Thursday, December 27, 2012

Family Life Sports Basketball Starting January 6!

I am pleased to announce a new youth basketball program starting January 6 at Central Baptist Church.  See below for more details.  This is a perfect opportunity to get out of your house, get some exercise, spend time with your kids and for your kids to learn how to play basketball in a fun way!

Purpose:  This is a program to teach young kids the fundamentals of basketball while having fun and spending time together as a family. 
Background:  Over the past several years I have heard from and observed so many families who are run ragged from the many different activities that their kids are involved in.  Many of these activities involve running different kids to different locations and dropping your kids off only to pick them up a couple of hours later.  It also involves a highly variable time commitment each week with games and practices on different nights and different times – sometimes late into the night.
While we believe that youth sports is an extremely valuable thing for kids where they can get exercise and learn many valuable life lessons (teamwork, good sportsmanship, value of practice, etc.), we also believe that these activities can take away from valuable family time and create unnecessary stress and chaos in our family lives. 
Over the past several years, we have conceptualized a new type of sports program where the kids can get the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of the sport they are interested in, get the opportunity to learn the life skills and still experience the family time that they are missing with the way the system is currently working.  This has culminated in the concept of Family Life Sports.
How it works: 
·         At least one parent will come with their children from 2nd through 5th grade and be expected to stay and participate.  You will not be expected to know a lot about the sport, but simply to be there to encourage all of the kids and help out the coaches as needed.
·         We will teach the kids the fundamentals of the sport through instruction, drills, games and activities while the parents are helping and participating.  It is our goal that when each child hears the words “great job!” that is coming from their own parent at least as often as it is coming from us as coaches.
Who:  Boys and girls from 2nd through 5th grade with at least one parent.**
** Note:  there is the possibility of exceptions to this based on certain circumstances to be approved by the coaches.  This is not intended to be exclusionary, but simply that we want to encourage family time. 
When:  Every Sunday afternoon from 1pm to 3pm starting January 6, 2013 through March 10, 2013
(Please arrive 10-15 minutes ahead of time if possible, so we can get started right at 1:00.)
Where:  Central Baptist Church’s Family Life Center (enter directly through the gym doors on the extreme northeast side of the building)
Cost:  There is no cost
Contact:  Email Chad Noble at if you have questions or need additional information.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Why is Christianity different?

This week's post is a bit different.  I have mosly been posting regarding what I've been challenged with in regards to the study of the book of Genesis.  Although related, I thought I would simply post a link to the sermon from Central Baptist from this past Sunday and insist that you watch it.  Set aside about 40 minutes and watch it.  Grab your spouse, kids and friends too.  Sit down and watch it together.  This is one of the best explanations I've heard about why someone (me included) believes in Jesus Christ.  Even if you are not a Christian, you will find this enlightening and I would encourage you to watch it.  On second thought, I would insist that you watch it.  It is a must see.

After watching this video, you may be interested in coming to hear the second sermon in the series this next Sunday at Central Baptist.  If you don't have a church that you regularly attend, I would insist that you make every effort to bring your family to Central this week.  You will be glad you did!

Enjoy the video.  I know you will.  And have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Politics or not Politics? That is THE question!

So, I was hearing the results of the election come in and was realizing that things were not going as I had hoped, I began to reflect on what that really meant to me.  I struggle with the importance that elections play for a couple of reasons.  On the one hand, they are extremely important in determining the direction of our nation.  I, as a citizen, have the right and one could almost say, the obligation, to have my voice be heard through the election process.  On the other hand, as a Christian, I think I have come to put too much importance on the election and on politics in general.  Let me explain.

Our nation was founded based on Christian values and principles which believe in empowering each individual to have the freedom to live their life in a way that they choose - as long as it does not enfringe on someone else.  (Poor paraphrase, I realize, but you get the idea.)  As long as a large majority of people have the same values, this works pretty well.  However, as the values of the people diverge, the lens by which things are evaluated begins to lose focus.  As this plays out, you have two (or more) opposing value systems fighting for their rights to win the day.  This happens at an individual level, a societal level and at a political level.  You can readily name several issues where this plays out... abortion, gay rights/marriage, separation of church and state, etc.

