Summary: After looking at God’s original blessing of creation, this message explores the impact of the fall of humanity from relationship with God and God’s solution in Christ Jesus, to the problem.
Paradise Lost - January 18, 2015 - Sermon on Genesis Chapter 3
Yesterday I walked into a Pharma Plus store near my home to get some meds. As I walked up to the register I noticed a display with Cold Effects, an immune-system booster, on sale. Usually $27.99. now $12.99 with a coupon.
They normally have coupons at the counter, so I went up to the cashier, a fellow I’ve known for years, and commented that that was a great price for the Cold Effects.
He said, “Yeah, it is”. I asked him if he had a coupon at the desk that I could use, as I’ve done before, and he said, “I’m afraid there isn’t a coupon for that sale”.
I asked if it was a coupon you had to get online, or…you know…where could I get the coupon? He said the coupon doesn’t exist. I thought he was joking, but then he said the display had been up for a week. He’d obviously had the same conversation with many customers.
“So this product is on sale for $12.99 if you have the coupon, but the coupon doesn’t exist”, I said. He looked at me sheepishly and said, “Yeah, I guess”. I said, “Wow, by that logic I could offer you a $20,000 car for $5 with the coupon, but make sure the coupon doesn’t exist”. We laughed, and I left the store.
That’s kinda funny, but something is broken.
There are all kinds of examples of things that are broken in our world, most of them not at all funny. There’s the war with ISIS, which is still raging, even though the media has become bored with it and rarely reports it. Something is broken.
Boko Haram, a terrorist group in Nigeria, last year kidnapped 276 school girls ages 14-15 to be used as sexual slaves to terrorists. Something is broken.
There are literally millions of other examples, some large, some small, that point to a deep problem in humanity.
People treat each other terribly, nations go to war, and terrorism impacts every continent. And our personal struggles and problems and illnesses can be overwhelming, so that we live with suffering of a sort every day. Have you ever asked why? Have you ever wondered where this all started?
Well, today we’re going to explore what the Bible has to say about where this all started.
Was there a root cause to it all? Is there some solution to the problem?
We’re going to talk today about one thing that we don’t normally give a lot of attention to, and one thing, a vitally important question that is actually a question that has rung throughout the ages and continues to ring in human ears.
It’s a question that God asks every one of us. It’s a question God asked the first man and the first woman.
Today’s message is titled “Paradise Lost”, which is borrowed from the 17th century English poet, John Milton. He wrote a poem of the same title, that was a 10,000+ line poem about the Biblical story of the Fall of Man. I assure you, this message will be shorter that his poem.
The one thing that we don’t spend a lot of time talking about here at Church at the Mission is the enemy of our souls, Satan. In some churches you can find a lot of attention being given, even though it is negative attention, to Satan.
And the reason we don’t talk about him much here is that I’ve noticed over the years that when Satan is given a lot of attention, even with the good intention of warning people that he is real, we can very quickly get a distorted idea of Satan’s power in our lives.
To keep it simple, if God was a mountain, Satan would be a molehill. But, Satan though he is a defeated foe, beaten by Jesus on the cross, behaves as though he wasn’t defeated.
He’s a little like the Japanese soldiers who had been stationed on various Pacific islands during World War 2.
Their lines of communication were cut off during the war, and after the war they never learned, or perhaps never accepted, that the war was over or that peace that had been declared in 1945 when the Emperor of Japan surrendered to the Allied forces. For 25 years after the war, they still behaved as though the war might be won.
That’s a bit oversimplified, but it captures a key truth: Satan is small, limited and defeated. God is enormous, unlimited in power and glory, and victorious. THAT’S why we spend the vast majority of our time talking about the living God.
But today, because our Scripture goes there, and because there are some things we need to know about how the enemy works, we’re going to spend a few minutes learning about this enemy.