Course: Searching for the Truth on Origins
Welcome again to our series Searching for the Truth on Origins. Now as we move on to the latter part of the series, we are going to deal with the subject of how creation is not only foundational to the Christian faith, but how creation can be used as a tool for sharing our faith. So far we have looked at a lot of interesting facts. We have examined the claims of evolution. We have examined the claims of creation. We can present these claims and people may believe or they may not believe. But I think it is essential that we understand the importance of creation and how it can be used as a method of sharing not only the truth of creation, but the fact that there is a Creator and He is Jesus Christ.
I begin by looking at this portion of Scripture in Matthew 7:13-14. These are the words of Jesus:
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many are who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (NASB)
Then in case we are not clear regarding what Jesus meant by the narrow way, in John 14:6 He said:
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me. (NASB)
So this is a very important principle of Christianity; there are two pathways, two roads that lead to eternity. There is a wide road in which there are many people who are traveling. Those who are on this road are headed to eternity, but they will end up in hell. And there is another way—it is a narrow way—and it is a road that is running completely 180 degrees opposite in direction. And Jesus said He is the narrow way, the only way. And those who find that way, will spend eternity with Him, the Creator of the universe.
You see, it is so important that we grasp this. This is what Jesus said. This is biblical truth. There are two pathways that lead to eternity. And the majority of people in the world are on the wrong pathway. I am sure that all of you, at one time or another, have attempted to witness to others and present this truth. There is a narrow way and that it is through Jesus and that it is the only way. And if you are like me, you have met with all kinds of questions and doubts and excuses. When you tell people, "I believe in Jesus and according to the Bible, you have to believe in Jesus if you are going to go to heaven." They often say, "I don’t believe the Bible." And they will tell you they don’t believe the Bible because they have read the first verse and they do not believe the first verse because it says, "In the beginning, God." And they say, "I don’t believe in God. I believe in evolution." So they refuse to even consider the possibility of Jesus because it is in the Bible and they do not believe the Bible. Some will say, "I just don’t believe in Jesus." Others will say, "Well, I don’t believe in what Jesus said."
Do you know that there are groups of scholars that gather usually once a year to discuss or debate from the Scriptures whether what Jesus said is what He actually said? And they have all kinds of reasons to doubt what we find in the Scriptures. They vote on whether or not this is authentic or whether it is just something that was made up. Some say, "When you say Jesus is the only way, or one way, well, I don’t agree with that. I believe that there are many ways to God. Jesus is a way, but He’s not the only way." There are some that will tell you that they believe that everything is God, which is the New Age philosophy. They even say that you and I can be god. And some say, "You know, it really doesn’t matter what you believe. If you are comfortable believing that, that’s fine! But I believe in this or that." So when you present to them that Jesus Christ is the narrow way and He is the only way, they do not listen. Regardless of these doubts and excuses, the Scriptures tell us—in fact Jesus said it—we are to be witnesses.
In Acts 1:8, the Bible records the last words that Jesus proclaimed. And I would say these must be very significant. Think of this: If you had one statement to make that would be your last statement while you were here on Planet Earth and the whole world would eventually hear what you said, what would you say? This is what Jesus said to those that were gathered there that day on the Mount of Olives.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. (NASB)
He was telling these people who were there that day, "You shall be My witnesses." And that message is for you and me, if we have been called into the family of God. This was not just said for the people that were there, but it is echoing down through the generations. Everyone who is part of the family of God, I believe, is obligated to be a witness. It is not an option. Witnessing is for all believers. Witnessing begins at home. Jesus said, "In Jerusalem." Then He said, "Judea and Samaria"—that is surrounding home. And then He said, "To the uttermost parts of the earth." Witnessing involves outreach, proclaiming who Jesus is to others everywhere. Each one of us has been called to be a witness.
Now, what is a witness? A witness is simply someone who can give evidence or reasons why they believe an event happened or did not happen. And of course we are familiar with the courtroom scenario. When someone is called to be a witness, they are asked questions. Did this happen or did it not happen? And so, under oath they give evidence. A Christian is called to witness and to give evidence for why they believe Jesus is the only way. In other words, we must be able to support what the Bible has to say about the fact that there is a Creator; there has been a creation, and what the Creator did. We need to be able to give God’s perspective of the message which has changed lives throughout history, and that is the gospel message.
