As you’ve probably heard, Adam and Eve ate from the tree from which God had instructed them not to eat. When they did, they introduced into God’s creation a disease that affected every aspect of creation. Principally, four things happened that explain state of the world ever since.
1. Man was separated from God. When Adam and Eve sinned by eating from the forbidden tree, they were separated from God. We know this because “they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” (Gen. 3:6-10). They had never run from God before. Man has been running from God ever since.
2. Man was separated from himself. When the Lord called out to Adam, Adam said he heard the Lord and “I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” For the first time, Adam felt fear, shame and guilt. Before eating of the tree, “the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed,” (Gen. 2:25) but when he sinned man became embarrassed about who he was and realized he was naked and exposed. Man has struggled with guilt, shame and poor self esteem ever since.
3. Man was separated from others. When the Lord asked Adam if he had eaten from the forbidden tree, Adam went into a classic blame-shift: “The woman whom You gave me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” (Gen. 3:11-13). Prior to their sin Adam and Eve lived in perfect harmony. (Gen. 2:24). Since that time man’s relationship with his fellow man has been filled with contention, conflict and war.
4. Man was separated from his environment. As a result of man’s sin, the rest of creation became cursed. (Gen 3:14-15, 17-21). There is now enmity between man and the animals God created to be man’s pets and companions. Man’s separation from his environment changed man’s surroundings from a place of abundance to a place of scarcity. Before his sin, food was abundant to man. After his sin, the earth became cursed and began to bring forth thorns, thistles and other impediments for the first time. (Gen. 3:17, 19).
Francis Schaffer described the effects of sin on creation as the four separations. These separations occurred as a result of sin, not as part of God’s original intent for creation. Man’s estrangement from God, himself, his fellow man and his environment, which seem normal to us, are in fact aberrations from the paradise God intended and are the reason we no longer have a paradise on earth.
Man’s sin and the resulting four separations ended paradise on earth. Those who would follow would find a sick creation enslaved to the effects of the corruption of that sin, a creation that longed to be free again and be the paradise God intended from the beginning. In a nutshell that’s what’s wrong with the world. Fortunately there is a solution. More about that later. GS