1) Christianity explains Evil
If you are a naturalist then there is no such thing as evil because if everything created does not have a creator then there is no such thing as good and bad. To have evil you have to have good and to have good there has to be a God.
The Story does not give us much indication as to when or how Satan appears but only addresses that he is there. The tempter is on the scene without any talk of how or when he originated. The topic of Satan and how he came about is another topic altogether but we know Jesus said He saw Satan kicked out of Heaven in Luke 10:18.
Naturalist have a hard time believing that one man’s sins have created the evil we are dealing with today.
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men[e] because all sinned—
Old earth creationist or evolutionists believe that death entered the world before Adam sinned. They say this verse is about death to man and not to animals therefore, allowing evolution to carry out its process.
Another issue people have is that they say the story is a fable because there is a talking snake. If you believe in God then you believe in demonic powers as well. The fact that Satan took on the form of a snake is not that hard to imagine. Christians also believe that Balaam’s Donkey talked (Numbers 22:21-33). We believe that Jesus talked with demons and even cast them into pigs (Matthew 8). If you believe the Bible than other parts of the Bible treat this as historical (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 12:9; 20;2) and so we have no reason not to.
Evil is corruption of what already exist. Rot can only occur if a tree exist. Evil can only exist because good exist and the only way good can exist is because God exist.One of the concepts that people struggle with the most is why would God allow evil into a perfect world. God did not create evil, it was humans who made evil possible by making the wrong choice. Evil is not an illusion as founder Mary Baker Eddy argued for through Christian Science. Ernest Holmes founder of Religious Science thinks evil will disappear if we just stop thinking about it. If Holmes is right then all the Jews who were killed were thinking about being killed, and that is why it happened, Hitler had nothing to do with it. When Shirley McClain’s daughter was killed in an automobile crash she wondered why her daughter chose to die that way because people who believe you speak your own destiny are trying to leave out God.
In the Lord’s prayer it says Deliver us from evil not the illusion of it. (Matthew 6:13) The Bible treats evil as a real thing that we must face. Although reconciling God and seeing the evil around us is difficult, we must realize it is a real thing that will only be eradicated at the end of time. The question of evil and God allowing it has driven many away from Him but to what will you go to? Evil exist and Genesis gives an account of why it exist and how it all started.
Why would God give Adam and Eve a Choice?
A free choice means that you can make the wrong choice. God allowed Adam and Eve to make a choice because it was through that Choice that God was not forcing Himself upon them. It was by that choice that those who so choose will live with God for eternity and those who choose not to, will live separated from God for eternity. This topic of God allowing us to Choose Him or He choosing us will be debated till the end of time. I do not wish to cover this topic here today but I think Wayne Grudem says it best
“God decided that he would allow moral creatures to willfully and voluntarily choose to sin. How we put these two truths together is one of the most difficult questions in theology, and it is healthy for us to allow a substantial element of mystery, admitting that a full understanding is beyond anyone’s ability in this age.”( The recognition that there is a mystery here should also guard us against getting into heated arguments over this topic!) (20 Basics Every Christian Should Know, Wayne Grudem, pg 63)
See Also Romans 8:20-22
2) Satan’s Strategy to destroy your life
A) Question God’s Word
Did God actually say? One of the things that is happening in our society with Christians is the questioning of Gods word. What God clearly marked out for us to do and not to do is being questioned and twisted to fit into different lifestyle choices. This strategy has not changed and now many church going people do not even believe that the Bible is without error. Some believe that you have to read between the lines in order to really see what God was saying and by doing so they are creating their own religion or Bible.
Eve added to the word of God by saying that they not only should you not eat the fruit, but they should not touch it as well. God did not say they could not touch it and they could have gone and picked it and thrown the fruit far away from them so they would never be tempted again. Maybe Adam said not to touch it because it was better to just steer clear of it but God said not to eat it.
When we do not know what the Word of God says we can quickly be fooled into believing anything.
We create a false religion because we now make it fit our lives instead of our lives fitting into what God has said. Adam was trying to cover his own guilt and the guilt of Eve by making clothes for themselves. Man has always attempted in the making of his own religion, to cover up his own guilt instead of going to God and asking for forgiveness.
Satan is a liar (John 8:44) but he comes as one who has truth. 2 Corinthians 11:14 describes him as being an angel of light because Satan looks as though he is showing you the way to life but it only leads to death.
B) Question God’s Authority
Satan said “You will not die, for God knows when you eat it you will be like God
Satan was saying that Gods ways are strict, narrow and old fashioned rules that you do not need to follow. A similar lie can be heard by those who say why would you believe a book full of fairy tales even though the Bible is full of History with real people and places.
Satan says God does not know what is best for you and He is just trying to keep you from becoming like Him. When God placed that one rule in the garden it was for their own good. No rules God has established for us to follow are to keep us from enjoying life. In fact, the opposite is true as God is trying to keep us from harming ourselves. Satan was getting Adam and Eve to question God and by questioning God’s goodness, Satan was attacking God’s love for His creation. When you do not trust those who are placed over you then you rebel against everything that is set in place for your own good.
Satan knew if he could get Eve to begin to doubt God’s word and God’s authority than he could deceive her into going against God. Everything comes down to who is going to be God of your life. Almost every cult is about you becoming a god if not God himself.
What Adam and Eve did not realize is that they would know Good and Evil but not as God knows it. God knows good and evil mentally, but Adam and Even would know of it experientially.
