Following Jesus Requires Taking Genesis Literally

Think about it.

If Jesus had not lived a sinless life, then dying on the cross would have accomplished nothing.  He would not have been our propitiation and Savior by doing so, because God required a sinless sacrifice.

Yet in order to live a sinless life, Jesus had have always told the truth.  Always (1 Pet. 1:22).  If there was any dishonesty coming out of his mouth…ever…then he would not longer be sinless and thus not our Savior.  That would make the Christian religion as a whole a sham and meaningless.

With this in mind, consider what Jesus said about the events recorded in the book of Genesis:

Sodom and Gomorrah

Matthew 10:14-15 (ESV)
14 And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.
15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Matthew 11:23-24 (ESV)
23 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.

Luke 10:10-12 (ESV)
10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say,
11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’
12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

Luke 17:22-32 (ESV)
22 And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it.
23 And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them.
24 For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.
25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
26 Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man.
27 They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
28 Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building,
29 but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—
30 so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
31 On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back.
32 Remember Lot’s wife.

Did you notice how Jesus spoke of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19) as if it were an actual historical event?  He never called what happened to Lot and his wife or those cities a myth, nor did he imply it.  He spoke of it as history.  Was he lying?  If he wasn’t, then we must take Genesis’ record of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as a literal historical event.

The Flood

You might have noticed Christ’s mention of Noah and the flood (Gen. 6-9) in Luke 17.  Here’s Matthew’s account of it:

Matthew 24:35-39 (ESV)
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark,
39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

He compared Judgment Day to the day when the Genesis flood came.  Again, take note that he did not imply nor refer to the flood as a story or myth in any way.  If Noah’s flood did not actually occur, then by talking about it as if it did occur Jesus was being less than truthful.  That would mean that he was not sinless, which would then beg the question as to why we are Christians.


Luke 11:49-51 (ESV)
49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’
50 so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation,
51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.

Genesis testifies that Abel was Adam and Eve’s son, killed by another son — Cain — out of jealousy (Gen. 4:1ff).  Take note of how Jesus mentions Abel, the child of what Genesis claims were the first man and wife, and connects him with “the foundation of the world,” i.e., the beginning of the world.  That goes against the popular talking point that world is billions of years old and mankind came upon the scene rather late in the game millions of years later.  Nevertheless, the Son of God is speaking of the child of Adam and Eve as being around at “the foundation of the world.”  Genesis must be taken literally for that to make sense.

Adam and Eve

Genesis says that God made Adam and Eve on the sixth day (Gen. 1-2).  Jesus agreed with that:

Matthew 19:4-5 (ESV)
4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,
5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?

Mark 10:6-8 (ESV)
6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’
7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife,
8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.

Take note that Jesus quoted Genesis twice (Gen. 1:27; 2:24) while alluding to Adam and Eve…and talking about them as if they were historical characters.  He also correlated them with being at “the beginning” and “from the beginning of creation.”  If he was mistaken or outright lying, then he is not our Savior.

It’s easy for some professed Christians to try to have it both ways concerning Jesus and Genesis.  “Sure, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God…but Genesis is just a bunch of stories, not history.”  In reality, you can’t have it both ways.  Jesus clearly didn’t think the events of Genesis were just a bunch of stories.  He took them literally and spoke of them as literal history.  Therefore, so must we if we are to be his faithful followers.

After all, if God can raise Jesus of Nazareth from the dead…he can also create this whole universe and world in six days, later decide to destroy the entire world with water, and also destroy several cities with fire and sulfur.  He is all-powerful.

I believe that.  Do you?

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