Genesis chapter 3 records the fall of man in the garden of Eden when the serpent tempted Eve by asking her “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?  First of all, he twisted what God had told Adam and Eve.  God told them they could eat of any tree in the garden except of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Eve also twisted God’s word when she answered the serpent.  “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say ,’You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of garden and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”  God did not say, “you must not touch it.”

The serpent went on to deny that what God had said was truth by saying, “You will not surely die.” And then he intimated that God was withholding something good from them by saying, “God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 

The rest is history!! And mankind deals with the sin that entered into the bloodstream of mankind to this day.

The oldest question in the world, “Did God really say?” is being asked again today in our generation.  God’s word is being questioned as never before, especially regarding questions of morality.  Reasoning goes like this? Well, we only find that in the Old Testament.  Jesus never said anything about that. God wants people to be happy, doesn’t he?  If it’s wrong, why do I feel this way?  You can add dozens of other ways of reasoning.

The church is being asked to be broad minded as never before.  I find it interesting that there aren’t too many areas in our world where being broad minded works.  I had open heart surgery three years ago.  I am so glad my surgeon was not broad minded about the way he replaced my heart valve.  Everything had to be done precisely or I wouldn’t be here today.  If you take your car to a mechanic to be repaired, and he is broad minded about the way he replaces the faulty part, your car will not work. Medicines have to be prepared precisely or they will do more harm than good. The list goes on and on.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the cornerstone that the church is built upon.  There is no other. We either build upon Him and his Word or we are going to end up with a building that will not withstand the storm that is being loosed upon this world.  Matthew 7:24-27 gives an example of two houses that were built, one upon a rock and another upon the sand.  When a storm came the house built upon the sand “fell with a great crash.”   It is only as we build upon the rock, Christ Jesus and his Word that the Church will survive the storm.

There is no sin that God will not forgive except that of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29) but with forgiveness a change in life-style is required.  Jesus told the woman taken in adultery that he did not condemn her but that she should “go and sin no more.” John 8:11. When Jesus healed the man at the pool of Siloam, he told him, “See, you are well again.  Stop sinning of something worse may happen to you.”

If the Church preaches the truth of God’s Word without watering it down, questioning if that is what God really said, and changing it to conform to the changing morals of today’s society, we can bring hope and salvation to the desperate needs of the world we live in.

Naomi Brinkman