Category: At Issue (page 2 of 14)

Why Did God Make Us Knowing All Would Fall and Many Would go to Hell?

I am not a super smart guy but I like to think, especially about God and His Kingdom. When I was very young, I asked someone why God made us. They said because He was lonely. Years later, I read the Scriptures and found no hint that God was ever lonely. In my early Christian days, I thought that God just wanted to share a good thing, namely, Himself and eternal life in bliss. Later, however, my thought process deepened when I realized how bad the Jewish nation was and how bad all mankind has been, including myself. My teacher colleague who was somewhat religious but wanted nothing to do with following Jesus, kept throwing this question in my face – Why did God make us knowing that people would go to hell? Jesus did say many would travel down the wide road of destruction and few will find the narrow road to life (Matthew 7:13-14). So now there was more to contemplate. God does know the future and would have had to do all His creating knowing about the impending pain and suffering on earth and beyond. How then can we proclaim that our God is a loving Master? (Note: an essential side issue is whether or not Hell is eternal torment for humans, but that discussion is too long of a rabbit trail for now, so I will sidestep it for now).

I began to search for an answer based upon what I saw in His Word. For starters, Psalms 40:7 reveals that God comes in the volume of the Book, so I begin all thinking based on the Bible. The only way I can know God intimately is to know His Word, understand it, and meditate on it (unless He appears to me in a vision and talks for hours which has not yet happened – and even then, He will not contradict His written Word to us). I hold the Word in awe as well as God Himself. Even God magnifies His Word (or promises) to the level of the honor of His name (Psalms 138:2). In this awe of respect for God and His Word is the beginning of wisdom, and for this issue, I need a lot of wisdom.

I also learn from the Book of Job that I need to assume that God is perfect and all that He does is right. I believe that God has always existed in eternity because the Bible says in John 1:1 that He and His Word were already existing at the beginning. He has no beginning. After all, there must be an uncaused cause to get everything in existence going, right? Once we transport our minds into the eternal realm, we lose something from our frontal lobe. Try as we may, we can never wrap our brains around the concept of eternity. Nevertheless, the answer to the question must begin in this unfathomable arena.

I also believe that all angels were created in righteousness. If Ezekiel 28:12-17 is referring to Lucifer as many Bible scholars believe, then he was in the Garden of Eden still in a perfected state then fell shortly after. I also believe that time was created sometime during the creation (oops, I can’t have “some time” before time was created, but please just bear with me a bit). Now I have set the stage for my thoughts about why God created everything knowing that devastating results would be incurred.

My logic says that if there is such a thing as righteousness, then there must be its antithesis. After all, how can there be good without the notion of evil? In other words, if there is the concept of “good,” then there has to be the concept of “not good.” If evil is only a concept, then it is not actually in existence…yet. It is this notion of “not good,” later emerging into reality, that God may have been targeting to conquer, not just once, but forever! How could He do this? He would have to allow it to emerge from concept to reality and then conquer it with perfected love.

What is perfected love? It is not only a willingness and a commitment to experience the ultimate pain and humiliation for the sake of something or someone that is totally evil (undeserving of salvation) and not able to help itself. It also becomes action (Rom.5:8). Merely saying we love someone without any demonstration of that love is shallow at best. At worst, it is a lie. Our fall enabled God to perfect His love, i.e. to demonstrate what was already in existence (His love was always perfect). His Word states that His love is perfected in us (1John 4:12,17). I think this means His love can now be seen by all the angels and humans. It is the deepest that a love can be. This is why He wants us to love our enemies and not limit our love to only those who love us (Matt.5:44-46). This is one of many hints He has given us as to His reason and plan for our existence. It reveals our Father’s “heartbeat.” If we desire to be close to God, we need to embrace this love lifestyle in order to reflect Him to others.