As I was reflecting on all of this and studying the account of Noah in Genesis, I realized that as a Christian, I think I've been thinking about this all wrong.  I get frustrated by the direction our society is going and I tend to try to fight to hold onto my values through our elected officials or scoring points in a philosophical discussion.  The reason I concluded that I have been thinking about this all wrong is because of Noah.  In the account of Noah, Genesis 6:5 says, "5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time."  However, Noah walked with the Lord.  Despite all of the wickedness around him - the fact that Noah had to have been extremely frustrated that society's values were not his values - Noah walked with the Lord.  And God provided for him, protected him and ultimately saved him (and his family). 

Then, I recalled Micah 6:8 which says, "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly[a] with your God."  This verse occurs right before a statement by the Lord of judgment on Israel as follows in Micah 6:9-16: 

11 Shall I acquit someone with dishonest scales,
with a bag of false weights?
12 Your rich people are violent;
your inhabitants are liars
and their tongues speak deceitfully.
13 Therefore, I have begun to destroy you,
to ruin[d] you because of your sins.
14 You will eat but not be satisfied;
your stomach will still be empty.[e]
You will store up but save nothing,
because what you save[f] I will give to the sword.
15 You will plant but not harvest;
you will press olives but not use the oil,
you will crush grapes but not drink the wine.
16 You have observed the statutes of Omri
and all the practices of Ahab’s house;
you have followed their traditions.
Therefore I will give you over to ruin
and your people to derision;
you will bear the scorn of the nations.

My encouragement to each one of you is to not put your hope in a man or in men.  Do not allow the election, whether the person you wanted to win did or not, dictate your hope in the future.  Our hope is in the truth, not in man.

Micah 7:7 -
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

Friday, November 02, 2012

So easy, yet so hard...

In the study of Genesis we have moved from Adam and Eve to Cain and Able to Noah.  What a story!  Here's the story as we all remember it...  God tells Noah to build a boat for a big flood.  Noah builds the boat.  God has Noah gather animals two by two for the boat.  God makes it rain.  Noah, his family and the animals are saved.  Everyone lives happy ever after.  Great story.

Well, it goes something like that, but there are some significant pieces of the story - the most significant pieces - that are missing from that version. 

Check this out...

The first thing to point out is the mating by the sons of God and the daughters of man that resulted in Nephilim. 

Genesis 6:1-4:
When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with[a] humans forever, for they are mortal[b]; their days will be a hundred and twenty years."  4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
This is new to me. The Nephilim were evidently some kind of abnormally giant being. There are a few theories as to what was actually going on here but nothing definitive. Regardless of which theory is correct, this is definitely a signficant piece of the story. Whatever was happening between the sons of God and daughters of men, God was not pleased with the outcome as is evidenced by the next passage.
Genesis 6:5-7
5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.
Even though we all know this part of the background for the story of the flood, we often don't think how deeply God felt about the condition of mankind.  "His heart was deeply troubled."  I think of how a father or mother would feel if their son or daughter had chosen an evil path to the extent that "every thought of their human heart was only evil all the time."  Their hearts would be deeply troubled - likely wondering what they could have done differently or how they can help change them in some way.  God realizes that the only solution is to "wipe from the face of the earth the human race he has created." that's extremely sobering.  Not exactly happy days leading up to the flood.
With that as the backdrop, I want to focus on Noah and God.  Notice how God immediately changes his tone when Noah enters the picture.
Genesis 6:8-9
8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.
So, apparently there is one righteous person on the face of the earth and God chooses to tell him what His plan is for wiping out mankind... with one exception.  He is going to spare Noah and his family by having him build an ark. 
Noah's response?  Yes, Lord.
Genesis 6:22
22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

Sounds cool here.  God is blessing Noah because of his righteousness by saving him.  However, there is one major fact that gets missed when you just read through the story.  It likely took Noah 120 years to build the ark.  Can you imagine that?  Day in and day out for 120 years, Noah is working on othe ark.  The "evil" people that God is planning to destroy are walking by and taunting Noah about when the rain is going to come.  Noah's response.  Yes, Lord.  Do what God commanded.  Day after day.  Week after week.  Month after month.  Year after year.  Yes, Lord.

Finally, the ark is completed.  Now what?  More instruction from the Lord.

