PARADISE LOST AND REGAINED

Genesis 3:22-24

 

I.Intro.

A.we live in an age where the vast majority of people, regard Christianity and church attending as old fashioned, out of date, and even ridiculous

1.people have left the churches, and have turned their backs on the Bible and the Christian faith, because they feel these are irrelevant, and have nothing to say concerning the problems afflicting our age

2.they consider the Bible to be nothing more then fairly tales; especially the opening chapters of Genesis

B.it is impossible to understand the modern world and its problems, except by understanding the teachings of these chapters, and especially the 3rd chapter

1.it is impossible to understand the modern world and its tragic condition, without the message of this chapter

2.there is no hope whatsoever, of any kind of solution to our problems, apart from the message of this chapter, and the message of the Bible

C.the purpose of Christianity and the church, is to call upon men and women to face the facts of life

1.the world thinks that we are a people who have ceased to think and to face the hard realities of life

2.in reality, we are the only people who can face the world, and the only people who can understand it

3.we are the only people who have a message of hope, for the people who are appalled by the state in which they live

II.the state of the world in which we live

A.anybody who thinks at all, is painfully aware of the circumstances of our present time

B.one of the characteristics is restlessness; a lack of ease, a lack of quiet, a lack of tranquility

C.it is characterized by an uneasy conscience; people feeling that they are somehow responsible for all this

D.it is characterized by strife, jealousy, envy, greed, malice and spite

E.most everybody will agree on this:  the politicians, the philosophers, scientists, all thinkers; they are all gravely troubled about the state and the condition of the world at this present time

III.why is the world as it

A.there is only one adequate answer to that question, it is the answer that is given in Genesis 3

1.we cannot understand the Bible, without understanding Genesis 3; it is the key to the rest of the Bible

2.in the same way it is the key to understanding our modern world

B.the world was never meant to be like it is, and there was a time when the world was not like this

1.God made this world, it was not an accident, it did not just come into being by chance

2.everything God does is perfect, He created a perfect world

3.He made man in His own image and likeness; in other words, man was made perfect

C.God took this perfect man and put him into a perfect environment; called "Paradise"

1.the life in "Paradise", was a wonderful life; its was characterized by harmony, peace, friendship, joy

2.man did not have to earn his food by sweating and laboring and striving

3.he just had to pick the fruit; no labor, no effort, sheer enjoyment

4.there was nothing evil, nothing sinful, nothing to cause any unhappiness at all

5.it was a state of perfection, a state of innocence, a state of perfect bliss

D.man's supreme moment of enjoyment was when God came down and had fellowship with him

E.this was "Paradise", it is very difficult for us to imagine it, because it was entirely perfect in every respect

IV.any man who claims to be a thinker is bound to ask this question:  why is the world as it is - Gen 3

A.man ceased to realize, that his highest and greatest privilege was to have communion with God

1.he ceased to realize that the most marvelous and wonderful thing about him, was that he should be in tune with God, and should respond to everything that came from God

2.what happened in the beginning, explains why the world continues as it does today

B.man ceased to realize that he was a limited being; he ceased to realize his dependence on God

1.the Devil, in his subtlety, knew that this was the way to tempt man

2.the devil said, “ye shall be as gods," and was creating doubt about their dependence - Gen 3:5

3.they had realized their dependent upon God, but now they began to dislike it

4.when they forsook their dependence on God, pride and ambition came in

5.they wanted to be like God; which was the Devil’s whole purpose in suggesting it to them

C.man began to put pleasure and enjoyment, in the place of truth

1.when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit - Genesis 3:6

2.in other words, she was no longer guided by principles, and no longer guided by truth

3.she was now guided by the appearance; lust and desire came into being for the first time

4.from now on the man and woman would not governed by truth and principles, but by lust and desire

5.if it looks good, I want it; if I like it, I must have it; truth does not matter and principles do not count

6.this is how men feel today; this is how Paradise ceased to be the condition of this world

7.this is why our world is in such terrible trouble today

D.the devil also suggested that God is against us

1.when the devil said, “Yea, hath God said,” he was asking why did He saying this, is He is against you

2.he was suggesting that God was a tyrant, and was keeping them down

3.the devil suggest that they could be gods, but God is jealous; and therefore keeping them down

4.this is what people believe about God today; God is some monster in the heavens, keeping us down

5.this feeling that God is against us is described by the apostle Paul - Romans 8:7

a)the natural man hates God; but many people say they believe in God, but never go to church

b)if they would define their God, we would find that He is not the God of the Bible, He is a God of their own making and imagination

c)when confronted with the God who has revealed Himself in the Bible, they hate Him

E.the man and woman thought that they could escape from God

1.the moment they disobeyed and rebelled, they had a feeling of guilt; they never knew that before