But isn’t it cruel for God to put mankind (and animals) through all this pain and suffering? No, He knew what was necessary to bring about perfection forever. He told us this fallen life would be sorrowful, but that the joy later will be so wonderful that we will not remember the earthly woe (John 16:20-22). It’s kind of like what a physical therapist does to a patient needing rehab from surgery. The contortions may cause pain, but it does prevent scar tissue from forming and promotes healing and prevents pain in the future.

Therefore, God allowed His human creation to fail and fall into sin and be captured by evil power. This may explain the troubling Scripture in Genesis 6:6 when it is revealed that God was sorry that He made man. At first glance, it sounds like God had wished He never made us, but I think it means that He simply went through a temporary mourning period when He saw evil take over His creation. God had a similar experience in Jesus when He wept over Jerusalem as that nation was poised to reject Him.

God could have created more angels to replace Lucifer and his cohorts (fallen angels), but these newbies could rebel sometime later in eternity. I believe God’s plan was to do something so that evil and rebellion could never occur again. Therefore He made creatures (humans) lower than the angels and allowed them to fall into darkness (we cannot see God like the angels can) so that He could put an end to evil’s claim on those souls of those humans by stepping into His own creation and paying the price Himself. He bought us back (1 Cor.6:20) from the sentence of the Lake of Fire (Eph.2:1-7) where unredeemed souls would die a Second Death (Rev.20:6,14), thus ridding His universe of all evil and bad things forever. Immediately following this judgment, the new heaven and new earth was seen by John in Revelation 21. Perhaps the concept of evil will not be erased but certainly its power to appear again will be gone forever. Scripture definitely states that God knows good and evil, so I assume this knowledge will not be erased. As a result of the Fall, humans know about good and evil, but I’m not sure if the redeemed will have this knowledge in eternity. Certainly temptation to do evil will never occur again, thank God!

During the suffering years of earth’s history, He also formed a Bride for Himself which is a central theme throughout both Testaments. This may have been the prize that Jesus looked forward to just prior to His crucifixion. At the center of the new heavens and earth was His Beautiful Bride – all the believers who ever lived on earth as fallen people but now without blemish. What a sight for His sore eyes!

Romans 12:21 – “Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” This is what our Great Creator has accomplished in Christ and why I think He made everything knowing what would happen.

End Note: I believe all human history is just “Phase One” of God’s plan for us. Scripture states that His government (Kingdom) is everlasting and ever expanding (Is.9:7 & Dan.2:44). Currently, we are in what is called the “Church Age” or “Age of Grace.” The Bible speaks of “ages to come” in Ephesians 2:7 and Daniel 7:18. The teaser is that we cannot imagine what will occur in those ages (1Cor.2:9). The Bible gives use some hints, however:

  1.  We will not remember the former things (Isaiah 65:17),
  2.  All rule, authority, and power will be abolished (1 Cor.15:24),
  3.  No suffering or death (Rev. 21:4),
  4.  Sunlight and moonlight are not needed (Rev. 21:23),
  5.  No night times (Rev. 21:25),
  6.  We will see God face-to-face (Rev. 22:4),
  7.  No Temple needed because Jesus is the Temple (Rev. 21:22),
  8.  We will rule (something) forever (Dan. 7:18 & Rev. 22:5) – I guess #2 above refers only to worldly powers,
  9.  We will judge the world and the angels (1 Cor.6:2-3).

I think our afterlife experience may feel like being catapulted into the stratosphere. Whatever is in the works for the redeemed souls could not happen until evil was done away with first. Then we will be ready for “the booster rockets” necessary to usher in the other ages to come. Wow!


CL – very understandable – well done

NF – Wow– what a deep lesson really made me stop and think about the future and the past–thanks so much for sharing it!

Were the Nephilim in Genesis 6 Extraterrestrials?

