Thursday, November 25, 2010

Place In Heaven

As we read the creation story, we see the most beautiful garden ever created. Then placed in it were all the different animals, birds, and fish of every kind. The trees were fruitful, and the flowers were bright and beautiful, and God himself walked in this garden, being the brightness of it. Then he created man, and placed him in the garden to care for it. He was given the task of naming all the creatures, of all the bird types, animals, and all the different kinds of fish. But with all the creatures in the garden, there still was no like kind for man to have a relationship with. So God used a rib from Adam, and created his wife. I can only imagine her beauty, and the wonder and excitement the first time that Adam saw his bride. All in all the first part of the book of Genesis was a perfect world, a perfect garden, perfect creatures, and a perfect couple. It goes without saying, that at this point there was no Mother-in-law in the picture.

We are told that the lovely couple was naked. Reading the story, it seems that they were unaware that this was an issue in polite society. I can only imagine what it was like traipsing around the garden with no clothes on. Now on the subject of man being naked. These thoughts came to me while watching a football game the other day. And it hit me, that had not sin came into this world, that all 22 players on the field, and all the officials, with all the coaches, and all the other players, and all the fans in the stands would still be naked, and I thought… Oh My. But as human history reveals, sin was introduced into the world, and when the woman and the man ate of the forbidden fruit, from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, their eyes were open, and they realized that it is not nice to be naked in polite company, and immediately procured some K-Mart brand fig leaves to cover their bodies.

Now we know that because of the actions of our father Adam, we all have been banned from the garden, and that means a whole lot more in spiritual terms than just not seeing and enjoying one of the most beautiful places in the whole world. It meant for mankind, that we did not have a place in the home of God. We read in the Bible that there are a lot of created beings that have a place in heaven, but there was not a place for man anymore. It is so wonderful now to understand the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, when he explained this to his disciples. He said that he was going to go away, and he was going to make a place for us. It took his disciples a long time to understand that though his “earthly” father was a carpenter, that our Lord was not going to heaven to build us a house with a hammer and nails. Though the hammer and nails were used in the preparation of our place in heaven, it was not our Lord that swung the hammer… It was you and I. Yes that’s right, it was our sin we inherited from our father Adam that kept us from heaven, and it was our sin that had to be paid for before we could have our place with God restored. So in truth, it was us that swung the hammer that day, and buried the nails deep into the hands and feet of the Lord Jesus. But it was his love for us that kept him there, that bare all that dirty laundry from our past and future in his own body, as God punished him for me. Now, just like Adam and Eve, who watched in horror and pain, God take a little lamb, and kill it, skin it, and then wrap their naked bodies with the skin of that poor little beast. We too see in horror and pain that precious Lamb of God, killed because of our sin, and his righteousness (skin) was wrapped around our spiritual naked bodies, making us right in the sight of God. It was this act of our Lord Jesus Christ that has prepared us a place in heaven… Hallelujah, what a savior!

Now I hope you have already accepted his free gift of salvation, and have the assurance of a home in heaven. If not, why not today? I cannot promise that everything in this world will turn to roses, but I can tell you that God promises you a home in heaven. Yes mother-in-laws will be there too, but I am pretty sure that the football team will have clothes on.