Splitting the atom, designing new computer chips, decoding our DNA – boundary after boundary has been crossed at great cost to our humanity. What will scientists do next? If gene researchers can discover how to fix the minute flaws that riddle our DNA, will they find the Fountain of Youth? And if they do, what will it cost for a drink?
We are all created in the image of God. You can see the resemblance most clearly in man’s moral nature — our inner sense of right and wrong. Most of us refer to this sense as our conscience. Our conscience judges what would damage the likeness of God in ourselves and others. It preserves our humanity. When we obey our conscience we maintain the image of God that was put in us; each time we disobey our conscience, we begin to lose it.
Man has an enemy who is constantly at work, tempting him to disobey his conscience and leading him astray from his created purpose. At one point in eternity past, this enemy, Satan, thought he could ascend to the place of God. Although he didn’t succeed he hasn’t stopped trying. Today he is attempting to usurp God and to supplant Him as the Sovereign of the universe by manipulating or modifying the likeness of God in man. If he is able to change man so much that he no longer represents God’s image and glory, then he has accomplished his purpose. Instead of resembling God, man will resemble Satan throughout eternity and spread Satan’s destructiveness everywhere he goes.
Mapping the entire human genetic code will have a more powerful effect on controlling every aspect of human life than splitting the atom or developing the computer microchip.
Throughout history Satan has used many aspects of an all-encompassing scheme to achieve his end. He wants his image (pride, selfishness, rebellion, and inhumanity) to fill the universe. He believes he can do it through man’s technology and globalization since the whole world lies in his power. In the 20th century he used nuclear technology and the computer – two powerful tools to accomplish his goal. In the 21st century he is using another powerful tool — genetic engineering. Currently the Human Genome Project is mapping the entire human genetic code. This knowledge may have a more powerful effect on controlling every aspect of human life than splitting the atom or developing the computer microchip. Man is on the verge of taking destiny in his own hands.
Through manipulating the human genetic code, man may repair many of the broken genes caused by the curse of sin. If he is able to do this, nothing will prevent him from living forever. What Satan said to Eve when he tempted her in the Garden will then prove true: when she ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he said that she (and later, man) would ultimately find the know-ledge through which they could live forever. Although their disobedience brought sin and death into the world, God gave them a way, the conscience, to not have to suffer a second death, like Satan. By obeying his conscience man can preserve God’s image. All who have done this will be given eternal life after their sins have been paid for by their suffering in death.
The effects of sin have gone deep into man’s genetic make-up. If man is able to correct these damaged genetic pieces he may achieve a kind of immortality through his own efforts. He would no longer need to obey his conscience in order to live eternally and Satan will have effectively supplanted the image of God in man.
It is a race against time. Whose image will prevail in man? Will it be God’s or Satan’s? Will God’s plan to restore man and ultimately all of creation win out or will Satan be able to genetically alter man to the point that God’s likeness is unrecognizable in him forever?