Old age of the earth and belief in the Bible
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Evolution related
Christians ask whether it is right to believe that the earth is millions of years old? What they ask is if they may change the statement that God/Jesus/Holy Spirit created the heavens and the earth in six days? To answer that question, the following are important:
- What is a Christian? It is a follower of Christ.
- Did Jesus believe in six days of creation or in millions of years of evolution? Obviously, since He is the Creator, He knows it happened in six days (John 1:3).
- Does He believe that the earth is millions of years old? Why would He do that?
- Was everything created in six days and then millions of years elapsed, or did the millions of years elapse and then Adam and Eve were created? Either way, it contradicts the Bible's account of creation in the beginning, followed by Adam's descendants. If the ages of the descendants are counted correctly, allowing some leeway, the earth can't be more than 10,000 years old.
- Will Jesus gain anything by believing something that is not taught in the Bible? No, only that He would be branded as a liar, since He said that Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35), that He is filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:21,22; 4:1,14), that the Scripture was inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21), that He sent us the Holy Spirit when He returned to His Father, and that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth (John 16:13).
- Would Jesus have taught millions of years if He had known modern science? Probably not, since the age of the earth depends on age determinations that have to make various assumptions. The present status of atoms in rocks can be determined, but who knows what atoms were in the rocks in the beginning? Nobody. They have to assume that there were no radioactive isotopes in the beginning. When the age of modern lavas were determined it was flawed. They tested millions of years old, while the dates that they erupted were known as a few hundred or a few decades ago. Jesus would not have depended on assumptions.
- What would He have gained by teaching that the earth is millions of years old? The only implication would have been that He is not the powerful Son of God who created the heavens and the earth in six days a few thousand years ago. That would mean that neither He, nor the Father nor the Holy Spirit will be able to do what we hope for, namely a speedy end to this age, the renewal of the universe, our bodily resurrection and glorious life with the Trinity for all eternity. To do that calls for omnipotence, and Revelation 21-22 (the new heaven and earth) is tied up with Genesis 1 and the rest of the Bible that calls people to repentance. If Jesus can't deliver what He promised, why call sinners to repentance, to have faith in Him, to be sanctified, to live a sanctified life, or to believe in that glorious hope and eternal inheritance (1 Peter 1:4-6)?
- The truth of Scripture. The whole issue of the old age of the earth boils down to the issue of whether we can believe what the Bible says? If Scripture is even 1% wrong, we are in trouble. That would mean that the serpent (the devil) was right when he told Eve that God's words are not true. She will surely not die if she disobeys God, but she will become independent like God (Genesis 1:1-5). He was wrong, because their disobedience cost them their wonderful carefree existence, cursed the earth and brought death into the world. When someone refuses to believe the Bible that says the earth is young, it is not inspired by the Holy Spirit, but by the unholy spirit. Are we saying that Christians that believe the earth is millions of years old, are not Christians? Every person chooses what to believe, but we will all give an account to God for what we believed while on earth. It will not be something to look forward to, to stand before God and claim that the Holy Spirit lied, because God did not create all things in the beginning and Adam on the sixth day. The Biblical account was clearly wrong and unscientific. Yet age determinations depend on unknown assumptions. Saying to God that one secretly believed He created by evolution (the only reason why people believe in long ages), is another reason why we shudder for such people. God was very clear, He is not pleased with faithless people (Hebrews 11:6). What does He mean by that? We don't know, but we imagine it means that you doubt His integrity and holiness. Anybody who claims that God is a liar (by saying that the Genesis 1 account of creation in the beginning, with man on the sixth day, and his descendants following him), is doubting God's integrity and holiness.
- Scripture is God's message to us. It is a true account, a reflection of His character, namely absolutely flawless. Man has the right to reject it, which means God would gain nothing by lying. The truth can be rejected, but there is no sense in lying to people and then to tell them they can believe it or not. In addition, the tremendous attack against the Bible by evolution, atheism, liberal theologians, Islam and others (all inspired by the enemy of God), can only be justified by the fact that the Scriptures are true, correct and powerful. People will eventually either live with God or not. The devil will not share God's presence, because he will be in hell, and he wants to spite God and man by deceiving many people.
- Eventually believers who submit to God and decide to follow Him with perseverance and patience, will be part of the Bride of Christ. It will be an eternal marriage to the Son of God. Here on earth we are practicing to live in relationship with Him, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Scripture. Anyone who thinks that God lied when He said He created the heavens, earth and all life in six days, makes a big mistake by trusting that he will be welcomed as part of the Bride of Jesus Christ. Liars will be in hell, and God will not be in hell, but in heaven (Revelation 21:8).
Conclusion: think long and hard and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. There are many false teachers that we are continually warned about in Scripture. Don't think that they will not use the 'science' of evolution to deceive people. They don't have the Holy Spirit (Jude 19).