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will do about it Introduction: You ever made a really bad decision that you still regret to this day? This week I was doing some research for today’s message and I came across a list of some of the worst business decisions ever made. I wanted to share some of those with you, so here are 5 of the worst business decisions ever made: 5. Decca Records hears the Beetles before anyone else, has a chance to sign them, but refuses to because they sound too much like the Shadows (who?) 4. ABC turns down the Cosby Show because “viewers won’t watch such an unrealistic show.” 3. M & M’s says no to being E.T.’s favorite candy in the movie. Reese’s Pieces instead becomes E.T.’s favorite candy and there sales triple overnight. 2. Schlitz beer decides to cut quality to go for quantity. As the article says, “they went from #1 to done within a few years.” 1. New Coke (more people switched over to Pepsi as a result of new Coke then anything Pepsi ever did). The reality is we make bad decisions every day of our lives. Some of them have dire consequences (like poor Schlitz beer), others of them are just embarrassing. No matter who we are though, we don’t always get it right. We make bad decisions. Today we’re going to talk about the worst decision made in human history. A decision with such disastrous consequences that it literally changed the course of human history forever, Adam and Eve rebelled against their Creator. They chose to believe a lie, they chose death over life, they chose themselves over God. Why did humanity fall, and why do we still? There’s a lot in this text to answer that question: I. Distortion of God’s Word
a. The first reason humanity falls into sin is because God’s word is distorted and twisted. This is always the way the Devil works; he hasn’t changed his tricks ever since. Listen to the words of Genesis 3:1-3: 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Now did God actually say that? No, God actually said nearly the opposite: You can eat from any tree in the garden except one, that’s it) 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” b. Now the woman at first speaks up to defend God it looks like (always a bad idea to engage Satan by the way), but then quickly falls into the trap the Devil has laid out for her: She adds to God’s word. Where? Look at the end of verse 3: She says that God said they can’t even touch the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” But that’s not what God said. He never mentions anything about touching the tree in his command to Adam in chapter 2. c. Satan comes making God’s word sound more restrictive than it actually is. Eve adds to God’s word. God’s Word is distorted. Sin always finds an easy way in when the word of God is distorted. d. ‘Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps’ is commonly thought of as a biblical verse or idea: it is not, but it will cause you to be a legalist. Or you have those that will endlessly quote verse like God says, “Do not judge,” and “God is love” when someone confronts them about sin in their lives. That too is a distortion of God’s word and leads to either the sin of legalism or the sin of licentiousness. Think of Christians justifying slavery. That comes from distortion of the word of God. This eventually leads to the second tactic Satan uses to get us to fall into sin; that is… II. Denial of God’s Word
a. Look at vs. 4 with me: But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So first what Satan does is deny the word himself: “You will not surely die.” Then to get Eve and you to deny the word, He causes you to question the goodness of God: “God’s holding out on you. He’s lying to you. He just doesn’t want you to experience all that’s out there in the world.” b. This argument’s particularly effective when one is in their teenage years, right? Because you care about their safety, you won’t let them stay out ‘til all hours of the night; they have a curfew. You want to know where they’re going, and who they’re with; you won’t let your kids drive, (even though all their friends might drive already). And the devil whispers to your teenager, “Your parents just don’t want you to have fun with the others. They just don’t want you to have better experiences than they had when they were your age. They don’t know what life is like today.” c. But come on, it’s easy to pick on teenagers. None of us are immune from this Satanic denial of the word. He says, “You will not surely die.” And then we start listening to our own reasons for denying God’s word as well. I know the Bible says, “no sex before marriage, but we love each other.” I know the Bible says “lying is wrong, but if I don’t I could be hurt at work.” I know God’s word says, “to turn the other cheek, but I’m sorry, if someone smacks me, I’m smacking back hard.” Whatever the reasons may be for our denial of the word of God in our lives, the fact is, Satan ends up getting us to follow in his footsteps denying the word of God. d. What areas of your life are you willing to deny the word of God? Once that happens, then the final step in the sin process takes place… III. Dethroning of God’s word a. Vs. 6: “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate,
