Lesson 8

Was There Death Before Sin?

(Genesis 1-3)
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Introduction: Last week we looked at how the Biblical concept of sin did not "fit" the theory of evolution. This week we consider whether the results of sin - death - are compatible with the theory of evolution.

Evolution says that tons of pre-human and animal life shuffled on and off the planet before man ever arrived in his present state. If that is true, then death was "old news" by the time Eve ate the fruit. Let's dive into the Bible and see what it has to teach us on this subject!


    1. When you were a child, did you parents allow you to have a pet?

      1. What kind of animal was it?

    2. Do you know why they let you have an animal before the state allowed you to drive a car or vote?

    3. If you are a parent now, and you let your children have animals, why did you do that?

    4. If you, as an adult, have an animal, tell me why you have it?

    5. Let's read Genesis 1:28 and 2:19. Did God give Adam and Eve animals? (He sure did!)

      1. Why?

      2. Why did he have Adam name the animals?

      3. What is mankind being told to do when (in Genesis 1:19) he is told to "rule" over the animals?

    6. Would you say that God's goals were similar to a parent's goals in giving a child an animal? Let's read Genesis 2:19 in context. Read Genesis 2:18-20.

      1. Why does God veer off the topic in v.19 and talk about making and naming animals? (God seems to say three things in this sequence. First, He seems to say that animals are our companions. But second, since none of them are "suitable helpers" He assigns them an inferior role as companions. The guy who said "Dog is man's best friend," missed Genesis 2:20. Our lesson suggests (Monday) a third reason for the animals: to teach us important lessons of "responsibility, interdependence and service." This is reflected in our motivation to give our children animals.)


    1. If animals existed for millions of years before man emerged through evolution, would it be logical to conclude that we are caretakers for them?

      1. Does the theory of evolution undercut ecological and conservation arguments?

        1. If the evolutionary theory is "survival of the fittest" isn't it appropriate to use animals in any way we want?

      2. Is the mere fact that animals "got here first" a reasonable basis for concluding under the evolutionary theory that we are not caretakers for the animals? (No. In that sense the Creation account and the evolutionary theory are the same. They both have animals arriving first. The difference is millions of years of independence.)

    2. What did animals eat under the Creation account? ( Genesis 1:30: vegetation. The idea that God originally created something other than the current predatory system is reinforced by Isaiah 11:6-9, where we find lions eating vegetation like the ox.)

      1. What did animals eat under the theory of evolution? (Each other. The one who ate the most other animals won.)

        1. With this in mind, should all the PETA people logically be Creationists? (I would guess they are not because they do not know the Bible. The organization has a current ad campaign that says Jesus was a vegetarian. This is obvious nonsense based on Luke 24:40-43, the fact that He celebrated (and instituted!) the Passover. Even worse, of course, is Genesis 9:3.)

    3. When, according to the Bible, did death enter the animal kingdom?

      1. Read Genesis 3:6-7, 21. Man and God chose different garments. Why? (Man was entitled to eat vegetation and he chose his clothes from that. If God gave Adam and Eve garments from skin, the inference is that the "skin owner" was dead! Thus, the death of an animal directly followed from the first observable result of sin.)

      2. One of the attacks on the sanctuary system is the "barbaric" slaughter of so many animals. Is this God's idea? Is this criticism of God justified? (The theory of evolution kills a lot more animals. The sanctuary service reinforces the idea that sin kills. Since sin was not God's idea, it is improper to blame Him for this.)

    4. When sin entered, how did the relationship of man and animals change? (Prior to the entry of sin we have man benefitting animals. After the entry of sin, we have animals serving man to the point of giving up their life to be used as clothing. This concept culminated in God giving animals as food for man. ( Genesis 9:3))

    5. How interested is God in the welfare of animals? (Read Matthew 10:29 and Luke 12:24.)

      1. Is the theory of evolution contrary to the picture of God's love for the animal creation that we see in the Bible?

    6. Let's say that you work for a school textbook company. Your boss has just told you that you are to write a section on the origin of animal death. You are told you can write anything you want -- as long as it makes man look good. What would you write? (Man has a natural bias towards the evolutionary theory. Under it, he has no responsibility for the death of the animals. It is only in the account of the Creation and the Fall that man takes direct responsibility for the death of the animals.)

    7. As we have seen, God specifically allowed man to use animals for clothing ( Genesis 3:21) and food ( Genesis 9:3). Does that mean it is "OK" to eat animals and wear fur coats or does it mean that when we do this we further impose the results of sin on animals? (At best, this seems to be a "timing" issue. However, when "timing" involves your own life, it becomes a very big issue!)


    1. Read Romans 8:19-21. We talked about this last week, but let's touch on this again. Who is at fault for the suffering of the animals? Man or animals? (This says that animals were subjected to "frustration" by us.)

      1. What can animals do to get out of this situation? (Nothing. They can just hope.)

      2. What is the hope of the creation? (Jesus has freed us from the penalty of death. (Romans 8:1-2) Romans 8 suggests that when man is rescued from this old world that the creation will also be freed from the burden of sin.)

    2. Friend, our sins have brought death and suffering to the animal kingdom. God originally gave us the responsibility to benevolently rule over the animals. What we have done to them as the result of our sins should only increase our concern for their welfare. However, only when the controversy between God and Satan is at an end, and God takes His people home, will the suffering of the creation end.


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Lessons on God's Creation

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