This episode is part of my podcast series DEAR ATHEIST… If you prefer, LISTEN NOW.
Last week, I shared a comment I wrote in response to an Atheist’s post on the topic of eternal life. Later, while musing on this topic, I went back to the Beginning…to the Garden of Eden, where it all began for mankind. I learnt something from that. I learnt that mortality is a curse.
You see, we were never supposed to die. We were supposed to live with God forever, nourished by His Light, as we are now nourished by the Sun. In the absence of sin, Adam and Eve would still be alive today, along with billions of humans, who died after them. Even without eating from the Tree of Life! God’s presence would have sustained us, just as He sustained Moses for 40 days and nights without food and water on the mountain.
However, once Adam and Eve sinned, they were corrupted and suffering entered the world…because when we go against the will of God, we inflict pain and suffering on ourselves and others, even without knowing it. And the thing about corruption is that it is an insatiable pit. Have you noticed how a small lie turns into a great and mighty delusion? Have you watched how food rots with just a singular fly? Likewise, once corruption takes hold, it cannot be satisfied until all that is good is made evil.
With this turn of events, God, in His great mercy, made us mortal! How did He do that? By first withdrawing His presence and casting them out of the Garden of Eden. He even put up a flaming sword to keep them from eating from the Tree of Life, which would have made them immortal. Knowing that they were corrupt, there was not much He could put past them. Rebellion was now the order of the day, so to save us from ourselves, God prevented mankind from becoming immortal.
Do you see His mercy? Suffering and immortality would have been a terrible terrible curse on Adam and Eve and all humans after them. That would be Hell on Earth! Imagine the worst kinds of wickedness, escalating endlessly, and the same murderers, rapists, thieves and villains unable to be stopped, because they are immortal. Imagine sickness and suffering, all sorts of diseases…but they cannot kill you, because you are immortal. There would surely be no good thing or person remaining, because corruption would devour all! So with sin came the need for mortality (Rom 6:23)! And after death, judgment (Heb 9:27)!
So when God warned Adam that the day he eats of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, which he had been forbidden to eat from, he would surely die…He wasn’t exaggerating at all. It wasn’t that the tree was bad. Of course it was good, like the devil said. But their disobedience was evil. Maybe God wanted to train them first, before rewarding them with its fruit. But they presumed themselves wiser than God, and rebelled against Him.
We also know that on account of their sin, the first animal was killed, to cover up their shame; for they came to know that they were naked and were ashamed. The death of the first animal to serve as Man’s clothing, would certainly not have helped to foster cohabitation between animals and humans. See how sin was already unraveling God’s good plan?
God could have killed Adam and Eve right there and then, and decided to start again, but He rather took advantage of the situation presented, to teach mankind His ways… And then He sent Jesus to redeem us, and restore us to His original plan. Those who believe in Jesus, who forsake their sin, and the corrupted world, choosing instead to deny themselves and follow Him, would be restored in their relationship with God and given the gift of eternal life… Knowing Him and God, in Paradise, and living forever in peace and harmony with one another and all God’s creatures.
I love how our Heavenly dwelling is depicted in Revelation: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever” (Chapter 22; verse 1-5).
Immortality is our destiny as children of God. It is right for us to desire it. Power is our birthright as royalty. Let’s take hold of it. Sin, Sickness and Death are defeated in Christ Jesus and corruption has no more hold on us. Let us not live as though we do not know our heritage… Let us live as those who have been redeemed, bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. And may His Kingdom come and be restored on Earth… Amen.
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Categories: A Different Perspective, Dear Atheist, Issues of Life, Random Musings, The Latest, True Religion
You said that we were never supposed to die, but wasn’t death actually the ‘default option’ in Genesis? I understand that death is usually understood to have entered the world through Satan’s deception, but it would seem that Adam and Eve were actually created mortal since God had to kick them out of the garden lest they eat from the tree of life. As you said “…to save us from ourselves, God prevented mankind from becoming immortal.” If death wasn’t his original intent, it would seem that he would have had to take away immortality, not prevent immortality.
