21 Apr What went wrong on the earth?
Genesis 3:17, 22-24 – To Adam he [God] said, cursed is the ground because of you…Then the Lord God said, “…Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
Lately, it’s not hard to convince folks that the planet is cursed. In the midst of a global pandemic, every day we see the death toll as stark reminder that something has gone terribly wrong and this planet which is supposed to be our home feels more like a house of horrors.
The problem, ultimately, is not viruses, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, or politicians – even though each of this is a problem. You are the problem. I am the problem. We are the problem. Starting with our first parents, the human race has brought a curse on the earth through sin. God made the world “very good” and we’ve made it very bad.
There was a day when we were given dominion over a perfect planet, enjoyed access to God along with angels and other divine beings in the realm of Eden, were blessed in every way with no needs, and happy, holy, and healthy. Then, like an arsonist that sets their own house on fire we pulled hell up into heaven with our rebellion.
We keep going on vacations, moving houses, and exploring locations hoping to find what to us feels like a Heavenly Home…to no avail. So, we push our longings out past this life. In his great book Heaven, Randy Alcorn says that anthropologists tell us that every culture has some concept of a better life after death. While these visions vary, they reveal that we were made for more, never feel quite at home on this planet, and are all hoping to find our way Home somehow someday.
In church, you will hear varying details about hell depending upon how much steel your preacher has in their spine. You will also hear about how to get to Heaven – by accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. And, you will be given a few obscure references to Heaven without much explanation.
Most people don’t know much about Heaven, and what they think is often just plain wrong. The average person thinks of Heaven as the boring place where we’re all chubby babies sitting on clouds wearing diapers plunking harps for all eternity pretending that we like it. The average person also thinks that all the people with tattoos who play guitar, smoke cigarettes, and drink beer end up at a party that never ends in Hell.
Satan got kicked out of Heaven and he’s been bitter ever since. He came to Heaven on earth, Eden, to get humanity kicked out of Heaven as well. Ever since, Satan has undertaken an incredibly effective fake news campaign to misrepresent Heaven and Hell and encourage folks to seek to create their own little heaven on earth without God. The truth is, we all seek to be happy and healthy, and that should lead us to God and Heaven rather than Satan and rebellion. In this devotional and sermon series we will be exploring in detail what Heaven is like right now, and what it will be like when Heaven comes to earth with the Party that never ends hosted by King Jesus!
How are you most feeling the effects of the curse in your life right now?