Lesson 4

Creation, a Biblical Theme

(Revelation 14, Acts 17, Isaiah 45, Job 38)
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Introduction: One problem that some Christians, especially new converts, seem to have is difficulty in distinguishing between theological issues which are important and those which are not. These Christians waste all sorts of time paying attention to things which do not matter. Is that true with the creation account? Is this something that does not matter? Is the debate between the creation account and the evolutionary theory a waste of time? Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and see what we can discover on the topic!

  1. The Close of the Show


    1. Read Revelation 14:6. What is the mission of this angel? (To deliver a message to all humanity.)


      1. What is the subject of the angel's message? (The eternal gospel.)


    2. Read Revelation 14:7. Is this the eternal gospel? I thought the gospel was that Jesus lived, died and rose from the dead on my behalf? (Jesus did those things so that I could avoid the judgment. Judgment is part of the eternal gospel.)


      1. Why does the angel mention creation in this judgment message? (The creation is the foundation for God's claim to authority over all humans. He made us, and therefore He has the authority and power to bring all things into judgment and to destroy all things.)


    3. Read Revelation 10:1-3. Is this a powerful being?


    4. Let's read on. Read Revelation 10:5-6. What is going on when this powerful angel swears? (He is pledging allegiance.)


      1. What is the basis for this powerful being giving his allegiance to God? (God is the Creator!)


    5. Read Revelation 4:9-11. Why do these exalted beings believe God is worthy of praise? (He created all things.)


      1. Let's step back a moment and contemplate this. If you were thinking of reasons to praise God, what would first come to your mind? What about God's love? What about the redemption story? What about the rescue of humans and their home in heaven and the earth made new?


      2. Who do you think has a better grasp of heavenly values, you or the twenty-four elders who sit in heaven's throne room? (They do! Of all the things we can think of, God stakes His claim to our worship on the fact that He created us.)


      3. What kind of message would be appropriate if evolution was the way in which God created all things? ("We were lucky and we were fast and natural selection made us last (meaning endure)!" The message would also include something about our role in this.)


    6. What do the last days of earth's history tell us about the importance of the creation debate? (Our understanding of the creation is not some little spiritual backwater. Creation is not some quaint theory that makes no difference. As God is winding up the great battle between good and evil at the close of earth's history, His claim to allegiance and worship is His power as Creator. Heavenly beings, those closest to God, understand this.)


  2. The Power of the Logic


    1. Read Acts 17:16-17. What is Paul's goal? (To evangelize the people of Athens.)


    2. Read Acts 17:18-21. What was Paul preaching? ("The good news about Jesus and the resurrection.")


    3. Read Acts 17:22-25. Is Paul off-topic? Why would he start his argument about the good news of Jesus in this way? (This shows that the creation account is foundational to a proper discussion of the nature of God and the good news of Jesus.)


      1. Notice that Paul says "God does not need anything." Does the evolutionary theory suggest that God needed something in bringing about life as we know it today?


    4. Read Acts 17:26. Some may argue that Paul does not indicate here precisely how God created. How is the "from one man He made every nation of men" statement an answer to that criticism?


    5. Read Acts 17:27-28. What reason does Paul give for God's act of creation? (That we would seek Him.)


      1. Does this make sense to you? (We look at the creation, we look at how we are created, and the logical questions are: "How did this happen? How did we get here?" This leads us to the conclusion that a God exists who is responsible for all of this.)


      2. Does Satan want us to ask these questions?


    6. Have you ever doubted the existence of God? I clearly recall one day in college when I thought, "I don't believe this anymore." I recall from time to time since then asking myself if my belief in the existence of God was correct. Every time I first go back to what I can see - a complex universe, a complex me, and it all tells me that a tremendous intelligence must lie behind all of this. As I get older, my thoughts go next to all of God's wonderful interactions in my life. Paul teaches us that the logical argument for God begins with the creation.


  3. Designer Authority


    1. Read Isaiah 45:11. When God tells us about the future, what should we avoid? (Questioning His plans or His work.)


    2. Read Isaiah 45:12. On what basis does God say He is entitled to avoid answering such questions? (He made us and everything else. What right does the creature have to question its Creator?)


    3. Read Isaiah 45:18. What other claim to authority does God make based on being the Creator? (The claim to being the only God. God says there are no other Gods.)


    4. What if we came into existence as some sort of group effort. The "group" being a God that is not really paying attention, luck, natural selection, fast and hungry animals, etc. Would God be able to logically argue sole authority over humans?


  4. The Limits of Logic


    1. Read Job 1:1 and Job 1:6-11. If you know this story, you know that many bad things happened to Job thereafter. Why did they happen?


    2. Read Job 9:32-35. What does Job think about the bad things which are happening to him? (He thinks some mistake has been made. He thinks God is being unfair. He knows that good things should happen to good people. See Deuteronomy 28.)


      1. What does Job want? (He wants to sue God. He wants to bring God into court (or arbitration) and have God explain why the system is not working fairly in his case.)


    3. Read Job 38:1-7. We looked at this briefly two weeks ago, but we did not trace the sequence of what is happening. What answer does God give Job? (I'm the Creator and you are not. Sit down and shut up. If you continue reading chapter 38 God continues in the same vein.)


      1. Is there some reason why God did not say: "Why Job, you are at the center of a debate between Satan and Me! You are representing My interests. You've been doing great Job, just hold on."


      2. Which answer do you want, the one Job received or the one God could have given about the actual situation?


      3. Why does the book of Job appear in the Bible? (We know what is going on, but it seems Job never knew the real reason for his suffering. God wanted us to know this happens some times.)


      4. What does God's authority as Creator teach us about sad and difficult times in our lives when God does not seem to be fair or paying attention to our needs? (God's message to us is that He is the Creator. He is all powerful. We need to just trust Him. We need to trust that He has the big picture in mind. We need to know that He is dealing with sin and Satan in the best way possible. We need to know that we will not always understand what is going on in our life.)


    4. Read Matthew 19:3. What motivated this question? (The religious leaders wanted to test Jesus.)


    5. Read Matthew 19:4-6. Which theory of the origin of humans did Jesus accept as true? (The creation account.)


      1. Why is creation an answer to a divorce question? (Jesus teaches us that the creation account is not just some irrelevant story. Instead, it is foundational to many of our important Christian doctrines.)


      2. What does the creation account teach us about the current controversy over same-sex marriage?


        1. What does Job's experience add to our decision-making about the propriety of same-sex marriage? (Creation is just as authoritative on the issue of divorce as it is on same-sex marriage. Job's story teaches us that even if we cannot explain everything (or anything) we need to trust God's answer.)


    6. Friend, will you acknowledge God as your Creator and accept His authority? Will you trust Him and praise Him because He created the universe and everything in it?


  5. Next week: Creation and Morality.

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