Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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What is Paradise Like?


Meditation for the week of July 5, 2009

Luke 23:43 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."

What is paradise and what is it like?  Webster’s dictionary says that paradise is the Garden of Eden in which Adam and Eve were placed immediately after their creation.  Another of the Webster’s definitions calls it a place of bliss; a region of supreme felicity or delight.  Apparently, it is a Persian word having to do with delightful gardens.

When the United States won its freedom from the British Empire, I am sure that at first our country seemed like paradise.  There were a lot of freedoms, the tax burden was greatly reduced and it seemed as though hard work and moving west provided great economic opportunities for many people.   However, the Unites States was never paradise.  We had slavery, there was ethnic pride and prejudice, capitalism with its excesses made virtual slaves out of many employees.  If the legends of the “old west” are at all accurate, many people “did that which was right in their own eyes” and to an extent anarchy prevailed in many places.  Most Indians who had lived here before the country was populated by Europeans certainly didn’t understand the new European culture and they lost their way of life.  They obviously would not have considered this new republic to be paradise. 

If the Garden of Eden represents paradise, then paradise must be a place with good company because they talked with God there.  It must have had good food since they could eat of the trees in the garden with one exception.  It must have been a beautiful place and the temperature must have been very moderate since Adam and Eve didn’t seen to need our kind of clothes even though they may have been clothed with light before eating of the forbidden fruit. Adam was responsible to “dress and keep” the garden, so he had responsibilities.  Obviously, there was no sin in the Garden until Satan entered the picture and destroyed paradise.

Now heaven is generally thought of as paradise.  The thief on the cross had an eleventh hour conversion and was promised paradise with the Lord.  I don’t know if we will need to eat there, but since the Lord ate after the resurrection (Luke 24:43), I suspect that we can eat there and the food will be delicious.  I expect the temperature to be 72 degrees the year around and the humidity to be low.  There will be no sin, no disease, no death, no lying or cheating or stealing.  Best of all it will be a place of love because the Lord will be there.  Heaven will be a place of good company, good food, and good things to see.  It will be everything we look for when we go on vacation.  The government will not be by the people, of the people and for the people, but instead we will have a benevolent dictator ruling paradise.  His name is Jesus.

The Unites States is the best place in the present world to live, but it is no paradise.  Representative government is abused by those with money.  The law isn’t always applied fairly to all.  Taxes have become burdensome.  Our land is filled with violence and with drugs and with a lack of reverence for God.  But there will be a future paradise.  The paradise lost because of sin is going to be regained because of Calvary.  Not every one will be there, however.  Only those who would enjoy the company of the Lord and of Christians and of a sinless society will be there.  And, truthfully, many people do not want to be in a place like that.  It will take a new nature and a new birth to enjoy this new paradise.  I have to admit that I don’t want to go there today, but I am looking forward to living in this paradise.  The real attraction is going to be the benevolent dictator who loved us enough to die for us at Calvary.

Bruce Collins

1 Comment »

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