Genesis 7:1-5
The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, 3 and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”  5 And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.
Not a single pushback from Noah.  Not:  how am I going to get the animals to go into the ark?  Not:  you are giving me seven days to round up exact numbers of every kind of animal and get them into the ark - in seven days?  Not:  how are we going to fit into the ark?  Not:  what are we going to eat?  All he does is "all that the Lord commanded him."  Yes, Lord.
So, seven days goes by and the Lord shuts up the ark.  The rain begins.  Can you imagine what that would be like?  120 years of building an ark with no rain and everyone making fun of you.  Then, the day the rain begins is exactly the day the Lord had said it would.  Eventually, you start to hear shouts from the people on the outside and they begin pounding on the door for you to let them in as the water begins to rise.  This process must take days.  What would be going through your mind on the inside of the ark?  Then, the ark begins to float.  It rained for 40 days and 40 nights and the waters flooded the earth for 150 days.  
So, Noah and his family are caged up in the ark for 40 days and nights of rain and 110 more days of just floating on the water without any change.  Don't you suppose Noah and his family might begin to wonder what God is going to do next?  It doesn't appear that God has told Noah the plan after he destroyed the entire earth.  Did they begin to wonder if God had forgotten about them?  Good news.  He hadn't.
Genesis 8:1
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
Okay, so the waters begin to recede at 150 days, which is 157 days since the began to enter the ark.  At the beginning of the 10th month, the mountain tops became visible.  After 40 days of seeing the mountain tops, Noah sends out a raven.  It flew back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth.  Then, Noah sent out a dove, waited a week and sent it out again, waited a week and sent it out one last time and the dove did not return.
At this time, Noah removed the covering from the ark and saw that the ground was dry.  You would think that he would be ready to open the ark and get everyone off the ark to enjoy the fresh air and the space.  Not Noah.  He waits on word from the Lord to come out of the ark.  Then, it comes.
Genesis 8:15-19
15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives.  17 Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”  18 So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. 19 All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on land—came out of the ark, one kind after another.

It was over a year that Noah, his family and the animals were on the ark.  And he waited on the Lord to come off. 

Too often times, I will seek the Lord and clearly hear his direction for something and I will begin to do that.  At some point, I take over and begin to do things based on what I think and forget to continually seek the Lord.  Eventually, it ends in disaster.  It's hard for me to imagine how Noah was able to "walk with the Lord" through 120 years prior to the flood and over 1 year on the ark without wavering in his obedience to the Lord.  We know Noah wasn't perfect, but he was willing to do what God wanted him to do when God wanted him to do it.  This is the way it should be done.  My prayer for me and my family - and you and yours - is that we will have the character of Noah as we walk with the Lord in our lives, waiting for His instruction and having the courage to do it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Game On, but it's not a Game!

Anyone else heard a great sermon from church that was totally inspiring?  Especially one that related to reaching the lost?  Do you recall what your drive home was like?  I'm going to share my experience yesterday and I'd venture to say that you have experienced something similar - assuming you've been to church and been inspired to do your part to reach the lost.  (Sidenote:  if you haven't been to church or you have and haven't been inspired to reach the lost then I would invite you to Central Baptist Church in Sioux Falls where we take seriously God's call to us to "Connect people with a life that counts for eternity by building disciples who go and change lives!")

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...  So, it wasn't a few minutes after our sermon got over and our son had received some money from our worship pastor that he is supposed to use to help meet a need that he sees during the week.  Andrew's initial response:  "Mom, can I use this to buy something for me?"  Attack #1.  A few minutes later, my wife and I are in the van driving home and we actually argued about how we should use that money or how we should help Andrew figure out how to use the money.  Attack #2. 

I have seen this happen consistently and repeatedly since our church has been focusing on reaching the lost.  Every time we focus on the mission for which God created His church, the distractions start to pile up.  As you can tell from the examples above, Satan does not waste any time either.  This is by far the most difficult part of being a follower of Christ.  So often times we fall pray to Satan's distraction techniques and forget that we already have victory over him.  He is powerless!  How do I know? 

John 16:33
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
1 John 5:3-5
 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

1 Corinthians 15:56-58
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

We already have victory available to us because of what Christ has already done - victory over death!  Satan thought he had dealt a fatal blow to God, but by Christ's death, burial and resurrection the victory has been won!  Not only for God and His son, Jesus Christ - but for us as well!

