In the Bible, God speaks, and He speaks in Genesis 1-1 and says He created the heavens and the earth. He is the one who spoke in Genesis 1-1 and who speaks right through Scripture till its very end.
You put aluminum, steel, rubber, and plastic in a warehouse, you leave it unattended for a few years, and you end up with a fleet of passenger jets fully functioning and ready for customers. Now, obviously, that's a ridiculous scenario that will never happen, but as John MacArthur shows you today, many people are confident that the entire universe, well, just sort of happened. John looks at what the Bible says about the creation-evolution debate as he continues his study titled, The Battle for the Beginning. It's one of our most popular and most defining series of messages.
And so with a lesson today, here is John. There are only two options when it comes to origins. The two options are there is a Creator God or there is not.
Those are the only two options. There either is a Creator God or there is not. If there is not, then everything is an impossible, implausible, irrational result of chance. If, on the other hand, there is a creative intelligence, if there is a Creator God, then creation is understandable.
It is possible, it is plausible, it is rational. In Hebrews chapter 1, going to the other end of the Bible, we read that God who spoke long ago to the fathers and the prophets in many portions, in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us His Son whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. Hebrews 1 says that God made the world. Psalm 19 says He made the universe.
Hebrews 1 says He made the world. The only way we're going to know that is if God tells us that. We are natural. God is supernatural. The natural cannot comprehend the supernatural, so on our own we can't find God. We can't discover God.
We're locked in a time-space world. We can't crawl outside of it into eternity and comprehend what is incomprehensible. The only things we know about God are those things which He has told us and that's why He gave us the Bible. All Scripture is inspired by God, 2 Timothy 3.16. All Scripture is inspired by God. God breathed it out so that it is His Word. 2 Peter 1, know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation.
No prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. The only source of knowledge we have about God is the Bible and the external evidence of God in creation. We can know about God by creation.
We cannot know God except through Scripture. When God began the Bible as His self-revelation, He began at the beginning. He began with an account of origins. He began by telling how He created the universe. Verse 1 of Genesis 1 says, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
And then He goes on into chapter 2 and verse 4 with a description of precisely and exactly how He created the universe. Now this is where Genesis begins, but it doesn't end there. Genesis is a book of origins. To show you how important Genesis is, let me tell you the range of origins that are found in the revelation of this one book. Now the word Genesis, by the way, means origins, beginnings. And in the book of Genesis you find many beginnings, many origins. First of all, and we just noted that, you find the origin of the universe. Genesis 1-1 is unique in all literature, all science, and all philosophy.
Every other system of cosmogony explaining the universe, whether in ancient religious myths or modern scientific models, starts with eternal matter or eternal energy in some form. Only the book of Genesis starts with eternal God. Genesis is then the book of the origin of the universe. Secondly, in Genesis we find the origin of order and complexity. Man's universal observation of his world is that it is an orderly world.
It functions on fixed rules and it is profoundly complex. Order and complexity never arise spontaneously. They are always generated by a prior cause programmed to produce order and complexity simultaneously. And in the book of Genesis we meet God who programmed order and complexity into His universe. We also find in Genesis the origin of the solar system. In the midst of this vast limitless universe, God created a solar system, the earth as well as the sun and moon, the planets, all the stars of heaven were brought into existence by the Creator and we're told that He created them all. Fourthly, the book of Genesis tells us about the origin of the atmosphere and the hydrosphere.
The earth is uniquely equipped with a great body of liquid water and an extensive blanket of oxygen, nitrogen, gaseous mixture, both of which are necessary for life and are accounted for only by special creation by God to provide an environment for human life. We also find in Genesis the origin of life, the marvels of the reproductive process, the most infinite complexity programmed into the genetic system of plants and animals are inexplicable apart from special creation by a great supernatural powerful intelligence. And sixthly and certainly centrally, Genesis tells us about the origin of man. Man is the most highly organized and complex entity in the universe. Man is the supreme illustration of order and complexity. He possesses not only innumerable intricate physical chemical structures and the marvelous capacities of life and reproduction, but beyond that sort of physical part of man there is a nature which can contemplate abstract entities of beauty and love and worship and which is capable of understanding and thinking about its own meaning.
