Key verse

"Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever." Psalm 119:160

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

To Whom It May Concern

I received a letter last month
 from a very confused man. 
It was addressed, 
“To Whom It May Concern.” 
Let's imagine for a moment that you had to answer this letter. 
 The letter opens, “I am a new Bible student and am having some difficulty understanding creation and how it actually came about and am hoping you will be able to clear up a few things for me.” It goes on to ask the following questions among others.         

1. If Jesus was the creator of man and he wasn't born until 6 or 5 BC, then who created all the people who lived before? The Bible also says God/Jesus created all the animals and plants of the earth; but that is all questionable because in prehistoric times, man, plants, and animals all existed before Christ was even born. So what is the truth here? I am a believer in Christ but I want to know the real truth. Is it the Bible or something else?

2. How accurate is carbon dating of human remains?
And how do we know the Bible is accurate?

3. Where was the Garden of Eden located? Genesis 2:11-14 talks about the four rivers coming out of the Garden of Eden to water it. Why can't I see them all on the map of Bible lands? What happened to them or did they not exist at all? Where did man originate?

Do you feel confident that you could give Bible-based answers to  the questions given, or is there one or more you would have trouble answering? We all need to continue to take the time to learn from God's Word and apply what we learn to every area of life. Some of your friends and family members are not getting Bible-based teaching. In fact most people aren't. There are a lot of people out there—even some Christians—who have questions about what God says or who are swallowing the lies this world tries to feed all of us.

Here are some of the answers we gave to his questions.

As for your questions, you are right. There is much controversy about how the world and people got here. Much can be said about it, but the answer is really quite simple. The Bible is God's Word. It is always right. Man can be and often is wrong.

You are trying to reconcile the two facts that...
(1) Jesus Christ was born into this world at the end of BC (Before Christ) and the beginning of AD (abbreviation for "the year of our Lord" in Latin).
(2) The world and people were in existence before that.
You are also wondering about man's thinking that man has lived millions of years on the earth as well as the location of the Garden of Eden and how that fits into man's theory that early man originated in Africa.

I will answer your third question first. As you continue reading through Genesis, you will reach Genesis 6-9 and read the history of the great Flood. This worldwide flood God sent to judge sin not only drowned all creatures outside the ark forming the fossils and layers of earth that we find today, it also destroyed the topography of the early earth. It created new valleys, mountains, canyons, rivers, and seas. Psalm 104 praises God for His power. "Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty" (verse 1). Verses 6-9 tell us that He is the One Who not only laid the foundation of the earth, but "coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. they go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth."
The rivers and bodies of water and land masses we have today are not the same as they were during the time of the Garden of Eden and before the Flood about 2400 BC. We cannot know the location of the Garden of Eden today because of all these changes. We cannot know where man first lived on earth before the Flood. However, mankind is in the habit of naming rivers and towns after places they knew before, as is evident in many names in the United States (the New World) named after places in the Old World. The people living in that new world after the Flood were no different. The ark landed on Mt Ararat (Genesis 8:4). Thus the name of Euphrates for that major nearby river.

Remember, when man alleges that he knows things like where and when man originated, he is trying like a detective to piece together what happened before he was there. He doesn't know it; he thinks it. He believes it. God is the One Who has always been there. He knows what happened, when, where, and how; because He was there and He created and oversaw all. As for how the nations came about, read Genesis 10 and 11. Throughout the Bible, you will notice genealogies that God gives not only to show the people in history and how they were related, but also the age of the earth. If you add up all of them, you will see that mankind has only been around about 6,000 years, and the same for the earth, as man was created on the sixth day of creation, five days after the earth was made.

You mentioned carbon dating in your second question. Like all the dating methods used by evolutionists, it is based on faulty assumptions and is fraught with error. Half the dates scientists come up with are thrown out. They themselves admit there are problems with these methods. Only the ones that fit in with their ideas are selected to be published. The Evolution Handbook is a great resource to give you more details. The Bible is always trustworthy. Sinful man tries so hard to explain the world and man apart from God. If the Bible were not true about how life began in the beginning, there could be no science. 

Now for the first question...
As you read the Bible, you will notice something. It declares that God has always existed. "In the beginning God" (Genesis 1:1) and Revelation 1:11, "I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last."

God the Son did not come into existence when He was born into the world as a human being. Take a look at John 1. It explains the preexistence of Christ. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made." The Word is one of the titles given to Christ in the Book of John. But later, about 4,000 years after creation, God the Son stepped into human history bodily. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt with among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Why would almighty, eternal God stoop to become a human being?

Go back to Genesis. God made everything perfect in the beginning (Genesis 1-2). He gave him a perfect body, a perfect environment, a perfect wife, a perfect job, and only one restriction with a clear statement of the consequences of breaking it. God even showed Adam in the Garden that He was the Creator by creating some animals--cattle, birds, and beasts of the field right before His eyes and allowing him the privilege to name them (Genesis 2:19-20) and then putting Adam to sleep and creating Eve from his rib, which Adam understood, as shown in verses 21-23. God gave Adam every proof of His love, power, holiness, etc.

But after all of this, Adam listened to an alternative point of view given to them by a created being who had rebelled against God (Satan in the form of a snake) and decided to make his own choice instead of believing and following his loving Creator. Adam turned from the goodness of God and all that He had provided for him, deciding that he would do what he thought was right instead of what God had commanded for him to do. Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden and the penalty of death came on him and all of God's creation. This is explained succinctly in Romans 5:12, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." God the righteous Judge of all the earth must do right. He must punish sin.

But the Bible doesn't stop there. God's dealing with man does not stop there. God has all knowledge. Nothing takes Him by surprise.

God knew before He made the world that this would happen, and He already had planned what He would do about it. He reveals in many places (Acts 15:18; Ephesians 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:19-20) that He had planned that Jesus should be "slain before the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8).

God showed how much He loved Adam and all mankind in promising that He would send a Saviour to pay the righteous price that was required for man's sin (Genesis 3:15). How we should worship our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for His great sacrifice! You wrote that you are a believer in Christ.

All of us know about God. He has revealed Himself to us by His creation, His Word, and the conscience He has put into each of us. We have no excuse for not believing Him. Romans 1 tells us, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:18-20).

If we turn from this knowledge, the following occurs. "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen" (Romans 1:21-25). How do many people worship man and animals today? Evolution claims that man and creation made themselves, taking God's glory.

Man has turned from the absolute truth of God and His Word. It is no wonder that he is proudly proclaiming that what is false is true and what is bad is good. Continue to read the rest of Romans 1 to see what happens when mankind turns from God and it is like you are reading a newspaper about what is happening in our country today.

1 comment:

  1. very good answer! so grateful for the word of God that gives us everything we need...and the spirit that comes alongside to comfort and teach! pointing people to the scriptures truly is the best way to answer any question--whether asked out of genuine interest or mockery of the truth.