Secular Humanism is the religion of public education which espouses that there are no absolutes, no right and wrong, no black and white and where every man does that which is right in his own eyes. And so it is no wonder why Dr. Ham suggests that the average person in America today must be reached basically the same way that Paul went about reaching the Greek of his day.

I want you to notice that in I Corinthians chapter fifteen, Paul didn’t end his explanation of the gospel in verse four. Later in that same passage Paul continues in verses 12-22,

“Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

And also in verse 45, “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.”

Notice that in explaining why Jesus died, Paul went to the book of Genesis and the account of Adam and the fall of man. In other words, one cannot really understand the good news or the gospel in the New Testament of Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and payment for sin, until one understands the bad news in Genesis of the fall of man, the origin of sin and its penalty of death.

Without the knowledge of sin, its origin and its resultant penalty, salvation by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross to pay for our sin debt, wouldn’t make sense to a lost person. And so the literal rebellion of Adam, as recorded for us in Genesis, is the foundation necessary to understanding the meaning of sin.

Question? Is there a need to believe in a literal “fall?” The answer is “absolutely!” You see if there was no literal fall, than what is sin? Who defines it? What then is Paul talking about in I Corinthians chapter fifteen or in Romans 5:12 where he states, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

And so, in explaining the gospel, Paul discusses the foundations of the gospel all the way back in Genesis, about the bad news which includes the origin of sin and its resultant penalty of death. He then can tell them about the good news of salvation in Christ.

Again, in explaining the gospel in Colossians, Paul points out that our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is also the Creator.

Look at Colossians 1:13-17,

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”

In Revelation, we are told concerning Jesus Christ in Revelation 4:11,

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

And in Revelation 5:9,

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.”

God’s word tells us that Our Creator became our Redeemer! (The great Creator became my Savior!!) The reason this was necessary is because all humans are sinners and therefore a sinful person could not die for our sin. We needed a perfect man to die for us. The only solution was for the perfect, sinless Creator to become man so He could be our Savior! And thus, the doctrine of creation is vital to understanding the gospel.

Another thing that Paul does is to write about the consummation of all things or the final victory that will overcome the effects of the fall of man. Look once again at I Corinthians 15:46-57,

“Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?   The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Other books such as II Peter and Revelation give further details of this consummation. Revelation 21:4 states, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

And also Revelation 22:3 which says, “And there shall be no more curse.”

II Peter 3:13 says, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

To summarize, we must be able to present the gospel to a “Greek” like people as Paul did in his day by understanding the following three elements,

1) If one preaches the gospel message without the message of the Creator, and the origin of sin and death, then one preaches it without the foundational knowledge that is necessary to understand the rest of the gospel. And then without this information, who then is Jesus Christ? Why did He need to die? Why should He, and not someone else, die for sin? What is so special about Christ? Where did sin come from? Why can we say that ALL have sinned? Why do we die?

2) If one preaches a gospel without the message of Christ crucified, buried, and risen from the dead, then one preaches a gospel without power. After all, as Paul said, “And if Christ be not raised, you faith is in vain; ye are yet in your sins.” The only reason our sins can be forgiven and our relationship with our Creator be restored is because of what Christ did on the cross. The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is central to the gospel!

3) A gospel that is preached without the message of a new heaven and earth is a message preached without hope. What point is there to a gospel with no future sinless state? Because of sin and the judgment of the curse, the creation is groaning. There is sickness, death, and suffering all around us. However, we need to understand that death is an intrusion in our world. In I Corinthians 15:26, Paul clearly states that, “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

In essence, these three elements are necessary for someone to fully comprehend the gospel and thus the ultimate meaning of Christianity. The reason we are having such a hard time getting the lost to receive the gospel is because they have been taught and are being taught that these three things (that God created all things, there was a first man Adam that rebelled, and thus we are all sinners condemned to death) are false.

Most textbooks in our children’s schools are blatantly anti-Christian. Evolution is presented as fact. By and large students are being told that they are just like animals, there is no purpose and meaning in life, science has proved that God is not necessary to explain the universe and life. For them, the pain, death, and suffering that we are reminded of daily are necessary parts of life, and thus are essential to furthering life on this planet. Therefore, how can there be a loving God?

Young people today have little or no understanding of what is meant by sin or of its consequences. They are growing up in a culture that teaches them that they are just evolved animals and that there is no Creator God to whom they are accountable. Logically, then, there is no basis for absolutes and everyone has a right to their own opinions; there must be a tolerance of all views. (except Christianity of course) For them “truth” is relative, Television programs and movies portray accepted “norms” as sex outside of marriage, violence, materialism, and sensual pleasure. Human life is not really considered special.

If this is the norm in America, and it is, think about countries like Russia, China, and Japan where there is no Christian basis. How could they ever understand the gospel without the foundational knowledge of the Creator, of sin, and thus the need for salvation?

Understanding these foundational aspects of the gospel in Genesis is a vital key to unlock a powerful method of evangelism to reach the lost world for Christ!

In the next lessons we will learn how to reach an increasingly anti-God Western culture as well as other godless nations with the Biblical gospel message.

Let’s pray.