We have explored the fact that Jesus Christ believed mankind was created at the beginning of time. We have discussed the references from Paul, John, David, Peter, indicating that they firmly supported the testimony of early patriarchs, and the Genesis account, specifically the actuality of a global deluge. For example:
2 Peter 2:5:
“if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly”
“For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”
“By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.”
2 Peter 3:5–6
“For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.”
I was teaching the other day at church, and someone asked (believers in molecules-to-man evolution have asked several times as well) why does it matter how old the Earth is? In other words, why must this be a node that our faith hinges on? Or maybe more to the point, why am I so passionate about exploring it?
I will repeat this point to start, that being saved by the propitiation of Christ does NOT hinge upon origin beliefs. You can absolutely be saved by faith in Christ and still believe the Big Bang theory created everything from nothing, and that spontaneous matter flew through the empty vacuum of space evolving into massive stars, which then exploded into more stars creating heavier elements, which eventually coalesced into orderly solar systems upon which billions of years affected its habitability so that abiogenesis could take place, which led to the slow development of continually more complex organisms despite observable entropy, until eventually man sprouted from the animal kingdom evolved enough to begin understanding a God that set it all in motion. Yes, you can believe this (despite the lack of evidence, and the fact that it was invented to escape the reality of God 200 years ago), and be saved. But at what point will a logical student, who is learning this as a world view in college, start to realize that if this is true, then the bible must not be?
What do I mean? Consider the amount of death that took place in order to bring about mankind within the evolutionary model. Billions of dead animals, and man-like creatures eventually rising to an evolved enough state to proclaim that there is a God. Not only death, but thorns, cancer, disease, arthritis, abscesses, tumors, rickets, syphilis, all before man and the fall in fossil record.
Then we read,
“Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.””
And later, a messiah who shall lift this curse:
Colossians 1:20 – and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross
Revelations 21:4 – And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away
Revelations 22:3 – And there shall be no more curse.
At what point will the student realize school is teaching him or her that
a) this was all by accident instead
b) death is not the unnatural enemy and curse of mankind, but a means of creation via mutation
c) if it took millions of years of evolution, at what point did God impart souls to people? or are there no souls in reality?
d) if what we see in geology is not the result of an obvious flood, but instead of millions of years of erosion, then Christ, Moses, David, Peter, Paul, John and others were all lying or just story telling (Nearly every book in the bible refers to Genesis (over 200 times in NT alone))
e) if my parents asked me to believe all this in Genesis, and it isn’t true, and they also asked me to believe in a virgin birth, miracles, the death and resurrection of Christ, them why should I believe it?
f) religion must be man made…
This is perhaps the reason that 75% of church going students who go off to college drop away from the church, and from their faith in the Good News of Christ. As with the parable of Christ, the world is not fertile ground, but is instead hard ground and thorns which will not allow faith to grow.
But, when Paul relays the gospel to us, what phrase is repeated in 1 Corinthians 15: 3-4:
“that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures”
According to the scriptures! This means we should expect them to be accurate! If we consider the scriptures, the hundreds of fulfilled prophecies (uncanny proof of their veracity), if we consider the geography presented – even skeptic archaeologists use the exactitude of the bible to uncover ancient discoveries in the Middle East, places like Ur and Nineveh, which date back to before Abraham – if we consider the eye-witness testimony, we should very easily be able to apply it to our world view with no problem. And we can! Abraham is in Genesis, and from Abraham on, we have abundant evidence that things happened just as was stated by eye-witnesses, and recorded by Moses. It was then verified by prophets and historians for centuries, and backed with prophecy, and miracles, not the least of which involves an empty tomb, also verified by history.
This is played out similarly in the word, when it says in 1 Corinthians 1:23:
“but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles”
Why foolishness to the Gentiles? Because they have no frame of reference with which to believe such a story. They do not accept the concept of sin, or God, of God’s law, or the fall of man, and therefore do not even acknowledge their need for salvation. This was addressed also in Acts by Paul, who had to explain who God was when he preached to non-Jews. He was not preaching to people who were waiting for a messiah. He was preaching to a people who had no idea they needed one!
This is the secular environment of the world today. Christianity seems like foolishness to the world, to America, to students on college campus. It doesn’t matter that the anti-god world view of those they look up to, learn from, and revere, has no evidence to support it. It is what they prefer, for in that world view, they need not ever humble themselves, and the world before them is a justified buffet of consequence-free pleasure, and power, for anyone strong enough to get it.
Often, an atheist will contemplate the meaning of life, as we all do, yet they do so with the naturalistic world view. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson stated, we are nothing but stardust. Existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre said, “I existed like a stone, a plant, a microbe… I was just thinking… that here we are, all of us, eating and drinking, to preserve our precious existence and there’s nothing, nothing, absolutely no reason for existing.” If we are truly an accident, a blip, then the cold truth is, life has no meaning. It is a fleeting thing, and we are as worthless as the ant, the leaf, and the rock. Your feelings are happenstance, and your moral compass is random programming.
It is with this understanding that I consider the bible, and must logically conclude it must either teach truth, or all be a deranged hoax. This is a serious consideration, and if it is true, which I think it clearly is, then how could I not be passionate about the hope we have in Jesus Christ! How could I not also push for others to understand that when the bible is taken as truth, the world very much makes sense within its framework. As well it should, for God created it! In it we have answers from archaeology, genetics, paleontology, geology, biology, and cosmology, just to name a few.
At what point could someone see all this, believe all this, verify all this, a God who wrote you a love letter, and a history of the world, over a 1400 year period, which has withheld critics for centuries and stood strong under the most extreme scrutiny, and then choose to believe all but the beginning, the very reason a messiah is needed, and the very reason that screams to us all how special a creation we are, thereby causing everyone in the rest of the book to be lying, or foolish. Not only that, but would instead chose to believe a team of men who set out specifically to concoct a theory that would disparage God’s word (and succeeded), the consequences of which cost 100’s of millions of lives.
And all this damage, this godless, twisted result, all of it so that a person can impose their will for a time before a meaningless death consumes them. Whether the life of an atheist is perceived as good or bad, it could not matter one iota, as the end must be the hopelessness of nothing, tantamount to never having been at all.