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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
Yes. Man has been exceedingly wicked since the fall. Since our first parents rebelled against God we have all taken after them. But in terms of unity in wickedness the Bible tells us something happened after the flood…
If we go back to the early chapters of the Bible (chaps. 1–6 of Gen.), we read about the creation of man and then about man’s fall into sin. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, profound changes occurred. God drove them out of the Garden of Eden. They became sinful in character. Sin multiplied in the world. There began to be crime and lawlessness.
The world became a dangerous place. And, in the end, whether from violence, disease, or old age, people all finally died. In other words, in just the first six chapters of the Bible, God tells us that we lost something like “heaven on earth” (in the Garden of Eden) and found our- selves in a world that began to resemble hell. We will never understand the truth about ourselves unless we take full account of what has happened. The world of today is better, in some ways, than the world was before the great Flood that finally came in Noah’s day.
The reason for this is that God has given some things to mankind since that time, to restrain the power of evil on earth and to moderate the misery that is- sues from it. For one thing, God divided the human race by causing people to speak different languages (Gen. 11).
Because of this, there is now no complete unity in the develop- ment of evil. Different nations tend to compete in different power groups, the one against the other, instead of uniting in evil. God has also put the power of the sword in the hands of civil rulers in order to restrain men in the evil they would otherwise do. It is for this reason that we have police forces and national armies and navies to deter ag- gression. God uses these things to restrain and limit the development of evil. And then, last but not least, God has instituted the church in the midst of the world, but distinct from it. When the church is faithful to God’s holy Word, it also does much to retard the development of evil. For reasons such as these, the world is not as bad today as it was before the Flood.
Excerpt from G.I Williamson’s The Heidelberg Catechism.