God, Hope & Helping Others
According to the bible, paradise is a real place that exists in the universe of the Lord God. The bible states in Luke 23:43 Jesus said to one of the malefactors ‘To-day shall thou be with Me in paradise’. Paradise is also mentioned in 2 Corinthians 12: 4 ‘How that he was caught up into paradise...’ and Revelation 2:7 ‘...To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.’ So, based on the words of Jesus the Messiah of Israel and the Lord God Himself, paradise exists and the garden in1 Eden is in the midst of the paradise of God. According to Jesus, paradise is a place where the malefactor went upon his death, Jesus was there also, and within paradise is located the garden in Eden. In Revelation 2:8 -9 ‘(8) And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man who He had formed. (9) And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.’
So, from the bible, we know that there existed on earth a place made by the Lord God [actually a large terrain of plants and trees and much more] wherein lay the garden in Eden, with the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil in it’s midst. Paradise is no hobby farm!
The fall from grace through the sin of Adam and Eve caused things on earth to change greatly. In Genesis 3:22-24 we know that the Lord God ‘drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life’. Apparently Adam and Eve were thrown out of the garden but not from Paradise.
In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus is speaking. He is not teaching through parables, but instead, He is telling a story. He doesn’t seem to be speaking to the Pharisees as he did previously, but He seems to be speaking to all present. He tells of a man named Lazarus who died at a rich man’s gate. Lazarus was then carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. [Abraham’s bosom is a Jewish idiom for “paradise”.] Some have stated that this passage of scripture should not be taken literally. I ask on what basis do they make this statement? Jesus doesn’t seem to be speaking in a parable, but conveying a situation. I say Jesus is trying to teach us something. He’s revealing truth and wants us to know and understand about paradise.
Sometime after Adam and Eve were removed from Paradise, the Lord God relocated paradise. Jesus stated that both He and the malefactor would be present in paradise upon their death. Where did the Lord God move paradise?
In 1 Peter 3:18-22, Peter states that Jesus went and preached unto the spirits in prison. Where did Jesus preach unto those spirits in prison? Jesus told the malefactor that today thou shalt be with me in Paradise. In Matthew 12:40 Jesus says, ‘For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth’. Ephesians 4:8-10 (8) Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men’. It seems to me that Jesus is trying to let us know that paradise was moved into the earth. Let’s continue on with what Jesus is teaching us from the Lazarus situation.
Luke 16:22-26 (22) ‘...the rich man also died, and was buried; (23) And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (24) And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. (25) But Abraham said, Son remember that thou in thy lifetime receivest thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. (26) And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence’.