2.they thought they could escape God, so they hid and thought that they would get away with it

3.the same is true today, people do not think they will have to pay for their sin - Hebrews 9:27

4.the world is as it is because people do not believe there will be a judgment

a)they think when they die, that is the end of it; though they cannot prove it

b)death is not the end; we are responsible beings, and we will have to face God

V.mankind is optimistic about His ability to regain the Paradise we have lost

A.though man has made some magnificent efforts through the centuries to regain Paradise, we are not there

B.Paradise cannot be regained, but why not:  the only answer is found in Genesis 3:24

1.with all the brilliance of man, why can we not get back to Paradise

2.man wants to get back to Paradise; nobody wants to be miserable and unhappy

3.the simple answer is that God has made it impossible for him to do so

C.God will not allow man to go back to Paradise, but why not

1.man has been striving to regain Paradise, but he cannot do it because he wants Paradise without God

a)man wants Paradise on his own terms, but it cannot be done; there is no Paradise without God

b)man in his folly, is crazy enough to believe that we can regain Paradise without God

2.while man is still a sinner, he can never regain Paradise

a)Paradise is a place of bliss, peace, happiness, mutual understanding, and mutual appreciation

b)while man is a sinner, he is selfish, self centered, self interested, and self concerned; this is the exact opposite of Paradise

c)while man is a sinner, he does not care who else suffers; he must have his rights, and his money

d)every man is a sinner, and while we are sinners, Paradise is a sheer impossibility

e)no matter what man may do, until he is entirely changed and delivered from this infection of sin, he can never experience Paradise

3.man can never get back to Paradise as long as he is under the power of the Devil

a)that is what happened when man listened to the temptation, and rebelled against God

b)man thought that he was going to make himself free, but what he succeeded in doing was to make himself the slave of the devil, and ever since he has been controlled by the devil - 2 Cor 4:4

c)our world is as it is, because it is controlled by the Devil - Ephesians 2:2, 6:12

(1)this evil power is creating enmity, division, malice, spite, suspicion and hatred

(2)while man is the dupe and slave of the devil, he will never experience Paradise; it is impossible

4.there are cherubim guarding the entrance

a)the cherubim represent the presence of God, and the Holiness of God

b)man cannot regain Paradise, because to get there means to be in the presence of the holiness of God

c)when evil men have a glimpse of God’s holiness, they will cry out for the mountains and rocks, to fall on them and hide them - Revelation 6:16

5.there is a flaming sword which turns every way, to keep the way of the tree of life

a)the flaming sword represents the Law of God, the Justice of God, and the Righteousness of God

b)we did not make our world, we just found ourselves in it; God made it and He has given us laws

c)God has given His Law in the Bible, and it tells us how to have Paradise

d)God told man, that if they disobeyed Him they would suffer punishment

e)the flaming sword is the law of God, condemning sin, destroying all who sin, and making it impossible for anybody to get back into Paradise, unless he comes on the terms of God's holy law

f)this is why the world is as it is, and why civilization has failed to regain Paradise

(1)man thinks that reason, education, culture, and knowledge will do it; but it does not do it

(2)man is not prepared to live by reason, for he is governed by lusts and desires

VI.is there is no hope of regaining Paradise; yes, there is a way back, and that is the Christian message

A.we cannot get back there unless somehow we can answer the cherubim and the flaming sword

1.the only one who can get back into Paradise, is the one who can look into the face of the holy God

2.there has been only One in this world who could look into the face of God's holiness and not shrink - Mark 1:24

3.Jesus of Nazareth has come from God; He has looked into the face of God from eternity

a)He alone can answer the demands of the cherubim, and the flaming sword - Galatians 4:4-5

b)He perfect obeyed to the law of God; He is the only one who has ever done it

c)He kept and honored the law of God, and He challenged anybody to find evil in Him

B.what about our guilt, what about the punishment that we deserve for our sins

1.Jesus came to take our guilt upon Himself, and the sword that would have killed us, killed HIM

2.because He was the Son of God as well as the son of man, He bore the full punishment of our sins

3.the sword, guarding the entrance smote Him, but He was able to take it all and still go into Paradise

C.the Son of God, did not to do it for Himself, but for us - Luke 19:10

1.He came into the world in order to take us back into Paradise

2.all we have to do is believe in Him, and trust ourselves to Him, and in Him we will enter again into Paradise; this is the message of the Bible

D.this is the message of the Bible for our modern world

1.this is the only explanation of our condition; and the only hope of regaining Paradise

2.Paradise can be ours; there is nothing to do, but believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved

3.in Him we are already seated in the heavenly places, and we can look forward to the day when we will be with Him in the new heavens and the new earth, wherein dwells righteousness

4.in spite of the darkness and evil of the present hour, there is a blessed hope for the children of God