There is an equilibrium between good and evil in the universe, and this is true in every detail and particular. For every good society in heaven there is a counter and opposite evil society in hell. Both heaven and hell have innumerable gradations and each particular one is the opposite polarity of its counterpart. At the same time, it is entirely true that God is never less than pure Good, love and wisdom. It is difficult to understand how these are both true, but a worthwhile study to be able to articulate to our self how it is so.
I think the answer lies in following the implication of the following (mind bending) principle to its end: God is omnipotent and omnipresent AND, at the same time, God follows his own laws of divine order.
To begin God did not create evil. The existence of evil is inevitable with freedom. (This is what the story of the fall is about). Man is the cause of evil. It is important to embrace the truth that God is never anything less than pure love and wisdom. It is abhorrent to even think that the divine could think, create, or be evil. If God were to do evil for an instant the universe would cease to exist – similar to the way in a sun, once it begins to produce iron in its core it is mere seconds away from exploding. God sustains the whole of the universe every moment by his might alone with the same power it took to create the universe. Understanding that God is never less than love seems to be very elusive for many people, but it is extremely important. In Him is infinite variety, infinite wisdom, and infinite love. God is self-contained, and has no need but one, and that is to be of use to mankind.
Man can only be man, that is, he can only have a self if he is in freedom, for freedom inherently includes the possibility of willing evil – there is no escaping this reality. So as shown in the story of the fall man abused freedom, and it gradually came to be that there is an equilibrium between good and evil and between heaven and hell. Heaven and hell can both influence man, but neither can compel man, for to compel would be to compromise freedom. Many people choose evil. So evil is caused by man, not God, but God allows it so that man can have life. Man’s life exists by virtue of forming a ruling love that he freely chooses. An important scripture that speaks to the inevitability of equilibrium in the universe and our choice in determining our place is this: “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” The first rule to receiving God is to resist evil. To the degree we reject evil we can receive God and His good. Without strife we cannot appreciate harmony, without ugliness we cannot appreciate beauty, without conflict there is no story. There must be contrast and variety for there to be life, growth, and perception. Contrast and variety provide the vitality in life. If everything were monotone, as in a white-out, or black-out, there would be no perception or individual identity.
This is why it is inherent to the life of humanity that it can not be otherwise but that there is good and evil; but the most essential reason there is equilibrium between heaven and hell is that freedom is the fulcrum upon which the life, self-hood, and the salvation of man depends. Freedom is both the means of salvation and the cause of hell. Human freedom stands upon the point of perfect balance between good and evil, and God alone maintains this balance point with his infinite might. If one or the other were to begin to increase in power above the other freedom would be compromised and man’s self-hood would be lost. Man’s freedom is a sacred law of divine order, for humans have no existence without it. Three times in history hell began to over-run heaven; at the time of Noah, the advent of Jesus, and in the second coming. Each time God had a plan and by his might alone corrected it.
It is an important to see that Human salvation completely depends on freedom. In grasping this we can look to a simple truth that we all know and experience, and that is, that to have a friend, or to be in love with someone, we know it must be mutual; both parties must agree to the bond. In the same way the relationship between man and God is reciprocal; it is not possible for humans to bond with God unless we act in freedom from the love from our own will. He is always turned to us, and, as He said, ‘we must turn to Him’. In love and awareness; love is of the will, and awareness of the mind – they are the heat and light that forge the bond between humans and God.
Nevertheless, the last thing this equilibrium means is that good and evil can be relativized. Good and evil are opposite and utterly abhorrent. This is why in the spiritual world heaven and hell are completely separate and cannot mix. But here on earth we are in the midst of good and evil. The truth that they are in equilibrium does not take away from the terrible consequences of evil choices in life. This is what is meant by the statement, ‘woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.’ In the battle between good and evil, it is paramount that we favor the good in our heart. Whether it bears fruit or not, we must still try for God knows our heart and our salvation depends on it.
Furthermore, it is helpful to see that it is a universal truth that nothing can exist unless it is in equilibrium. (This is a huge subject I have written about on my blog, so I wont say much about it here, but it is essential to this subject, so will say a little.) Equilibrium is true of the sun; it is true of an atom, and everything in between and beyond. The reason equilibrium is universal is that it is the nature of God. In God it is called the Holy marriage, which is between His divine human and soul. The natural creation that most corresponds to God is the sun. The sun is a raging equilibrium between the force of gravity and nuclear fusion in its core, that results in a sphere. The nature of God is union. The truth that God follows his own define laws is a paradox of the nature of union in him, i.e., He is the creator and sustainer of man’s freedom and He will not violate man’s freedom. We see this in the Gospel many times, for instance when He tells Peter to put away his sword at His arrest: “Don’t you know I could bring down legions of angels to destroy my enemies?” But He doesn’t because He knows Man can only be transformed in freedom, and does not transgress this. God made his human divine, and the two are one in union, and this is the fountain from which all life springs. So everything that exists in order to exist no matter how big or small is in a state of equilibrium. This is an expression of how all things repeat the form of that which created it.
Now having said all this, the best way to see how life is a battle between good and evil is to look in our self, in the problems of those around us, in history, in politics today, and at the books of the Bible.