Is it fair for us to be punished because Adam sinned
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|If God exists, why is there evil in the world? What is evil? Where did evil come from? Why doesn’t God intervene and stop all evil? How can physical evils such as earthquakes, tornadoes and cancer be explained? Is there a good reason for the existence of hell on which even some atheists would agree? What about those who have never heard the Gospel?
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 8, Cat. No. EVL
Keywords: The Fall, Sin nature, Original sin, Genesis 3:1-23, Ephesians 2:1-22, 2 Peter 2:1, Romans 5:12
- Ankerberg: When we did a program one time and Phil Donahue had just come out with a book, and he was talking about the reasons why he had left the faith. And one of the reasons had to do with original sin, and saying, “That’s not fair because Adam sinned, made a choice and we were born with a spiritual vacuum and that was passed on, therefore, if we follow that spiritual vacuum, the fact is that we’ll go to hell. How can that be fair?” You’ve got another illustration that I’d like you to share with us. It’s about people being born on a road, etc. Tell us about that.
- Geisler: Let me tell you a humorous thing about Phil Donahue. The title of that book was Donahue, by Donahue. That proves depravity right there: a book by Donahue on Donahue. If he didn’t believe in original depravity he just ought to meditate on the cover!
- Secondly, he has some silly things in that book and that’s one silly thing. Another silly thing was, “If God thought sex was good, then why did He bypass sex to get His own Son into this world?” Virgin birth. And C. S. Lewis answered that one in advance years ago, 40 years before Donahue. He said, “The virgin birth is no more an insult to sex than multiplying loaves is an insult to bakers.” It’s not an insult at all. So, Donahue’s arguments weren’t very profound and the answer is very simple: “Sure, we’re born depraved. We’re born with a propensity to sin and a necessity to die.” We didn’t have any choice. Adam made that choice in chapter 3 of Genesis. Romans 5:12 talks about it.
- But it’s like being born on a road that’s going down and it’s going to go over the edge of a cliff. So, that’s the kind of road we’re born on. However, there are warning signs along the way. And if you crash, if you go over that hill, you go over for two reasons: 1. You were born on that hill going that direction – we’re hellbent from the time of our birth. We’re “children of wrath;” [Eph. 2:3] but 2. you failed to heed the warnings along the way. There are a lot of warnings that say, “Turn or perish. Turn around!” and we didn’t heed them. So we can’t blame God for the second one. That’s our choice. We’d never gone off the cliff unless we had chosen not to turn around.
- Ankerberg: Last week you showed us that God is willing that all should come to repentance. He really wants that, but He won’t force us, alright? And you used an illustration about a farmer with a pond where he put up a sign on the tree that said, “No swimming.” Had a fence there. But three boys came, jumped over the fence, went into the pond. For the people that missed the whole thing, illustrate that God is really willing that none should perish.
- Geisler: The farmer, if he was really all loving, would have tried to save all three boys, even though there is a fence and a sign saying, “Don’t swim.” If he comes upon the three boys drowning, anyone who had the right kind of love in his heart would have tried to save everybody. But according to the extreme Calvinists, God only tries to save some and only saves some. And that’s contrary to the Bible which says, “God so loved the world;” [John 3:16] “Christ died not only for our sins, but for those of the whole world.” [1 John 2:2] Ephesians, Romans, all kinds of passages in the Bible. That He tasted death for all men. [Heb. 2:9] God loves everyone, and what’s wrong with this extreme Calvinist position is that God only loves some people. He doesn’t love everybody. He’s a partially loving God.
- Well, now, they answer my illustration by saying, “Well, it’s not like that at all. It was a king who had a servant and they were totally dependent on the king, and he graciously lavished on them everything they needed and they’re drowning in a pond.” They make the illustration better; they make it more reason why God in His mercy ought to reach out and save everyone. They don’t answer either the Scripture verses which clearly say – now how much more clear can you get – 2 Peter 2:1, which says, “They denied the Lord who bought them”? In other words, the people who are apostate who deny Christ, He still bought them with His blood. “He is the satisfaction for our sins and for that of the whole world.” [1 John 2:2]
- There is just passage after passage, Scripture after Scripture saying God is all loving and He wants to save everyone. Even Romans 9, their famous passage, which they think proves their points says that “He endured these vessels of wrath.” [Rom. 9:22] That means He was waiting for them to repent. He’s enduring in His patience waiting for them to repent. They’re “vessels of wrath” not because He made them that, but because they did by their own choice.