who’s the boss and put an end to all the conflict and misery?
The answer to all these questions is simple, yet foundational, and can be found in knowing who God is, in knowing His true character; the true picture of God reveals His motives.
The Creation page explained why God created us.
It’s all about our Creator, by His nature, desiring a close and personal relationship with us, for eternity.
We have children full well knowing that they eventually might rebel and turn away from us, not love us, dislike or even hate us.
We have children anyway.
Why? To validate our existence? To continue our line? To propagate our species?
Perhaps, in this fallen world, there are elements of those motives involved.
I believe, however, that we have children primarily because we are made in God's image, or likeness, and thus made with the creative and relational impulses that are innate in God's character.
Our natural inclination is thus to procreate, and our children become the subject of the love that God has made essential to our nature.
We naturally want to nurture our children, care for them, help them grow, and have a close, mutually loving relationship with them.
These are unselfish motives.
They are a reflection of God’s motives for creating us, and other intelligent beings.
When we choose to have children, we take a chance.
When God created us, and the angels, He also took a chance.
God won’t coerce us into a relationship with Him, or use force to obtain our worship and reverence.
That’s not His character.
The only way that God can be sure that the love, worship and obedience we give Him is genuine, sincere and from the heart is if He gives us complete, absolute freedom of choice.
This freedom is the basis of God’s kingdom, His government, and our present reality.
God wants us to know Him.
When we truly know Him, we will be so drawn to Him, to the beauty of His character, that our submission will be voluntary, our worship willing and our obedience from the heart.
God will bring an end to sin and death, however sin must have its outworking.
At some point, God will destroy all the lost, restore peace and perfection, and there will be no more death or suffering.
This will occur after He has let sin run its course, according to His perfect plan, so that all creation can see the ultimate results of sin and rebellion against God.
There will then be no doubt in any mind that God’s wisdom and judgment are perfect, and His character perfectly selfless.
The whole universe will bear witness that God is good, His government is just and that He is worthy of respect, reverence and adoration.
God’s people, those who choose God out of free will, will vindicate God’s character.
They have repented, turned away from sin and accepted Jesus as their Lord and their Redeemer, out of their own free will.
Sin will not rise again.
God doesn’t want to lose one person.
He loves each one of us more than we can comprehend.
He hates to see us suffering.
The reality is, however, that the result and reward of sin is death.
The choice is ours.
In this Great Controversy, God actually cares what we think of Him!
He greatly values our opinion of Him!
God won’t destroy Satan and his followers...yet.
He won’t destroy the earth and start again...yet.
He won’t end death and suffering...yet.
He will though, at His appointed time, when Jesus returns.
In the meantime, He is yearning for every one of us to turn to Him, to choose Him, to know Him.
Not out of fear, or want of reward, but simply because of who He is.
This piece of the picture of God is in absolute harmony will all the others.
It fits perfectly.
Below are some recommended videos on this topic. Yes, they are all David Asscherick on this particular topic however I suggest you persevere with him, along with Ty Gibson and Doug Batchelor, to get a consistent, coherent and thorough understanding of Bible truth. There are millions of religious websites and YouTube videos with millions of different viewpoints, doctrines and theologies. Ask God to lead you to the truth. He led me here; see where He leads you.