Why did God allow Adam and Eve to sin? Why is death the result of sin?

Why did God allow Adam and Eve to sin? Why is death the result of sin?

After hearing the story of creation and the Garden of Eden, youngsters at Vacation Bible School posed numerous questions including these two. Let’s start with the second. Sin is everything that is in opposition to God.

God, creator of the universe is the embodiment of love, justice and all that is good. Therefore, that which is unlovely, unjust and bad, qualifies as sin. But sin is more than that. Whenever we choose to put anything—job, possessions, family, wealth, career, personal aggrandizement, etc.—ahead of God, we are turning our back on God and therefore are sinning. God has proclaimed that this sinning separates us from God.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

When we lose our ability to hear God and to know how to behave according to his standards, we experience a form of spiritual death. This separation from God carries over into the afterlife where that death is forever, and heartache, torment and pain becomes an eternal punishment.

Why, then, did God allow Adam and Eve to sin? This answer is simple. God loved Adam and Eve just as much as he loves each of us. He loved us so much that he says that he made men and women in his image. (Genesis 2:1-25) He gave humans the capacity to think rationally, to communicate with one another and with God, and to love.

Everyone who has loved or been loved understands that love is a choice. God didn’t force man to love him, he offered him a choice. He created a paradise devoid of sin where Adam and Eve enjoyed perfect fellowship with God. They loved him because God love them so much that he provided for all of their needs. Unfortunately, the risk God took in giving humans free will (to love him or not) was that they might choose to reject his guidance as they did when tempted in the garden.

Listening to Satan and choosing to eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree was the first act of sin and resulted in death coming to the first man. (Genesis 3:1-24) Spiritual death came first as man was separated from God and driven out of the garden. Physical death followed for Adam and Eve and everyone thereafter.

However, God didn’t give up on man. His love never stopped. In fact, he loved humans so much that he provided a way to restore fellowship with them. The death that came because sin had to be reconciled. Therefore, God performed an ultimate act of love. He sent his own son, Jesus, to take the punishment for the sins of you and me and everyone who has ever lived and everyone who is yet to be born. All he asks is that each of us who want to have a forever relationship with God, acknowledge that we are sinners in need of redemption and accept the gift of life he has to offer. To learn more about how to obtain this gift of live and turn your back on sin, we encourage you to  read our May 5th blogpost: How does one become a Christian?

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay
If Christianity is really the only way to eternal life, then why doesn’t everyone become a Christian?

If Christianity is really the only way to eternal life, then why doesn’t everyone become a Christian?

The first reason that not everyone becomes a Christian is as simple as unbelief. If people don’t believe that God exists or that they can have eternal life with him, then they are most unlikely to consider becoming a Christian. Unbelief can arise from three things: a genuine unawareness of the Christian faith; preconceived notions of what it means to be a Christian—it’s “no fun,” “not cool,” “too many rules,” a lot of “thou shalt nots”— which makes the faith unappealing; or a stubborn unwillingness to examine the truth claims of Christianity and the evidence for them.

Pride also fuels unbelief, as does sloth. If becoming a Christian means putting God first in their lives and following certain disciplines, then many people want no part of living the Christian life. They may also be held back by the fear of ridicule and rejection by unbelieving family, friends, or colleagues, or being “canceled” through social media.

Another stumbling block to seeking eternal life with God is that unbelievers simply can’t picture the glories of heaven implied in these words from a letter written by Paul, an apostle of Jesus, to the church in the Greek city of Corinth:

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
the things God has prepared for those who love him—

1 Corinthians 2:9

The cartoonish depiction of someone sitting on a cloud strumming a harp leads many to think that heaven, if it exists, would be “boring” and thus not worth pursuing. However, the glorious promises of Scripture are affirmed by countless near-death experiences such as those documented in books like John Burke’s Imagine Heaven. This book and others also testify to the reality of an afterlife in hell.

In his account of Jesus’s life and ministry, John, one of Jesus’ closest disciples gives us the main reason why not everyone becomes a Christian:

“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”

John 3:19

Rather than sending people to hell, we learn, God gives them a choice. We encourage you to love the light, reject the darkness, and choose “the things God has prepared for those who love Him.”

