Over the next several weeks we are going to follow the story line of Scripture from Creation to Jesus’ return in an effort to deepen our understanding of the Gospel and how Christians are to live after they have professed Christ as Lord and Savior. (Part 1, Part 2)
What Does Adam and Eve Have To Do With Me?
Sin not only affected Adam and Eve and the world in which they lived, but it also affects us. Romans 5:12-19 teaches us Adam is the representative of the human race. Since he is our representative, everyone born after him is born as a sinner.
Even though we are not Adam, our sin is no different than Adam’s. It is rebellion against God. A rejection of God’s rule over our lives. Our sin, just like Adam’s deserves punishment. In fact it deserves the same punishment — death. So we not only trace our sinful nature back to Adam, but we trace our judgment back to him as well.
What is the Punishment for Sin?
The punishment for sin involves more than physical death. It involves more than broken relationships with others. It involves more than bad things happening in the world. The punishment for sin involves separation from God. That separation occurs now and in the future after we pass on from this life.
Sin is a big deal because separation from God means separation from all that is good, beautiful, joyful and all other good things God gives. It means we will experience “the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and His might” (2 Thess. 1:9-10). The punishment we experience will result in a miserable and painful existence for all eternity.
The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus helps illustrate what eternal punishment will be like. In Luke 16:22-26 we read,
“The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’” (Lk 16:22–26)
Notice the Rich Man begs for relief, but no relief is given. He is left to experience the anguish of the flames. Anguish that will never cease because there is a great chasm between him and heaven.
You see, hell is an unquenchable fire (Matt. 25:41; Mark 9:43), a place where the worm doesn’t die (Mark 9:48), and its intense pain causes weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 13:42). Hell is not a fun place!
A Promise for the Future
Before Adam and Eve left the garden, God did something for them. He made a promise. In Genesis 3:14-15 we read,
“”The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”” (Ge 3:14-15)
God promised to send a Savior. A Savior that would crush the head of Satan. But this Savior would do more than defeat Satan. He would serve as our sacrifice. God indicates this with His actions in Genesis 3:21. There we learn,
“And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” (Ge 3:21)
So God made garments to cover Adam and Eve, to cover their shame and nakedness. One day another will come who will cover us. His name is Jesus. We learn more about Him, His redemption and reconciliation in the next section.
- Why are we born with a sinful nature?
- What is the punishment for our sin?
- What will the punishment for sin be like?
- What is God’s promise?
Some posts structure influenced by Big Truths for Young Hearts by Bruce Ware