Now I want to go back and look at Paul, who is in my view, one of the greatest witnesses who has ever existed. And we are going to see how Paul was called to be a witness, in Acts 26:16 when Jesus appeared to Paul saying,
But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things which I will appear to you. (NASB)
You see, Paul was on the way to Damascus and the purpose of going there was to persecute Christians. But by the grace of God, Jesus suddenly appeared and this is what He said, "Arise! Stand on your feet. I’ve appeared to you to appoint you a minister and a witness."
And He says,
But also to the things which I will appear to you, delivering you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me. (Acts 26:16-18 NASB)
What an incredible encounter that Paul had on the road to Damascus! And from this small portion of Scripture, we can learn some very significant things about witnessing. First of all, witnesses are people that are saved by God’s grace. It was not because of Paul’s good works because he said he was going to persecute Christians. By the grace of God Jesus appeared, and by God’s sovereign grace Paul was called into the family of God. He became a member of the family of God but he was also called, as we saw, to be a witness.
Then it goes on to say that Jesus told Paul He would deliver him from the opposition that he was going to face from the Gentiles and from the Jews. And certainly when you read through various testimonies that Paul gives regarding the opposition—he faced a lot of opposition. And that is something that you will understand if you have witnessed, there is going to be opposition. And the reason there will be opposition is because Satan, God’s adversary, does not want you to witness. And he will do everything he can to stop you from witnessing.
According to this portion of Scripture, we can see that witnesses are human vessels with a purpose. They have been given a message. And what is the message? It is to tell people about the gospel; it is to turn people from darkness to light. We cannot do it physically, but we can plant the seeds. God uses human vessels who have a purpose. So witnesses are simply co-partners with God to proclaim the good news, which is the gospel.
Now you might ask: What is the gospel? It is important that we fully understand what a witness is supposed to do. And so, we are going to be very elementary here this morning, in terms of laying out what the gospel really is—the good news. And the best way that I can do this in one verse is to share this verse which you all know, John 3:16.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (NKJV)
In this verse, we see that there is a God who made everything. And this God loved us so much that He Himself came to this earth and lived a perfect life in our place. We could not do it; He did. His life was sacrificed upon the cross, so that whosoever would believe in Him, could enter into a relationship with the Creator. That is the gospel.
But first of all, we have to acknowledge that there is a Creator and acknowledge who we are and what we have done. We must acknowledge who He is and what He has done, and ask Him for forgiveness. You see this word—or this portion of Scripture—has a lot of significance to me because it was this verse that I read when I was thirty years old. I had memorized it when I was a child, but at age thirty it set me free. I will never forget this.
I had been searching for some time and one night in my living room, I cried out, ‘God, what have You done or what will You do so that I can have peace!’ And then I remembered a verse. It was written in the front pages of my Bible that my mother and dad had given me when I was nine years old. And when I opened that Bible, this is what I read in my dad’s handwriting: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." When I read that verse that night, for the first time in my life, I understood the gospel. I had been presented it before, but now I understood. And like Paul, I was on the road (the wrong road) and God suddenly revealed to me by His grace, who He is and what He has done. And my life was transformed.
Now you see, in order to understand the gospel, you need to understand these basic principles. First, there is a God who has created man. Secondly, man rejected God and sinned. Thirdly, man was destined to spend eternity in hell. And fourthly, God provided a way for man to go to heaven. That is the good news and that is the message that we have to proclaim.
Let me illustrate it to you very simply. When I was a new Christian I drew lines and charts. I wanted to try to comprehend what had occurred. And these illustrations are based on some of those first drawings that I did. Well, how do you illustrate God? It is impossible! We should not even attempt it. But what we have done here is simply drawn a circle.
God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. And God created man.
And what is man? Well, he is made of a body. He is made of a soul and a spirit. God breathed into man and man became a living being. And man had a relationship with the Creator and it was a beautiful, harmonious relationship that existed. God and man with the Spirit that was in harmony with God—that is the way it was until Satan appeared.
