THEN AND NOW

The world is not as God made it.

In that original Paradise of God death was an alien.

Universal life proliferated.

Every feature of nature – animal and insect, microbe and mollusk, wind and weather combined for the felicity of the first human pair.

They were luxuriantly sheltered.

When God warned Adam that if he ate of the fruit on the Tree of Knowledge he would die, Adam would have had no point of reference in experience or observation.

Death was an unseen hypothetical.

It existed only in the warning of God.

It was localized invisibly in the one fruit which hung upon the one tree.

In our 21st century the proportions are exactly reversed.

The Christian persuader labors against great difficulties.

We plead for a universal Creator at the back of all reality – obvious to us, but invisible to all.

Someone once said of the Book of Esther, “God’s Name is nowhere found, but His Providence is everywhere seen.”

Just so, God’s work can be seen everywhere, but His Face is hidden out of sight.

The devil’s work can also be seen.

His work is death.

His advocates appear everywhere to prevail in our secular age.

Their case pivots upon two axes.

Everything dies.

Then follows the silence.

In these mortal bodies, on this fallen planet, we face one of two possibilities:

Either we die, or we watch everyone else die.

It is a morbid observation, to be sure, but no less true for its morbidity.

There is that third alternative – the Return of the Lord Jesus Christ, but very few factor that into the equation.

The Gospel proclaims that death has been defeated by the Son of God.

He appeared upon this planet, took a human name and a human nature, then died upon a Roman Cross to pay for the sins of many.

Jesus died, yes, but Jesus was not silenced.

He rose once and He speaks still.

“For as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to be called the children of God, even to those who believe on His name.”

Death we can find anywhere.

The life which overcomes death is found only in the promise of God.

That promise is localized historically in the one Man who hung upon the one tree.

His Name is Jesus.

In Eden then the warning went unheeded.

Will the promise now be believed?

 

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