What Did Not Exist in Eden

Garden of Eden

The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed” (Genesis 2:8).

When God created man, He created the perfect place for him to live – the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve would lose that home and the consequences of that would be felt by all people.

Why was the Garden of Eden the perfect place? It had to do with what did not exist there. In this article, we are going to look at what did not exist in Eden and the effects of these things being introduced into the world. We are also going to see how all of these problems are remedied in heaven.

The Garden of Eden

In the beginning, when Adam and Eve were first placed in the Garden of Eden, there were a few things that were not there.

Sin did not exist in Eden – Initially, there was no sin in the world. Sin is a violation of God’s law (1 John 3:4). In the beginning, God gave a few instructions to Adam – to “cultivate…and keep” the garden and to “not eat” “from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:15-17). Violating these instructions would constitute sin. When sin is committed, it causes a separation between man and God (Isaiah 59:2). There was no separation at first (cf. Genesis 3:8); but when sin was introduced in the Garden of Eden, it ruined everything about that place.

Shame did not exist in Eden – Shame is caused by sin. Prior to sin being committed, Adam and Eve “were both naked and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25). There was no reason for shame – they were pure and innocent. Initially they could stand before God without shame, but that changed when they sinned: “They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ He said, ‘I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself’” (Genesis 3:8-10).

Death did not exist in Eden – In the garden, they had access to the tree of life (Genesis 2:9). This meant that they could “take…from [it], and eat and live forever” (Genesis 3:22). This would be available to them as long as they did not sin. God said that after they sinned they would “surely die” (Genesis 2:17).

Decay did not exist in Eden – With death came the process of decay. Adam and Eve’s bodies would age and wear out just as will happen for all of us (Ecclesiastes 12:2-5). The things of this life also decay (Matthew 6:19).

Thorns and thistles did not exist in Eden – This was part of the punishment for sin: “Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you” (Genesis 3:17-18). This meant that hard work would be necessary in order to survive (Genesis 3:19). Adam was given work to do in the garden initially (Genesis 2:15), but it was not the hard work that he would face with the “thorns and thistles” that would grow after this curse.

Heaven

Everything that made the Garden of Eden a paradise on earth was lost when Adam and Eve sinned. As a result, there has been no similar paradise on earth for anyone since then. However, the Lord has prepared a place for us in heaven where sin, shame, death, decay, and hard work will not exist.

There will be no sin in heaven – “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8). “And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into [heaven], but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27). Heaven is the place “in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13). When we reach heaven, the tempter – the devil – will have already been “thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone” (Revelation 20:10).

There will be no shame in heaven – “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14). Again, shame is caused by sin. There will be no sin in heaven. There we will have purity (our robes will be washed), authority (we will have the right to the tree of life), and citizenship (we may enter into the city). With these there will be no cause for shame.

There will be no death in heaven – “And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). Heaven is the place of “eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). Paul said that there we will “always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

There will be no decay in heaven – “On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him” (Revelation 22:2-3). We will live there “forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5). Our “inheritance…will not fade away” (1 Peter 1:4).

There will be no hard work in heaven – “And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, ‘Write, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!”’ ‘Yes,’ says the Spirit, ‘so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them’” (Revelation 14:13). The Hebrew writer said, “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from Him. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:9-11). We must show diligence here in order to enter into that rest.

Conclusion

Sin corrupted the paradise on earth that God created for man; but through His grace and His plan of redemption, we can enjoy heaven – a place which is far greater than Eden. Sin will never corrupt heaven. We must life righteously and faithfully in our service to the Lord in order to reach that reward.


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