God the Father kick-starts His plan by creating the Garden of Eden. It unfolds as each day of the creation process brings the necessary provisions. Genesis 2 describes the Garden as being full of every element that sustains life. God even planted the Tree of Life that refreshes and rejuvenates. No man-made spa could ever come close to matching its excellence!
God also planted the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. But there is a catch. Even though the fruit of the tree looks inviting, God commanded Adam not to eat of it. Why? Because of the type of fruit it produces.
The two trees provide a choice. Remember, we are designed with a free will so that we can choose. Love and relationship is a decision, otherwise, we’re not living beings but machines.
The word “good” is based on God, but it falls short of what is God’s best—the God-kind of life. Good is settling for less than what God envisions for us. This type of “good” may look useful at first sight, but it often produces negative side effects.
Evil is the absence of God in the same way as darkness is the absence of light. God didn’t create evil. Evil comes from rejecting God and His Light.
The reality of evil—both spiritual and physical—is why our creation mandate included having dominion. That is, to be garden-tenders—literally, husbandmen or care-takers (Gen. 2:15). The Hebrew word for dominion also means to trample, to put underfoot, to squelch a rebellion, and to assault a hostile force. That seems strange in the midst of the beautiful and bountiful Garden. That is, until we remember that the all-knowing God often includes prophetic shadows in His Word.
Hence, the two trees. The two trees serve as a witness to mankind’s role on the earth. Their fruit holds within them the seeds that shall bring forth “after their own kind.” The dominion mandate to mankind was to be fruitful and multiply, bringing forth life through the seed in them, to expand this Garden expanse across the face of the earth. Spoiler alert: they messed up their mandate.
The Chronos Lesson: Our choices still have consequences. Our choices often boil down to what voice we’re listening to. That of the world? That of the media? That of the Spirit of God within us, tested against the written Word of God?
The word for disciple in the Bible means to be a follower. But it involves more than just being a spectator, as in following someone on social media. It literally means to mimic Christ’s actions, endeavoring to represent Him and His ministry as closely as possible. This assignment is summarized in the Gospels as the Great Commission. That is, to preach the good news of the Gospel—Jesus’ finished work—and make disciples (fellow followers). And we’re to do this by the power of the Spirit, with signs and wonders following to confirm the Word preached.
That assignment has not changed over the nearly 2,000 years of the Church Age. So this must be our focus now, especially as the time for making the decision to accept Jesus as one’s Savior and become part of His Body, the Church, and His Bride, draws to a close.
It will be possible for people to accept Jesus after the rapture, but they will not be part of the Church. They will, however, still be part of the redeemed and part of the family of God. Of course, they will have to survive the wrath of that Day (the trumpet judgments) and resist the commands of the Antichrist to take the mark of the Beast and bow down and worship his image.
So we have a crucial and timely choice to make. Will we be about Father’s business and Christ’s commission, and bring as many people as possible to Christ? Or will we be distracted by the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, the desires for other things entering in, and even something that sounds good such as saving the nation, choking out the Word and causing us to become unfruitful?
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Cor. 4:16-18).