Why should I be held responsible for what Adam and Eve did thousands of years ago? I know the Bible says they sinned and were judged as a result, but why should God judge me for what they did?
God doesn’t judge us for what someone else did; we alone are responsible for our sin, and we alone will stand before God to give an account of what we’ve done. The Bible solemnly warns, “The one who sins is the one who will die” (Ezekiel 18:4).
You are, however, correct when you say that Adam and Eve’s sin affects us all. They lived in a perfect world, without sin or imperfection of any kind. Moreover, they experienced unbroken fellowship with God and with each other. But one day Satan tempted them, and his temptation was very strong: he told them they would become like God if they only turned to him. In a moment of weakness, they believed Satan’s lie, and they disobeyed God. The result was catastrophic, bringing death and sin into their world — and into ours.
Why must we live with the consequences of what they did? The reason is because they did exactly what we would have done if we’d been in their place. Just as your representative in Congress votes in your place, so Adam and Eve “voted” in our place. The Bible says, “Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).
Don’t ever underestimate sin’s terrible consequences. But don’t ever underestimate God’s great love, either! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).