Tuesday, April 16, 2013

East of Eden in The 21st Century

Of Man’s First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal taste
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful
Seat, Sing Heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen
Seed, In the Beginning how the Heav’ns and Earth
Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion Hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa’s Brook that flow’d
Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my advent’rous Song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th’ Aonian Mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhyme
John Milton, Paradise Lost

We all live east of Eden. None of us are innocent. (Lk. 13:1-5) Death surrounds us. We may die at the end of a gun barrel with our hand or someone else holding it. We may die by a tornado or tsunami. We could fall off a ladder or be hit by a car. Or drive the car ourselves. Recently bombs exploded at an annual event in Boston. And bombs exploded in Iraq. And if that doesn't kill you, disease will. We all have to die sometime. Death awaits us, east of Eden.
But a glorious future also awaits us. A future that is beyond death.  The world that surrounds us is not the finished product. The same book that describes how man lost paradise also tells how one day there will be another Garden with another Tree of Life. (Rev. 22:1-5) It will be for God's elect, those whose names are written in the Book of Life. (Rev. 13:8) No more will there be bad people. (Rev. 21:8) Nor will there be sickness. And because there will be no more bad people and no more sickness there will be no more death. (Rev. 21:4) Paradise will be restored. This is the hope for all who put their trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. (Acts 4:11-12) The elect in God knows this is a bad world made up of bad people. After all, God's word says so. (Rm. 3:10-12) The disciples of Jesus know that even planet earth is looking for a future redemption. (Rm. 8:20-25) Our future hope is to dwell with God for eternity. Not in the fanciful imagination of our minds but on a new earth with a new heaven. Not separate but united. And compared to eternity, living in the east of Eden is not very long at all.
New Jerusalem by Mollie Freeman