Running Out Of Time: The Big Deal

Sometimes, even the most seasoned followers of Christ need a reminder of what Christ has done for each of us who follow him.  When you are reminded of all of this , how can you not want to tell other people?

To really answer this question, first we have to go back to the beginning of time.  Don’t worry, it won’t take forever to get through this part.

The Lord has just finished creating space, earth, sky, plants light, dark, stars, sun, moon, animals, and humans.

Adam and Eve had the privilege of knowing God like you know your best friend.  Actually, it was even better than that, but that’s the best way I can explain it without confusing some people.   Here’s where I would like to pick up the account from scripture, because there’s nothing like going to the true primary source for your information.

Just in case it isn’t obvious, in the NIV translation which I have included below, “the man” refers to Adam, and “the woman” refers to Eve

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?

2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'”

4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable  for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband,  who was with her, and he ate it.

Genesis 3:1-6

This was the very moment where sin entered the world.

I used to read this passage and think, surely I could last a little bit longer than Adam if I was in his situation. After all, look at all the other trees the Lord lets me eat from. Look how well he takes care of me! To abstain from eating from one particular tree is certainly not too much for God to ask of me. That was their one rule! However, in reality I ham just as sinful as he is. Eve was most likely beautiful, so it would be impossible to resist anything from her if you wanted her to keep hanging around you.

That doesn’t make it right.

You may say “What’s the big deal?  All Eve did was eat a piece of fruit.  The snake was right! She didn’t die.  As for Adam, he didn’t even do anything.”

Eve ate from the tree that she was commanded not to.  She chose to sin against God.

Adam did not convince her to do otherwise.  Also choosing to sin against God in a different way.

There would be consequences for not owning up to their sinful decisions.  Adam and Eve both knew this.  They knew everything because they had eaten from the tree of good and evil.  This is why they ran and hid.

The thing is, God knows everything about all of us.  He created each of us.  It’s rather silly to think that we can hide from Him.  Let’s pick up the account at the point right after the two sinned and see what happens next.

7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring[] and hers;
he will crush[] your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”

Genesis 3:7-19 NIV

This is a longer passage for a quote but it’s incredibly important.   It’s the Word of God, how can it not be?

I’d like to point out a few things.

The first thing God does when Adam and Eve sin is to call out to Adam.  Where are you?  He wants Adam to take responsibility for the sins of his family.  He is giving Adam a chance to be restored to him.  Adam explains everything, but blames his wife, and the Lord Himself for putting her there and allegedly causing him to sin.  Then Eve blames the snake.

Things may have worked out much differently for Adam, Eve, and the rest of us had Adam accepted his own responsibility.

All of us who come after them are equally sinful.

However, God already had a plan of salvation from the start.

The snake, who is really Satan,  gets the first and most severe punishment.

3 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

It is in this passage that we first discover that God has a plan for salvation of those who would follow him.   That there would be one who would come to take upon Himself God’s wrath for our sins.  He is the one who would crush the head of the serpent.    He is where our hope lies.  We all have sinned before.  We’ve all done even worse things against God

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:23

When we sin, as with Adam and Eve, we separate ourselves from God.

The punishment for sin as God has said from the beginning is death.  We all deserve it.  God had another plan though.

God did not create us just to kill us though.  He had come up with a plan to save us.  One regular person could only die for his or her own sins, but God decided to send His son Jesus Christ, who never sinned, to die in all of our places, and be raised back to life three days later.

When Jesus died, he took God’s wrath, that was meant for you and me, all upon Himself.

We did not deserve it one bit. It cost Him His life and He gave it for us freely.

The human race was not entirely saved automatically in that moment of death.

Jesus’ gift of salvation is open to everyone, everyone who follows him.

So what happens to those who don’t follow Jesus?

They go to Hell, yes it is a real place.  An eternity of suffering, pain, and separation from God.  You don’t want that for your friends, do you?

When we don’t tell people who’ve never heard of Jesus or why they need His gift of salvation, that’s where we send them.

When Jesus re appeared to his disciples after His resurrection, the last thing He told them to do was this.

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 18-20 NIV

Everything I have commanded you refers to both Old and New Testament.  We have the wonderful advantage of having the entire scriptures at our disposal.  The disciples would have only had the Old Testament at this time.  It’s still accessible, and it’s the greatest story ever told.   How can we keep from telling others?

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