According to the History Channel, yes. But I do not trust the spirit behind those programs. They are not at all interested in telling people what God was saying to mankind during those cited episodes in the Bible that seem to be describing ETs to them. The programs just want to divert from any notion that there is ONE GOD who is a Loving Boss. Their definition of ET would be a life form that is not spiritual but physical, and has evolved farther than humans and may have produced us as an experiment. There is never a message of love for us or intervening on our behalf as God has done through the centuries. The Bible-believing Christian could define ETs as angels or demons because they are not from this earth. Jesus defined God, who is the ultimate “ET,” as being a spirit, not a physical entity simply with superior DNA. If Satan can get people to believe that God is nothing more than a physical entity that’s more evolved than we are, then there is less desire to worship him….and this could be the bottom line of this deception. Who are we to trust, the History Channel along with its evolutionary bias, or the Word of God to humanity? From a biblical perspective, determining the actual identity of the nephilim is difficult. There are four theories:

Theory #1: Offspring of Seth—The sons of God were the godly line from Adam to Seth down to Noah, and the Nephilim were fallen children who sought after false gods. A portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls contains the earliest known reference to the phrase “children of Seth,” stating that God had condemned them for their rebellion. Other early references to the offspring of Seth rebelling from God and mingling with the daughters of Cain are found in Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, Augustine of Hippo, Julius Africanus, and the Letters attributed to St. Clement. It is also the view expressed in the modern canonical Amharic Ethiopian Orthodox Bible. Orthodox Judaism rejects the idea that angels could intermarry with men. Consequently, most Jewish commentaries describe the Nephilim as being from the offspring of “sons of nobles,” rather than from “sons of God” or “sons of angels.” Note: Jewish or Christian commentaries are not considered to be word-for-word God-breathed by Christians or Jews.

Likewise, a long-held view among some Christians is that the “sons of God” who fathered the Nephilim spoken of in the text, were in fact the formerly righteous descendants of Seth who rebelled, while the “daughters of men” were the unrighteous descendants of Cain, and the Nephilim the offspring of their union. Holders of this view have looked for support in Jesus’ statement that “in the days before the flood they (humans) were marrying and giving in marriage.”

Some individuals and groups, including St. Augustine and John Calvin, take the view of Genesis 6:2 that the “angels” who fathered the Nephilim referred to certain human males from the lineage of Seth, who were called sons of God probably in reference to their being formerly in a covenantal relationship with Yahweh (Deuteronomy 14:1; 32:5). These sources assert that men began to pursue bodily interests, and so took wives of the daughters of men, e.g., those who were descended from Cain or from any people who did not worship God.

Theory #2: Offspring of angels— Fallen angels bred with human women and had offspring that were called Nephilim. A number of early sources refer to the “sons of heaven” as “Angels.” The earliest such references seem to be in the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Greek and Aramaic Enochic literature. Also some Christian apologists shared this opinion, such as Tertullian and especially Lactantius. However, “angels” in this context has sometimes been considered to be a sarcastic epithet for the offspring of Seth who rebelled. The earliest statement in a secondary commentary explicitly interpreting this to mean that angelic beings mated with humans can be traced to the rabbinical Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, and it has since become especially commonplace in modern-day Christian commentaries.

The New American Bible commentary draws a parallel to the Epistle of Jude and the statements set forth in Genesis, suggesting that the Epistle refers implicitly to the paternity of Nephilim as heavenly beings who came to earth and had sexual intercourse with women. Genesis 6:4 implies that the Nephilim have inhabited the Earth in at least two different time periods—before and after Noah’s Flood. If the Nephilim were supernatural beings themselves, there is a theory that the “giants of Canaan” in Numbers 13:33 were the direct descendants of the antediluvian Nephilim, or were fathered by the same supernatural parents.

Some Christian commentators have argued against this view, citing Jesus’ statement that angels do not marry. Others believe that Jesus was only referring to angels in heaven. Evidence in favor of the “fallen angels” interpretation includes the fact that the phrase “the sons of God” (the Hebrew words literally mean “sons of the gods”) is used just two times outside of Genesis chapter 6. In both instances (namely, Job 1:6 & 2:1) the phrase refers to angels.