When she saw the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye
When you question Gods word and God authority in your life then it leads you to no longer see what He has provided but what He has restricted. Stores do the same thing with advertisements. They get you to see what you don’t have and provide ways for you to have it even though you do not need it.
Satan uses the Physical desires and your emotional desires to get you to fall into sin. Good for food which was physical appetite and that which promises to fill you up. Pleasing to the eye which was emotional appetite which promises to meet some need you have. Adam and Eve had an abundance of both of these things and did not know they needed more until they were tempted to have what God forbid them to have. Satan always makes you FEEL incomplete. David fell into sin with Bathsheba the same way. He saw what he did not have and then went after her and then did all he could to cover up his sin.
We all have areas of our lives that we think will make our life complete yet it only leaves us destroyed. To capture monkeys hunters would put jars in the ground with a piece of food in them just big enough for the monkey to squeeze their hand through. The way they were caught was the hole was not big enough for the monkeys hand to get out if they had the food clasped in their hand. The hunters would then come and kill the monkey who only had to let go of the food and escape but for some reason could not let go of the food they so desperately had to have. Just like the story of the monkeys who would be caught by reaching for a piece of candy in a jar, we too go after things that only lead us to our death.
We do not see the trap that Satan has set for us. We go after a new spouse, a new house, a new car and a new job only to our demise because we thought we had to have it.
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life[a]—is not from the Father but is from the world.
Hebrews 11:25 says that sin is pleasurable for a season. Yes, you will be fulfilled for a time. The length of time may be different to each individual but the Bible promises us that sin is pleasurable for a time.
Just like Eve sin looks too good to pass up. Sin is pleasing to the eye but it comes with a destination as well, and that destination is a dead end.How many people have thrown careers away because they went down paths they should not have gone down? How many people have thrown marriages away because they thought a new marriage would be better?
Proverbs 7 tells a story about how King Solomon watches a young man get lured into sin without seeing its deadly ending.
C) Divide the Family
The Hebrew word for Satan means Adversary. If Couples are supposed to be allies then we know who the enemy is and like any enemy if they can get the allies separated then there is a better chance of defeat. Adam was not the first to sin, Eve was. Eve was deceived Adam was not (1 Timothy 2:14). Satan was successful in dividing the family by a simple act of disobedience. After Eve ate the fruit she was not the same person anymore and now Adam and Eves relationship was not the same. Adam did not have to follow his wife into sin but he willingly put his wife above Gods word. Out of love for his wife Adam sinned so that he could close the gap in the divide that now existed between them. Although our society would applaud Adams choice and although it would make a great love story, Adam sinned and now both their lives were destroyed.
Just like we do, they now were in the cover up mode of their sin. We have heard many stories of loved ones trying to cover up crimes hoping that by hiding the evidence the relationship with their loved ones can remain. But when they were questioned Adam blamed Eve dividing the family even further.
3) God’s Pursuit of His Creation
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking and they hid themselves.
Man’s natural reaction is to run from God and not to God. God called to Adam and Eve to not find them but for them to realize where they were. You will find Gods questions are not for answers but for enlightenment. If you do not know where you are you cannot get where you need to be. People that do not think they have sin in their life will never seek after God who can save them. If you have ever dealt with someone who is in sin but does not see their actions as being wrong it can be frustrating. They think the way they act is not wrong and to convince them otherwise is impossible.
Romans 3:10-11 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.
God from the very beginning was after His creation even while they were running and hiding from Him. The passage does not say that God came home like an angry Father who got called by his wife at work because of the kids. God came knowing what they had already done and was seeking them out for salvation. (See also Ephesians 2:1-8)
4) Why God allows Punishment
It almost seems cruel that God would kick them out of the garden but if He didn’t then they could have eaten from the tree of life and then lived separated from God for eternity. What seems to be a cruel gesture on Gods part was really the most loving thing He could do. Just like when we punish our own children for when they sin we do it because we love them and want what is best for them. We do not always see God as loving when He disciplines us but the Bible is clear it is His love that compels Him to do it.
Hebrews 12:6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
5) How God provided a way back to Him.
We long for what we were designed for, which is a perfect, sinless, relationship with God. Every religion that has been established is does so for the reason of getting back to the Creator. God not only searched out Adam and Eve He protected them from making an eternal mistake and He showed them that one day a Savior would come and pay for their sins.
Naturalism cannot say that there is evil and if they do then naturalism has no remedy for the human dilemma of evil. If we evolved then why are we not seeing people do things that would make life better instead of worse? Genesis tells us why people act the way they do and also that there are forces behind the scenes looking to destroy us. These forces were defeated because Christ defeated them on the cross.
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world,[a] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
The God of the universe who we have rejected (Romans 5:8) still provided a way for us to be back in a relationship with Him. Many people see the death of the animal to clothe Adam and Eve as a symbol of the animal sacrifices God would set into motion until the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ. One day we will be free from these things that lure and tempt us to do things we know we shouldn’t
Romans 5:19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
This is the beauty of Christianity because even though we are sinners it was what Christ did that paid for our sins. This is what separates Christianity from all the other religions. All the other religions are about you working your way back to God with the hope of Him accepting you at the end of your life. Christianity is about accepting the free gift of salvation through Christ with the assurance that when you die, Christ death has paid for all the sins you committed. (Colossians 3; Acts 4:12 and John 14:6)
You will never see this need for God and His free gift of salvation if you do not see that your best efforts are not worthy of Him. (Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 7:18). Yes even your best efforts are evil to God because we are not worthy of Him. Christ and His sacrifice makes us worthy.