Did The Events of Genesis Really Happen?

For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

(Matthew 24:37)

Some churchgoers believe that the events of the book of Genesis are fictional.  There are reasons for this.  To cite one, some look at the genealogical timelines (Genesis 4:17-5:32) which, when considered alongside the biblical genealogical records tracing Christ’s lineage back to Abraham and Adam (Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38) and the historical fact that Jesus of Nazareth lived about two thousand years ago, correctly conclude that this world is only around six thousand years old.  Since this contradicts the theory of macro-evolution which erroneously promotes a rather lengthy age of 4-6 billion years for this planet, many choose to dismiss Genesis as imaginary.  The creation of the world in six days, Adam and Eve being the first humans, the global flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah…all are dismissed by some worshipers as not true.

What is the basis of your faith?  Were your parents churchgoers and taught you to be the same?  Is it “because I’ve always believed”?  That’s important and should not be discounted, but the Christian’s faith must be built on more.  When you’re asked, “Why are you a Christian?” and your only answer is, “Because my parents brought me to church and taught me since childhood to believe in God,” the next question will be, “But why have you always believed?  Why did your parents believe?  Why did the Christians who taught them believe?  Why should I believe?”

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child…” (1 Corinthians 13:11).  I went to church because my parents wished it, and I believed in Jesus because they believed in Jesus.  That needed to change as I grew old, “became a man, (and) gave up childish ways” (1 Corinthians 13:11).  My faith needed to be my own.  It needed to have concrete, thought out, scriptural, logical reasons (Romans 10:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 Peter 3:15).

There are many reasons why I believe in Jesus, but for the purposes of today’s column I want to focus on the fact that my faith in Christ is meaningless if He wasn’t resurrected after having died on that cross to save us from our sins…and after having lived a sinless life in which no deceit was found in His mouth (1 Peter 2:22).  If He hadn’t lived a sinless life, His death on the cross would have accomplished nothing for us and God would not have resurrected Him.  If Jesus had been dishonest in any way, He could not have been the appeasing sacrifice for our sins.  He could not have been our Savior, which would mean that the Christian faith would be worthless.

Jesus and His Spirit-inspired apostles and prophets talked about the events in Genesis as if they were factual, historical events.  While describing how Judgment Day will occur, Jesus compared it to the day when the Genesis flood came (Matthew 24:35-39; cf. Genesis 6-9).  Peter also spoke of Noah’s flood (1 Peter 3:18-21; 2 Peter 2:1-5, 9-10).  They did not imply nor refer to the flood as a story or myth in any way.  If it did not actually occur, then by talking about it as if it did occur Jesus and the apostles lied…so why be a Christian?

They also referred to the Genesis account of Sodom’s destruction as a factual, historical event (Matthew 10:14-15; 11:23-24; Luke 10:10-12; 17:22-32; Romans 9:27-29; 2 Peter 2:1-10; Jude 6-7; Revelation 11:7-8; cf. Genesis 19).  Adam and Eve are also spoken of as if they actually existed, and are cited as living at the beginning of the world rather than coming onto the scene after several billion years as the descendants of monkeys (Matthew 19:4-5; Mark 10:6-8; 1 Corinthians 15:45; cf. Genesis 1:27; 2:24).  To call these Genesis accounts mythological implies that Jesus and the apostles were at best mistaken and at worst liars.  So again…why be a Christian?

We can’t have it both ways.  If we believe God raised Jesus from the dead, then we should believe that He created the world in six days and destroyed it with water.  If we deny Genesis, we deny Christ because Christ didn’t deny Genesis.  Let’s choose to trust Him instead!

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