One of the most important books in the Bible is Paul’s epistle to the Romans. In this letter we find the basic theology for the Christian faith. Take a look at the following verses:
- “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23)
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
- “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
These verses give us the foundational facts of the gospel: 1) every person is a sinner; 2) the punishment for sin is death; 3) that God gives people eternal life through Jesus Christ; and 4) if you believe that Jesus is Lord and that he rose from the grave, then you are saved and receive that eternal life. This is a very simple, straightforward presentation of the gospel.
One can even go further and explain what eternal life is. Revelation 21:4 teaches us, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Romans 8:19-25 adds that all creation (including animals) will be liberated from sin and death at the time of the resurrection of believers.
The Problem for Today
It used to be that many people in America, and other once Christian nations, understood what these passages meant. However, in today’s world, the amount of people who have little to no understanding of the gospel is increasing, especially among young people. What do I mean? If you would approach the average young man or woman and told them about the gospel with the above verses you may be countered with the following questions:
- What is sin?
- How can death be a punishment? Death is a part of the natural order of things. All things, people and animals, die. So how can death be a punishment?
- Why do I need to be saved? What exactly am I being saved from?
Many people do not even understand what sin really is, nor do they understand why death would be a punishment. Why is this so? Let me show you something that Jesus said. Luke 16:31 says, “He [Jesus] said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” John 5:46-47 says, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
These verses are very important to the topic at hand. Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. In the book of Genesis, Moses taught that God created the world “very good.” He then proceeds to describe how Adam and Eve brought sin into the world. Sin, according to Scripture, is the reason why death exists.
I have written other articles dealing with the creation vs. evolution debate. Jesus believed in a recent creation (not one that goes back billions of years), evolution contradicts the character and nature of God, and God will restore the world to an Eden-like paradise. The passages presented in this article (the ones in Romans, Luke, and John) just add to the reason why Christians should reject the theory of evolution.
No Understanding of the Gospel
Many people in today’s world cannot understand what sin is or why death would be a punishment for it because they have been taught that death has been a part of life since the very beginning. Evolution teaches that it is because of death and suffering why some species evolve and survive, while others go extinct. What Christians call sin (adultery, murder, theft, etc.) are only natural since our species is only trying to evolve and survive.
This is why the book of Genesis is so important. Without the book of Genesis (what Moses wrote) the gospel falls apart. Without a once pristine world, and without Adam’s sin, the very meaning of sin, death, and redemption are completely destroyed. What is Jesus saving us from if death has always been in the world? How can Jesus restore the world if it does not need to be restored? And restored to what precisely? Death and misery has always been around according to evolution. If God is to restore it, then that means that heaven will have misery and death as well.
You see, our society is so saturated with the idea of millions of years of death (evolution) that we are having a major problem with understanding the gospel. It is very difficult to get someone to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior if that person does not believe that they are a sinner and that sin is only a natural way of life. How can we get him or her to believe in Jesus if death is the mechanism of nature? How can Jesus be saving us from something that God created as part of the world? Does that mean that God messed up?
You see the problem? The theory of evolution has destroyed the foundation of everything that Jesus did and stands for. This is why Christians need to understand the creation vs. evolution debate. The gospel depends on a proper understanding of the book of beginnings. A few amazing websites that the reader can visit to help them learn more about this important topic are: www.answersingenesis.org, www.creation.com, and www.icr.org.
What do you think? Is the book of Genesis important to the gospel? Leave a comment below and see us on Facebook.