The Big Picture The Future

Trees, Trust and Life

Two Trees in the Beginning

The Bible begins with the tree of life and ends with the tree of life. The first tree was in the garden of Eden. There was a second tree as well, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:9) The first man and woman had a choice, trust God and his word, or listen to the crafty serpent (Gen. 2:16-17).

The serpent planted seeds of doubt. Did God really say that? Perhaps that’s not what God really meant. Let me help you out…God actually meant this…! And then he said the exact opposite of what God said (Genesis 3:1,4).

God said, “If you eat from this tree, you will die.”

The serpent said, “You will not surely die.”

The woman fell for the trap and the man followed. This problem has cursed humans ever since.

The Greatest Temptation

The greatest challenge we face is ourselves. It’s a great temptation to decide what is right and wrong for ourselves. God knew how dangerous this would be. It could ruin all of eternity. He had to remove Adam and Even from the garden and the tree of life (Gen. 3:22-23).

God’s Solution

But God had a solution. He would come to this earth himself and become a human. He would show how to submit to our Heavenly Father and live a life of purity and unselfishness. He would show us how to love one another. And even though he did nothing wrong, he would die and take the punishment for sin that we deserved.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17

Will You Trust Him

We have a choice today. God has promised that we will once again have access to the tree of life in the glorious new earth (Rev. 2:7). All we have to do is trust Him. When we believe God we are not condemned. That means He won’t look at all the bad things we have done and say we aren’t welcome in heaven. When we ask forgiveness for our sins, he covers us with his goodness. He welcomes everyone who believes him and trusts him.

But those who don’t believe God’s words condemn themselves. Just like Adam and Eve had to be separated from the tree of life because they didn’t trust what God said, we will be separated from heaven and the eternal tree of life if we do not trust (believe) God.   

He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18

What does condemnation in this verse mean? It’s a big word. Lucky for us, the Bible tells us plainly.

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:18, 20

Light or Darkness

 

light-not-darknessJesus is the light that came into our dark world (John 8:12). He is the word made flesh and came to light our way (John 1:14; Ps. 119:105). Most people don’t want to look into the light of God’s word, because it exposes who we really are. Our selfishness, our greed, our pride and all the bad stuff we think and do.

It also exposes the things we think are right and good, but are not in harmony with God’s word. These are the hardest things to accept, because we think we know the difference between right and wrong. We think we’re smart enough to decide what’s good. Yikes! It’s the same problem Eve had in the garden of Eden. The Bible warns us about this.

Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. Luke 11:35

Right before this Jesus said these words.

But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Luke 11:28

Hey, that sounds like the beginning of Revelation, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it.” (Rev. 1:3)  

Guess they should sound the same since they were both said by Jesus!

One Tree at the End

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There were two unique trees in the first garden. There is one special tree at the end of the Bible. It is the tree of life.

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22:1-2

I want to be there to experience that beautiful tree and the healing it brings. The last verse in the Bible tells us plainly how to join Jesus in this wonderful place. All we have to do is believe and trust Him. His words are faithful and true.

Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14

The tree of life in the New Jerusalem is for all who want it. It is free, without cost, because Jesus paid the price already. Invite Jesus into your heart today and ask Him to forgive all your sins.

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17

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