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Question

If the earth is 4.5 billion years old as science tells us, and Christianity 2000 years old, why would God wait so long to establish a connection with human beings, who had been worshipping gods for many centuries prior to the birth of Christ?

Answer

Thank you for your question on this very interesting topic!

You ask why God apparently waited until 2000 years ago to reveal Christianity when people were looking for Him long before that and you quote the age of the earth as around 4.5 billion years. This is an estimated age that many scientifically qualified Christians think far too old because it is the product of bad science. Many students of the Bible also believe that the story of creation in six days (Genesis 1) should be taken literally so that the earth is actually not 1 week older than human life itself (although others think the six days of creation represent long epochs until the creation of human life - and there are other explanations as well of an 'old earth').

As a scientist myself, I find arguments for an old earth hard to believe. In fact there is evidence to suggest that the earth is very young, even as young as 6000-7000 years old. This is the view I personally hold.

However, even if a great age for the earth were true, even atheistic scientists agree that the origin of human life is very recent in comparison. The record of that origin is found in the first three chapters of Genesis. There we are told that God gave the knowledge of Himself to the first people He created but it was rejected. The Man (Adam) and The Woman (Eve) were able to know Him personally and speak with Him freely.

However, they then rebelled against God and were punished by being excluded from His friendship (Genesis 3). This was the original knowledge God gave to humanity.

Within a few generations the memory of this original intimacy with God was lost completely so that people began to call on God as the spiritually ignorant strangers to Him they had finally become (Genesis 4:26). Yet even then, God did not leave Himself without witness but instead provided a second way to know about Him; Romans 1:18-2:29 explains this.

The human conscience universally testifies to our personal sinfulness and spiritual blindness, so that we should realise that we need help in our weakness. At the same time, the created universe speaks to everyone of a Creator. From these two things, anyone can know that they need the Creator God and need to turn to Him in repentance from sin and with faith in His reality and power. Whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6).

God then provided a third source of knowledge about Himself. Over centuries, He revealed Himself and His ways to the nation of Israel - messages which are recorded in the Jewish Scriptures, the Old Testament of the Bible. Those Scriptures reveal especially that the soul who sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:20) unless a sacrifice is made for sin (Leviticus 17:11). Most especially, every year a lamb had to be killed and the blood sprinkled as a symbol of God's salvation through a substitute taking the punishment for sin of death to make atonement with God. The Old Testament also promised that a Messiah, or Saviour, would finally come from God who would be the ultimate sacrifice for sins (see especially Isaiah 52:7-53:12).

What happened 2000 years ago is that God completed that revelation in the coming of His own Son to earth to be the promised Saviour, to live the perfect life Adam failed to live, to die for sinners on the cross to take their punishment for sin, to rise again from death to be the eternally living Saviour and Lord. God gave a final group of people revelations about all this and they are the writings we call the New Testament of the Bible.

Therefore, there is only one constant and great message throughout history and found in both the Old and New Testaments:

  1. God made us for Himself to know, love and serve Him.
  2. We humans have lost Him and now stand personally guilty before Him because of our own rebellion against Him.
  3. God has always spoken but 2000 years ago He gave His full and final revelation in Jesus Christ, who is for all people "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me". (John 14:6).

You can test the promise of Jesus for yourself if you have already reached the point that you believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6). You can bow your heart and mind before God and call out to Him as your Creator and Judge, and from that humble position confess your sinfulness to Him and ask for His forgiveness through Jesus, and ask Jesus to come to you and become your personal Saviour and Lord. He has promised "whosoever comes to me I will not cast out" (John 6:37)

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • Genesis 2:1-3
  • Genesis 2:15-18
  • Genesis 3:15

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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