A respected friend who does not yet know Christ or the Bible recently asked me what he was missing. These four gracEmails repeat what I shared with him in response.
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I am humbled and honored at this privilege, and I commend you for your inquiry. This is the most important topic possible. It is foundational for abundant life now and for life eternal. I pray that God will give me clarity as I attempt to respond.
We live in a broken world — fractured relationships, inner turmoil, guilty consciences, civil and domestic strife, war, famine, natural disasters of flood, hurricane, drought. This is not the way God made the world originally. It is the cumulative result of millennia of bad human decisions.
The fundamental bad decision made by our original ancestors, and by all of us since, is the decision to live our lives independent of God, our Creator, who longs to enjoy intimate companionship with us each moment of our lives. That decision of independence (even rebellion) toward God is “sin,” as are all its manifestations — such things as pride, greed, envy, lust and coldheartedness toward others. Those are the attitudes and deeds which have turned an original Paradise into the broken world we now inhabit.
It is God’s plan ultimately to restore his universe to a perfect condition (actually to create a “new heavens and earth”), where he will live in personal contact with all those people whom he redeems. We who live with God eternally will also be fully redeemed, forgiven of all sin and guilt, purged of all evil desires, equipped with a body suited to the Age to Come — a body which will never be sick, be in pain, or die. We will live forever in that Paradise restored.