and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” She saw, she desired, she took. There it is. It’s just that simple. It starts with just the look at what you know is forbidden, just allowing yourself that one thought, that one look in the direction. Before you know it, desire is kindled; the desire begins to takeover and the next thing you know, you’ve got the fruit in your hand, your talking to that person of the opposite sex at work you know you should avoid; you’re watching that show you shouldn’t watch; you’re telling that lie you shouldn’t tell. Boom! And that’s how the worst decision ever in human history was made. b. The other day I took both my boys with me to Kohl’s to get a couple of pieces of clothing. They didn’t have any carts available, so they had to walk next to me in the store. So, naturally a couple times they ran away from my leg, or were grabbing things off shelves. My goal is to get them out of there alive and without breaking stuff. So later on I go to get Jude out of his car seat and when I lift him up out of the seat, underneath him is a gift card to ‘Chili’s restaurant for $50. So I say, “Jude where did this come from?” He looks at me with this big smile and says, “I stoled it from Kohls.” Now he saw, he desired, he took. There was that moment where he was sort of proud of himself. Then I looked back at him and said, “Well, I guess we’re going to have to take you to jail then.” And suddenly my poor boys eyes were opened. c. What happened here was far more serious than stealing a gift card; what we are reading about in this text is literally cosmic treason. Eve was deceived the Scriptures tell us, and so we might be inclined to cut her a break. But Adam, has a different story altogether. He was just standing there!!! What was man’s greatest sin: nothing. He did nothing. He did not speak up to Satan, but let his wife take the fall. He did not lead with the word, but he willfully took of the fruit he knew God had said not to. And in the process he committed spiritual adultery, idolatry; Adam essentially said, “I wanna make the rules, I wanna do what I want when I want. I don’t want your authority God. I will rule.” d. What was it like for Adam and Eve once they had taken that first bite?
Consequences of sin a. Eyes are opened- It’s the alcoholic who had been clean but takes his first drink in years; it’s the young couple who finally decided to have sex together for the first time. The Bible describes with just these words: And there eyes were opened. No, no, no, no. You ever seen something disturbing that no matter what you try and do, you can’t get out of your head? That’s what’s being described here. They’ve seen now and that sight is forever imprinted in their minds. b. Fear of God- Immediately we’re told that their relationship with God is altered dramatically. At the end of chapter 2 we read that man and woman are naked, eating fruit and hanging out with God; the good life. Now, God is no longer seen as Daddy, but as Dictator, Judge, the Cosmic Eye in the sky. i. A number of years ago, Woody Allen made a remarkable film called ‘Crimes and Misdemeanors’ dealing with this very issue. In the story the main character, Judah Rosenthal finds himself in a morally horrid situation. From all outside perspectives he seems to be an upstanding man, a doctor, and philanthropist. But on the inside he is anything but that. He is having an affair and using funds from his foundation illegally. Eventually, the woman he is having an affair with can’t deal with his false promises that one day he will leave his wife for her, so she threatens to out him and his “unusual” business practices. Rosenthal can’t have this; it will ruin him. And so through a series of events, eventually he ends up murdering his lover. And from that point on in the film he is overwhelmed with this incredible guilt. Memories of his father speaking to him as a boy come rushing back to him: “The eyes of god are always on us, Judah.” He cannot escape it; he begins to feel that this great cosmic, accusing eye is watching him everywhere he goes. God sees, he knows. ii. And so Adam and Eve to escape this Cosmic searching Eye, seek to hide from God, from man, from themselves sewing fig leaves to cover their nakedness.
c. Hiding from man and God due to shame- I have to say I love this picture of just how brilliant man in sin is. The text tells us they hear God (the infinite Creator of the universe coming), and Adam says, “Go hide behind that tree. Maybe He won’t find us.” Any of you who has kids knows what this kind of hiding looks like. For example, just about every night after I tell my kids to go to bed, they will try and sneak out of their rooms to play with each other. Now I can hear them from downstairs, because they don’t what it means to do things quietly. So eventually, I start walking up the stairs. What happens as soon as they hear me coming up those stairs? They immediately run into their separate rooms, sometimes even screaming when they do it. They can’t really hide from me, but they think they can. You ever fooled yourself into thinking you can hide from God? i. Adam and Eve hide because they are now filled with shame and disgust. There is no one they can have contact with without a covering on. What are you hiding today? d. (Inability to take responsibility) Everyone blames everyone else for the problems in the world. We think that this sort of victim culture that we live in today is new, but the fact is, it’s as old as our first parents. Sinners always find a way to make themselves the victims, rather than the one responsible. So God comes to man and says, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree I told you not to? i. Notice God calls to man first, because he is responsible for the well being of his family (which is still true today); Man blames God and woman ii. Woman blames snake e. And to there is complete family breakdown. Woman will have pain in childbirth whereas before it would have been a pleasant and beautiful experience. As a result of sin entering the world, she will desire to rule over her husband, but cannot. Or in other words, she will naturally resent being under his authority, and will try and take over his role of leader. But she will find it to be a curse, because the more she tries, the more she’ll find out the impossibility of it.