It is self-awareness that singularly identifies and separates man from the rest of the created order. The true record of man's creation is given only in Genesis. In Genesis you also find the origin of marriage, the remarkable universal and stable institution of marriage in the home, a monogamous patriarchal social culture is defined and described in Genesis as having been ordained by the Creator and polygamy and infanticide and matriarchy and promiscuity and divorce and abortion and homosexuality and all other corruptions developed later after the fall corrupting God's initial order. You also find in the book of Genesis the origin of evil. The origin of physical and moral evil in the universe is explained in Genesis as a kind of temporary intrusion into God's perfect world allowed by God as a concession to the principle of human freedom and responsibility and also to manifest Himself as Redeemer of sinners as well as Creator. You find, number nine, in the book of Genesis the origin of judgment on evil. All the forms of God's wrath are set in motion and illustrated in Genesis. Also, number ten, in the book of Genesis you find the origin of salvation by grace through God's mercy and a substitute. That's all in Genesis and it starts to show as God is merciful to Adam and Eve and doesn't kill them even though they deserve to die for their sin. And then God develops a system of animal sacrifice which pictures a substitute who will take the place of sinners, which is an act of mercy and grace on God's part.
The plan of redemption leading to Christ is even referred to when the book of Genesis talks about the seed of the woman, that being the seed planted by God in Mary, the Messiah, the Savior. It is in the book of Genesis that we find the origin of language. You know, one of the things that evolutionists gag on all the time is how you go from apes to man, not just making some physical transition, but developing language. How you go from grunting and making unintelligible noises to human speech.
Newsweek was trying to present an article to answer that and it was just bizarre and pointless and unbelievable. The gulf between the mindless, instinctive chattering of animals and the intelligent, abstract, symbolic communication of man is absolutely and completely unbridgeable by any evolutionary process. And the book of Genesis not only accounts for the origin of language in general, that is God is a communicating God and He created someone in His own image who thereby could communicate, but Genesis also tells us not only how man was given by God the ability to communicate, but how so many languages occurred from the judgment of God at the Tower of Babel. That's in Genesis 2. You find in Genesis, number 12, the origin of government, the development of organized systems of human government for the maintenance of orderly social structures through systems of law and punishment. You find in Genesis the origin of culture. You find here such things as urbanization, the development of metallurgy, music, agriculture, animal husbandry, writing, education, navigation, textiles and ceramics, all of that starts in the book of Genesis. You find in Genesis the origin of nations and that is related, of course, again to the Tower of Babel as God takes one race and scatters them all over the world.
That is the only source you'll ever find of how we have so many different people scattered all over the earth with different languages and cultures. You find in the book of Genesis the origin of religion. Both the true religion and false religions appear, first of all, in the book of Genesis.
Organized systems of worship and conduct, the origin of man's unique characteristic of man's own consciousness and his ability to comprehend God and to structure a system of response to the God he believes exists. That all appears in Genesis. You find also significantly, number 16 in my list, the origin of the chosen people, Israel, who were the conduit for God's revelation to all of the world.
It was Israel that was God's people through whom He gave His revelation and through whom His saving covenant came in Genesis 12 to Abraham. Now when you talk about origins, you're going to have to go back to Genesis. Either you believe Genesis or you don't.
It's that simple. Either you believe what Genesis says about all of those origins or you don't. And that would include either you believe the creation account in Genesis 1 and 2 or you don't. And if you don't believe the Genesis account, then I just...I have to tell you, you have no hope of coming to the truth. You're not going to discover it.
Unconverted scientists aren't going to discover it. You either believe Genesis or you don't. And what is really intolerable is to say you believe the Bible but just not the Genesis creation account. You believe Genesis. You believe about the origin of sin.
You believe chapter 3 on maybe. Or maybe you're not sure about that because you don't really believe there was an actual Adam and an actual Eve. You've got a small problem because as an Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive and there was a real Christ.
You can be sure there was a real Adam. But just in case you don't believe in a real Adam, maybe you don't sign on until chapter 6. Maybe you just believe the flood. Well, maybe you don't believe that. Maybe you believe when the Tower of Babel is described later on in chapter 11. Or maybe you don't believe that. And maybe you don't check in until Abraham shows up in chapter 12.
Pretty ridiculous, isn't it? Who are you to be sitting in judgment on Scripture? You know, I'm never going to get caught in the trap of trying to prove to you that Genesis is true by science. I'm just going to proclaim to you what Genesis says and let science bow its knee to that explanation. As you will see, it will do that. All you can know about how God created is what He said. That's all you can know.
And if you don't believe what He said about creation, what kind of precedent have you established for the rest of the Bible? And what about the end? Do you know how all a redemptive history ends? Do you know how the whole story of humanity ends? It ends, according to 2 Peter, when the Lord uncreates the universe.
