Posted tagged ‘eternal life’

Back to the Tree of Life

November 24, 2017

Depositphotos Image ID: 13147743 Copyright: martinm303

The tree of life is mentioned only three places in the Bible.  The first and most prominent place the tree of life appears in the Bible is in Genesis. The Tree of Life is one of two trees specifically identified in the garden. The other tree, of course, is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

I have wondered what would have happened and how things might be different if Adam and Eve had eaten of the Tree of Life, rather than tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they had eaten of the tree of life, would they have had eternal life at that point? Or is the tree of life something that must be consumed over and over again?

It really doesn’t matter for purposes of considering our present reality. From dust to dust is our current condition, but the tree of life appears again in the Book of Revelation, and it pops up three times in Proverbs.

That gives us hope. Though we are presently cut off from it, the tree of life figures into God’s ultimate plan as revealed in the Book of Revelation. The tree of life appears there on either side of the “river of the water of life… flowing from the throne of God….”[1]

Where do we find the tree of life in between the Garden of Eden and standing beside the river of the water of life from the throne of God? Let’s take a look.

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The World is Passing Away

September 25, 2017

Depositphotos Image ID: 10691293 Copyright: udra

“For the present form of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:31)

Perspective makes all the difference in how we see the world and live our lives. The perspective of faith is wholly different than the perspective of skepticism. The person who has been born again, born from above, born of the spirit[1], is a new creature; the new has come and the old has passed away.[2] We are no longer of this world, though we continue to live in it.[3]

Do we really grasp the meaning of these things? Sometimes I wonder. I wonder about myself as I look back at the things that have captured my attention at times, the anxiety and worries I have had about temporal things, and all the time I have wasted doing trivial things.

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Wealth, God and the Rich Young Ruler

March 11, 2017
Despositphotos Image ID: 1254235 Copyright:hsfelix

Depositphotos Image ID: 1254235 Copyright: hsfelix

In reading through the Gospel of Luke, the doctor, historian and traveling companion of Paul, two dialogues appear in chapters 18 and 19 about men of wealth. They are the stories of the Rich Young Ruler and Zacchaeus, the tax collector.

Both men are rich and are tied into the local power structure. They both seek out Jesus and encounter Him, but one turns away, saddened because of his wealth, while the other receives Jesus joyfully. And, then there is the story of Ananias and Sapphira. They had become part of the early church, but wealth became their undoing.

All three stories deal with wealth and possessions and relationships with God. And more importantly, they deal with the heart. We will review each story in this three part series on wealth and relationship to God.

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Olympic Gold and Everlasting to Everlasting

August 8, 2016

I tend to think that life revolves around me.  From my perspective, it does.  I see the world through my eyes.  My understanding of the world starts with me, but it cannot end there.

That myopic beginning is part of my lot in life. That is where my challenge starts.

I am finite.  My view of the world is limited. My view is not just limited; it is utterly infinitesimal.

Science tells us that the world began with a “bang” about 14 billion years ago.  All of known history is less than 10,000 years.  My life began only 56 years ago, and I might only have another 30 years or so if I am fortunate. In comparison to the age of the universe, I am barely a mist. (more…)

Taking the Emotion out of Sin

March 29, 2016

“[T]he wages[1] of sin[2] is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23.

We tend to view sin in moralistic terms, but we don’t need to view it that way. The adage, “we are what we eat”, is an apt description for sin, though we tend to view it in moralistic terms as reaping what we sow. [3]

Although sin is at the heart of morality, the emotion of morality in this modern, post Christian age in the US may cloud a clear view of sin and the relationship between sin and death. Men have tried to hijack morality and claim it as their own, but, if God exists, He is the moral standard; further, without God, there is no such thing as objective morality.

But that’s not what this piece is about. Let’s put aside the issue of morality and take the emotion out of the equation. Let’s take the emotion out of sin and see what is left.

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The Tree of Life

March 4, 2016

Shagbark Hickory


The tree of life was there in the garden. It was available to us until God “cast us out of the garden” and closed us off from it, so the story goes. Why?

I think there is intention to the fact that He let us know that the tree of life was there and we could eat of it. Conceivably, we could have chosen to eat of the fruit of the tree of life, instead of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

(Notice that it was not a “tree of knowledge” but a tree of the knowledge of the difference between good and evil.)

I began thinking about these things one day as I was contemplating the slow unwinding of my own body. (more…)

The Wrath of God and Eternity

February 7, 2016

This is part 3 in the series of Putting God’s Wrath in Perspective. We started by considering the fact that God is God. We are not God and really have no say in who God is or what He does. He could be nothing but wrathful, but we discover that God is, ultimately, love.

From there we discover that God’s wrath in history is employed to achieve the ends God purposes to accomplish, beginning with meting out justice, but more importantly to accomplish His ultimate purposes. His ultimate purpose is to bless the entire world and to reconcile the world to God and to mete out justice as justice is due.

This can only make sense, really, in the context of eternity. If this world is all there is, a just God would have to accomplish justice within the parameters of time. He would have to accomplish justice for each person during the life span of each person. That would be impossible to accomplish in a world in which individuals have real choice.

We tend to think of justice in terms of our own experiences. We think of justice at first instance in terms of our own lives; then we look out to the world that we know in the time in which we live. Justice is lacking in our experience – both in our own lives and in the world in which we live. In fact, if we are honest, injustice seems to be the norm.

Yet, we have this insatiable ideal and longing for a just world.

Where exactly does that come from? If justice seems so elusive in this world, why are we not simply accepting of the “way it is”? This is all we know. Why do we long for – actually insist on – something different from the injustice that is our experience?

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