Instead, I would think that God prevented mankind from becoming immortal to protect himself. Genesis says that in eating from the fruit, Adam and Eve became like God, knowing good and evil. God had knowledge and immortality; mankind had just gained knowledge. I’ve always viewed this as God’s concern that, if they gained immortality, there would not be enough to separate God from man.
My point is we were created to abide with God, in His presence…and as long as we were in His presence, we would live forever. So the real question is, why was the tree of life needed at all?
I think it was probably a very nutritious fruit that was GOOD to eat and savour, just like the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God didn’t forbid them from eating from the tree of life…but He forbade them from eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
But with their disobedience, God knew they couldn’t handle immortality, and so needed to be separated from Him and forbidden from eating of the tree of life as well!
It wasn’t to protect Himself from us, but us from ourselves. If He wanted to protect Himself from us, He could have just snuffed them out right then! But in His mercy, He granted them TIME! Time but not immortality. Time to learn and to grow, to do right and to choose wisdom.
We can see that as men continued to grow in corruption, God reduced the amount of time from almost 1000 years to about 100 years per person! To save us from ourselves. Soon, with the great corruption that is still in the world, men won’t live to their forties… and eventually, God’s Judgment Day will come.
Thanks for commenting 🙂
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Exactly where in the Genesis 3 account does it say that either God changed Adam and eve’s nature or that sin had corrupted their nature to be different than before they had sinned? Please answer with verses and stay within chapter 3 as the Law of first mention.
I’m trying to understand the origin of your confusion or of the offense I caused you as an unbeliever. If you do not believe the Bible, why do you care what it says? Would my pointing out this verse or verses make you a believer again? If not, why should I bother?
Actually, I’m shocked at your question, especially after reading my response to Jon, which I can only imagine you did. If you haven’t, please do. Then please point out in my post where I wrote “God created man immortal”. Those exact words please.
This is a case of English!!! I wrote “we were never supposed to die” and “we were supposed to live with God forever”. I also explained that this is because of the nature of God, being life sustaining! In the presence of God, there is no concept of Time. We know that a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. That’s a poetic way of saying God lives outside of time.
Also get this – Adam and Eve were in His presence and they had FREE access to the tree of life! If they had been wise, they would have eaten of its fruit, before disobeying God. But the devil is not that smart. He saw an opportunity to resist God and took it and counseled them to eat of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil.
So, you tell me… were they supposed to live forever or not… with such free access to immortality? It was the entrance of sin that changed their destiny. For sin, they got death – separation from God and mortality.
You can look at it this way. They were supposed to be married to God. They were betrothed to God. But they became unfaithful and CHEATED with the Devil before their marriage was sealed (by eating from the Tree of life). And so they never got married to God. They were cast out, CONDEMNED to remain unmarried. Here, I’ve used marriage in place of immortality. God also uses marriage to signify our union with Him forever, calling us His Bride. This time, our worthiness is through Jesus.
I hope you understand what I am saying. There’s no need for the knee-jerk response or the know-it-all “show me where it says so in the Bible”. Nothing I have said is contrary to the Scriptures, if you truly know them.
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I am not offended. Just asking about your foundation for believing in the idea that Adams sin some how changed the nature of humans from that point forward. Please just proceed to tell me what verse in Gen 3 says this.
It seems you are still the know-it-all and no way close to recovery.
If after reading that, you’re still hanging on a presumptuous technicality of what you think I said, I have no words for you.
Also, as an unbeliever, you don’t get to tell me how to interpret the Bible or from where I should draw my supporting verses, when expressing my understanding. You either believe the Bible or you don’t. And you can take or leave my understanding/counsel. But there is no basis to your challenge.
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So, still waiting for your genesis 3 verse that says either the sin of Adam or God himself changed human nature from what it was before
I am still waiting for you to point out where in my post I wrote “God created man immortal”.
That wasn’t my question and you know ut
It appears that you are confused and you are trying to confuse me. Let’s recap:
You asked: “Exactly where in the Genesis 3 account does it say that either God changed Adam and eve’s nature or that sin had corrupted their nature to be different than before they had sinned?”