If you would like to learn more about how you can be assured of enjoying an eternity where all doubts end, where there is no more pain, or suffering…an eternity beyond your greatest imaginings, we encourage you to read our May 5th blogpost: How does one become a Christian?

How does One Become a Christian?

How does One Become a Christian?

Maybe you’ve gone to church when you were younger, but never took that step to become a Christian. Maybe you’ve been living your life your own way and not taking into account what it takes to live life differently, one with meaning and purpose. Man looks on the outside but it’s really our hearts and our character that God is concerned about.

Becoming a Christian requires a decision. In the Bible we read:

“if you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that He was raised from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:8-11

Jesus waits patiently for our decision and our heart to be open to receive Him and His love. God responds to genuine humility and sincere acknowledgment that one is a sinner in need of a Savior and seeks God’s forgiveness and acceptance. God is loving and merciful and does not want anyone to be lost.

If becoming a Christian is the desire of your heart, I encourage you to talk to God and voice this simple prayer. You can do this aloud or silently because God hears your heart speaking as well as your mouth. In your own words, admit you are sinner in need of a Savior. Then ask God to help you turn away from your old way of living and thinking. (This is called repentence.) Invite God into your life and promise to follow Him for the rest of your days.

When you pray this sincerely, God, in the form of the Holy Spirit will enter your your mind and heart bringing peace, forgiveness of your sins, and assurance of eternal life with God after you physically die.
When you seek God’s forgiveness for your sin and acknowledge Jesus as your savior, you become a child of God. In effect, you become ‘born again’, a new creation in Christ and enter into a personal relationship with Him. The old life will have passed away and a new life will begin. Will everything in this life suddenly become perfect? No. But how you see and react to your circumstances and the people around you will change for the better.

Giving your life to Jesus is the most important decision you can ever make. Eternity hangs in the balance; heaven or hell. Today is the day of decision.

 

Was Jesus’ Resurrection real? Is He alive today?

Was Jesus’ Resurrection real? Is He alive today?

Few events in antiquity are as well documented as the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Anointed One. All of Christianity hinges on the answer to this question. If there was no resurrection, there would be no Christianity.

Consider this: there were over 500 witnesses to Jesus’ return to life after being crucified dead and buried. The Romans made no mistakes when they killed someone. They were expert at the art of death. Yet, three days later, Jesus appeared to his disciples, to several women, to two men walking on the road to Emmaus, to a doubting Thomas and two others. Jesus was definitely dead and he was definitely resurrected. But unlike others who were raised from the dead only to die again at a future date, Jesus was very much alive when he departed this earth in front of witnesses. He was and is alive today, but not in the human form in which he lived 2,000 years ago.

Today, Jesus reigns with His father, God, in heaven and is preparing a place for every believer to join Him there. But one doesn’t have to wait for the end of life on earth to encounter Jesus, because when he departed he promised to send his Spirit to serve as advocate, counselor, and comforter to those who believe in the resurrected Jesus and sincerely ask him to be his or her savior.

Jesus, who has the power and authority to hold together every atom in the universe, is the same Jesus who died for the sins of mankind and was resurrected to declare his power to triumph over death. One day Jesus will return to earth just like he left it to rule and reign as King of kings. Are you ready to meet him in this world or the next? If you would like to learn more, please visit our Next Steps page.

Does man have a Noble purpose or do we just exist? Part 2

Does man have a Noble purpose or do we just exist? Part 2

Last week we took an overview approach to answer this question focusing on God’s love. This week we have taken an in-depth search of Scriptures to see what else we can discover about whether or not mankind has a noble purpose ordained by its creator, God.

First, what is man that God is mindful of him? (Psalm 8:4). Well, God created man, a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:5), with a purpose to rule over the planet Earth (Genesis 1:28). This purpose was in direct conflict with the former most powerful ruler of Earth, Satan.  Satan attacks man even to this day to remove man as ruler and for Satan to try to gain back his rule over Earth and to destroy Israel.

But, Jesus the Lord God takes on flesh of a man (Hebrews 2:9), coming to Earth as the “son of man.” This son of man defeats Satan at the cross, and is crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:9; Psalm 8:5). Jesus raises man to a highly elevated position as a son of God and brother of Jesus, through placement in Christ (Ephesians 2:6) and adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4-5), for those who receive him (John 1:12). Man is thus raised to the highest place of significance far above that of the place of Satan.

