This is the “chief of sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, with the Gospel Light Minute X Podcast #373 titled, “How Can You Know for Sure You’re Going to Heaven?” I’m here to remind you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me.
A recent poll indicated that for every American who believes he or she is going to hell, there are 120 who believe they’re going to Heaven.
This optimism stands in stark contrast to Jesus Christ’s words written in the Bible in Matthew 7:13–14: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
The truth is that according to the Bible we don’t automatically go to Heaven. In fact, Hell—not Heaven—is our default destination. Unless our sin problem is solved once and for all, we can’t enter Heaven. That’s the bad news.
In the cool of the evening, God came seeking Adam and Eve, but they no longer wanted to see God. Instead, they felt guilty and hid themselves among the trees of the garden. Adam and Eve did not want to meet with God because their consciences were guilty because of the sin they had committed. They tried to hide from God, and when they were confronted by God, they tried to pass the blame for what they had done.
However, a righteous God could not overlook their sin. He could not pretend that nothing had happened. God called Adam and Eve to come to Him. Then He pronounced His judgment upon them. They would have to leave the beautiful Garden of Eden. Hereafter, Adam would have to work hard to get his food from the ground. Eve would be subject to her husband and would bear children in sorrow and in pain. Even the ground itself would be cursed because of their sin.
To the serpent who had been used by Satan to deceive Eve, God said, “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
This latter part of God’s curse on Satan is also the first promise concerning a coming Saviour. The one who would bruise Satan’s head is the Son of God — Jesus Christ — born into the world as a human. The first man, Adam, had been defeated by Satan. Here God gives the promise of the “second Adam”, the Lord Jesus Christ, who would defeat Satan.
Sin always separates man from God. Because Adam and Eve had sinned, they had to leave the Garden of Eden. But God was already working out a plan to save them. One day He would send His only begotten Son into the world to die for man’s sin. By His death on the cross, the Lord Jesus would make it possible for man to be forgiven of his sin and to come back into fellowship with God.
Meanwhile, God made a provision for Adam and Eve. He clothed them with coats of skins. The Bible says in Genesis 3:21, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” God had to kill innocent animals to make a covering for two people who had sinned. In killing innocent animals to make the coats of skins for Adam and Eve, God taught them that “…without shedding of blood is no remission [forgiveness of sins].”
God had provided the way for Adam and Eve and their descendants to come back into fellowship with Him. From that time until Jesus would come as the Saviour, people were to offer innocent lambs as a sacrifice for sins. God accepted these animal sacrifices because those who offered them were looking forward by faith to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ who would be the Lamb of God — the once-for-all sacrifice — who would take away the sin of the world.
Genesis 3:6: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
As we all know, Satan in the form of a serpent came to the Garden of Eden, lied to Eve, and deceived her into eating fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil which God had told her and Adam not to eat. We looked at the details of that part of this story in our lesson last week. Today, we are going to focus on Adam’s role in the Fall.
After deceiving Eve, Satan used Eve to tempt Adam to disobey God. Our key Bible verse tells us that Eve offered the forbidden fruit to her husband. No doubt she told him what the serpent had said about the great power and self-sufficiency that would be bestowed upon them by eating the fruit. Genesis 3:6 says, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
Adam had to make a choice. He knew what God had said. God had plainly told him that the result of eating the fruit would be death—not power. Was Adam deceived by what Satan had told Eve? No, he was not. He knew better. Nevertheless, he took the fruit and ate it. Adam sinned!
According to R.C. Sproul, “Sin is essentially man’s failure to trust in God, an act or state of unbelief, an assertion of autonomy.” Adam had refused to trust God and had chosen to become his own master, or so he thought. In reality, he was becoming a slave to sin and Satan.
Adam’s sin was disobedience. He disobeyed a direct command of God. He chose his own will instead of obeying God. In so doing, Adam rebelled against his Creator and followed Satan, the first great rebel.
After both Adam and Eve ate the fruit, the Bible tells us that “the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” The immediate result of Adam’s disobedience was death! But what kind of death was it? It was spiritual death. We know that Adam’s body did not die at once. He lived for hundreds of years after his act of disobedience, but he died spiritually that very day.