Your questions implies that I wrote that God changed Adam’s and Eve’s nature (that is from immortality to mortality), which is why I asked you to show me where I had written that “God made man immortal”. It showed that you didn’t understand what I had written, which was that they were supposed to live forever with God (the Life Sustaining Spirit)…but because they sinned, they were banished from His presence. Two Scriptures that support this are Genesis 2:17, where God promised that they would die if they ate of the Tree He commanded them not to eat of; And Genesis 3:22-23, where God banished Adam and Eve from His presence and prevented them from becoming immortals. There are other Scriptures I draw my understanding on sin, immortality and God’s Life Sustaining power, but there’s no need for a Bible Study here.
I also didn’t say sin changed their nature (from immortality to mortality) either, but sin meant that it was NEEDFUL for them to live as mortals, and not immortals, because it would be a terrible curse on the Earth. So because of sin, they were cast out! If you are trying to get me to prove with Scripture that sin leads to corruption, then you are playing games. Sin is the evidence of corruption, and depravity is the escalation of corruption. Adam and Eve sinned because the Devil had corrupted them, and it manifested in disobedience.
You are asking me to bring up verses to support your confused understanding of what I wrote, when I have shown you the basis of my understanding with Scripture. You are being illogical. You are also showing arrogance by trying to dictate from where I should draw my supporting evidence within the Bible. I do not believe you are truly seeking to learn or to be corrected in your understanding.
If my response here does not clear up your confusion, then I don’t know what will. Like I said before, you can take my understanding or leave it, but being an unbeliever, you cannot tell me how to interpret the Bible you do not claim to believe in and cannot possibly understand yourself.
You’re the one who is possibly confused. My question was, where in Gen 3 does it say that after Adam and eve’s sinned that their nature was corrupted and changed?
You thought, and still do from what I’m reading, that I asked a wholly different question.
Again, try answering the question I actually asked
You won’t succeed in making this personal
No desire to make it personal. You Atheists just amuse me! When it’s convenient for you, you shout us down for quoting Scripture, saying that we might as well be saying “googly goop”. But then, when it suits you, you’re demanding Scripture!!! As though what I have said is not plain to see and understand from what is written.
Please pardon me if I don’t answer you again. I’m off to bed.
Good night 🙂
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Not atheist, just not Christian. And right there is where you try to make it personal by a broad brush attack on me as ‘you atheists’
Try answering my question
I’ve answered you.
You did not
I’ve seen you constantly label Christians as “lazy thinkers” (how ridiculous) … well, let’s see if you can demonstrate that you’re not a lazy thinker and tell us, why did it become necessary for Adam & Eve to be driven from the Garden – which had been their own domain – and a flaming sword & Cherubims placed there to protect and prevent their reentry.
Here’s a clue:
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
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Can you demonstrate that such a story actually happened and is just not religious allegory?
What a foolish question.
Were you or I or anyone else – historian, archaeologist or otherwise present.
I suppose next you’ll be asking me for video graphic evidence.
What a hoot you are – pretending to be wise.
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… But I’ll be generous and stipulate that it did.
Please answer my original question
Your question was answered.
If nothing changed, why drive them from the Garden, Kia.
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Hello Kia, to simply answer your question read vs 22 – 23.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Now the man has become like one of us and has knowledge of what is good and what is bad. He must not be allowed to take fruit from the tree that gives life, eat it, and live for ever.” 23So the Lord God sent him out of the Garden of Eden and made him cultivate the soil from which he had been formed.
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So… becoming like one of us… indicates a corruption to a sin nature? Then God’s in trouble
Again to answer Kia on the statement below, please see my response right after:
“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves,you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Romans 6:16
Yes as a matter of fact it does happen. For example in a workplace, if a surbodinate presents him/her self to the supervisor as a loyal one, over time he/she will beginning to develop similar characteristics of the supervisor; which is as a result of the influence gained from continous relationship between them. Also you will hardly find that person doing anything outside the principal guidance of the supervisor . The question he/she will always ask in times of any situation will be “what will Mr/Mrs. X do in this situation?
Believe me leaders want surbodinates/unit members to be loyal to them so that they can govern them according to thier manner of doing things.
I will encourage you to read the bible for understanding and i know you will find it relatable to our everyday life.
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Thanks for adding your voice, Orhue!