Growing up in the Los Angeles County School District meant that I was bombarded with the idea that people evolved from lower life forms over bazillions of years. My favorite courses at Antelope Valley College were Anthropology, Anatomy and Biology. Evolution was taught as fait accompli, an established fact over which any dissenter was branded an uneducated societal heretic.
I remember my dad’s Bible atop his nightstand, but I never bothered to read even the first few pages. I never attended church except for a couple of weddings and perhaps a funeral. The first time I heard one of these “heretics” naysay “science” I challenged him with the fact that the fossils in my anthropology class begged to differ with his short-mindedness.
His classic retort was something like, “great, you’ve got fossils, so do I, now show me the missing link!” Ah, my science professors prepared me for the “missing link card,” so I shot back with something like, “We haven’t found missing links yet because evolution takes millions of years and they’ll show up one of these days.”
Over the years I’ve had conversations with believers and unbelievers about evolution. I once took part in a conversation about, “How can Christians believe in Evolution in light of Paul’s Argument in Romans 5?” Unease about topics like this has left some to opine that those who believe in evolution cannot be Christians.
While belief in evolution is not an unforgivable sin it does raise questions about the authority of God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:16–17). About Moses’ narration of the Book of Genesis Jesus says, “If you don’t believe Moses’ writings how will you believe My words? For it was Moses who wrote about Me” (John 5:46).
One guy was adamant that these kinds of “secondary issues” detract from the fact that people are in deep pain. “Divisive” conversations like creation v. evolution can shift our focus from those in extreme need.
To illustrate his point the man referenced a riveting article about Randall Willis, a man who allegedly confessed to killing his wife, Gilda, during his call to 911. After reading the article I found myself heartbroken for Mr. and Mrs. Willis—their lives were shattered and no one was found to provide them with the lifesaving care they so desperately needed.
So, why even talk about six twenty-four hour days of creation?
The topic of why God created everything in six twenty-four hour days must be understood, not simply because God’s Word says so. If God cannot be trusted with the “how and why” of creation, how can He be trusted when lives like Mr. and Mrs. Willis, are wasting away? And makes us think that we can trust God to “never leave us or forsake us” (Deut. 31:6; Josh. 1:5; Heb. 13:5)? Or for his promise “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom. 10:9)?
If only God’s people took this topic serious enough perhaps people like Mr. and Mrs. Willis would hear the saving gospel of Jesus Christ and still be with us to this day. Perhaps they would be reconciled to God for eternity (Rom. 5:6–15).
The “days” of Genesis 1 and 2 are six twenty-four hour periods of time.
In Genesis 1 and 2, under the inspiration of God Himself (2 Tim. 3:16), Moses repeatedly defines the word “day” as “evening and morning” (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31). The word “day,” (yom in Hebrew) literally means a twenty-four hour period of time in Genesis 1 and 2.
James Swanson defines yom as “a unit of time reckoned from sunset to the next sunset, including two or more segments (morning and evening) about 24 hours.” Daniel 8:14 deals with literal periods of time consisting of 2,300 twenty-four hour days, literally, “evenings and mornings” before “the Holy Place will be properly restored.”
What if One Day Really is 1,000 Years?
There are passages in Scripture which could indicate yom as being longer than a twenty-four hour day, but such passages must be understood in context. Numerous passages clearly define the Hebrew word for “day” as twenty-four hour periods of time. “So all the days of Mahalalel were eight hundred and ninety-five years, and he died” (Gen. 5:17). It is inconceivable to think that the days of Mahalalel’s life are anything but twenty-four hour periods of time. If a “day-age” interpretation is given to Mahalalel using 2 Peter 3:8, indicating that a day is like one-thousand years then Mahalalel is still a young man at 895,000 years of age.
With this reasoning Rebekah was pregnant for about 270 years before giving birth Jacob and Esau (Gen. 25:24)… And ladies, you thought nine months was difficult to haul that little one around in your belly!
In the case of Joshua 10:13–14; “the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. There was no day like that before it or after it…” If this half day meant 500 years then the other side of the earth would have frozen long before the “day-age” idea became a hypothesis.
Esther calls the Jews in Susa to assemble and fast for three days (Esther 4:16). If we apply 2 Peter 3:8 to Esther 4:16 we find people fasting for 3,000 years, yikes, somebody give me a slice of deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s!
God made the sun on the fourth day; however, He created life on the third day. God designs living creatures with a need for sun to ensure survival. If there are eons of time between the third and fourth days of creation life would have ceased to exist long before the sun brought light to the earth.
God made light in an instant simply by speaking it into existence (Gen. 1:3). “God saw that the light was good” (Gen. 1:4) indicating that He saw the light He created on the day He made it, not four days later when He actually made the sun, moon and stars to govern the day and the night (Gen. 1:14 –19).
Did Anyone Die Before Adam & Eve?
A young earth view of creation coincides with the fact that there is no death before Adam, while an old earth view of creation requires death and destruction before Adam and Eve were given life.
Scripture is clear that the first death took place after Adam’s sin and led to redemption through Jesus Christ because of His death on the cross, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). Somebody, please explain this to hurting people like Mr. and Mrs. Willis before it’s too late.
Jesus teaches that God made Adam and Eve in the beginning of creation (Mark 10:6). Norman Geisler notes that “If God created humankind at the beginning of Creation, then they were not created at the end of millions of years, as the old-earth view contends.”
John MacArthur writes about the danger of reinterpreting Scripture saying,
What old–earth creationists (including, to a large degree, even the evangelical ones) are doing with Genesis 1–3 is precisely what religious liberals have always done with all of Scripture—spiritualizing and reinterpreting the text allegorically to make it mean what they want it to mean. It is a dangerous way to handle Scripture. And it involves a perilous and unnecessary capitulation to the religious presuppositions of naturalism—not to mention a serious dishonor to God.
Biblical arguments for “days” being understood as six twenty-four hour periods of time are overwhelming. The “day-age” theory does injustice to the Bible and seeks to succumb to the evolutionary philosophy for the purposes of “making” the Bible more palatable to those refusing to trust in Christ.
What’s the Big Deal?
Proclaiming God’s Word, particularly as it relates to the creation v. evolution debate is important because hopeless people like Mr. and Mrs. Willis need to know that God does not want them to destroy themselves. On the contrary, He wants for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).