Summary: Adam faced a terrible punishment when he was sentenced to return to dust, but God forbid that we ignore the changes made by Christ, and continue to live on the level of that judgment "From dust to dust."

The Sunday School teacher was introducing his lesson on heaven by asking

his boys if they wanted to go to heaven. One boy said, "Not me!" The teacher

was shocked and asked, "You mean to tell me you don't want to go to heaven

when you die?" "When I die? O, sure !" said the boy. "I thought you were

getting up a group to go now!" Even the Christian with the clear revelation of

God's eternal plan, and mansions being prepared for him by His Savior is not

anxious to get to heaven. The primary reason for this is due to the fact that

one must die to get there.

If we could go like Enoch and Elijah there would probably very few

Christians left on the earth. If Christians could choose to ascend to that realm

of bliss there would be a continuous rapture of the church as people were

being caught up to be with the Lord. The Apostle Paul was caught up to the

third heaven and into the very presence of God, but he says in II Cor. 12 that

he could not describe it for us. He did not know whether he was in the body,

or if it was just in spirit. He did write after that experience and say that to

depart and be with the Lord is far better. Here is a man who actually went to

heaven and returned. He knew of its glorious attraction, and yet even he

struggled within himself as to whether he should depart or remain in this life

to be of service. Paul was not afraid of death, but he knew death ended his life

of service for Christ, and he did not want to give that up. Death would rob

him of his chance to win others and build them up to be Christ like.

We see then that death itself has no attraction to the believer whether he

is a little boy in Sunday School, or the world's greatest Apostle. If this is so for

Christians who have a full and abundant revelation of the hope of heaven, how

much more must the believers of the Old Testament have dreaded death? The

greatest punishment Adam and Eve had to suffer was not pain in childbirth,

or hard labor in the field, but the sentence of death upon them with no

assurance with life after death. In verse 19 Adam is told that he came from

the dust and that he will return to the dust. Although directed to Adam this

judgment obviously includes Eve as well. I remember my mother quoting the

saying that girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice, but boys

were made of frogs and snails and puppy dog tails. This is a cute way to make

little girls proud and little boys mad, but the fact is, both sexes came from dust

and both will return to dust. According to the Bible the body is glorified dirt.

It is glorified by God's creative power plus the breathing in of God's spirit.

Nothing is said in this judgment about the spirit of man. even Solomon in

his most pessimistic book of Ecclesiastes says that the body returns to dust, but

the spirit to God who gave it. Nothing is said to Adam except that he shall

return to dust, and in chapter 5:5 we read, "Thus all the days that Adam lived

were 930 years and he died." God did not give Adam any revelation about

what comes after death. God has not given us any revelation either as to what

happened to Adam when his body died. We do not know if Adam was saved

or lost. One of the reasons that God allowed Adam and others to live so long is

likely due to the fact that He did not give them any revelation as to hope

beyond death. Adam lived almost a thousand years. Today we live less than

one tenth as long, but we have the hope of eternal life in Christ. I do not envy

Adam and his long life, for all he had to look forward to was the grave and


Now the reason for this is clear. God could not give Adam any hope of

eternal life, for it is God's gift to man based on perfect obedience. Adam lost

his chance to gain it. In 2:17 God said that if he ate of the forbidden tree he

would die. Adam was not made to live forever. He was made mortal with the

possibility of either dying because of disobedience, or of living forever because

of obedience to God. Here in 3:22 we see that Adam never got a chance to eat

of the tree of life and so live forever. He disobeyed and lost the hope of

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