Sin forgiven in Eden

It seems that many of our preachers and those who have been in church have forgotten that the Son was present from the very beginning. The Spirit and the Living Word were both present during the week of creation.

When God gave Adam the first commandment or rule it wasn’t long before it was broken. Since sin could not be covered by anything but the shedding of blood, God had to kill a couple of animals, likely sheep, to atone or cover their sin and their nakedness before He cast them from the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were very much like children or babes in Christ at this time. They knew God personally and had walked with Him and yet they sinned by disobeying His commandment about the tree of knowledge.

A few chapters later in Genesis, God commands Abraham to take his son and sacrifice him on Mt. Moriah. While they were going, Isaac asked his father about the sacrifice that they would use. Abraham told him that God would provide a sacrifice for them. Abraham’s faith in God was such that he reasoned that even if he sacrificed his son, God would raise him up again so that God’s promise would not fail. He was right about God providing the sacrifice because even when he had bound Isaac and was about to bring the knife down, an angel stopped him and told him to look about and a ram was caught in a bush.

All of these salvation precursors are placed in God’s Word because He has wanted us to see that we have a choice to follow Him. We are chosen from before the foundation of the world to become His children.

Even when the Israelites walked into Egypt to live because of the famine which had gripped the entire Middle East, God had a plan. Joseph who had been sold into slavery by his brothers prophesied about their release from slavery and told them to carry his bones into the promised land when they saved from their slavery one day. They didn’t know it would be over 400 years before that time would come, yet they hoped and prayed for a deliverer all of that time. God heard their prayer and raised up Moses in the palace of Pharaoh, the son of a Hebrew slave but raised as a prince in Egypt. In time, he would be their savior from the oppression of their slavery and their subjugation of over four centuries.

Although it was not Moses who actually saved them and brought them out of Egypt, it was God and His signs and wonders that caused them to be cast from their slavery to a nation in order for them to become a nation. This is also a precursor or a type which shows how we are saved from our bondage to sin. Some of us spend many years in bondage to sin although we look at it as “living the life”. What life is there without God in it? There is no life in reality without God’s Presence. You are like a zombie before you come to realize that you need Jesus as your Savior. He calls you and me as “the dead” because without the Holy Spirit coming into our life, we are dead to Him and His influence in our life.

God has a plan for each of us and in His timing He will bring us out of that dead world into His world of Life everlasting. When you feel His touch in your heart and you know that you are a sinner without Jesus in your life, you will come to Him. All of the Old Testament “types” which I have outlined here point us toward salvation because each of them are a picture of how we are before knowing Jesus and when we are set free because of our faith in Jesus. These are but a few of the types which point us toward our Savior and they are in the Old Testament, all the way back to the very beginning of the book of Genesis.

I pray that you will give your heart to Jesus and ask His forgiveness for your prior sinful ways so that you can enjoy the gift of eternal life with Him one day.

Salvation is through faith in Jesus alone and when you are brought to that cross you must make a choice, follow Jesus or go back the way you came. Salvation isn’t forced on you, but you have to be willing to give your life to Him for it.

Before you can walk…

God’s Word is full of pictures in words about how the Christian should learn to follow Him. The problem is that for most of us we’ve never had anyone in our lives to show us and explain what the baby steps are and how to progress from there. If you have ever listened to a sermon on TV or at a church revival or even at a friend’s church you have likely wondered exactly how to become a Christian and then what do I do when this happens? Where do I go from this point?

Baby steps are the first options which we all have. When we are learning to walk, we don’t wake up one day and just run around the house and down the street. It is the same way with believers. You don’t come down the aisle one day or night and repent of your sins and then you understand all of the theology and mysteries found in the Bible. God doesn’t dump the Old and New Testaments in your brain and tell you to get out there and make Him proud! There have been some days that I wish He had done that but we aren’t capable of going from a non-believer one day and then have the ability to understand all of the mysteries of the Bible on the next day.

Talk about a mind-blowing experience! That would truly put us in the asylum for sure.

The problem with becoming a Christian is that many times you are on your own. Once you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, most churches expect your parents or friends to help you to learn about your faith and what you should do with this new life which you’ve been given. Is this the way it was supposed to be? Well, yes, actually it was because that was the way that God had told the Israelite people to teach their children about Him and their history from the books of Moses and their Prophets..

All of us have a responsibility to lead and teach, not only new Christians but each other. All of us need to be helped along the way. Learning more about our faith and about our Savior and the message which He taught the disciples during the time that He was with them. Saul who became known as Paul even went into a secluded place to learn from the Holy Spirit before he became the evangelist to the gentiles.

