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Lesson 3: What Happened?
God is the great Creator, the One who made all things.
The universe did not come into being by itself. God created it!
The very first verse in the Bible says:
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1
To "create" means to make something out of nothing. Only God can do this.
The Bible tells us how God created the universe. He did it by His word! The Bible says:
"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth." Psalm 33:6
God's word is powerful! God just spoke and the universe came into being. The Bible says:
"For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast." Psalm 33:9
God created the angels
Angels are spirit-beings, created by God to be His messengers or servants. God created many angels. Angels are very powerful and wonderful creatures but they are not to be worshipped.
God created man
When God created the earth, He prepared it to be inhabited. He created all plant life. He created many different kinds of fish, birds and land animals. Then God was ready for His most wonderful creation.
What is God's most wonderful creation? It is man!
Why is this true? It is true because man was created "in the image of God." The Bible says:
"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created he them." Genesis 1:27
God made the first man out of the dust of the ground. His name was Adam. God made a beautiful wife for Adam. Her name was Eve.
God planted a garden for Adam and Eve to live in. It was called "the Garden of Eden." You and I have never seen a garden so beautiful as the Garden of Eden.
In this garden was every kind of tree that was beautiful to look at and good for food. A river of pure, sparkling water flowed through the garden. Adam and Eve had everything they needed to make them happy.
God told Adam and Eve that they could freely eat of every tree in the garden except one. God commanded them not to eat of "the tree of knowledge of good and evil." God said that, if they ate the fruit of this tree, they would surely die.
Adam and Eve were very happy. The thing they enjoyed most of all was this: God Himself came down to visit them in the cool of the evening. God came to walk and to talk with Adam and Eve.
God was pleased with His creation. He looked at all that He had made and saw that it was "very good." The Bible says,
"He has made everything beautiful." (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
When God made the world, He made everything beautiful. The first people were very happy. But now many things are not beautiful, and people are often unhappy. There is lying, stealing, hatred and fighting in the world today. There is sickness, sadness and death. Sin has spoiled God's beautiful world.
How did sin get into the world? How did sin get into men's hearts? The Bible tells us how it happened.
First, some of the angels rebelled against God. Then Adam and Eve rebelled against God. Let us consider these two rebellions.
The rebellion of the angels
When God created the angels, He placed one angel over all the other angels. His name was Lucifer.
He was the most beautiful, the most powerful, and the wisest of all the angels in Heaven.
It seems that, for some time after he was created, this mighty angel loved God and obeyed Him perfectly. But a time came when Lucifer chose to rebel against God.
Because he was so beautiful and so powerful, Lucifer's heart was lifted up with pride. He decided that he should be God!
He said in his heart:
I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. Isaiah 14:13
What was Lucifer's great sin? It was the sin of rebellion against God. God saw what was in Lucifer's heart and He cast him down from his exalted position.
His name was changed to Satan which means "adversary" or "enemy."
Satan was the first angel to rebel against God but many other angels followed him in his rebellion. These angels who followed Satan are called "fallen angels" while those who remained true to God are called "holy angels." Satan and his fallen angels were cast out of Heaven.
Satan and his fallen angels set up a kingdom opposed to God. Ever since Satan's rebellion, there have been two spiritual kingdoms in the universe:
the kingdom of Satan and
the kingdom of God.
One day Satan and his followers will be cast into hell, into the lake of fire. This terrible place was not prepared for men but for the devil and his angels.
The rebellion of man
When God created Adam and Eve He placed them in the Garden of Eden. He told them that they could eat the fruit of every tree in the garden except one.
God commanded them not to eat of "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." God warned them that if they disobeyed Him, they would surely die.
One day Satan came into the garden in the form of a serpent. His purpose was to deceive Eve. Satan told Eve that she would not surely die if she ate the forbidden fruit. He told her that she and her husband would become "as gods" by eating this fruit.
Eve believed Satan's lie. She took the forbidden fruit and ate it. Eve was deceived by Satan. Eve then offered the fruit to Adam.
Now Adam had to make a choice. Adam was not deceived by what Satan had told Eve. He knew what God had said. Nevertheless, Adam took the forbidden fruit and ate it. Adam and Eve had disobeyed God.
A righteous God could not overlook their sin. God called Adam and Eve before Him. He told them that they would have to leave the beautiful Garden of Eden.
Adam died spiritually
Adam's disobedience affected the whole human family, and it affected you and me. It brought sin into the world. The Bible says:
"By one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin." Romans 5:12
Sin separates us from God. When Adam sinned, he was cut off from the life of God.
God had said,
"In the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die." Genesis 2:17
Adam died spiritually that very day, and he began to die physically.
Something else happened. Adam's disobedience affected the whole human race. Adam was different from all other men in that he was the first man. The whole human race came from him. Since Adam was the head of the human family, what happened to him affected the whole human family.
When Adam disobeyed God, he became a sinner. Adam passed his sinful nature on to his children and to the whole human race. Adam produced a race of sinners.
The Bible says:
"By one man's disobedience many were made sinners." Romans 5:19
But God still loved Adam and Eve and, on that same day, He made a wonderful promise to them. He promised them that one day He would send a Savior into the world.
That Savior would be God's own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.