Weekly Bulletin Articles
The Bible is God’s message of love and concern for mankind. It is also a story of mankind’s need of redemption. God created man in a state of purity, innocence and sinlessness. Adam and Eve were blessed to begin life in a perfect world —a veritable Paradise (cf. Rev. 2:7). The Creator wanted them to enjoy life as His special creatures made in His image (Gen. 1:26-27). Genesis 1:31 reveals that at the end of the Creation, “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” This statement certainly included the first two human beings. They were “very good” because they were not yet marred by sin. As such, they were initially able to have unimpeded fellowship with God who made them. God created man to have fellowship with Him (1 Cor. 1:9; 1 John 1:3-7).
Colossians 1:16 says of Jesus, “All things were created by Him and for Him” (cf. Rev. 4:11). We were given life to please God! This only happens when we obey His will. Sadly, man’s earthly paradise was lost when sin entered the world (Gen. 3:6-19). Significant changes occurred as a result. Adam and Eve lost their innocence, sinlessness and close fellowship with God (Gen. 3:21-24). Death entered the world for the first time (Rom. 5:12). Though their disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit may seem trivial to many, God viewed their sin as a heinous crime. Before their transgression, the Lord had warned the first couple that the penalty for disobedience would be death (Gen. 2:17; 3:3). Did they die the day they ate fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Yes, they did! They did not die physically — that would occur 930 years in the future (Gen. 5:5). But, Adam and his wife died spiritually that awful day when they broke God’s simple law.
In the Scriptures, death is a word that has the root meaning of separation —either of the spirit from the body (James 2:26) or of the soul from the presence of God which is also called the second death (2 Thess. 1:7-9; cf. Rev. 21:8). Sin transformed the first two souls who had been created as “very good,” into people who were now outcasts! They were no longer good people in God’s eyes. It was fitting they should be driven from the presence of the Lord (Gen. 3:24). God did not want them to remain in the Garden of Eden because they would have access to the tree of life and could eat of it and live (physically) forever. However, God, in His great love for man, was not willing for that to happen. He had much better plans in mind but this required a restoration of fellowship. He was willing to save man from his ruined condition.
Adam and Eve were originally good people for they were created that way. Almost 3,000 years ago Solomon observed: “God made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions” (Eccl. 7:29, schemes). The same sad story is repeated whenever sinless young souls make their first accountable decision to sin (cf. John 4:11; Heb. 5:13-14; Matt. 18:3). Sadly, when sin first touches a soul, that person ceases to be inherently good. This is not to say that the person cannot never do good again. However, just as with Adam and Eve, there is a need for sin to be forgiven in order for fellowship with God to be restored. As long as sin remains unforgiven, the guilt and potential for eternal punishment remains. Sadly, this fact is rarely appreciated by most people. During the Lord’s earthly ministry, Jesus taught that many will be lost when the Day of Judgment arrives (Luke 13:23-27; cf. Matt 7:21-23). Few will enter by the narrow gate that leads to life because few are seeking it (Matt. 7:13-14). Jesus promised that if a person seeks, he will find (Matt. 7:7-8). The reasonable conclusion from this teaching is that most people are lost, and will continue to be lost, and will ultimately perish as the ungodly and unrighteous souls they truly were. They will forever be known as sinners and enemies of our Lord (Rom. 5:6-10). Such are not “good people” in God’s sight regardless of how “good” man considers them to be.
Man and God often see the same thing in two very different ways. This is a very old problem. Samuel, the prophet and judge, declared concerning God, “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7; cf. Acts 13:20).
Have you ever heard a person speak of another and say something like, “She was such a GOOD person!” Most of us probably have. Comments like this are often heard in eulogies at funerals. We need to remember that few people are truly “good” as God sees it because few people are right with God! You can be right with God by obeying the Gospel and living faithful the rest of your life (Acts 2:38).