Evolution is being taught in our schools as scientific truth. Those who hold to creation are looked down on by society as being ignorant and behind the times. I know by personal experience that this pressure causes Christians to try to reconcile their beliefs with the world's wisdom.
The first chapter of Genesis explains that God created the heavens and the earth in six days. When I first became a Christian, I thought the Genesis account must be symbolic and "six days" meant, "six epochs of time". Thus God could bring about creation using evolution. But I was not comfortable with this rationalization because I wanted to believe the Bible was literally true. If certain passages needed special interpretation, then was there supposed to be some different understanding for the teaching on eternal life?
Bible prophecy played a key role in my turning to Christ because it helped me understand the implications of dramatic changes in the world such as the end of the cold war. As a new believer, I was surprised to find that few other Christians were as excited as I was that Jesus could return any day. Some professing Christians don't even believe Christ will physically return to earth and "interprets" the imminency of His coming as the uncertainty of when we will die. I now know why this is: scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." (2 Peter 3:3-4)
A person's view of creation effects what they believe about when Christ will return. What if the earth hasn't been around for the billions of years society would have us believe? Bible genealogies give us the sense that Noah's flood was some 2400 years before Christ and Adam was created about 1600 years before the flood. We know it has been close to 2000 years since Christ came the first time so the Bible says there has only been 6000 years of history in round numbers.
If we hold to the belief that God created man but used evolution and a million years to do it, the flood might have just been a local event some hundreds of thousand years ago that got exaggerated. Then since Christ took a million years to come the first time, there is no reason to believe why He wouldn't take another million years to come back. For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. (2 Peter 3:5-6)
Belief in a young earth is important doctrine. The longer we think it has been since creation, the less urgent we feel the need to know Christ. This is clearly contrary to what the Bible teaches. If God is truly Almighty as He claims (Mark 10:27), why didn't He create everything exactly as He said in Genesis? People are in great danger when they start interpreting Scripture to fit the world's wisdom, see Proverbs 14:12.
In the context of the panorama of history, we see that, "with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." (2 Peter 3:8) So the roughly 6000 years since creation will be as 6 days to God and this puts us on the threshold of the 7th day of rest or 1000-year period of peace when Christ will rule everyone on earth (Revelation 20:4-6). One should be cautioned not to think there is any significance with the year 2000 itself. The return of Christ will not be aligned with any calendar man has come up with, Jesus said, "of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven but My Father only." (Matthew 24:36)
God intends for us to take His Word literally, see Revelation 22:18-19. The Bible does use figurative illustrations but these are clearly symbolic. God is not limited in any way and this extends to His preserving the Bible as His inerrant Word to mankind. So we can rejoice that God meant what He said when Jesus said, "he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life (John 5:24).
When you take God's Word literally, you realize there really isn't long before we enter into our eternal state. Each of us has precious little time to either come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and spend eternity in heaven or continue in the condition we were born to and end up in hell. And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. (Romans 13:11)