In the Bible, death always means separation. Physical death is the separation of the spirit from the body. Spiritual death is the separation of God’s Spirit from man’s spirit. To be cut off from the life of God is to be dead spiritually. This is what happened to Adam and Eve when they sinned against God. Their spirits were cut off from God’s Spirit. They died spiritually.
The first thing Adam and Eve noticed after they had sinned was that they were naked. The Bible says, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” Why had Adam and Eve not needed clothing before? Because they had been clothed with the light of God’s glory. Now that sin had entered their lives, they were separated from God, and God’s glory had left them.
The Asbury Bible Commentary states, “Man chose the path of the serpent and thereby usurped divine prerogatives and became his own authority. Distrust led to disobedience. Eve succumbed to the persuasion of the Tempter. Sin quickly spread to Adam and results in shame. The disintegration of harmony within creation began. The serpent’s promise of their eyes being opened comes true but in a distorted and pathetic manner.”
In our next lesson, we will discuss the punishment that Adam and Eve faced for their sin and disobedience.
Genesis 2:15-17: “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
In a previous lesson we learned that Adam was created in the image of God. As he came forth from the hand of his Creator, Adam was sinless. His nature was pure. He did not even have a tendency to sin. However, it was possible for Adam to sin because he had a free will. He was free to choose to obey God or to disobey Him.
God knew that Adam needed a wife, so He caused a deep sleep to come upon Adam. While he slept, God took a rib from Adam’s side and with it formed a wife for him. Adam named her Eve, which means “mother of all living.”
God blessed Adam and Eve and said to them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” God placed them in a beautiful garden called “Eden.” It was Adam’s duty to care for the garden.
There were many different kinds of trees in the garden, but two trees were different from all the others. One of these was named “the tree of life” and the other, “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Adam and Eve were permitted to eat freely of every tree in the garden except one — “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” God specifically commanded them not to eat of this tree and warned them, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”
Adam and Eve were happy in the Garden of Eden and perhaps lived this way for some time. One thing that they especially enjoyed was the wonderful fellowship they had with God, their Creator. In the cool of the evening, God would come and visit with them. But one day, a terrible thing happened. Satan, in the form of a serpent, entered the garden and began talking with Eve. He asked the question, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” This seemed to be a harmless question but Satan had an evil plan. His plan was to deceive Eve into disobeying God.
Let’s look at how Satan deceived Eve. After Satan questioned Eve about God’s command, Eve replied, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.“
Satan’s next statement was a bold lie. He said, “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.“ Not only did Satan’s words contradict God, but he also suggested that God was holding back something good from Adam and Eve. Satan told Eve that, by eating this fruit, she and her husband would be as gods.
Regarding Satan’s promise, Matthew Henry writes that the serpent “suggested to them the great improvements they would make by eating of this fruit. He suits the temptation to the pure state they were in, proposing to them, not any carnal pleasures or gratifications, but intellectual delights and satisfactions. He says, ‘you shall have much more of the power and pleasure of contemplation than you have now; you will see further into things than you do now.’ He speaks to Eve as if she and her husband were dim-sighted and short-sighted, in comparison of what they would be if they ate the fruit. He tells her, ‘You shall be as gods, as Elohim, mighty gods; not only omniscient, but omnipotent too;’ or, ‘You shall be as God himself, equal to him, rivals with him; you shall be sovereigns and no longer subjects, self-sufficient and no longer dependent.’”
Perhaps the idea of no longer being dependent on God appealed to Eve. She had to make a decision. God had said, “You will surely die.” Satan now said, “You will not surely die.” Eve had to choose whom she would believe — God or Satan. Eve looked at the fruit and thought about what Satan had said. Then she made her choice. She took the fruit and ate it. Eve chose to believe Satan.
Genesis 1:1 & 26: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth… And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
During part 1 of this lesson, we learned about the creation of the universe. Contrary to what some would have us to believe, the Bible tells us quite clearly that God created the heaven and the earth and all that is in them. The vastness, order, and creativity of the universe is evidence of an almighty intelligent designer.
