One of the most foundational truths in Scripture is the first one we read: God created all things. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).
Since Satan is a liar and a deceiver, it comes as no surprise that we have been under a full court press from the theory of evolution for at least 150 years. When Charles Darwin first published his Origin of Species in 1859, he popularized the idea of naturalistic evolution, the idea that all matter evolved over billions of years into what we see today and that we as humans in particular evolved from African apes.
Some Christians feel so overwhelmed by the seemingly universal allegiance of the academic and scientific world to naturalistic evolution that they have decided to split the baby and hold to theistic evolution—the idea that God used evolution to bring about the results he desired. This option may appear attractive, but it requires that we reject many foundational teachings from God’s Word, including: 1.) Adam and Eve were not the first human beings, but were just two farmers among about millions of other human beings at that time 2.) Adam was not specially formed by God from the dust of the ground 3.) Eve was not directly made by God out of Adam’s rib 4.) Adam’s sin was not the first sin and 5.) Human physical death occurred for thousands of years before Adam’s fall.
For these reasons and so many more, Scripture and evolution are not compatible.
Instead of being embarrassed about what Scripture says about creation, we need to embrace it more than ever. This is not the first time that people have rejected the idea that God creating all things. In fact, in Acts 17, when Paul was at Mars’ Hill talking to the Epicureans and the Stoics, he was talking to people who were similar to many in America today.
The Epicureans denied the existence of an ultimate Creator God, and they instead believe in many gods who did not meddle in the affairs of men. Life for them was about pursuing pleasure, and they believed at death one ceased to exist and therefore didn’t need to fear judgment. The Stoics were pantheists; they believed that God and creation were one. Their ‘god’ was an impersonal force and human souls were sparks of this impersonal force, and therefore, they too did not believe in judgment.
These views sound familiar, don’t they?
But Paul’s response was to unashamedly preach explicit truth about God being our Creator. When Paul encountered the intellectual elites of his day, this is what he declared: “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man.” (Acts 17:24).
The first truth that Paul proclaimed was that God is the creator of all things. He almost certainly knew that the Epicureans denied that there was an ultimate Creator. He probably knew that the Stoics denied the separation between God and man. And yet he begins his message by declaring that there is one God who made all things.
Paul even goes on to declare that God made a literal Adam. “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth.” (Acts 17:26). You can almost hear modern theologians and scholars rebuking Paul, “Don’t talk about a literal Adam! We all know we didn’t come from one man.” I’m sure the Epicureans and Stoics thought this was foolish, too. But Paul was not ashamed. The Bible tells us that on the sixth day God created man from the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Unlike the theory of evolution, which believes that man is just an accident, the Bible teaches that male and female are both made in the image of God.
Why did Paul insist on declaring that God created all things? Because it is only in knowing that God is the creator of all that we can understand our accountability to him. Look again at v.24—“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth…”
Because God made everything, he is Lord over all. We are all therefore accountable to him. Because he is Lord, God has a sovereign right over every human being.
This is a truth we need to hear whenever a society becomes like those in the times of the judges and ‘everyone does what was right in his own eyes.’ This is what the Epicureans were doing; they were living for pleasure. This is what we see today, especially in regards to sexuality—"Why can’t I dress like that? What’s wrong with looking at pornography? Why can’t I divorce my spouse? Who cares if two men sleep together? Why can’t I have sex outside of marriage?” It is only when we understand that God is the rightful Lord over our lives that we will see that we must obey him.
More than ever, we need to affirm and declare to our culture: “There is a God who made the world and everything in it, and He is Lord.”