I like to use that word. The elements melt with fervent heat. There's some kind of a...literally an implosion as the nuclear structure, the atomic structure of the universe, literally is totally turned against its existence and takes it right back out of existence. When He uncreates, when the elements melt as with the fervent heat in that kind of nuclear holocaust that ends human history, and immediately after that it says in Revelation that He creates a what? New heaven and a new earth.
Let me ask you this. Do you believe He can do that? Or is that going to be another umpteen billion years of evolutionary process to get the new heaven and the new earth cranked up? Is it going to take billions of years to evolve the new heaven and the new earth? Or do you really believe God might be able to do that just by fiat, just by making the statement and calling it into existence? If you believe that, then what's your problem in Genesis? If God can wipe the entire universe out in a split second, if He can dissolve the whole thing, if He can send it reeling in the time of the Tribulation and refurbish it during the time of the kingdom and then totally uncreated at the end of the thousand years, if He can do all of that, then I don't know why you have a problem with Him creating it all in six days. You see, the implications of rejecting the account of Genesis are profound.
And listen to me because what I'm going to say is very important. It is not necessary to reject a six-day creation. It is not necessary. We have yielded up territory to evolution without cause. Science knows nothing. Science proves nothing that contradicts a six-day creation.
Nothing. In fact, science as it keeps advancing makes its own claims to evolution ridiculous, more ridiculous all the time. You know, and having a perspective on this is very important. We've caved in to the scientists too long and it's time to stop. If you want to do some reading on this, get Philip Johnson's book, Darwin on Trial. It just devastates the scientific perspectives. Christian people literally accepting the scientific descriptions of origins that come out of an evolutionary bias as if somehow they've been proven and somehow the Bible is going to have to give at that point because a six-day creation is not scientifically possible.
That is just not true. And most Christian leaders and most Christian educators have allowed the teachings of evolution to one degree or another to be added to the Bible. They sort of stuff evolution in between the verses in Genesis. Most Christian leaders have accepted the fact that the universe is billions of years old. Yet clearly from the words of Scripture, God created the universe in six literal days. And Christian leaders can't deny that that's what it says because that's what it says. You can translate it any way you want.
It all comes out the word yom means day and you have six of them. But they believe somehow that scientists have proved that the age of the earth must be billions and billions and billions of years old. So they believe we've got to go back to Genesis and fix it. And, in so doing, they have allowed the authority of the Bible to be undermined, right?
Serious stuff. If the words of the Bible mean six days and you conclude but so-called science says that's not true, then science is right and the Bible is wrong. Now, if you can't trust the words of Genesis, when do you start trusting the Bible? That's a sad indictment of the church, isn't it? And the humanists even used the compromising Christian leaders to further their cause to undermine Christianity. And what we have is a kind of Christianity today that loses its absolutes in Genesis 1.
That's sad. Christian leaders might not sign on, of course, to humanistic evolution. They would say, yes, there's a God and somehow God's involved in the evolutionary process. That's called theistic evolution, sometimes called progressive creationism, a term developed by Russell Mixter. But they would say there is a God and God sort of injects Himself at points that theistic evolution says God launched it and started it. Progressive creationism says He jumps in along the way. But it still took millions and millions and billions of years for it to happen. These people call themselves believers in God.
They probably would say they believe the Scripture, but they don't want to allow for a six-day creation. This causes immense problems, immense problems. Here's one of them.
I'm not going to give you all, but here's one. It just strikes me as a serious problem. If man is created at the end of the evolutionary process, whether it's a naturalistic evolutionary process or it's a theistic evolutionary process launched by God, which some Christians think they have to affirm in order to pay homage to science, or if it's a progressive creationist viewer, God injects Himself along the way. The problem you've got is evolution is a process, listen carefully, evolution is a process by nature of death. It's a process known as the survival of what?
The fittest. It's a process of violence. It's a process of bloodshed. It's a process of suffering. It's a process of disease. It's a process of death as the order rises higher and higher and higher until it gets to man.
Now here's a serious problem. You don't have man until billions of years and when man appears, he is perfect and he is sinless and there's no such thing as death. Death doesn't even come into the picture until man does what? Sins. How can you have death before the fall?
You don't even have a cursed earth. The whole...the whole of the Genesis record is stood on its head. If...if there's been all kinds of death in this billions of years of evolutionary processing, then what did sin do to the world that hadn't already been done? And how could God who looked over this whole evolutionary deal when it finally reached its completion in man and said he saw it and he looked at it and he said it is...it is good. How could God say that? You see, then the sin of Adam and the curse of death is meaningless because there's been death for millennia and for billions of years.
