How can God condemn the whole human race for two people eating an apple?

How can I possibly relate to a person being saved or unsaved that God is a just and loving Father when he condemned an entire human race because of what happened in the garden over 5,000 yrs ago by 2 people eating an apple. (disobedience to God)

My response is in Green:

Thanks for writing me. This is a hard question, but I will give it a shot and let you know what I think about it.

First I need to tell you that I believe God does not owe us anything, including an explanation for what He does. I say that just because we tend to judge God by human standards and we have no right to do that. However, that said, I still believe God is a fair and just God and that if we look we will see that.

Let's start at the beginning. Many people try to complain because God put the forbidden fruit in the garden with Adam and Eve, but without it, we (they) would have been nothing but zombies. Sure we would not sin but it would be because there is no choice. God loved us enough to allow us to make our own choices. I also believe that it meant much more to Him to know some people would choose to love Him by free choice even though others would reject Him.

You have to take a look at Adam and Eve too. When God created them they did not have a corrupt nature like we do today. They were not created with the propensity to do evil. They truly had a choice whether to disobey or not. Once they sinned they passed that fallen nature down to the rest of us. That is what original sin is. I say this many times so you may have already read it on my page, but you don't have to teach a child to lie, it comes naturally. You have to teach them to tell the truth. This is because of our fallen nature. Not one of us can say that we have never sinned.

Many people will try to tell you how they have lived a good life; not doing drugs, not having pre-marital sex, not murdering, etc... but they can't honestly say they have not sinned. Since all sin is disobedience to God and an affront to His holy nature, all since warrants death (separation from God for eternity). That is where salvation comes in. God gave Adam and Eve an free choice to choose whether to obey Him or not. Just because they chose not to did not mean that He stopped loving them. His holy nature cannot change, so He cannot just turn His back on sin and ignore it, it must be dealt with and punished. So what could He do? He could have totally destroyed the human race and started over, but He didn't. He did what we as humans would never have thought of. He paid the price for our disobedience. He demanded death to the sinners and then He sent His Son to server that sentence for us. Now to have Christ's death accredited to our accounts all we have to do is have faith that Jesus was Who He said He was and that He did die for us, and that after death God raised Him up physically. If you believe that and ask Him to forgive you, you are saved.

You may think God is unfair for holding sin against us and you might be right if He had not made provision for it, but since He did why judge Him? Whose fault is it if a person goes to hell? It is the person who refused to accept the provision God made for them.(Romans 3:22-23 NIV) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, {23} for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...

That brings up a lot of different theological thoughts about people who have never heard about Jesus, etc... I don't want to go into all of them right now, but I will repeat that I believe God is fair and just. God's law is not like our law. If you get caught for speeding and convince the judge that you did not know what the speed limit was where you were at, it makes no difference you are still guilty. God on the other hand only judges on what we do know, not what we don't know. So for instance I believe that children and mentally retarded individuals are covered under God's grace, because they don't understand their need for a savior. I also feel that anyone who has never heard of the name of Jesus and what He did for us, will be judge differently than those who have. I also believe that God has place in everyone's heart the truth that one day they will have to answer to a supreme being. If they strive to serve and honor Him I believe He will guide them and accept that. Look at Abraham, he is called a man of faith. He did not know who Jesus was, but he had faith that somehow, God would provide a savior for mankind and God accepted that and he was saved.

Well I hope that helped and did not just bring up more questions, but if it did I will try my best to at least give you my view point. One last little thing. Eve ate of the fruit thousands of years ago, because Satan convinced her that God was not dealing straight with them. He is still spreading that lie today. If he can convince you that God is unjust and you don't owe Him anything and have no need to be forgiven, then Satan has won the battle.

Take care,

Ralph

I received the following message in response to my reply above.

I was just wondering whether or not God truly gave us freedom of choice. If God gave us freedom of choice, why would he punish us for exercising that right?

Wouldn't punishment be more fair if we have freedom of choice? If you have a child and they do something that they had no choice in doing would you punish them? Of course not because they had no choice. Now if your child did something wrong that they decided to do, knowing that it was wrong, wouldn't you punish them?

All sin is rebellion against God. That is what your conscience is, it is the knowledge of right and wrong. God only punishes those who sin: (Ezekiel 18:4 NIV) For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son--both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die. The problem is that we are all rebellious and we all sin, so we are all under punishment.

Yet God gives us a way out of that punishment: (Romans 5:8 NIV) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Punishment without a way to change or avoid it would not be consistent with God's character.

You asked the question in an interesting way; you said why would he punish us for exercising that right. That is interesting to me, because I don't see it as a right, I see it as a responsibility. If we had no freedom of choice, we would have no responsibility. It is just like a child, you don't punish a child until they understand the difference between right and wrong. Why? Because they have no responsibility to do what it right if they don't understand what is right. They never obtain the "right" to do what is wrong. They obtain the knowledge of right and wrong and thereby have the responsibility to do what it right or be punished.

This all goes back to authority and rebellion. God has the authority, yet He gives us a choice. Part of that choice is reward for doing right and punishment for doing wrong. God shows us that He is fair: (Ezekiel 18:21-24 NIV) [21] "But if a wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. [22] None of the offenses he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. [23] Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?
[24] "But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die.

Now don't miss the point here, we can never be good enough to get into heaven, we must place our faith in Jesus Christ, the above passages shows our responsibility to live a good life.

(1 John 1:9 NIV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. This is how we sidestep punishment and become reconciled to God. We confess that we have sinned and we ask for His forgiveness. Now in that confession we must believe that Jesus did die for us and will forgive us of our sins. Then we are to live a life which is characterized by good not evil. That is our choice and our responsibility.

Ralph

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