by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Acts 17:21-31
I. Many people are familiar with the stirring words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
A. They might not recall the rest, but this particular line is held dear by many
B. Is it true that all men are created equal?
1. We know that each of us is a unique individual
2. Even identical twins are not perfectly equal
C. Nor are we equal in circumstances - some are rich and some are not - Ecclesiastes 9:11
1. What we do share is that seemingly random events happen to us, beyond our control, that change the outcome of our lives
II. Equal Origins
A. The common thread among all people is that we are created by God - Proverbs 22:2
B. We are created from one blood - Acts 17:26
1. It started from one man - Adam - I Corinthians 15:45-49
2. From this one man, woman (“from man”) was made - Genesis 2:21-23
a. The first “clone” if you will.
b. She is then called “mother of all living” - Genesis 3:20
3. Seven generations later, the world was destroyed because of man’s wickedness
a. One family - Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives were all that survived.
b. We all are their descendants - Genesis 9:19
4. The concept of “race” does not exist in the Scriptures. All men are descendants of both Adam and Eve and from their decedents, Noah and his wife.
a. Rather, the Bible speaks of nationalities and languages
b. Such started at the tower of Babel - Genesis 11:1-9
C. What has always fascinated scientist is that all the variations we see in humans is the result of only minute differences in our genetics.
1. An evolutionary biologist (thus having no reason to support the Scriptures) found: “Race doesn't matter. In fact, it doesn't even exist in humans. ... Alan R. Templeton, Ph.D., professor of biology in Arts and Sciences, has analyzed DNA from global human populations .... He shows that while there is plenty of genetic variation in humans, most of the variation is individual variation. While between-population variation exists, it is either too small, which is a quantitative variation, or it is not the right type of qualitative variation -- it does not mark historical sublineages of humanity.” [Tony Fitzpatrick, “Biological differences among races do not exist, WU research shows,” http://record.wustl.edu/archive/1998/10-15-98/articles/races.html]
2. “The geographical maps of principal component values constructed by Cavalli, Menozzi and Piazza in their famous The History and Geography of Human Genes show continuous variation over the whole world with no sharp boundaries and with no greater similarity occurring between Western and Eastern Europeans than between Europeans and Africans!” [R.C. Lewontin, “Confusions About Human Races,” http://raceandgenomics.ssrc.org/Lewontin/]
III. Equal Downfall
A. Unfortunately, mankind shares an equal “personality disorder” if you would – we all have a tendency to sin - Romans 3:23
B. Sin started with Adam and we all imitate his downfall in our own ways - Romans 5:12-14
C. Nationality is no barrier to sin - Romans 3:9-18
IV. Equal Judgment
A. All must appear before God - II Corinthians 5:10
B. All nations shall gather before Christ - Matthew 25:31-32
C. It is this equality of judgment that should give us sympathy for our brethren - Romans 14:10
D. That judgment will be impartially conducted based on what we have done
1. Fairly given - Colossians 3:24-25
2. Based on what we have done - Revelation 22:12
3. What we do is compared to the truth - Romans 2:2-6, 11
4. By the record of our lives - Revelation 20:12
5. By the gospel - Romans 2:16
V. Equal Offer of Salvation
A. If we stopped there, the situation would look hopeless
1. We all sinned.
2. We are impartially judged by the record of what we have done.
3. We are judged by the truth we have all failed to keep.
B. But God loved us too much to let us go - Romans 5:6-10
C. Planned before the foundation of the world - Ephesians 1:3-14
D. This plan of salvation is offered to all equally - Galatians 3:26-29
1. Without distinction - Romans 10:12
2. Equally new - Colossians 3:9-11
E. But while the plan is equally offered, you have the same opportunity as everyone else: you can accept or reject the offer. It is up to you - Philippians 2:12-13