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Question 7

7.      CAN PARADISE EVER BE RESTORED?

 

The Bible story of Eden, whether taken as literal in every detail or regarded as a simplified account of mankindís origins and early experiences, is fundamental to an intelligent Christian faith. It tells of the creation of man in a state of perfection (not his evolution from lower orders of being), and gives the reason for his present unsatisfactory condition which leads only to death. But the story is not without hope, and even while pronouncing the fatal sentence on the disloyal pair, God intimated that a child would be born of woman who would be an antagonist to Satan, pictured in the serpent (Genesis 3:15). Further, "the way of the tree of life" (Genesis 3:24) was divinely kept, preserved, by God, awaiting the time when men would be ready to walk along that way, having the benefit of such an experience of evil as to teach them lessons which could be learned in no other way.

Promises abound in scripture of a restoration of all that was lost in Eden. That God desires to win back the human race to wholehearted loyalty and love for their Creator and to rescue them from the death penalty is at the core of the divine plan. Having provided in the person of his son Jesus Christ a substitute for Adam, who took upon himself the penalty of Adamís sin, and in the "gospel age" which followed won to a heavenly calling a body of faithful ones who "suffered with Christ" that they might "reign with him", the scene is now set for the lifting of the death sentence and the establishment of a new order of affairs on earth, in which life will once again be offered. Manís initial failure did not render void Godís first purpose to people a paradisaical earth with a race of beings in his own image and likeness, dwelling in harmony with one another and with their Creator.

"For Ö I create a new earth (society) Ö they shall build houses and inhabit them Ö plant vine-yards and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat Ö for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord (the children of the second Adam)" (Isaiah 65:17-23). "And they will say, This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden" (Ezekiel 36:35). Picture before your mental vision the glory of the perfect earth; think of all the examples of comparative health and beauty of human form and feature that you have ever seen, and know that the destiny of mankind in Godís purpose will immeasurably surpass all human thought in the reality of Paradise restored.
 

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