When It Comes to Death and Suffering, Your Foundation Matters

It’s an age-old question. How can a Christian explain this world of death, disease, and suffering and yet believe in a loving God? Well, only those who take the book of Genesis as literal history can explain the condition of the world today.

Earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, diseases, violence, and death—we see these catastrophes and tragedies each day on this earth. Surely no one would call a world like this “good.” But in reality—and I’ll explain why in a moment—it’s only Christians who compromise Genesis with millions of years who have to justify describing all this as “very good.”

In 2019, the website of BioLogos, the organization that actively tries to get churches and Christian institutions to believe in evolution and millions of years, stated,

We’re thrilled to announce the release of an important new book, Understanding Scientific Theories of Origins: Cosmology, Geology, and Biology in Christian Perspective. This book—a textbook—was written by five Wheaton College professors. [It is] the fruit of a 3-year grant they received from BioLogos in 2013.

Now, the professors who wrote this book promote evolution and millions of years, such as by saying,

Although some Christians have argued that the fall utterly disrupted some kind of original perfection of creation, there is no evidence from either the Bible or the creation, making that a foregone conclusion.

At Answers in Genesis and in the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum exhibits, we teach the opposite of this statement. AiG teaches that the fall utterly disrupted the original perfection, and we show directly from Scripture that we now live in a groaning world because of sin.

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:20–23)

So, why do these Wheaton College professors claim the fall did not disrupt “some kind of original perfection of creation”? Well, to put it simply, because they believe in millions of years of history!

In the 1700s and 1800s, atheists and deists wanted to explain the fossil record by natural processes to get rid of any explanation from the Bible, such as the global flood of Noah’s day. So, they claimed the fossil layers over the earth were laid down millions of years before the existence of man. Now since that time, many people in the church have accepted these supposed millions of years to explain the fossil-bearing layers and tried to fit them into Scripture before humans (before the creation of Adam and the entrance of sin).

It’s important to understand that the fossil record with its billions of dead things is not just a record of death but a record of disease and violence.

It’s important to understand that the fossil record with its billions of dead things is not just a record of death but a record of disease and violence. The fossil record holds numerous documented examples of diseases like cancer in bones, evidence of animals eating other animals, and fossil thorns—all supposedly millions of years old. However, the Bible teaches that before man sinned, the animals were vegetarian (Genesis 1:30), thorns came after the curse (Genesis 3:18), and everything was “very good” (Genesis 1:31).

After creating everything, including the first two people (Adam and Eve), “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

Originally, before sin, there was no death, disease, bloodshed, carnivory, or thorns. God described everything as “very good.” But those who accept millions of years (like these Wheaton College professors) believe the death, disease, and bloodshed we observe today are all part of how God created everything. Thus, those things must be “very good,” according to their worldview.

One of the most-asked questions by the younger generations today is, “How can Christians believe in a loving God with all the death, disease, and suffering in the world?” Sadly, most of our church leaders have told these young people that’s how God created everything. Only those Christians who take Genesis as literal history, as it is meant to be taken, can explain that the world we live in today has been affected by sin. It’s a fallen, groaning world full of death. In fact, God describes death as an “enemy” (1 Corinthians 15:26). This fallen world is not God’s fault: it’s our fault because we sinned in Adam.

In Acts 3:21, we read that one day in the future, all things will be restored. In other words, when God makes the new heavens and earth, it will be restored to be like it was before the fall. And how is this restoration described?

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

Of course, to be consistent, those who accept millions of years and believe that the original “very good” creation was full of death, disease, pain, and suffering must also believe that the restoration will be one of death, disease, pain, and suffering. That would not be “good” and certainly not “very good”!

Only those who accept the literal history in Genesis can properly understand why the world today is as it is.

Only those who accept the literal history in Genesis can properly understand why the world today is as it is. And only those who take Genesis literally can rightly understand the origin of sin, what it has done to the world, and even more importantly, what it has done to each of Adam’s descendants. Only then can we truly understand the message of the saving gospel and why Jesus’ death and resurrection were needed so that humans can be saved for eternity.

What a difference it would make if all pastors and Christian leaders were teaching Genesis as literal history and equipping generations with answers to defend the Christian faith against the attacks by secularists who fervently preach (yes, preach) the religion of evolutionary biology, geology, astronomy, and anthropology!

Introducing Divine Dilemma

Now I’m excited to announce I have just released a new book on this vital topic, Divine Dilemma: Wresting with the Question of a Loving God in a Fallen World. Lots of books have been written on this topic (after all, coping with death, suffering, and disease is difficult for Christians and non-Christians)—is this just another book about how to understand death, suffering, and disease with a loving God?

Divine Dilemma is not just another book on this topic. It is an immensely personal book. I discuss tragedy in our own family when a younger brother of mine (Robert), who was a great, Bible-teaching pastor, died from a dehumanizing brain disease over a two-year period. How did we deal with this? I follow my dear godly mother as she walked a path through this seeming nightmare of events (my Dad had passed away seven years earlier).

And yet, my mother’s faith in the Lord never wavered! Yes, she certainly was the matriarch of our family and impacted so many people for the Lord. But this trial that she, and the rest of the family, went through was terrible.

Divine Dilemma is certainly a different sort of book on the subject—very personal, yet giving clear answers. And lots of family photos (in color) and illustrations are included in the book to put faces to the names and events.

This is the latest book I’ve written, and I trust it will be a help to many. I pray we will look back and see how God used my brother Robert’s death to minister to people in a way that would not have been possible if this sad event had not happened.

I trust you enjoy Divine Dilemma: Wrestling with the Question of a Loving God in a Fallen World. You can order your copy today at AnswersBookstore.com.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.






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