The story of the Nephilim is further elaborated in the Book of Enoch. The Greek, Aramaic, and main Ge’ez manuscripts of 1 Enoch and Jubilees connect the origin of the Nephilim with the fallen angels. Although Christians do not believe these sources are “God-breathed” like the books of the Bible, they can contain historical facts.

According to these texts, the fallen angels who begat the Nephilim were cast into a place of total darkness. However, Jubilees also states that God granted ten percent of the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim to remain after the flood, as demons, to try to lead the human race astray until the Final Judgment. In addition to Enoch, the Book of Jubilees also states that ridding the Earth of these Nephilim was one of God’s purposes for flooding the Earth in Noah’s time. These works describe the Nephilim as being evil giants. There are also allusions to these descendants in the books of Judith, Sirach 16:7, Baruch 3:26–28, and Wisdom of Solomon 14:6, and 3 Maccabees 2:4.

Theory #3: Fallen angels overtook men—Fallen angels possessed men and caused them to breed with women; the offspring were not a mix but completely human. One question is, would such people who are
overtaken by demons and/or fallen angels warrant the title of “sons of God?” In all of Scripture, demons are never described as “sons of God.” This is similar to Theory Two.

Theory #4: Fallen men view—Godly men (sons of God) took ungodly wives, and their descendants (the Nephilim) followed after the false gods, rejected God, and fell far from God in wickedness. This is similar to Theory One.

Conclusion: Take your pick. I’m not sure if we can know for certain. I am not comfortable with fallen angels being the parents of the Nephilim because Jesus said that angels do not marry, therefore I assume they do not reproduce like humans. I also assume they lack sexual organs to perform such a task, unless they did exactly what the Holy Spirit did to Mary. If demons can do this, I assume that would mean they can create the necessary physical genetic code material, and I think only God can do that. There are no other Creators beside Him. This would make for a great sci-fi movie – evil angels steal genetic code from God in order to produce a human race against God! For an in-depth work on the Nephilim, go to Who Were the Nephilim – Answers in Genesis


CL – I have never studied this outside Scripture and really appreciated your commentary and extended references. This is something I searched myself (just Bible Commentaries) and came to my own conclusion which you have included here – but I have always still been unresolved and desirous of more information from knowledgeable resources. This was great and when I have time I will search more out.

Alona R – In all of my Bible studies I had never heard of most of your references, just Judith and the Maccabees. Thank you for all your research and references.

Was Adam Literal?

Science indicates Adam was not a literal man as revealed in Christianity Today, “The Search for the Historical Adam,” by Richard Ostling, June 8.2011. This is not to say that this Christian magazine is advocating this view, but rather it is showing what “science” claims. I put the word science in quotation marks because this segment of the scientific community is simply voicing opinions based on what they believe from current data. I maintain that their interpretations are in serious error. Not all scientists agree on this issue. You might want to read the article first before reading further: The Search for the Historical Adam – Christianity Today

It is so sad to see men “out thinking” the Holy Scriptures. When they made their points, they quoted scientists. When a literal Genesis view was presented, they quoted pastors. From a scientific viewpoint, how fair is that? They never included scientists who believe in a literal Adam, and I have a long list of those who do, and they all work at major universities such as Cornell, Penn State, Princeton, and many more. (see LINK UNAVAILABLE

There are plenty of these people from which to choose. One comment in this article was, “there is nothing that insists on a literal understanding of Adam in a passage (Gen. 1-3).” Really?! What about Jesus talking about Adam as being a literal person? They talked about Paul perhaps “not understanding the scientific knowledge of today,” but they dared not include Jesus with that arrogant statement. The truth is that scientists are just scratching the surface with this new human gnome DNA research, and to draw these outlandish conclusions (to usurp the authority of Scripture) is not only arrogant, but foolish and extremely short-sighted. In ten more years, they will know more about the history of human DNA, and what they’ve prematurely concluded now may very well be abandoned then. God’s creation is so complex, but knowledge does puff up and these guys think they know so much when they don’t. So much of science today is adulterated with man’s own thinking and spiritual biases. The scientists do see facts, but they have their own spin put upon those facts, and they falsely call it knowledge (1 Timothy 6:20-21). These modern-day interpreters of Scripture should go back and read God’s rebuke to Job about his apparent lack of scientific knowledge about how and why God made things.