i. Man will work slavishly hard to provide f. Slavery to sin/death/eternal death- But by far the worst consequence of the Fall was how it completely broke our relationship with God. From this moment on, man’s free will to choose, became a will that would only choose sin; men would be slaves to sin, bound to death (as God had promised), and destined to live eternally in hellfire. g. But our story’s not done: As much as we’re told about the dreadful consequences of the Fall, we’re also told what our hero, God, is going to do about it. V. How God, the Hero, will fix it (God’s amazing grace): a. He still calls them: After the creation has sinned, God could have (and would have been completely just in doing so) just ended it. Another big bang and the world is done; game over. Instead, God tenderly calls out, “Where are you?” Some theologians refer to this as a redemptive call; I agree with them. This is a rescue call; think of how you might call out for your son or daughter if they were lost in the woods. He knows exactly where they are, and He knows exactly where you are, but He wants them to come out of their hiding and fellowship with them. I believe that God still makes this redemptive call today: “Where are you?” and every once in a while when there is finally no background noise, no rowdy friends, no entertainment to distract you, the sound of that voice hits you: “Where are you?” God still calls because for some reason, God still loves his treasonous creation. God’s rescue begins with a call, it continues with a promise. b. Genesis 3:15 is one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture because it shows me from the very beginning that God had a plan to fix this mess. God says to Satan, “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.” The verse is known as the “protevangelium” or in English, the first gospel. Why? Because even as their punishments are being pronounced for their sin, God makes a promise to them that someday One will come that will crush the head of the serpent. Oh sure, the snake will bruise his heel as He suffers and bleeds on the cross,
but through that action, Jesus Christ, will crush the head of the snake. He will have victory as He rises from the dead. Satan will not win! This promised offspring, this Seed is really what will hold the rest of this story together. The whole rest of this book is in someway or another following this offspring that will one day bring salvation for all. We will follow this line closely as we continue. c. And finally, God will cover them so that they might still have relationship with Him and one another. They had sewn pathetic fig leaves together to try and hide themselves, but it didn’t work. So what does God graciously do for them? He sacrifices an animal, takes it skin and covers them with that. God condescends to where they are at and covers their shame and humiliation. But this covering is not easy. Something must die, in order to provide the covering. The animal here, Christ there. He will die to cover their shame and humiliation, our offenses against God. d. You’ve probably heard of the movie “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” but chances are you haven’t heard the whole story. It’s a true story set in Thailand during World War II. A large P.O.W. camp, filled with westerners from Britain and the United States, is headed up by the Japanese. Their job: to build a railway track in the middle of the Thailand jungle. The conditions are absolutely horrendous. The prisoners have little to no food, they are working in 120 degree heat and their captors are merciless. As a result, 80,000 prisoners died. Ernest Gordon, a British officer, tells us that the prisoners had learned to live in a sort of savage, kill or be killed way themselves. Stealing from one another, hating each other, they desperately fended for themselves. Until one day, something dramatic happened that changed the whole atmosphere. Philip Yancey picks up the story: Japanese guards carefully counted tools at the end of a day’s work, and one day the guard shouted that a shovel was missing. He walked up and down the ranks demanding to know who had stolen it. When no one confessed, he screamed “All die! All die!” and raised his rifle
to fire at the first man in the line. At that instant an enlisted man stepped forward, stood at attention, and said, “I did it.” The guard fell on him in a fury, kicking and beating the prisoner, who despite the blows still managed to stand at attention. Enraged, the guard lifted his weapon high in the air and brought the rifle butt down on the soldier’s skull.” The man fell to the ground and was gone. “That evening when tools were inventoried again, the work crew discovered a mistake had been made: no shovel was missing.” The innocent soldier had given his life to save, to cover his friends. Jesus, in order to rescue us, stands up and takes credit for our sin saying in essence, “I did it,” as He hangs upon the cross. To rescue us, He takes the blows, the kicks, the thorns, the nails, the rejection, the death that we have earned. But there is one dramatic difference between what the soldier did and what Christ did. You see in this story, we really did take the shovel. The Bible says that because of the Fall into sin, we declared ourselves God’s enemies, but the book of Romans tells us: “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Today God would call out to you and give you the news that indeed the snake’s head has been crushed. Jesus has paid for humanity’s sin and now provides the covering you need to stand before Him boldly, closely, restored, paradise awaiting you.