Summary: A doctrinal sermon that deals with the blessing of eternal life.
FOLKS CAN WE GO A LITTLE DEEP TODAY?
CAN I HEAR AN AMEN?
WILL YOU HANG WITH ME?
WILL YOU STUDY THIS AFTER TODAY? BECAUSE I CAN TELL YOU THIS SERMON HAS BEEN FORMING OVER SEVERAL WEEKS. AND I AM STILL GETTING MY MIND WRAPPED AROUND SOME OF THE THNGS GOD HAS BEEN SPEAKING TO ME ABOUT.
LET’S GET DOWN TO IT:
If Adam and Eve could fall from the Paradise of the Garden of Eden, why couldn’t we Fall out of heaven? Will we lose our free will? Will God make us forget sin? Will we become robotic praise machines? Or will we be in danger of falling from heaven? By the way, if you believe you can fall from grace on earth and lose a God centered salvation here on earth, then the same logic would apply for all those who enter the pearly gates. I do not believe our Armenian friends will not go to heaven, but I do believe that the doctrine they preach is unsettling. Unless we resolve the question of whether or not we can be tempted in heaven, we will also struggle with THE CERTAINTY OF HEAVEN!
8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
9 Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"
10 And he said, "I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself."
11 And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?"
12 And the man said, "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate."
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" And the woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
This passage begs the question: “If Adam and Eve who lived in the Paradise of God and walked with God, could fall from the Garden, what about us? Is the promise of heaven ultimately empty? Will we one day fall from heaven as well?”
I. MORAL INNOCENCE IS THE ABSENCE OF ACTIONS OF AND AWARENESS OF REBELLION.
One of the questions that hounds Theologians, pastors, Christians, and all people in general deals with IS THE QUESTION OF WHY WOULD A JUST AND LOVING GOD ALLOW THE PRESENCE OF MORAL WILLFUL EVIL IN THE WORLD? I am not talking about natural disasters, like Katrina, hurricanes, earthquakes. We do not assign moral impulses to natural events. I am talking about the torture and bombings from Al-Qaeda in Iraq. They do not even care if they kill babies and children. Not that the bombing itself isn’t evil. BUT THERE IT IS IN THE BACK OF THE MIND, “WHY?” AND “WHAT?” SOMETHING JUST DOESN’T RIGHT. THE WOLRD SEEMS LIKE GOD MADE IT. BUT WITH WHAT GOES ON, IT DOESN’T ALWAYS SEEM LIKE GOD IS IN CONTROL. SO WE ARE LEFT WITH THE QUESTION OF WHY PEOPLE CAN MAKE CHOICES THAT DISPLEASE GOD, HURT OTHERS AND THROW A MONKEY WRENCH INTO THIS WHOLE IDEA THAT GOD CONTROLS THE UNIVERSE.
The questions OF WHY AND WHAT lurk behind the cynicism of the skeptic; it drags behind the fateful slip of the adolescent venturing into the world of drugs and sex. It sleeps beside those who slumber on Sunday morning. People look at the evil in the world and think either, I am not so bad as a terrorist or hitman. Others think well if God cannot control this crazy world, heaven is probably just a roll of the dice. I hope I make it in, but it really just comes down to luck. So, I will throw my lot into living for the day, Carpe Diem. But we struggle with the twisted nature we see in these people.
Where there is no religious training in God’s way, we will simply become more and more corrupt. The more that we believe we can make the rules up or create our own religions, the more evil we will see abound. We trace every road side bomb to Eden, every rape, every white collar crime to Eden. We ask, “Why did God allow Satan into the Garden?” We ask, “God, why did you make Adam and Eve
II. MORAL INNOCENCE IS NOT ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN YOU IN HEAVEN. YOU NEED TO HAVE THE PRESENCE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Moral innocence was not enough in the Garden, it would be insufficient in heaven.
2 Cor. 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.