Many months have passed since I last wrote. As I sit to write this Christmas Eve day, a strange angle to the Christmas story comes to mind.
Blame it on my pastor, Dr. Rich Liverance. He's been preaching a series on Genesis. This has been a literary, scientific, and theological lesson. Though my brain has flashbacks to high school science class as he elaborates on Periodic Table of Elements and shows the interaction of these elements, I can appreciate the gist of the laws set up in nature.
In the Beginning...
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.Genesis 1:1a states: "In the beginning God created..."
As we've studied the literary writings of Genesis and other Scripture references to God creating the world and as we've analysed scientific theories for a young earth created in six days or an old earth slowly evolving to what we have today, it has become very clear that it takes faith to believe either theory.
You either believe that the conditions of the earth today have been constant for billions of years, therefore making it possible to test the existing minerals, etc. and know that they are so old. However, if the rocks, for example, were formed in conditions that would not be known unless you were there to observe, then the testing of them would not reveal an accurate age.
If you believe in the six days of creation, you have to have faith that the way God stated things was literal. In today's climate, you are a fool for believing this, as evolution is no longer consider theory.
None of this, however, matters as much as one huge theological point.
And God saw that it was Good...
Beginning on the third day, the Bible shares God's thoughts on His creative work.
10God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.God called the earth "good." He called all He was creating "good." The important fact is that God looked down on a perfect world, one without sin and without death; a world filled with new beauty never imagined outside His own imagination. Proudly He admitted that His masterpiece came to life as He declared it should.
Sure, He could have had it take millions or billions of years. If you believe that God loves the earth as much or more than He loves mankind, He may have wished to see its forming and postpone mankind. Or He may have wished to savour His creation, knowing what a mess we'd make of it.
There is room to believe in large amounts of time passing and the Creator setting it all in motion like a set of dominoes. There is room until you realise one major fact that makes it impossible.
To Be or Not To Be...
Death. Evolution must include death. You cannot have evolutionary progress without survival of the fittest. In order for a species to evolve from sludge in a pond all the way to humanity, death had to happen over and over and over for billions upon billions of years.
If this was true, then Adam and Eve truly are a myth. God either created mankind as sinners or there really is no sin. Death couldn't be a result of sin, since death came unimaginably many years before there was a man or a woman.
So, there either was no sin or God endorsed it through creation, and God called all that and death good as the world evolved.
If God endorses death and the way we've lived (think back on your history books or listen to the news) since time began, there is no need for a Saviour.
Definitely, don't concern yourself with Christmas! Celebrate the holidays and the jolly old Saint Nick. Focus on love and giving, because you're as good as you'll ever get. There is no hope for you outside yourself.
Unto Us is Born This Day...A Saviour, Messiah God
If, however, God endorses perfection and eternity, then how grieved He must have been for centuries as He called out to people, who He made with such care, molding us and placing us specially in a world where all our needs and wants could be met.
There, in the perfect world, we listened to one voice saying that maybe God wasn't telling us the whole truth. Maybe there was something better than God. We listened. We responded. We doubted. We acted. We sinned. We lost. We died—first to the ability to choose God and then through physical decay.
God did not sit idly by and let us destroy ourselves as we deserved to do.
- At just the right time, He pierced through time and placed Himself in the womb of a woman.
- He learned our struggles with sin firsthand, yet never sinned.
- He wept at the grief of death.
He declared Himself to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life, saying that unless we know Him, we would not know life again.
With one man—Adam—he brought sin in the world with his choice of one tree from which he could not eat. Believing Satan's words, he had faith that he'd have the best by this choice.
With one man, Yeshua, He brought righteousness into the world and life by one choice—following Him. By faith, we are asked to believe that this path, though painful, is better than life as we used to live.
God, promised Redeemer since the beginning of sin—He came to die that our sins might die. He came to rise from the dead, that we may die to our old life and live in Him.
This holiday isn't about gifts given, used, returned, forgotten.
This is an eternal Gift. This Gift begins in opening our hearts and ends in living for eternity. It begins with me and must be shared with you. It's a Gift that gives more and more the more it is embraced. It is THE GIFT that would be worth giving our physical lives for, because the life that comes from shedding our flesh will be never destroyed.
May you know this Gift this Christmas and in the New Year. May God grant us faith to live in this new Life the next 365 days.
I wish nothing more for you this Christmas than Yeshua.