“Ah, yes! You saved me a seat Lincoln,” Abraham said. “Let me quickly pack away my things and then I will sit.” He hurriedly placed his carry-on bag in the overhead compartment and quickly sat down to allow other passengers to pass as they made their way to the rear of the coach.
The engine roared and with a slight thrust they were on their way.
Abraham rested his hands in his lap and then turned to Lincoln. “Friend, the last time we spoke on that aged-old question, ‘what is the origin of sin?’ we concluded that sin occurred when the angels broke God’s command by not keeping their position which God had assigned to them (2 Pet. 2:4, Jude 1:6). So, it would seem right today that we queried our minds on how mankind came under the awful curse of sin.
“That would seem logical,” answered Lincoln, as he looked through the window, catching a glimpse of the pedestrians going about their day and the various buildings, as the coach moved forward through the buzzing city street. He tilted his head to the side. “But what if we set our query to an earlier point in time just before mankind came under that awful condition of sin?”
“An earlier point?” Abraham asked.
“Yes,” Lincoln replied. “To the point where God gave the command to the man not to eat from the tree that was in the middle of the garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gen. 2:16). Then Lincoln began to recite these words, “And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die’” (NIV).
“So, what is it that you would like to discuss in the verse that you have recited?” inquired Abraham.
“The ‘when’ in the verse,” answered Lincoln.
“The ‘when’ in the verse!” Abraham exclaimed.
The corners of Lincoln’s mouth turned upwards and a smile appeared, “Yes. When we look more closely at this word we can confidently confirm God’s ‘all-knowing’ attribute. The ‘when’ in the verse allows us to understand that ‘a time is coming when mankind would disobey God’s command’, hence breaking His command and establishing a point of origin when mankind sinned. We can discuss this point of origin a bit later.”
“Well done, Lincoln. Through our queries thus far we have answered the aged-old question, ‘what is the origin of sin?’ We have also pointed to the fact that God knew that mankind would also break His command as did the angels. The knowledge of evil was already situated in the garden of Eden and it was only a matter of ‘when’ mankind would sin.
With the coach now approaching the ramp towards the highway Lincoln said, “Now we are truly on our way.” He then tilted himself slightly towards Abraham and said, “I have been looking forward to this convention for some time now.”
“I too have been looking forward to this convention,” replied Abraham. “I believe that it will be good to meet up with others of the faith and to see how we can stir one another on to good works.” (Heb. 10:24-25). He then lowered his seat to recline. “Let’s enjoy the ride and each other’s company. We can pick up where we left off later on ‘how mankind first sinned’”. And so, they did.
Gen. = Genesis Heb. = Hebrews Pet. = Peter