What makes Heaven great is not only what’s there, but also what’s not there!

In order to fully understand what God has planned (in Eternity), we’ve got to understand what God had first planned (in Eden).  The way it will be – will be the way it way originally intended.  Revelation 22:3 is clear: God will reverse the curse and restore creation back to its former glory.  There was perfection in every way… Unity in nature between animals and man. Peaceful productivity. Beauty unhidden. Total harmony.  But sin shattered that world into a million tiny pieces, and since that moment sin and its curse have caused pain for all of humanity.

Paradise Lost

Sin always brings a curse.  In Eden, God pronounced a curse upon each one participating in the sin – a snake, Satan, Eve, the tree, & Adam (Gen. 3:15).  First, the serpent (and all snakes) was cursed to crawl on its belly and be despised, and Satan was promised ultimate defeat by the Messiah.  Then God cursed Eve (and all women) with painful pregnancies and delivery and a subservient role to her husband.  Next, God cursed nature with thorns, weeds and a destructive, competitive chaos (law of atrophy).  Lastly, God cursed Adam (and all men) with a long, unproductive life of hard work that will end in premature aging and death.

Jesus, the Curse

Since then, we have been feeling sin’s consequence and trying to figure out how to deal with the curse in our broken world.  We often try to avoid and circumvent the curse – but find that it’s quite impossible to escape pain and sorrow in this life.  Many have thought to come up with solutions and answers – only to discover small ‘systems’ to deal with the troubles we experience.  There is no way to avoid the curse, there is no answer to the consequences of sin … that is, without Jesus!

Everything sin has touched, God will redeem & cleanse.  If redemption doesn’t go as far as the curse, then God has failed.  Redemption will be perfection, complete, and forever.

A Holy God demands that sin’s debt be paid.  His justice demands that the curse die the death it deserves.  That’s why Jesus is so important.  His death on the cross wasn’t just a martyrs death for a good cause, it was exactly what His Father demanded as the only possible way to reverse sin’s curse.  On the cross just before His death, He became the curse (Gal. 3:13).  Jesus was not mistaken when he likened Himself to a serpent in John 3:14.  He was referring back to when Israel complained and was plagued with poisonous serpents in their camp.  Their bite would cause a pain like fire inside of every victim.  There was only one antidote: look at the brass serpent on the pole that Moses held high.  Looking at the brass snake, they were hoping (trusting) in God to judge the snake and take away their pain.  In the same way, Jesus was lifted up on a cross.  If we will look at Him, trusting in God to judge sin (as it was laid on Jesus), then He will reverse the curse and take away our pain.  Even though we have been bit by the Serpent of sin, we can be sure of Heaven by looking to (trusting in) what Jesus has done for us. (He didn’t deserve death – but He took our death upon Him).

Paradise Regained

Normal life for us is cursed, broken, dark, troubled, and difficult.  It’s all we’ve ever know.  It’s all we understand – so God describes Heaven in terms of what’s NOT there so we can get the picture!  There will be no sin.  Nothing dirty, disgusting, or deceitful (Rev. 21:27).  There will be no consequence of sin (no harmful side-effects) and no earthly systems for trying to deal with sin (worldly response mechanisms).  For example: There will be no immorality or fornication, so there will be no STD’s or painful divorces, so there will be no pills to take or psychiatrists to see.  There will be no murder or death, so there will be no funerals or sorrow, so there will be no jails or morgues.  There will be no greed or selfishness, so there will be no hunger or jealousy, so there will be no courthouses or orphanages. There will be no drunkenness so there will be no bruised wives or roadside crosses, so there will be no rehab or support groups.

You won’t see tears, death, funerals, caskets, cemeteries, hospitals, medicines, disease, crime, poverty, lawsuits, courtrooms, politicians, addictions, fighting, prisons, night, darkness, injustice, divorce, orphans, widows, war, tsunamis, earthquakes, fires, or sin of any kind!

You won’t feel sorrow, sadness, heartbreak, pain, fear, hunger, thirst, small, outcast, separated, guilty, regret, hated, condemned, conflicted, worry, stress, greed, or lust for anything you don’t already have!

You won’t be weak, tired, sick, scared, alone, manipulated, defeated, self-righteous, bitter, jealous, frustrated, angry, anxious, unhappy, unhealthy, or tempted any more!

*Take Home:
Take courage – this life is short!  Don’t invest too much in this world, it will soon pass away.  Know that what you are dealing with is the curse of sin and, through Christ, it will soon be conquered.  If you’re saved, then you’re on the winning side!