Ironically, science has come up with a “Mitochondrial Eve.” This refers to the matrilineal most recent common ancestor of modern humans. She was the most recent woman from whom all living humans today descend, on their mother’s side, and through the mothers of those mothers and so on, back until all lines converge on one person. In other words, science is thinking that evidence exists that strongly indicates that all humans can be genetically traced backward in time to one woman.

The Bible claims that the fool in his heart says there is no God (Ps.14:1-3). But the devil is no fool (Gen.3:1). He believes in the one true God and trembles (James 2:19). But he knows how to deceive (2 Cor. 2:11). If he can wipe out a literal Adam from modern minds, then what happens to original sin? That’s gone as well. If that is gone, what is the meaning of the Cross? Not much. The spirit behind evolutionary thought is to first undermine the very core of Christianity, and many believers have not looked seriously into this issue unfortunately. The more we ignore it, the more ground it can gain.

Consider these quotes:

“Anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done and may in the end be our greatest contribution to civilization.” – Dr. Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes, 1977. This resembles something that Screwtape would say to Wormwood (if you are familiar with C.S. Lewis’ classic book).

“Christianity will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly the very reason for Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and original sin, and in the rubble you will find the remnants the son of god. Take away the meaning of his death (if Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means), then Christianity is nothing.” – G. Richard Bozarth, “The Meaning of Evolution,” American Atheist, p. 30, 9/20/79.

“You are an animal and share a common heritage with earthworms,” – Biology: Visualizing Life, Holt, 1994. This is a typical statement in all government-run high school science textbooks. Notice how it is stated as a scientific fact despite evolution being only a theory. This is indoctrination and suppresses critical thinking skills. Our tax dollars support this.

I did like South Carolina pastor Phillips’ comment at the end of the article: “Can the Bible’s theology be true if the historical events on which the theology is based are false? If science trumps Scripture, what does this mean for the virgin birth of Jesus, or his miracles, or his resurrection? The hermeneutics behind theistic evolution are a Trojan horse that, once inside our gates, must cause the entire fortress of Christian belief to fall.”

In conclusion, I am thankful for what Jesus told us – “…I will build My church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it” (Matt.16:18). Some believers, however, may simply sit back in peace with this knowledge, but there is an ongoing war for the souls of people and there is a “Goliath” here strutting arrogantly in front of us ridiculing our God with the same demonic spirit in that ancient Philistine. Rather than just resting in the knowledge that Christ will triumph in the end, we should also heed 1 Peter 3:15 – “…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence….” Sooner of later, the subject of evolution will confront you. My advice to you is to first repent of the fear of man (which I had to do and still battle to this day). Second, embrace this motto – “It is not about us, it is about Him.” Third, depend on the Holy Spirit to give you the right words.

Feedback so far:

NF – You are so right on Dave—it’s all about Jesus living in your heart –trusting and believing and letting the Holy Spirit speak the needed words to say when meet such folks–glory to His Holy Name forever!

GR – Brother Dave, when will man, atheists, amateur theists, pastors, etc STOP trying to manipulate, change, analyze, question the Word of God. REALLY! If people would stop trashing the Word of God and READ the Word of God and LIVE by the Word of God, all the problems in the world would be gone. I guess its just too easy and man’s PRIDE always gets in the way.

CL – I tried reading all the way thru the Christianity Today article but I couldn’t even finish it – not worth the time I even spent! I would love to be able to see the faces of the “scientists” when they die and meet the One True God…or maybe even Adam (or Eve).

AR – I agree with CL – that article is ridiculous! However, I’m sure some who read it could have been swayed if they didn’t do as GR suggests READ and LIVE by the WORD.

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