A thought crossed my mind this morning, we hear a lot about “Heaven” and “Hell” and where we live for eternity. We don’t fully understand, though, that even while we live we can also have Heaven or Earth depending on our choices and that of others. In the Mesopotamian story of the “Garden of Eden”, Adam Eve had everything they needed and didn’t know about life outside of the Garden. The Devil, or the Serpent of old, had to break up this happy party; to do this, he created “conflict” by pointing at the “The beautiful Apple hanging within hand’s reach”. The apple could have been just an ordinary apple on the tree but, to Eve it was intoxicating “I can be like the Creator and know the difference between good and evil”. Once the choice was made to take a harmless bite, sin had been conceived; Eve enticed Adam, and life for them changed irrevocably. Mankind was taken from the beautiful garden and placed in a prune pit”. An angel guarded the entrance to the garden so that mankind could not traverse between the two realities (Genesis 3:17-24). The beautiful skies that provided rain in the proper season became bronze and the fertile ground became iron (Deuteronomy 28:23). You see, we live and die by the quality of our choices (Mike Krier). In the same way, we also cannot live in two disapparate realities, we will either choose to live in a prune pit or live according to G_d’s will and desire. We can have “Heaven on Earth” or we can have “Destruction”.
Sin breaks the heart of G_d because he created mankind to be in a relationship with Him. G_d did not warn us to “sin not” because he wants a pristine person to be his Poster Child; He said it because He knows the hell it unleashes in our lives and those who proceed us. G_d absolutely knew what would happen upon taking a simple, little, harmless bite. In the same way, we warn our children about the pitfalls that they will face because of ill-chosen choices.
We do not just show up on G_d’s doorstep and say, “Hi I want to live in your kingdom how about making some room for me”. Turning our life around begins at the blood-stained cross of Calvary (Romans 5:12-21). We can either continue to crucify our hearts for the choices we made or accept Jesus’ grace and mercy by letting his blood atone for our sin. Having our sins forgiven doesn’t give us the golden ticket to paradise, it paves the way for us to put our life back on the correct moral compass. If or when we commit a crime, we are not given a “get of prison free” card, we are given the strength and courage to be accountable for our actions and slowly leave the land we are in. When we bring destruction in our family (Proverbs 11:28), being forgiven will not cause us to open the door to our home and find life as it once was; we will, however, be granted the strength and courage to face what we did.
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