[This article was taken from chapter 2 of our book Don’t Blame God.]
Adam sinned, and because of his action, sin and death has infected all his offspring to this day. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, their death was certain. On the day they sinned, they obviously did not die physically, for they lived many years after that. Rather, they lost their perfect connection to the Creator, the seeds of physical death were planted in them, and their corrupted human nature would dominate them throughout their lives until they died physically.  Also, their disobedience brought other grievous consequences upon them and all their descendants.
(16) To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”
(17) To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.
(18) It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.
(19) By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
These verses show that sin is the root cause of all of mankind’s subsequent suffering. It is important to realize that one reason suffering is a part of life is that the inherent nature of all things has been corrupted. The original garden of Eden (“Eden” means “delight” or “pleasure”) had no thorns, thistles or dangerous animals. For example, one aspect of the “cursed ground” that God spoke to Adam about is that while the earth does not naturally produce wonderful fruits and vegetables, “thorns and thistles” grow naturally in abundance.
These consequences will plague mankind until “the Last Adam” completes the perfect restoration of Creation. Because of Adam’s sin and Satan’s subsequent dominion over the earth, suffering is a part of life, and will be until sin and death are no more (Rev. 21:4). Furthermore, when the Lord rules the earth in his Millennial Kingdom, there will again be an abundance of food, no dangerous animals, no war, perfect justice, and the earth will again be a delightful place. The curse on the earth, with all its ramifications, will be totally removed when God finally creates a new heaven and a new earth for all the righteous (Rev. 22:3).
(19) The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
(20) For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one [Satan] who subjected it, in hope
(21) That the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
(22) We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
We hope that the following analogy will help illustrate the corruption of Creation, that is, the overall corruption of all forms of life, related to and determined by the advent of sin into the world. Suppose your local convenience store had a “Win The Mona Lisa” contest. Suppose you won. Imagine your friends gathered around as you unwrap it in your living room. “What an awesome masterpiece!” “Look at that gorgeous creation!” “That Leonardo guy was amazing!”
Just then your young son spills a pitcher of raspberry juice on the painting. Try as you will, you cannot remove the stain. “Oh, no! But hey, it’s still the Mona Lisa, and it’s the only painting we have, let’s hang it up.” When people looked at it, what would they see? They would clearly see that it was once an exquisite masterpiece done by an incredible artist, but they would also plainly see that it has been indelibly marred. There is only one solution to this problem, and that is for the original artist to re-create a similar masterpiece. That is exactly what God, through Jesus Christ, will do. He will create a new earth for all who have believed in Him.
At this time we have no choice but to live amidst a corrupted Creation. “A rose by any other name is still a rose.” True, but now it has thorns! “This is for you, darling.” “Ouch!” As we saw, thorns came into being after man’s original sin. Satan, who already had the ability, had gotten the authority to alter the genetic structure in a rose. We believe that in Genesis 3:18, “thorns and thistles” are representative of all corruption due to Adam’s sin.
You’re holding a beautiful little baby boy, and you marvel at his physical symmetry, his intricacy, his precision and his potential versatility. What a masterpiece! Then he throws up on you. You bask in 70 degree, low-humidity sunshine on the deck of your oceanside home. Fleecy clouds drift by and a soft breeze caresses you. What a glorious day! Then the breeze becomes a hurricane and your oceanside home is six inches high. Why? The corruption of Creation.
Scripture makes it obvious that when God originally created the world, He anticipated the possibility of its ruin, and planned for its necessary restoration. As we will see in the next chapter, this plan is still in the process of being fulfilled through Jesus Christ, the Last Adam.