And because man was created with a free will to choose, we know that man chose not to remain in the relationship with the Creator. And because of sin, that relationship between God and man was shattered. That is the way it would have been forever thereafter—except God had a plan.
You see, this was a time of darkness and separation. But Jesus the Creator came and lived a perfect life in our place. And His blood was shed and the sacrifice was made, so that whosoever would believe that He did this and acknowledge his sin could enter into a relationship with the Creator. That is the gospel.
So now that we live in this period of time, man can have a relationship with the Creator. And when we ask for forgiveness, the Bible says the Spirit of God will indwell us and we will become a born again, new creation in Christ. That is the gospel illustrated in a very simple way.
But remember, even though believers have chosen to acknowledge what the Creator has done, they still have to deal with another factor—Satan still exists. And his goal and objective, of course, is to bombard us from the outside in, through our flesh. So we constantly have to be aware.
How does the gospel begin? It very simply begins with creation. You cannot understand Christianity unless you understand that there is a Creator. There would be no gospel without a Creator, a perfect original creation, the fall from a relationship with the Creator and an act of redemption by the Creator. It is that simple. So as you can see, creation is very important because it is the foundation of the gospel—the creation of man, the fall of man and his redemption.
Now knowing this, how can we witness? Well, there are many ways to witness. But what we are talking about in this series is searching for the truth on origins. We have been able to demonstrate that creation is true and that evolution is in the minds of men. Perhaps a better way of saying it is that evolution was authored by Satan. So, if creation is true, it would be reasonable to suggest that we could use this creation message, because it is already part of the gospel, to point people to the gospel. I call it creation evangelism. It is not a unique term. In fact, you can find this in the Bible and that is what we want to do. I want to reference two portions of Scripture where creation evangelism is used.
First let us look at Paul on Mars Hill in Acts 17:22-25,
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars hill, and said, ‘Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. (KJV)
You see, Paul was situated right on Mars hill, which it is an outcropping of a large hill in Athens. And at the top of that hill is the Parthenon. And there on Mars hill, Paul was speaking to the people of Athens who were very much into spiritual things and he said to them, "You are spiritually deceived." Wherever you looked around, one could see evidence that people were worshipping the gods. And he told them they worshipped all these gods, deities, and demigods. They were worshipping Mars as god, Venus as god, Gaia as god, and Paul said, "Why don’t you worship the unknown god? You have a statue erected for him. He’s the one who created you, who gave you breath, who gave you life."
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. (Acts 17:26-28 KJV)
So he made it clear. The reason you exist is because God created you. Then he continued—
Because he hath appointed a day, in which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them. (Acts 17:31-34)
See here is Paul’s message outline: He said, "I see you are spiritually inclined. You worship the gods, not God. It is the true God who created you and you are accountable to Him. But you are separated from this God because of your sin and you need to repent." He said, "Judgment is coming, but you can escape His judgment by acknowledging what God has done for you." And so, Paul pointed them to Jesus, the Resurrected One. And the response to Paul’s message, was that some disbelieved and scoffed, some needed more time to consider what he had to say, but others believed and followed him.
Now there is an example of creation evangelism in the future. It will be during the Tribulation and this time, it will not be a man in a particular place, it will be two angels that supernaturally proclaim the gospel to the entire world.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (KJV)
These angels proclaimed the gospel to the entire world. This is a supernatural crusade and you will note the importance of creation in the angels’ message. 1) God is the one who created everything. 2) Man has a problem. 3) Judgment is coming. The second angel says why the judgment is coming—they had embraced Babylonianism, the New Age. So this was a very significant presentation of the gospel and it began with creation. But you will note that the angel, like Paul, said you can avoid the judgment. There is a way out.
So if we take these two messages together and combine them, this is what we find: Creation is the foundation of the gospel. God demands that we recognize He is the Creator and rejecting the Creator brings judgment. And most importantly, no one needs to face God’s judgment. There is a way out.
Now a question: Have you ever used creation to proclaim the gospel? Are you a creation evangelist or would you like to be? As I said, there are many different ways to witness. But this series is dealing with creation and I want to conclude our series in these last two sessions by showing how creation can be used effectively to share the gospel in our generation.
