What On Earth Is God Doing?
In beginning a study of evangelism, one may not think it’s relevant to start in Genesis, however, if we want to get a full view of evangelism, and especially the question of why we should evangelize, we must start with what God’s thoughts are about the subject, and what he has been doing in human history for the last 6000 years.
So, last Sunday, in our seminar series on evangelism at High Country Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, Genesis 1:1 is where we started.
Of course, Gen. 1:1 is the definitive statement about the origins of everything. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” but we can also read in vs. 26 – 28, and v. 31
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
What do we see happening here?
God has created the universe, and then we’re specifically told about the creation of man. Why did God create man? Was he lonely? Did he desire fellowship? That’s a popular explanation in Christian circles. We must, however, remember that God is complete in himself. He does not, nor has he ever had a need. Within the Trinity, nothing is unfulfilled. God did not need fellowship because the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all had and loved one another.
To get an idea of why God created, look at Colossians 1:16 – “For by him were all things created… all things were created by him and for him” (emphasis mine). Additionally, look at Romans 11:36 – “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.” Our understanding of why we should evangelize must begin with understanding what God is up to in his works in human history. First, God created, and he did so for his own pleasure and his own glory.
The next thing that appears to us in the narrative is a command. God gives some instructions, in very clear terms and with a definite consequence, to Adam.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
One of the next major events that happens in this scene will go a long way to help us understand why evangelism is necessary, but as we progress through our consideration of human history as it’s recorded in the Bible, we’ll begin to see vignettes of God’s activities of evangelism.
More on that later this week.
Thanks for reading.