The purpose of Christ’s mission to this earth was to restore to mankind all that was lost because of Adam’s transgression in the Garden of Eden. Because of one sin, the holy pair was expelled from the beautiful Garden of Eden. During the rest of their lives they could only come to the entrance and worship their Creator. But outside of the beautiful garden they had no longer access to the tree of life. Now Adam and Eve knew that their destiny was sealed – they would die and would be separated from their Creator. They looked forward until the promised seed who would come and defeat the serpent who caused them to fall (Genesis 3:15).
We know that the promised seed would be the coming of Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:16). Because of Adam’s transgression, our life on this earth is terminal unless we, like Enoch and Elijah, live very godly lives and are translated like these godly prophets (Hebrews 11:5, 6). But even today, a sinner who recognizes his need of a Saviour can come by faith to Jesus and confess and forsake his sin, and can have pardon and assurance of eternal life. He has found the Tree of Life – the Lord Jesus – and begins a new life that measures with the life of God. The Tree of Life was only a symbol of Jesus who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life ( John 14:6, 4 BC 989).
He created the Tree of Life in that beautiful garden that could have been their home for eternal ages but Adam’s love for Eve was greaterthan his love for his loving Creator. He made a fatal choice in the spur of a moment. We today can make spur-of-the-moment decisions and reap the sad consequences. “Love, gratitude, loyalty to the Creator – all were overborne by love for Eve… He seized the fruit and quickly ate.” PP p. 57
The scriptures make plain “as in Adam all die even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” – 1 Cor 15:22. Christ came to redeem us from Adam’s failure by living a perfect life and dying the death that we deserve, being sinners. He died in our stead not only the natural death that we will face if Jesus does not come in our lifetime, but the second death that unrepentant sinners face. On Calvary, when he cried out, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?’ He was suffering death for every man – saint or sinner. The gift of life that Jesus came to give to the world was his own sinless life – the more abundant life (John 10:10). It was a sinless sacrifice that was offered on Calvary: a Lamb without spot or blemish. He desires to come again to this earth to find a church without spot or blemish (Eph 5:27). The cause of the long delay of his return is because God’s church is not ready to greet Him, by not being totally surrendered to His will (COL p. 69).
Since 1844 we have been living in the time of the end of all things. Christ Jesus could have come soon after this date, but our church failed to do her appointed work – to warn the world by word and deed, so we fell into a Laodicean condition in 1851-2. The Lord sent two spiritfilled messengers in the 1880s to arouse the church out of their Laodiceanism, but the church was not ready to be revived or reformed so the golden opportunity was lost. We are still wandering here in the wilderness of sin and sorrow 160 years later. I believe as the Lord looks upon the spiritual condition of His church and the needs of God’s people still in Babylon, He is more anxious to return than we are to receive Him. In the parable of the lost son we have an illustration of the heart of God and His desire to see His church return home.
The anxious father is waiting patiently for his son’s return. Daily he is watching the roadway to see if the prodigal has remembered the love that the father had bestowed upon him since his childhood. Then one day, in the distance, ‘a great way off’ he sees his wayward son returning home. He rushes out to meet him and falls on his neck and kisses him. The son’s response is “I am not worthy to be called thy son.” In his joyfulness the father said to his servants, “Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet, and bring forth the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and be merry: for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost; and is found. And they began to be merry.”
This parable has a powerful message for His church in these last days. Both sons are lost, only the younger son came to himself and realized his desperate need to return home. The oldest son was jealous and angry and would not enter into the home for this joyous occasion. He thought he was more worthy than his brother because of his past service for his father. These are two classes of professed believers in the church. One class believes their just service gives them right to the father’s love and affection. The other class represented by the younger son recognized his need of his father’s love and returned home in his rags to receive a feast and total acceptance by his loving father.
Soon after 1844 and 1888, we could, as a church, have been in the Promised Land because Jesus Christ could have come and taken us home. The time clock of heaven had almost struck its midnight hour. It was time for “the mystery of God to be finished as He hath declare to His servants the prophets.” Rev 10:7. What is this mystery that should be finished? The apostle Paul tells us what this mystery is, “Christ in you the hope of glory.” (Col 1:27).