Paradise. What a word. Maybe when you hear the word paradise you think of a show on Masterpiece Theater about a shop in London. Maybe, as a teen of the 1980’s you think of an album by Styx. Maybe you think of the garden of Eden or of Jesus on the cross as He says to the thief beside Him, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” Now you are thinking of the Paradise that is Heaven.
Paradise. This is exactly what mankind had in the beginning. God created a garden paradise called Eden for His creation – for mankind. God made man for this Paradise. And God saw that it was VERY good. In this paradise, man lived on what the garden provided. Man had bliss, peace, happiness, protection, care, communication with God, and he had power and control of his environment. With access to the tree of life, man had eternity in this paradise (Gen 2:5-25).
Paradise. As we read the story, paradise was not enough for mankind. Man wanted what God told him he was not to have. Man wanted a taste of the knowledge of good an evil. The serpent convinced Eve and Adam that God was preventing them from being all that they could be. They saw the fruit was good for food, that it was beautiful to look at, and that it could make one wise. They ate this forbidden fruit (Gen 3:1-7 / 1 John 2:15-17). Immediately they understood good and evil. They experienced evil firsthand and now felt shame for their behavior as well as their nakedness. Completely aware of their sin, they hide from God.
Paradise is LOST. Man experiences:
- Loss of innocence.
- Loss of ease and comfort. Thanks Adam.
- Loss of freedom from pain, sickness, and heartbreak. Thanks Adam and Eve.
- Loss of control and safety in their environment.
Today we enter this world as innocents. Small children do not know the evil of sin. Somewhere along the way this world exposes us to evil, to sin. Consequently we begin to choose the wrong over the right. We know our guilt, we know shame, we lose paradise. Paradise Lost.
Lost but not forever and not forgotten. God provides a way for you and I to Regain Paradise.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:16-17)
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)
Will you Regain Paradise?