Such a work of God brings glory to God revealing his wonderful grace and mercy. Further, after having raised man to a high position in Christ, God then uses man to join with Him in order to carry out God’s will on Earth.

Man’s purpose is thus: To be an instrument used by God in the face of a powerful enemy, wherein God rules planet Earth through man, to accomplish God’s purposes, and so bring glory to God (1Peter 4:11; Ephesians 1:12; 1 Corinthians 10:31). Therefore, we can conclude positively from the Scriptures that man has a noble purpose. A purpose that is good and honorable. A purpose that can be admired due to its impressive value in and through the work and activity of God.

If you would like to learn more about how you can become intimately connected to God and truly understand his purpose for you, please go to our Next Steps page.

(Note: The reference to man refers to mankind and includes both men and women, sons and daughters).

How can I leave a Legacy as a Christian?

How can I leave a Legacy as a Christian?

Before we present the answer to this question, allow us to pose another for you to ponder. It may sound a little strange, but think about it for just a moment: what do you want people to say about you at your funeral? Do you want people to say that you were funny, or that you were financially successful? Do you want people to think you were generous or friendly, or a hard worker? Is that enough for you or do you want more? A legacy is about how we are remembered when we are gone. We all leave a legacy. It’s simply a question of what it will be. In fact, you are building your legacy right now. When we die, our legacy lives on. A legacy may even last forever. The Bible says three things in life last forever: God (Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalm 100:5) The Word of God (Isaiah 40:8, Psalm 119:89) The souls of people (Daniel 12:2, John 3:16, Hebrews 9:27).

If you want to leave a legacy as a Christian, you must build your life around these three eternal things. As a Christian you leave a legacy by investing your time, talent and treasure in God and in the things of God. You get to know him, love him, and serve him. You worship him regularly, and learn his ways. You do things that will give him glory. You give financially to his kingdom through churches, ministries and missionaries who are spreading his word. You listen to his Spirit as He guides and directs you throughout your life. As a Christian, you leave a legacy by knowing the Bible and speaking it to everyone all around you with your life, your words and your actions. You teach God’s word to your kids, you share with your neighbor. God’s word is your authority and source of hope in a lost and broken world. You study God’s word to allow it to inform your life. As you do this, your character changes and you become more like Jesus.

As a Christian, you leave a legacy by investing in other people. People live forever, either with or without God. You share with others how they can know Jesus to ensure they will spend eternity with him. You disciple and mentor people, you love and serve and guide them. People and relationships are the most important thing to God. Jesus loved people and taught them, fed them, healed them and ultimately gave his life for that. At your funeral, what if instead of people saying that you were funny, they said, “here was a man who changed the world because he invested in eternity,” or “here is a woman who invested in God, the word of God, and other people. She is someone who left a great legacy.”

If you want to leave a legacy as a Christian, you must situate your life around these three eternal things. As a Christian you leave a legacy by investing your time, talent and treasure in God and in the things of God. You get to know him, love him, and serve him. You worship him regularly, and learn his ways. You do things that will give him glory. You give financially to his kingdom through churches, ministries and missionaries who are spreading his word. You listen to his Spirit as He guides and directs you throughout your life. As a Christian, you leave a legacy by knowing the Bible and speaking it to everyone all around you with your life, your words and your actions. You teach God’s word to your kids, you share with your neighbor. God’s word is your authority and source of hope in a lost and broken world. You study God’s word to allow it to inform your life. As you do this, your character changes and you become more like Jesus.

As a Christian, you leave a legacy by investing in other people. People live forever, either with or without God. You share with others how they can know Jesus to ensure they will spend eternity with him. You disciple and mentor people, you love and serve and guide them. People and relationships are the most important thing to God. Jesus loved people and taught them, fed them, healed them and ultimately gave his life for that. At your funeral, what if instead of people saying that you were funny, they said, “here was a man who changed the world because he invested in eternity,” or “here is a woman who invested in God, the word of God, and other people. She is someone who left a great legacy.”