Practically speaking, how are we to overcome Satan on a day to day basis in this spiritual battle?

Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

The war has begun. It's been raging for thousands of years. Men and women from the very beginning have been trying to fight this battle in their own strength.  God never intended that to be the case.  He simply wants us to focus on Him and not ourselves.  He has given us and continues to give us everything we need.  He has already defeated Satan.  Satan has no power because of Christ. 

Since we are already in the midst of the battle, whether we want to be or not, it's time that we act like it.  There are 2 sides - there is not neutrality in this war.  The stakes are high.  The outcome has already been determined in terms of which side has gained victory.  The question is, will you claim victory or succumb to defeat?  I claim victory - by getting on my knees, confessing my sin and my total dependence on God and by living in this world by the power of His spirit and not my own strength.  What do you choose?

Ephesians 3:2020 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Slippery Slope

Continuing the study of Genesis this week, we move on from Adam and Eve, the first born of creation to their two children, Cain and Abel.  Again, a lot of us are familiar with the story of Cain and Abel.  In summary, Cain is jealous of Abel because God is pleased with Abel's offering but not his.  God confronts Cain about his attitude and Cain goes off and kills Abel.  Seems pretty straightforward.  At least that's what I thought until this week's study.  As we dig a little deeper into the story, we realize that Cain's story is our story in a lot of ways - or it at least has the potential to be.  Check this out...

First, let's explore a modern day Cain's story.  Here in Sioux Falls, a tragic story unfolded over the past 7 years.

Although some of the information is missing from the above story, the tragedy did not really begin 7 years ago.  It had begun long before.  It only became something other people were able to visibly see 7 years ago, although his previous wife had seen what no one else was able to see.  Eric had a problem of agression toward women.  He had grown up in a home with no father and a mother who worked 3 jobs.  He took care of his younger sister, worked hard in school and put himself through college.  He volunteered to coach little league and was a genuinely nice guy.  Somewhere along the line, he began to listen to the temptations and to succumb to the bitterness, frustration and anger that was building up inside for reasons that we don't know or understand.  He likely didn't understand them either.  However, he fed the frustration, the bitterness and the anger and eventually, he acted that out in a way that landed him in prison.  Instead of being remorseful and repentent, he continued to feed the frustration, bitterness and anger to the extent that he murdered a prison guard during a planned escape from prison.  If you are like me, when you heard that a man had killed a prison guard, you imagine that this would have been a person that had always been a troublemaker and was likely in and out of prison for many reasons.  However, that is not the case.  He obviously had some struggles and some issues towards women that went unchecked and untreated.  However, he's not that far from the average person.  He just fed those sinful desires and behaviors.  He did not turn to God, even when he was "caught".  He continued to rebel.

This is exactly the story of Cain.  Cain was a farmer.  He worked the land and produced fruit and vegetables to eat.  Because of the curse on the land as a result of Adam's sin, this was hard work.  His brother Abel was a shepherd who tended the livestock.  When it came time to sacrifice, it was understood that Cain and Abel were to both bring an animal, one of the best of the livestock to sacrifice to the Lord.  This meant that Cain would have to exchange some of his crop for Abel's livestock in order to give the sacrifice to God. 

At face value, I had always been a bit confused by this story.  I did not understand fully why God did not accept Cain's sacrifice.  After all, he was giving the first fruits of his labor.  A little more in depth study reveals that Cain likely knew full well what he was supposed to do and just refused to do it this particular time.  The reasons for this are based on what God had done when Adam and Eve had sinned.  He killed an animal and provided the skin for covering for Adam and Eve - the first example of blood atonement.  Then, it is likely that Cain and Abel were alive and going about the routine of sacrificing to the Lord for around 129-130 years.  During that time, it is implied that Cain must have brought an appropriate sacrifice and knew full well what was expected.  It is likely that over the course of those years, he had developed a bitterness toward his brother.  He must have been sick and tired of having to go to his younger brother to get an appropriate sacrifice.  His crop wasn't "good enough" for God.  He finally reached his breaking point and made the decision he was going to just bring his own crop to sacrifice.

Genesis 4:2b-5:
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Now, God's reaction is a bit different then I would expect.  He simply asks Cain what happened and gives him some advice/warning about what happens when you don't deal with your sinful attitude. 

Genesis 4:6-7:
6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.