Why do I bring this up today? Because many of us have heard the gospel preached and we might have given our heart to Him but we are left on our own to “work out our salvation” by ourselves and sometimes we get in the muck of our own minds. What do you mean by that? Well, work out your salvation doesn’t mean that we must work for it but it does mean that we have to study God’s Word to learn more about Him and what He taught the disciples so that they could take His good news to the world. Humans, you and me, tend to overthink things whether it is learning from Scripture or learning to cook or even learning how to play a guitar. Your mind and your thoughts will get in the way like a puddle of mud does when you are walking or riding in a car or on a bike.

Since we are in the process of being quarantined at home these days it is a perfect time to learn more about your Savior and to have Bible study sessions at home. Get into God’s Word while there is time on your hands and learn more about Him and the love that He has for you because He has loved you with a deep, abiding love since before the world was created.

Can you walk in heaven while you are here on Earth?

According to the apostle Paul we have a place in heaven even while we are still here on Earth. In Ephesians 2:4-6 says it this way:  4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

When we pray to our Creator, God, and we do so in faith there are times when we may see the floor of Heaven. When you get a glimpse of the floor of Heaven, you are seeing the golden streets which make up the streets of Heaven. It is likely that you will think it is a dream or some sort of illusion, but those don’t usually happen while we are awake. Can I prove that I saw this? No more than I can prove that my feelings are real or that my imagination can conjure up worlds while I read a book, so I would say that there is no way for me to prove any of this. But the look of reality and the solid feel of it is all that I can describe to anyone. So call me crazy or insane if you wish, but I have experienced this at least once maybe a couple of times.

How I wished at those times I could just take another step and be there with my loved ones who have gone before me. One day soon. How are we to respond to someone who claims to have this happen in their life? I can tell you that most people are not going to tell anyone about this because they will be afraid of being sent to a mental hospital. Only those of us who know how real it felt and can still feel, at times, to have gold bricks as pavement under your feet.

While it is true that we won’t experience the actual feel of gold under our feet until we get there, a vision from God which feels real is the best you can ask for while on this side of the veil. Remember, we are only separated from God and our loved ones by the veil of life here and the different and glorious life that we will experience in God’s Presence. I am looking forward to the day when that trumpet sounds!

If you haven’t given your heart to Jesus, it is time to get busy seeking Him for your Savior. If you have ever felt the Spirit calling you during a service or when you feel convicted about your life and your mistakes then you truly need to come to a saving knowledge and belief in Him for your salvation. I pray that any of you who read this will turn to Jesus for your salvation soon because I don’t think we have many more years to wait. Seek Jesus as your savior while you have the time.

We are finite

Much of our lives are spent seeking for a reason or a purpose for our life. We go through life trying to find the meaning for our existence but many times we stumble over the real meaning in such a hurry until we miss it. This is the problem in most everyone’s life because it usually takes a crisis of some kind to bring our focus back to what we should have been doing all along. Not only washing our hands but being careful about where we sneeze and cough, but it has taken a virus to get the whole world to realize what is important and how to take care of each of us and those in our family who are important to us.

But…why does it take a crisis to bring the best of us to the top? Why do we have to be tried in some way in order to be better at being the people that we could be all the time? It seems that Christians and…well, people in general, tend to do better or try to be better when we are under the pressure of a trial, no matter what it might be. Whether it is persecution, like the early church was put through, or war or diseases Christians tend to thrive and dig deeper into our faith when we are put under pressure. Kinda like coal or carbon, when put through enough heat and pressure it will turn into a beautiful diamond.

Does life just do this or do we bring these trials on ourselves? I believe that it is a combination of circumstances and the will of God which brings these trials our way. Trials do tend to get rid of the dross and refine our faith into a more pure form of faith which cannot be shaken. Then of course there are some people who will go through the same trials and blame God for their “bad luck”. They will do this and then just turn away from Him and the love that He has for them, even when they know about His love and can possibly feel it yet they will still refuse to turn toward Him for salvation or healing.

Humanity has always been strange in that way. Some of us will lean toward our Savior during times of trial and some of us will blame Him for these trials and turn away from Him. Truthfully, the church grew faster during those times of persecution than at any other time during its history. The emperor of Rome was trying to stop this “cult” and stomp it out and it just kept growing. If you read the history of the church, no matter where the persecution was or the type of trials that it was put through, the church still grew in number of converts and in the places where it was known, where Jesus was known.

The trial that our world is going through right now is not localized but the faith of the people who are being tested during this time will be refined and polished to a point of reflecting Jesus and His message even more during this and afterward as well. God knows exactly how to make Himself known and if it takes a crisis like this virus which has everyone on edge and fearful, then He will allow it to happen. But we need to draw closer to Him during this and don’t blame Him for the outcome but thank Him for it, regardless of how gut-wrenching the pain is or how much you are tempted to blame Him for someone dying from this virus. He will see you through it and give you the strength to glorify Him regardless of the outcome.

Seek Him for your strength and your comfort because He is the only One Who can provide you with both.