Summary: Going into the New Year by taking the congregation along on a walk-through of the Bible, starting in GENESIS.

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No matter which version of the Bible you open, you will see very similar wording, in GENESIS 1:1.

‘In the beginning, God created ….’

If you believe these first five words, you have the basics of belief that will enable you to believe in the entire Bible, and to use it in your daily life.

We are told as we grow up, that God was ‘always’. God was here ‘forever ago’. As humans, we measure our time in minutes, hours, or even lifetimes. We have a hard time trying to comprehend the term ‘forever’.

And, just as we can’t comprehend the ‘forever’ at the beginning, we have just as hard a time trying to understand the ‘forever’ at the end of time. We are like a blind person who has never seen. He knows there is a car, and he understand the overall concept, but since he has never experienced the look of a car, he cannot truly comprehend all there is to know about a car.

And, since we have never experienced anything that has to do with ‘forever’, we have a hard time with the concept of anything lasting for eternity – much less with us in it!

And, since we do not fully comprehend the ‘foreverness’ of God, then why do we think we were put here? The answer to that is quite simple. We were put here to work for God. We know that if we work for Him, through His Son Jesus, we will enter into that Godly realm of eternity when we pass from this earth. So, since we do not fully understand all this, how what are we supposed to do?

If you ask most people that question, you will get answers like,

· ’Be a good person and really enjoy ourselves!’

· ’Get everything you can. You only live once!’

· ’Be a good person and love everyone and everything.’

These answers, as realistic as they might sound, are all wrong. The correct answer is that we are supposed to work for God while we are here on this earth. You might ask how we do that, since we don’t fully understand His kingdom.

BY FAITH! Faith is a belief in something that cannot be seen.

I would say that everyone in this church has heard of the GOLDEN RULE: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ It is NOT ‘Do unto others before they get a chance to do unto you’, as some people think!

As we begin a new year, I thought it would be appropriate to begin our journey through the Bible. And where better to begin than in the Book of Beginnings - the book of GENESIS.

Many people are afraid of the Old Testament. They think it is filled with big ancient words that they will not be able to understand. However, the book of GENESIS has some of the most exciting stories in the Old Testament. I think the key to understanding this wonderful book is getting acquainted with the people and the places talked about in it, and that is what we will do, starting today.

Now keep in mind that this will not be a verse-by-verse study of the entire Bible. It is a casual walk-through to get you familiar with God’s word, including the history of civilization. Most people have never read the Bible all the way through, and most of those who have, have forgotten much of what ties the Old Testament to the New Testament, and what ties all of it to us today.

You will soon be able to tell the difference between a Hittite and a parasite, and you will be able to recognize the characters and events that took place, including the establishing of the Israelite nation.

You might want to take notes as we go along, so you can refer back to them later. I think we’re ready now, so turn with me to GENESIS 1.1.

Read GENESIS 1:1-31.

Going back to verse 1, the first thing we will notice is …

CHAPTER 1 – The Overall Creation

These are the five most-important words known to man. “In the beginning, God created …”

This first sentence is important for several reasons. First of all, it is a definitive statement that God exists. It does not try to debate the fact or argue the point. It flatly states that God does exist.

Many people, throughout history have denied that fact. I am reminded of a man who went to get a haircut one day. As usual, he and the barber began talking about many things, and finally the topic came to God.

The barber said he did not believe in a God. To justify his reasoning, he told his customer than if there were a God, there would not be so many people who were hurting and suffering. No matter what the man tried to say, the barber would always come back to that one point.

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Don Jones

commented on Dec 28, 2006

Bruce, Another excellent job. Your illustrations are getting better and better. Thank you. Wow, nice job of covering 4 chapters. Even I can remember.

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