It just convulates all of the biblical record because what you have in Genesis is a perfect world until Adam falls into sin and God curses the universe and then comes death and disease and suffering and violence and bloodshed and not before. Evolution makes no sense in that perspective. You know, Christians will get out there, you know, and they'll say, boy we're against abortion, we're against homosexuality and we're against Jack Kevorkian because he's murdering people and we're against euthanasia and we're against genocide and, you know, we're against the moral evils of our society, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Why are we against those things? Can you tell me why? Why are we against those things? Give me one reason.
Here it is. Because they're forbidden in Scripture, is that not true? The only reason we're against abortion is because God's against it.
How do we know that? It's in the Word of God. The reason we're against homosexuality, adultery, et cetera, et cetera, is because of the Bible. See, we stand on the Scripture, but the problem is we don't want to stand on the Scripture in Genesis, so we equivocate on whether or not the Bible is an authority at all. What do you think the watching world thinks about our commitment to Scripture?
Very selective, isn't it? You're listening to Grace to You as John MacArthur continues his look at God's creation of the universe. It's part of our study titled The Battle for the Beginning. Along with being the featured Bible teacher here on this broadcast, John is also a pastor, author, and chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary. Now, John, a lot of people will interpret the creation versus evolution debate as a battle between faith and facts, Scripture versus science.
But that is not the case. True science never contradicts Scripture, so why the attack on the Bible and the creation account specifically? What's really behind that? Well, it's obvious what's behind it, discrediting the Bible. They're not interested in discrediting the book of Genesis just for the sake of Genesis.
They're not interested in that at all. They want to dethrone God. They want to undo the God of the Bible, who is the judge of all men. They want to undo the one who has defined sin and righteousness. They want to take God off the throne, and they want to be the gods of their own lives. They want to live the way they want to live.
They want to live with their sin. It's not, you know, you hear this stuff today about there's an intelligent designer out there. That's obvious. Forty times nothing doesn't equal everything. Nothing doesn't equal this complexity. So you've got to have some intelligent design out there, and you find scientists saying, yeah, yeah, I can understand intelligent design. But if you try to push them the next step to the God of the Bible, you get a fight on your hands, because the God of the Bible then is not only a creator, he is a judge and executioner.
And the threat against their sin is just too great. So people don't reject Genesis because of science. They reject Genesis because of sin.
Now you say, well, wait a minute. Is the six-day creation scientific? No, of course it's not scientific. It's not scientific to say God created the entire universe in six days. That's a miracle. How would you explain the miracle of the resurrection scientifically?
It's impossible. Creation is the primal, non-scientific, miraculous event. Out of nothing, ex nihilo, in six days God speaks the entire complex universe into existence.
That cannot be explained scientifically. So when you try to push science back behind what is observable to creation, you've just taken science out of the possibility of giving us any definitive answers at all. You only have one source for creation, and that's the creator himself.
And he gave an eyewitness account in Genesis 1 and 2. Hey, I want to tell you about a book, Final Word, Why We Need the Bible. Final Word. For a limited time, we're going to give a free copy to anyone who requests a copy.
That's right. Just get in touch with us. Let us know you want the book, Final Word, and the Bible is the final word. This book will show you why.
Yes, it will, friend. Final Word looks at the reasons you can believe every word of Scripture. To take advantage of this limited time offer, give us a call or go to our website. You can request your copy of Final Word when you contact us today. Our number here, 800-55-GRACE and our web address, gty.org. The full title, Final Word, Why We Need the Bible. If you're looking for a fairly short book that is long on benefits, one that will help you grow in your love for God's Word, this book is it.
Again, we'll send it free to you, Final Word, Why We Need the Bible. Just call us at 800-55-GRACE or go to gty.org. Also, while you're at gty.org, check out the thousands of Bible study tools available free of charge. That includes blog articles like our recent series on the holiness of God, Grace to You television programs, and more than 3,500 of John's sermons, all free to download in MP3 and transcript format. The web address again, gty.org. And thanks for your support that helps keep these resources free to people like you in communities like yours. Now for John MacArthur and the entire staff, I'm Phil Johnson. Come back tomorrow at the same time when John shows you why rejecting God as Creator has more to do with sin than with science. It's another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth, one verse at a time, on Grace to You.
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