Cain, however, has made up his mind and rejects God's advice, ultimately killing Abel.  When God questions Cain about this occurrence, Cain flippantly responds and disrespects God again.  This results in God handing out a signficant consequence.  Cain's response?  Whining that the punishment was too harsh.  Not a hint of remorse or shame or repentence at all.

Genesis 4:9-13:
9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.

13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear.

How did God respond?  With grace.  He still followed through on the punishment, but if you follow the story further, God allowed Cain to build cities, have many descendants and live a full life.  He continued to rebel against God, however, as did his descendents.

Conclusion:  So, two stories.  Two murderers.  Two severe punishments.  What about you and me?  How does this relate?  It's simple.  Here's the question.  What sinful attitude are you feeding that may lead down the slippery slope to distruction for you or your family or your kids or your grandkids?  Is it cheating a little bit here and there?  Is it laziness?  Pornography?  Bitterness toward your spouse?  Greed?  Pride? 

The problem is that the sinful behaviors that we all abhor don't start as behaviors.  They start as thoughts that over the course of a long time work themselves into behaviors that lead toward destruction. 

There are two antedotes to ensure that you don't find yourself sliding down this slippery slope.  Repentence and worship.  Shine the light on the darkness in your heart and the Lord will be glorified and you will be free from destruction!  Be encouraged.  Take some time this week to read through Psalm 34. 

Psalm 34:15-16:
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.

A link to Psalm 34 is below:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

God's Best vs Man's Reality

As we continue our study of Genesis and we move from God's creation of the world and mankind, we quickly move to the Fall.  Amazing how quickly that happens, doesn't it? 

So, the past year has opened my eyes to the reality of this world beyond what I had understood before in one main area - suffering.  Pretty much everyone in the world goes through some level of pain and suffering on an ongoing basis.  If it's not some kind of sickness or illness that they are dealing with, it is a broken relationship or a lost job or addiction or loneliness or ...  You get the idea.  We are all going through something.  It varies to the level of difficulty, but we can all relate to the challenge that it brings. 

Recently, I have been grieved and saddened by some families that have had to deal with loss at a level that I can't imagine.   One family has experienced the loss of a young toddler age son who was strangled to death by the string on some blinds in their home.  Another family has lost a 49-year old father fell out of a tree stand while hunting.  His 14 year old son will be facing life without his dad.

Our initial human reaction in the midst of these circumstances is to question God and to ask why He would allow that to happen.  It seems so unfair and so random.  Questions like:  "Why do bad things happen to good people?" and "Why didn't God save him?" and "Where is God in this?" roll around in our minds when this happens to us.  And make no mistake, tragedy hits us all in some way in life.  We all are faced with it.

Let's take a step back for a minute.  What is the answer?  I would propose that the answer is that we are asking the wrong question - or at least directing the question to the wrong place.  Here is what I mean.  If we go back to creation, it is clear that God was pleased with His creation and there was no such thing as death, pain and suffering.  That is, until Adam and Eve decided to disobey God.  That is the beginning of pain and suffering in this world.  That is the beginning of death. 

We all know the story of the actual act of sin by Adam and Eve pretty well.  Do we remember what the consequences were exactly?  Check this out as a refresher...  from Genesis 3:16-19 in regards.  From God in regards to the consequences Adam and Eve must bear as a result of their desobedience.

16 To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”

This is the beginning of pain, suffering and death in this world.  It is a direct result of the original sin by Adam and Eve.  The woman now has pain in labor when having children and will desire to be in control of our household and over man, but man will rule over her.  Man will toil in his work and have thorns and thistles to deal with and will sweat...ultimately man will die and return to the dust of the ground.

If this was the end of the story, our lives would be hopeless and lack anything good.  But that is simply not true.  We know this is not true based on experience.  We do experience joy along with the pain and suffering.  We are fulfilled in our work and feel a sense of satisfaction when we accomplish things.  However, it is tainted because of the pain and suffering around us. And, that is not the end of the story.

Revelation 22:1-5

Eden Restored

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

Now that is hope!  There is a day when Christ will return and Eden will be restored for those who have faith in Him.  And, even better yet for us who are still living in this broken world... from the mouth of our Saviour...

John 16:33
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”


Revelation 22:6-7
6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”
Take heart!  He is coming soon!