The question has been posed: can someone be saved while rejecting a literal interpretation of the creation account in Genesis? The answer to this question is not as straightforward as some may hope, and as much as I hate to use the word “nuance,” there is some nuance involved here. Therefore, to restructure the question in a manner that allows for a more definitive answer, let us consider it from this perspective:
What does rejecting the Genesis creation account say about one’s state of salvation?
Indeed, salvation is a divine gift granted by God’s grace, not by our own efforts or understanding. And a direct answer to the original question is that our salvation does not rest upon a perfect belief in every doctrine revealed in Scripture. Rather, it rests upon the finished work of Christ on the cross.
That being said, there are a few different things that a rejection of the creation accounts as a literal, historical account could say about one’s spiritual state. It may be that a person has not invested time or study into the matter, perhaps a new believer who has not yet delved deeply into God’s Word. Conversely, there may be those who have thoroughly examined the issue, explored the logical consequences of their view, and yet continue to reject the Genesis account.
For the former, such progression can be seen as a natural journey through sanctification, as long as this person remains willing to submit to the authority of Scripture and embrace correction when the truth is clearly demonstrated to Him. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, one who resolutely denies the authority of Scripture and remains unconvinced by the logical consequences of their position may be demonstrating a resistance to God’s authority, and for this person, there is cause for concern.
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The problem with the old earth view is that when contrasted with the biblical account of creation, undermines the very foundation of the Christian faith and the basic tenets of its essential doctrines. By embracing an old earth perspective, one risks undermining the authority of Scripture, the doctrine of sin, and the redemption story, leading to a compromised understanding of God’s truth.
The Word of God is the beacon of truth, a shining light that dispels the darkness of ignorance and falsehood. The Scriptures, penned by the inspired hand of God through His chosen servants, present a consistent and harmonious narrative that weaves together the story of mankind’s creation, fall, and ultimate redemption. To deny the literal interpretation of the Genesis account is to question the very essence of divine revelation and diminish the power of God’s Word.
The doctrine of sin, a cornerstone of the Christian faith, is inexorably linked to the creation narrative. As we read in Genesis 3, the serpent’s beguiling deception led Adam and Eve to disobey their Creator, thus introducing sin and death into the world. This original sin, a grievous transgression against the Lord, separated humanity from God and necessitated the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. By rejecting the literal interpretation of the Genesis account, one risks undermining the very foundation of the doctrine of sin and its consequences.
The redemption story, a glorious testament to the boundless love and mercy of our Creator, hinges upon the literal interpretation of the Genesis account. Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, bore the weight of humanity’s sin and willingly sacrificed Himself on the cross to reconcile us to God. As it is written in 1 Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds, you have been healed.” This divine act of redemption and the promise of eternal life find their roots in the literal interpretation of the Genesis account, where humanity’s fall from grace is detailed.
The old earth view, therefore, presents a perilous path, one that may lead believers astray from the truth of God’s Word. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to Timothy, warns against such deviations, urging us to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
In our walk with Christ, it is essential that we extend grace to those who are growing in sanctification, demonstrating patience and understanding as they navigate the process of aligning their beliefs with the truth of God’s Word. Each believer’s journey is unique, and as the body of Christ, we must support and encourage one another in our pursuit of a deeper understanding of Scripture and submission to God’s authority.
However, we cannot ignore the genuine concern that arises when an individual, fully aware of the divine teachings, comprehends the logical consequences of rejecting them, and yet persists in dismissing God’s truth. In such cases, we must be vigilant in our prayers for their hearts to be softened, and courageous in our efforts to share the unwavering truth of Scripture, trusting that the Holy Spirit can ultimately guide them back to the path of obedience and faithfulness to God’s Word.