Is there such a thing as a love that lasts forever? We live in a throw away society. Things don’t often last forever. Even when we take broken items to the store to be repaired, we are just given another one and the old one is thrown away.
Couples frequently put together “pre-nuptial agreements” just in case the marriage does not last.
Is Love a risk? What do we do when we love someone and they don’t love us back? What if we get in a love relationship, and the other person stops loving us? Is Love really worth all the potential pain?
The Boundaries of Love
God Himself had a Love Relationship in which the people He loved so very much were unfaithful to Him. It happened to Him over and over again. But let’s look at just one example. Let’s go back to the first recorded Love Relationship on earth. Let’s go back to the Garden of Eden.
One of the first Gifts God gave His Newly Created Man and Woman was the Gift of choice. God loved Adam and Eve completely and forever. He looked forward to the same Love in return.
But Adam and Eve would have the freedom to choose whether they loved God and would stay true to Him. God did not create robots. He created humans in His Image. All that He was, He wanted to see in them.
How did that work out for God? Were Adam and Eve true and faithful? Unfortunately we know the answer. They wanted all God would give them, but they thought they could get even more by having a little “on the side.” That same story has played out again and again over time.
God gave Adam and Eve free access to the Tree of Life and all the other wonders of the Garden. There was only one tree from which they were not to eat — the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
God set this boundary in Love. He knew the dangers. He did not want anything separating Adam and Eve from the Love they shared in sweet communion with Him in the Garden.
Is Knowledge Power?
Adam and Eve already had Knowledge of Good. They were living in the midst of the world God had proclaimed GOOD.
James 1:17 says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows.” Everything good comes from God!
What then was the problem with Knowledge of Evil? Many people today believe they must expose their children to the knowledge of evil to protect them. However, the sad reality is that as fast as you can think of evil things to warn others about, satan comes up with untold evil you do not know about!
Think of the evil you do know about. Does your knowledge of evil ever interrupt your thoughts of God? While you say you trust Him, do other thoughts creep in that cause you to be anxious, fearful, angry, depressed, etc.? If you had absolutely no knowledge of evil, would you be happy?
The world God created for His Children was indeed a Heaven on earth to be lived forever in Joy with Him. Think of children blissfully playing. Why do they have such joy? They have no or very limited knowledge of evil. It does not trouble them.
Sin Has Consequences!
Adam and Eve disobeyed God. God had no choice but to keep His Promise. He had promised that if they ate of the fruit, they would surely die. But undoubtedly His Heart was breaking, both for the anguish His Children had brought upon themselves and for the sentence He was obligated to pronounce.
With the eating of the fruit, a door was opened into their minds that allowed all the evil of the world to enter. With this new knowledge, they would be susceptible to ever increasing evil acted out in God’s Perfectly Created World. And they would become tortured human beings worried about the evil that could be perpetuated upon them.
Additionally, they were now open to a new form of torture, called “regrets.” Are there moments, hours, days of your life that you longed to go back and erase? Times when you think of how different your life would be today “if only” you had made different choices? Adam and Eve could remember the times of only knowing good. They longed to go back to the way things were from the beginning. But they could not.
The harsh reality of life is that while God is willing and able to forgive and give us a new life from this moment forward, the choices we have made in the past produced consequences.
God is a God Who Keeps His Promises of Judgement and Mercy!
God immediately banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Why? He was never going to remove the Tree of Life. That Tree is still in existence waiting for us. (Revelation 22:2, John’s Vision of the Holy City of the Future) But God knew if Adam and Eve continued to eat of the Tree of Life, they would live forever with the Knowledge of Evil.
God knew the suffering such knowledge would bring. In His Mercy, He curtailed the time they would live in that sinful state or be exposed to the evil of others. In so doing, God also limited the time satan would have to work with them in tempting them to fully surrender to the “dark side.”
Would God ever take someone off the earth to mercifully spare them from future evil? Read the words of Isaiah 57:1-2:
The righteous perish,
and no one takes it to heart;
the devout are taken away,
and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
to be spared from evil.
