Evangelistic Apologetics – The Church Under Attack (Part 21)
“The only worldview that is true is God’s view of the world.”
In the last part of our study we saw that the undeniable end of Satan’s worldview (“you will be like God, knowing good and evil”) was great wickedness and every intent of the thoughts of the hearts of humans being “only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). Satan’s worldview is every worldview except one – God’s.
We’ve seen in previous articles that worldviews that grew from Satan’s lie included atheism, agnosticism, polytheism, pantheism and panentheism. How did they develop and what can we learn from their development to understand how Satan is attacking the Church today?
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
The first worldview we see in Bible history is monotheism – one Creator God. At least the first few generations of human beings were monotheists. It’s obvious from Genesis 4:25-26 that the lineage of Seth (the third son of Adam and Eve) were monotheists (“Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.”). However, it appears something changed prior to the 7th generation in the lineage of Cain (the first son of Adam and Eve).
“Then Lamech said to his wives: ‘Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, Even a young man for hurting me. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold.” Genesis 4:23-24
Lamech was mocking what God said to Cain many years earlier after Cain killed his brother Abel. God told Cain, “Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold” (Genesis 4:15). Lamech may have heard that story directly from Cain because of the longevity of humans at the time. We know from 1 John 3:12 that Cain was a wicked man whose works were evil. Cain was afraid for his life, so he moved away from his mother and father and built a city for protection. Cain named the city after his first son, Enoch, and pursued the desires of his heart which were based on wickedness and evil. That pursuit impacted his family, deeply.
Another person named Enoch was in the lineage of Seth. Enoch was a child of the 7th generation from Adam even as was Lamech in the lineage of Cain. The fact that the Genesis account gives us specific insight into the firstborn son of the 7th generation from Adam in both the godly lineage of Seth and the ungodly lineage of Cain is important to notice.
“Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” Genesis 5:21-24
Hebrews 11:5 reads – “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him.” Men at that time lived more than 900 years before they died, but God took Enoch from earth when he was just 365 years old. Why did God take Enoch hundreds of years before he would have been old enough to die? “… for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Enoch was known to be a monotheist who pleased God.
Enoch of the lineage of Seth and Lamech of the lineage of Cain would have been cousins in the same generation from Adam, so we can compare what had happened to each line during a similar period of time.
- Lamech — mocked God
- Enoch — walked with God
Lamech was at least a practical atheist in the 7th generation from Adam. Enoch was a committed monotheist in the 7th generation from Adam. I think that what happened from the 7th to the 10th generations from Adam may explain why God took Enoch from earth more than 500 years before he would have died a natural death. Monotheism was dying out as a dominant worldview and atheism was taking its place.
“Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” Genesis 6:1-7
The lines blurred at some point during or after the 7th generation from Adam and the sons of the godly line (Seth) married the daughters of the ungodly line (Cain), leading to a diminishing of the practice of monotheism. For all practical purposes the world became humanistic and atheistic. They lived as if there were no God, which led to a corrupt earth that was “filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11).
Jesus referred to this same period of time when He said, “And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:26-27)
The entire human race was living their lives with no thought about God at all. Life to them was about doing what they wanted to do, no matter who else it hurt.
“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
How thankful we can all be for Genesis 6:8 – “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” Why did God choose Noah? It began with Noah’s father, Lamech (not the same Lamech as in the lineage of Cain). Lamech was practicing monotheism in a world that was overwhelmingly atheistic.
“Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. And he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord has cursed.” Genesis 5:28-29
Lamech believed in the God who created Adam and knew that the hard life he and other human beings lived was because of the ground the Lord had cursed in the Garden of Eden. Lamech was the 9th generation from Adam and many people in his family alive during his lifetime would have known and spoken with Adam and Eve. They would have had first-hand accounts of the Creator God, the Garden of Eden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the serpent, the sin, the curse, leaving the Garden of Eden, the first murder, the birth of Seth and Enosh, and the disappearance of Enoch. Some may have even traveled to see the angel on the east side of the Garden of Eden with the flaming sword, “which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Genesis 3:24). To anyone who wanted to know the truth about God, they could find the answers directly from the people who were eyewitnesses of those early events.
Lamech named his first son Noah saying, “This one will comfort us.” Enoch raised Noah to believe in the Creator God.
“Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.” Genesis 6:9
Noah did not become a father until he was 500 years old. That may have been because he didn’t marry until God called him to build the ark. It may have been difficult for Noah to find a wife who was a monotheist or he may not have married until late for some other reason. They had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. By the time Noah entered the ark just before the Flood, his sons were married. Noah, his wife, three sons and their wives entered the ark with the animals God brought to the ark to save them all from destruction.
Monotheism – Again
After the Flood that destroyed all but eight souls on earth (1 Peter 3:20), Noah and his family left the ark with the animals that were onboard and started a new life with the original worldview of monotheism. They had personally witnessed the awesome power of the Almighty God. God blessed Noah and his family and told them to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1).
The atheistic society that existed before the Flood had been a violent one, so God made a covenant with Noah and his family that addressed future violence.
“Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.” Genesis 9:5-6
What would happen to a world inhabited by eight people who all believed in one Creator God? Would the people obey God and follow Him for the rest of their lives? Would atheism make a return as a worldview that opposed the existence of God? Or would a new worldview make its entry into the human experience? We’ll see next time as we continue to look at The Church Under Attack.
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”