Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'" But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. [Genesis 3:1-6]
I've written before that a belief in evolution is an obstacle to coming to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. It's not so much that I believe a person can't be Christian unless he's a creationist. Rather, I believe that when a person begins rejecting the word of God, it is typical that he will also reject God. It occurred to me that we see a sort of formulaic outline of the process occurring right in Genesis 3.
Pastors often use acronyms and similar mnemonic devices to help people remember some particular point. I never was too keen on these types of messages but in this passage, the “Five D's” leaped out at me so strongly that I can't resist using them.
The first step in unbelief occurs when we begin doubting the word of God. In Genesis 3, the serpent begins sowing seeds of doubt in Eve by saying, “Did God actually say...?” It's sad that many people who claim to be Christian have very little understanding of the Bible. Many Christians are unable to answer the simple question: Where did Cain get his wife? Such ignorance opens the door to all sorts of false doctrines. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:”
In Genesis 3:4, the devil said, “You will not surely die.” Of course, this denies the commandment of the LORD in Genesis 2:17: “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” We can assume Eve believed Satan and denied the clear words of God because she eventually ate the fruit apparently believing she would not die.
It's a short step from doubt to denial. When some people have doubts about a difficult passage, rather than study and pray, they opt for the simpler method of denying the truth of the passage. We hear this often when people say things like, “Adam and Eve weren't real people; Genesis is just an allegory.” When the Bible presents something as a fact, we are ill advised to suggest it is not a fact. It is no different than when Satan said, “you will not die.”
When we deny the truth of what God has said in His word, then we diminish God's authority and make His will subservient to ours. In other words, we elevate our opinion above God's. In Genesis 3:6 says, “the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise.” Eve should have understood that God knew best when He commanded they not eat of the fruit. Nevertheless, she thought of reasons why she should. Romans 1:25 talks about people “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator.” These foolish people rejected the Creator of the universe and worshiped instead the lesser things of His creation.
Genesis 3:6 says, “she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” After Eve had denied God's commandment and decided for herself that the food was good to eat, what was left then but to disobey Him? Judges 21:25 says that when there was no king in Israel, “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” If we do not recognize an authority greater than ourselves, there is no need to abide by that authority. To reject God's word will always lead to disobeying God's word because His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Death has always been the punishment for sin (Romans 6:23). When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they were cursed with death. We are descended from Adam and so we have inherited his body of flesh. Because of this first sin, we all die physically (Romans 5:12). However, those who die without Christ face the second death which is the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8).
So there you have it – the Five D's of Unbelief. It begins with doubt and ends with death. Again, I'm not saying that people who believe evolution are doomed to hell. I will say that to begin doubting God's word from the very first verse is a dangerous road to be on!