There are many people who right away will say, "I cannot do that. How can I use creation? I have tried it before and people just laugh at me." Some may think because they do not really have a background in science, they have not felt educated in some of the things that these people with credentials have. And so they just cannot deal with it because they do not have the information to confront people who are evolutionists. They feel others are smarter and say that they will leave this up to preachers or scientists. But I want to challenge every one of you. You can be a creation evangelist. No matter where you are in life—from a child to a grandparent—no matter what your background or education, all you need to do is to be able to have a few basic facts at your fingertips.
Now it is not my intention to do a complete review of some of the things that we have previously covered. I am just going to mention a few points. Many people in the world believe that evolution is true and therefore the Bible is not true because they believe, in the beginning, matter exploded and we have everything in existence. And they believe the disorder became order, when it can be simply demonstrated no one has ever observed that; rather, things proceed in a direction from order to disorder. Explosions do not bring about order, they bring chaos. Your choice is to believe in matter exploding, plus time, or believe in a supernatural Creator, God, who designed.
With regards to the origin of our planet, you can believe that particles came together by gravity and bumped into each other and formed a planet that just happens to be in the right place with the right conditions to support life. Or you can believe there is a Creator God, who created life.
You can believe that non-life became life when it has never been observed. Or you can believe that there is a Creator who took non-living materials and created life; and that the complexity of life shows His handiwork.
You can believe that evolution is true, claiming that there is a sequence of life from simple to complex, but you cannot find any fossils in the fossil record to show there are any intermediates.
You can believe, as the evolutionists claim, that there have been hundreds of millions of years of time and that in these layers that have been laid down gradually, you will find the sequence of evolutionary change. But when you go out into the real world, you cannot find the evidence for this. In fact, you can find that the layers were formed quickly and catastrophically and the fossil in the layers show that something has occurred in earth’s history that brought about their destruction.
According to the biblical view, there was an original earth and it was perfect. It became imperfect because of sin and God destroyed the world in a great worldwide catastrophe. This involved the fountains of the great deep breaking up, the windows of heaven opening and life being destroyed. And you can find the evidence of this in the layers of the fossils.
Or when it comes to the subject of ancient man, you can believe that we have evolved from lower to higher and have your faith based upon charts, murals, drawings, and models without any conclusive fossils. The alternative is that man has always been man. Man was created in God’s image and had tremendous abilities, attributes, and capacities. When we look at the facts left to us by the ancient civilizations, we see that evolutionists call these evidences, mysteries. The biblical view is true.
See what we just did here is about a four-minute summation of eight hours of materials. But the facts all support creation. They do not support evolution. Everyone can have some basic facts at their fingertips in order to share with others. You can be a creation evangelist. You do not need a science degree. You do not need a PhD. You do not need a Masters degree. You do not need any kind of degree to be able to present common sense and logic. Creation is logical. Creation is based on the facts and it makes sense.
Now that does not mean that you are going to convince someone. It is not by our might. It is not by our power. It is not by clever argumentation that you are going to win someone into the family. In fact, you do not win them at all. No one comes to the Father unless they are drawn by God’s Spirit, but God uses human vessels to be able to plant seeds.
Creation evangelism defined, simply involves the process of planting seeds of truth and pointing the lost to the fact that there is a Creator who has created all things, including them. That is what creation evangelism is. When someone talks to you and has some questions about origins, you are able to plant some seeds.
That is what I call creation evangelism (part one). It is providing evidence for creation by planting seeds of truth that may cause unbelievers to doubt what they believe. Now, this is important. Remember when Satan came to the Garden of Eden and he spoke to Eve? He caused her to doubt what God had told her. So one of the best ways to be an effective evangelist is to plant seeds of truth that may cause unbelievers to doubt what they believe. And if they believe in evolution, maybe you could plant some seeds which may cause them to doubt what they believe.
Now there is a second part to creation evangelism. If you are going to be effective in pointing people to the Creator, and you are talking to them about the subject of creation, you need to also tell them there are serious consequences when one chooses to ignore the overwhelming evidence that God is the Creator of all things. Why do I say that? Well, it is found in the Bible and this is a very important principle. We dealt with it when we dealt with the subject of evolution and morals. And we went to Romans 1, where we read that Paul said the evidence that God has created is so obvious from the things He has made, that if we reject that evidence, we are without excuse. Our foolish hearts are then darkened. Professing to be wise, we become fools. And we believe a lie.
