Associate Editorial

Creation ... Do You Believe It?

Larry Fain

Genesis 1:1

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

A simple verse with a very simple meaning. The first verse of the Bible, the word of God. In the beginning, the first day, at the start of time, at the initiation of the universe, God, the Almighty, the Supreme God, created, made from nothing, all that is. Do you believe this first verse of the Bible? It is amazing to me just how many people do not believe this verse, and especially how many professing Christians do not believe this very elementary passage of scripture. When I say that many professing Christians do not believe the verse, I mean that they do not accept it for just what it says. Somehow or another, they insist we must get the Bible to conform to "science," whatever that is. After all, we have been taught all of this evolution stuff for so long, can they all really be wrong and we few Christians be right? Surely there must be some harmony between "science" and the Bible.

Colossians 1:13-20, "Who {God} delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love; in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins: who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; and he is before all things, and in him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it was the good pleasure of the Father that in him should all the fulness dwell; and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him, I say, whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens." (ASV)

The basis of Christianity is the person of Jesus Christ. The only confession an alien sinner is ever commanded to make in order to become a child of God is called "the good confession" in 1 Timothy 6:12-13. The words of that confession are recorded from the mouth of the Ethiopian nobleman, in Acts 8:37, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." The Apostle Paul, in the Colossians text cited, spoke the basic truth about Jesus Christ, the "Son of His love." IF we believe that in Him, in Christ, the Son of God, we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins; IF we believe that He is the head of the body, the church; and IF we believe that He has made peace in the world through the blood of His cross; THEN we must believe that in Jesus Christ, the Son of God's love, "were all things created," and through Him "all things have been created."

We dare not tamper with the truth about the identity of the Son of God. We dare not mingle one word of human interjection into the story of the virgin birth of Jesus, the sinless life of Jesus, or the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. We do so at grave risk to our eternal souls (Revelation 22:18-19 et. al.). Why, then, do we want to handle loosely the story of creation? Why can't we say that the Bible teaches just exactly what the Bible says?

Get your Bibles out and look, with your own eyes, at Genesis 1:1. Now look at Genesis 1:2. Is there a gap there between those verses in your Bible? Is there anything there that indicates that billions of years passed from verse one to verse two? Is there a passage that is to be inserted there that indicates, even minutely, that God intended us to believe verses one and two do not belong together in the same narrative?

For the sake of harmonizing with science and human reasoning, many people have accepted what is called "the gap theory." The gap theory says that God created everything billions of years ago in verse one, and then in verse two, He begins the story of Adam and Eve and man's redemption. Why do people believe this? They buy into the idea that carbon dating is more reliable than the Bible. They accept the notion that the fossils could not be less than millions of years old since some are found in such hard rock formations. They see the grand old trees of the universe and the rings inside the trees and believe some "scientist" that says that each ring must mean that it has been here for however many thousands or millions of years. They believe the "scientist" rather than the word of God.

Then there are the dinosaurs, the "pre-historic" animals that crept over the earth, whatever "pre-historic" means. If God said, "in the beginning" and there was history before the beginning, doesn't it stand to reason that whenever this pre-historic period was would then become the beginning? Can anything precede the beginning except God, who we know is eternal? The only thing I know about dinosaurs is that if they existed on the earth, they were created on the sixth day along with man (Genesis 1:25 ... note the word "everything"). Does God mean what He says? If He fudged on the story of creation, maybe Mary was just a young maiden and not a virgin. Maybe Jesus did just swoon on the cross, and never died. Maybe Joseph Smith did have an encounter with the angel Moroni. Maybe Oral Roberts did see a 300 foot Jesus who told him to build a great medical complex that now stands partly in ruins and partly as a thriving commercial office complex. Who and what do you believe?

I was asked recently by a faithful brother why I make such a big deal over the six 24 hour day creation and a young (6,000 - 8,000 year old) earth. The answer is simple. I believe what the Bible says, and the words in the Bible come directly from God! 1 Corinthians 2:9-13, "But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.' But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual."

The Holy Spirit of God speaks to us in words. These words are revealed and recorded and preserved in the Bible and they mean exactly what they say. When God says "everything" in Genesis 1:25, He left out nothing. In Genesis 6:19, when God tells Noah to put into the ark "of every living thing of all flesh," He intended for nothing to be left out. When Jesus said, in John 3:3, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.", He meant that no man could see the kingdom of God except those who were born again. When Jesus said, in Matthew 19:9, "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.", He meant that there was only one exception to the law that says once a man is married, he cannot marry again. The exception: if the cause of the divorce of the first mate was sexual immorality. Is that so hard to understand? Evidently it is as hard as believing that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." When Jesus said, in Matthew 28:18, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth," He meant that there was no authority in heaven and on earth but His. That is why it is so important to start out right by believing the book of Genesis just exactly for what it says. If He lied in Genesis, He lied in Luke, and if He lied in Genesis and Luke, He lied in Acts, and on and on. You can see that if there is any lie in the Book, the Book must be discarded. Is that where we want to go?

Now, for some applications, and why we need watchmen today. Recently I have seen where churches are inviting a group of brethren who are scientists to put on a seminar showing why people need to believe in creation and not evolution. I do not judge the motives of churches or the brethren involved, but there is a serious danger in the things being said. In every advertisement I have seen from this group, they stress that they are not preachers, but scientists. Why is that so important? Is it important at all? Is it even scriptural? What is wrong with preaching? What is wrong with preachers? I do not need a university degree in anything to tell you the truth about creation. Hebrews 11:3, "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible." The inspired writer did not say that by scientific evidence we understand. He said by faith. Further, the inspired apostle of the Corinthian correspondence said, 1 Corinthians 1:21, "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." Through the foolishness of the message preached, men are saved. There is nothing wrong with preaching. Rather, there is everything right with preaching the gospel.

Another example is important here. A brother with scientific credentials came to a University campus for a two day presentation on the appropriate application of the evidence of the fossil record. The evidence was impressive as was the presentation. The conclusion of the brother was that the fossil record evidence clearly supported an intelligent creator as the originator of the universe -- not some big bang. The conclusion was totally accurate. However, the brother erred greatly the night I heard him speak. For two hours or more he argued vehemently for the Creator, but when he was through, he had failed to tell his audience the Creator's name or the name of His Son. When and if you ever convince an atheist that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," what have you accomplished? You have only succeeded in making sure his soul burns in hell for eternity; for, unless the atheist believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, he will surely die in his sins (John 8:24). We have to tell the whole story. We must preach "the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27).

The record of the first seven days of the earth is a record that is specific, orderly, and true. It is supported throughout the rest of the Bible. Moses ratified the account in the giving of the Ten Commandment Law. Exodus 20:11, "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." If you were to run a concordance reference chain on the various forms of the word "create," you would find that creature, creation, creator and such words are found in at least 120 verses. Creation takes a prominent place in the common language of the Bible.

By definition, the Book of Genesis is a book of Beginnings. Included in the list of beginnings in the book must be the beginning of faith. Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Creation is the beginning of the proof that God is. We must take the rest of the evidence and believe what the Bible says about the reward of the believer. There is no need to alter in any way the story of creation. It stands as the great testimony of God concerning our own personal origin and our perpetual destination. Do you know where you came from? More importantly, do you know where you are going? In the words of the cartoon drawing my late mother distributed around the offices of our family business several years ago, "I am somebody, cause God didn't make no junk." Genesis 1:31, "Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

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