Those who walk uprightly
enter into peace;
they find rest as they lie in death.
God was obligated to uphold His Sentence of Death. God always keeps His Promises. But God is also God Almighty. He has the Power to decide exactly how His Sentence is carried out.
Adam and Eve would die, but they now had a choice. They could remain true to God and only their earth bodies would die. The internal parts that were of God would continue to live forever. Or if they chose not to remain true to God, both their external body and their internal body of sin would die.
While God limited the time of suffering with the knowledge of evil on earth, He hoped with each succeeding generation that they would remain true to Him and experience the full Joy He wanted to give them. Alas the evil was passed on, much as an infectious disease.
Oh Love That Will Not Let Us Go!
God knew His Children were lost and simply did not know their way home. Born out of parents who had never seen the Garden, they grew up knowing some good and more and more evil. God mercifully stopped them at all turns.
But His Big Heart grieved more and more. What He wanted was for His Children to enjoy what Adam and Eve had enjoyed with Him in the Garden.
He knew what He had to do. God had never banished His Children from Himself. He had been with them every step of the way. But now God took that Love to a new level of visability. His Children had been created in His Image. Now He took the ultimate step of revelation. He came to them sharing the same outside covering He had provided for them — a human body.
He called Himself Jesus, meaning One Who would save His People from their sins. He also revealed His Name of Immanuel, meaning “God with us.” He was very clear about His Understanding of the world in which His Children lived. And He was very clear that He was there to save them from the evil with which their world was infected.
Jesus said many things to reveal how present God was. God had been there all along. It was not that He had just arrived nor was it that He would leave and then come back some other day. Jesus was God’s Way of revealing just how present He was (and is).
God’s Message through Jesus
Jesus did not deny that evil was present on the earth. But His Message was a Message of how to live right in the midst of a world of evil and not be defeated by it.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have Life, and have it to the full!
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble, but take heart!
I have overcome the world!
I have told you this so that My Joy may be in you
and that your Joy may be complete.
I am with you always, even unto the end of the world!
And He gave us the Promise that one day our frail, infected bodies will be put aside and no evil will be able to stop the emerging of the glorious body underneath! The amazing climax of God revealed through Jesus showed the unleashing of the the most unimaginable evil possible. It was as if God said, “OK, satan, take your best shot.”
But Jesus would not die. Nor will those of us who allow Him to fill us with His Love. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” He spoke to satan and all his demons. Evil was finished. The weather forecast for us is sunny!
A Land That is Fairer than Day!
While Jesus taught us how to live in this present world where there is evil, He also gave us the Promise of a Future without evil. Here is a preview:
Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You believe in God; believe also in Me.
My Father’s House has many rooms;
if that were not so, would I have told you
that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back
and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.
It’s exciting that Jesus will come and escort us personally!
John, in his revelation, saw that place and described it this way:
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;
and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying,
neither shall there be any more pain;
for the former things are passed away!
They will see His Face, and His Name will be on their foreheads. 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 forever and ever! Revelation 22:4-5
Evil will be finished, and we will return to the Eden God designed for us from the beginning of the world!
Saved from Hell on Earth as well as the Hell of the Future!
How could satan stand against this up close and personal message from God? He has many tactics, but one of them is to trick us into believing Jesus only came to give us “fire insurance” against a future fire in hell.
Satan does not want you to know the Truth. God’s Love for you is so great that He came to save you from Hell now and in the future. Read the life of Jesus and practice every teaching. You will find that as you focus more and more on Jesus, the evils of the world will simply not affect you as much. His Love will simply swallow it up. His Light will overcome the darkness!
Stay tuned for future posts where we will look at ways we can begin to enjoy the wonders of Heaven right now!
Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
He replied to them by saying, “The Kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display,
Nor will people say, Look! Here it is! or See, it is there!
for behold the Kingdom of God is within you (in your hearts and among you (surrounding you)!
Luke 17:20-21 (AMP)