So Satan’s agenda is to cause people to doubt what God has said about creation. And when we believe the opposite of creation (which is evolution) the Scriptures say we are not believing in the truth. We are then believing in a lie and we have willingly chosen to do so. When an individual willingly rejects the clear evidence, revealing that God is the Creator, eventually that person will worship everything that God has made rather than the God who has made everything. That is what we read in Romans 1, and you will note that it begins in verse 18. God’s wrath is revealed when people go this direction.
We have looked already at the Scriptures and we know that there is this pattern throughout the Old Testament. Whenever man removes God from his thinking and trusts in his own reasoning, he strays far from God and then God brings judgment. That is what happened from the Fall and that is why there was a Flood. The Creator who made Adam and Eve was removed from His place of authority in a sense, because man trusted in himself and then followed the fallen spiritual dimension. And things were so wicked and perverted that God had to destroy all of it. That was a judgment, and the evidence that God judged in a worldwide flood is obvious for us to see around the world.
At the time of the Tower of Babel when the people rebelled against God, they began to worship the gods, and God the Creator was angered by what they were doing. Of course He stopped the building of the tower and they were dispersed because God was angry. And the societies that we see world-wide continue to do what they had done at Babel. We read in the Old Testament that the children of Israel were instructed to be obedient to God and to His Word. We find that they too rebelled and became involved with the pagan practices of the ancients and they were judged. That is the pattern that is seen throughout history.
So if that is what has occurred in the past, and if history repeats itself and there is nothing new under the sun, then what we see today is a revival of ancient Babylonianism. People are practicing various kinds of witchcraft and occultic practices; and we are told that this is done in the name of science, the New Age enlightenment, and the elevation of consciousness. What does God the Creator think about this? Well, the Bible is very clear. If it was an abomination to God in the past, then it is an abomination to God today. And if the world is going to embrace this—as is happening—the Bible says there will be a judgment. Shouldn’t we consider what God has said?
You see, if we are going to be effective in witnessing to the generation of people today, then we must be able to tell them that the god of the New Age is the god of this world, who is Satan. And that the New Age is not new. It can be understood in light of the Scriptures. It can be understood in light of the foundation of evolution, which teaches the concept that through time, there has been a progression from lower to higher. So that today, when people embrace the New Age techniques that allow them to take the next step of evolution to become new and higher beings, we can tell them what this is. It is not the new science. It is not the new biology. It is not evolution in this lifetime through the serpent power. This is the same old deception that has occurred throughout the generations. Man is being duped and caught up in Satan’s schemes and he is being deceived. And the fact is, from a biblical perspective, that judgment is coming. It has happened in the past and it will happen again. That is not an easy message, but it is the truth.
You see, creation evangelism is not only telling people that there is a Creator, that there has been a creation, and that they are accountable to their Creator because of their sin; it is also telling them that there is a way out. We do not have to face the judgment. Today when we share with people who have embraced pagan practices with the ancients, these are the things that we need to tell them in love. First, the Bible gives God’s perspective of the New Age—when it happened in the past. The Bible also gives God’s perspective of the New Age that is underway today. And the Bible gives God’s perspective of the New Age that will unfold in the future. Finally, there is an urgency to tell people about God’s perspective of the New Age. Why? If they do not know the truth, then they will spend eternity in hell.
And you know we live in a society today where people are saying, "Don’t rock the boat. Let’s just all try to get along." Many churches are moving in that direction and they call it "seeker friendly". They do not want to offend anybody. I have gone to churches recently where they say, "Don’t tell people about evolution, or speak critically about it because many of our people will leave." Things are changing but the facts remain the same. There is a Creator and there has been a creation. And when people refuse to believe that there is a Creator and they embrace evolution, they will be deceived. And when they embrace the New Age ideas and philosophies, then they are headed down that wide pathway which ends up in hell.
Creation evangelism is pointing the lost to the Creator by showing them evidence for creation by simply planting seeds. Creation evangelism (part two) is warning that there are serious consequences for worshipping the creation instead of the Creator. And I believe that everyone can do this.