During part 2 of this lesson, we learned about the creation of the earth. God spoke the world into existence over a period of 6 days. On day 1, He said, “Let there be light,” and instantly there was light. On the second day God formed the sky and the clouds, which the Bible calls “the firmament.” On the third day, God separated the waters from the land and caused the earth to bring forth grass, herbs, and trees. On the fourth day, God made the sun and the moon to give light upon the earth by day and by night and to produce the different seasons. On the fifth day, God created the fish and the birds. On the sixth day, God created all the animals and reptiles of the earth. Last of all, He created man. Genesis 1:31 says, “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
Today, let’s take a closer look at the creation of man. In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” God’s most wonderful creation was man, because God created man in His own image and after His own likeness.
God named the first man Adam. God created a wife for Adam, and her name was Eve. Adam and Eve did not come up from lower forms of animal life by a process of evolution. They were created by God, and they were created in the image of God. The Bible says, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” God was pleased with all that He had created, and He pronounced it “VERY GOOD.”
God the Creator is worthy of all worship. The universe, the earth, and the living creatures did not come into being by themselves. God created them! In Isaiah 45:12, God says, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even My hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.”
Since God created all things, then to whom do all things belong? They belong to God! All things belong to the One Who created them.
Why did God create all things? He created them for His glory. In the creation of the universe, the earth and all living creatures, God has manifested His power, His glory, and His wisdom. The Bible says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.”
Because God is the Creator of all things, He alone is the One who should receive all worship. Worship is the love, reverence, and obedience which are due God. We should never worship any man, angel, creature, or object. Matthew 4:10 says, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
Why should God alone be worshipped? Because He is the Creator and because He alone is worthy of all worship. The Bible says in Revelation 4:11, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
Have you ever felt dissatisfied with the world? Have you ever felt as though there ought to be more to the life that you are living? As though there was something major missing from your life? Do you know what it is you are longing for?
You are longing for life as it was meant to be lived.
J.R.R. Tolkien, the late English writer and professor most known for the fantasy epics, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, said: “We all long for Eden, and we are constantly glimpsing it: our whole nature at its best and least corrupted, its gentlest and most human, is still soaked with the sense of exile.” Yes, the best of us and the worst of us, feel a tug in our hearts for Eden — the original creation where the first man and woman lived in perfect peace and harmony with God, with each other, and with nature — the original creation that God called “good.” So, what went wrong? Why did Adam and Eve have to leave this paradise?
The reason can be summarized by three words that start with S.
+ Plus, listen to Phil Wickham singing “Heaven and Earth”
100 Days of Preaching the Gospel #15 | with Daniel Whyte III
TEXT: Genesis 3:8-15 “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
As we read this passage, it is easy for us to focus on Adam and Eve’s sin and how God punished them by throwing them out of the Garden. But today, I want you to focus on God’s immediate reaction to the Fall of Man.
When the news of the Fall reached Heaven, the very first thing that God did was come straight down to seek out those who had sinned against Him. Just as he had many times before, He walked through the Garden looking for Adam and Eve who should have come running to meet Him. Instead, Adam and Eve hid from God, and God had to search for His creatures. Imagine, God Almighty walking through a Garden that He made calling out for the creatures He made, “Adam, where art thou? Where art thou?”
Adam and Eve, who immediately felt their separation from God after their sin, should have been the ones crying out for God and searching for Him. But God instead left Heaven to search the Garden for these two who had sinned — not to destroy them from the face of the earth, but to plan a way to rescue them from the misery of their sin. Instead of finding them running to Him in penitence and repentance, God finds Adam and Eve hiding among the trees in the Garden.
I said all of that to say this: Because of Adam’s sin, all of us — Adam’s descendants — are sinners. There is a barrier between us and God. The natural reaction of a person who has a broken relationship with God is to hide from Him. But God, like a good shepherd who searches for a lost sheep, follows the sinner to his hiding place calling out, “Where art thou?”
Right there in the Garden of Eden, God set in motion a plan to save His fallen creation from their sins. The Bible says, “the wages of sin is death…” God knew that someone would have to die for the sins of the world. And so, as part of His plan, about four thousand years after the Fall, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for the sins of the whole world. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Because of Christ’s death on the cross, the door was again opened for man to have a right relationship with God.
Now, God calls out to man in love and compassion pleading with Him to accept the gift of salvation. Unfortunately, some people don’t answer God’s call as they should. Let’s look briefly at three wrong responses to God’s question.
+ Plus, listen to Big Daddy Weave singing “Redeemed”