By Robbie Parsons

It is an obvious and valid question to ask why Biblical Creation is so important.  Shouldn’t the central message be that we are all sinners separated from God, and that we require the shed blood and resurrection of the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of sin?  The answer to that question is, “Absolutely and amen!”  How we approach that message to each individual culture is the key.  In this article, I will endeavor to explain why the Creation Evangelism approach is so vitally needed in America today.

Unfortunately, in America, it seems that we have become a nation that does not know God. 

America is a nation that has been rejecting God for several decades.  The reading of the Bible and prayer have been replaced with evolution and passing out of condoms in our public schools.  The public display of the Ten Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer were once never given a second glance, but now are forcibly being removed by the courts.  Where churches were once seen as a sanctuary, they have now, such as the sad case of the church in Charleston, SC, become a warzone.  The push for acceptance and protection of homosexuality and lesbianism are policies of late that fly in the face of God’s Holy Bible.  Because the soul of the homosexual is precious to God, we should never hate the homosexual, but we should vehemently hate the homosexual acts.

Even the evangelical church in America is in trouble.  The divorce rate for couples in the church is as high as that of couples who have no church affiliation.  The numbers of people who are attending church dwindle at an increasing rate.  In a recent poll, 57% of “evangelical Christians” claimed to believe that repenting and believing in Jesus Christ for salvation may not be the only method for salvation!  We are living in an age where it seems that the black and white morals of our grandparents are now fading to shades of gray.  In short, our culture is beginning to accept that there a no absolutes.

These facts present a serious problem.  We are trying to evangelize a culture that does not know God.

When we try to present the “standard” plan of salvation to a culture that does not know God, that standard plan of salvation starts by telling them they are a sinner that is separated from God and are bound for an eternity in hell apart from God.  They will likely take an offense to being called evil, because they have not been taught about God creating the world and the universe, about God creating man, and about man rebelling against God in the Garden of Eden.  The “standard” plan of salvation will work with those who know about these truths.

In Acts 2, Peter preached an impeccable evangelical sermon to people who knew about God.  Here are a few basic points of that message:

·         He referenced the prophecy of Joel about the promise of the Holy Spirit.

·         He pointed out the miracles, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, foretold by David.

·         He identified the congregation as witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection to life.

·         Paul concluded that Jesus was the Messiah and that he ascended into heaven and claimed the position at the right hand of God.

 

If you will notice, Peter was able to start out talking about the Old Testament Messianic prophecies and use them to conclude that Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world.  The culture of this group was one that had been told the stories about God creating the world, and Noah who built an ark to escape God’s judgment and save mankind.  They knew about the bondage and deliverance of the Israelite nation, and about the simple shepherd boy who defeated a nine foot-plus giant with a sling and a stone.  And they had heard all the prophecies of the Son of God that would come to redeem God’s people unto Himself.  Peter was able to immediately quote those prophecies and show how Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of the promise of the Messiah.

But we also find in scripture the evangelism of a culture that did not grow up learning these teachings.  In Acts 17, we see Paul in Athens, teaching about Jesus being the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies in the synagogues and in the streets.  The leading philosophers of the day in that city heard about Paul’s teachings, and requested him to teach them about this “new doctrine” and to expound on “certain strange things to our ears.”  They desired to “know therefore what these things mean.”

Given the culture with which Paul was now dealing, notice the high points of his message to the Greeks:

·         He identified that they were very religious to false idols and gods.

·         He told them that God was the creator and sustainer of life, the creator of all men.

·         God could not be restrained to a building or held in man’s hands.

·         God is not an idol or graven image to worship.

·         Man is in need to repent or face God’s judgment.

·         God raised Jesus Christ from the dead to offer eternal life.

 

If you will notice, when dealing with people who did not know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Paul did not start out teaching about Christ dying on the cross and being raised from the dead to fulfill the promise of a savior.  The doctrine that he taught was radically different from anything they had ever heard.  Of the six points that are presented above, only two deal with the standard salvation message.  Feel free to re-read Paul’s message at Mars Hill in Acts 17:22-31 and examine the message.  Notice also that “certain men clave unto him…”  Bottom line, the first recorded message that involved an example of Creation Evangelism brought results.

 

It is impossible to expect people who do not know about the Creator God to start believing that He will judge our sin and that we need a redeemer.  WHY do we need a redeemer?  IF God is the creator of all things, and IF He is the sustainer of the created life of mankind, then that makes us accountable to Him.  Since man sinned in the garden, we cannot hope to meet the moral standard that He exemplifies and demands.  Therefore, IF we are under this God’s judgment, we need to be forgiven of our sin and redeemed to a right relationship with God.  Please understand that the last statement has no meaning to a culture that does not know God if they are not first taught about God creating everything.  And IF He is the creator, he has the right to hold us accountable to His moral standard, which we have failed to fulfill.

 

Unfortunately, in America, it seems that we have become a nation that does not know God.  Because of this, America is quite possibly one of the largest mission fields in the world.  The message of the gospel needs to be preached to a lost and dying world, and that message is not to be compromised.  However, as we recognize that America is becoming a culture that in many respects reflects the philosophers in Athens, it should be easy to understand why Creation Evangelism, teaching first that God is the creator, is so important in presenting the gospel message.  Like Paul’s evangelism at Mars Hill, Creation Evangelism will breed positive results. 


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