THERE is an old story about a tourist trying to find his way to a certain town who stopped to ask an old countryman the way. The old man replied: “Well, if I were going there, I wouldn’t start from here.” A wrong view about origins inevitably leads to wrong conclusions.
THE PROBLEM OF EVIL
The existence of evil is a major stumbling-block for many non–Christians and also for many Christians. “If God is good,” they ask, “why did He make a world with so much pain and suffering?” There are no easy answers to this, but if people begin with the assumption that evolution is true then there is no answer at all. If life progressed through millions of years of death and struggle, suffering was inevitable and if there is a God, He must have set this up.
Even many atheists can see how unsatisfactory this idea is. Nobel prize-winning biologist Jacques Monod said, “The struggle for life and the elimination of the weakest is a horrible process, against which our whole modern ethics revolts…. I am surprised that a Christian would defend the idea that this is the process which God more or less set up in order to have evolution.”1 Another atheist, Bertrand Russell, asked “why the Creator should have preferred to reach His goal by a process, instead of going straight to it.”2 Darwin himself rejected belief in a good Creator because there was “too much misery in the world.”3
If we start with the Bible, we reach a very different conclusion. God created a “very good” world (Genesis 1: 31) which was corrupted when sin entered at “The Fall.”
Since then “The whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth” (Romans 8: 22). The same chapter also contains the promise of restoration.
THE FUTURE STATE
What does the long-term future hold for our universe, and our own planet in particular? It depends on our starting-point. If we accept the secular scientists’ scenario that it all began with the “big bang”, do we also accept their predictions about the future? According to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, “The biological and geological future of Earth can be extrapolated based upon the estimated effects of several long-term influences.”4 Predictions include the death of earth’s plant life in around 600 million year’s time, which will lead to the demise of almost all animal life. In about 1 billion years time, a 10% increase in the sun’s luminosity will evaporate the oceans, and in 4 billion years the earth’s surface will begin to melt, before the earth is finally swallowed up by the sun. There is even a suggestion that there will be another “big bang” to start the whole process again!
The contrast between the secular, naturalistic view and what the Bible says is striking. God, who oversaw the earth’s creation, and intervened in history at the birth of Jesus Christ, will intervene again when Jesus returns as King and Judge. God has promised “a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.” (2 Peter 3: 13).The Bible teaches that creation will be restored (Acts 3: 21), not to the primeval conditions imagined by evolutionists, but to the state that existed before “The Fall”. This is how John described his vision: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.” (Revelation 21: 1). He also wrote, “No longer will there be any curse.” (Revelation 22: 3). All that blights creation now will be absent.
Our “sure and certain hope” is far better than those secular predictions of doomsday!