A Christmas Letter from ADAM, the First Man Alive

I remember that it hurt, looking at her hurt. I remember the gut-wrenching feeling of it all. I remember the silly fig leaves that Eve and I used as coverings as we hid from our Creator. At that very moment of shame and horror from committing the first sin in history, we felt Death. Only hours beforehand were we “being fruitful” and looking forward to “multiplying”. Up to this point everything we did joyfully flowed into further worship of our Creator. Things were perfect. When The Fall occurred, my initial thought was of how horribly passive I had been in protecting Eve from the deceptive serpent. I failed to lead my wife in the appropriate manner that I was designed for.

However, when God confronted us, I then realized the ultimate outcome of my actions … against God and God alone, had I sinned. For He gave only one simple rule, but in return I did evil in his sight. In a short moment, all the perfection of the world tore and everything became changed. Relationships and life became hollow and broken. Everything that people now see as normal on earth was once much much much sweeter in every way imaginable. And my sweet Eve…I remember that it hurt, looking at her hurt. I still remember it all as if it were yesterday. Since passing away, Eve and I have been shown infinitely undeserving mercy. We have been in the heavenly presence of the Triune God and dined the angels and countless descendants after us. The feeling here so indescribable that I cannot put it into words. All I can do is enjoy this merriment and worship him all the more. Even as I can remember my downfalls on earth, I can rejoice as I now have a warm perspective drawn from living in the presence of Christ.

I am currently writing this letter in heaven because today is a glorious day! The angels are flipping around with an excitement that has been anticipated for since the beginning of creation. They are celebrating a predestined plan put into motion before I was even created. Just a few months ago, Jesus left heaven to go into the world. And today He is born in the flesh to the virgin Mary! One of the angels just left to visit the family. Jesus, part of the triune Godhead, has left this wonderland in order to fix all that has been wrong with the world. To redeem to all creation that the big picture is the glory of God. Oh how he loves us so. I am in awe. Oh Oh Oh the depths of the riches and knowledge and wisdom of God! (Romans 11:33).

Through me sin entered the world, and death came through sin. From this occurrence death came to all people, because all have sinned. I have witnessed famine, murder, natural disasters, slavery, pride, hatred, wars, and many more calamities. Many generations after God’s promise to Eve and I (Genesis 3:15b), from heaven I saw God’s unfathomable promises given to Abraham, Moses, and the apocalyptic prophets. I have seen the miracles God laid out for his people and I gasped as they continually turned their backs on Him. I witnessed the Bible being written and ending with Malachi – followed by approximately 400 years of scriptural silence from the Lord… that is, until this very day of Jesus’ birth. The promise of the great and powerful kingdom and of a Savior given to the people seemed bleak from an earthly perspective. In heaven, however, it is impossible to fear that God would fall short of His promises. In His glory-filled presence we know that he wins. And now we see more of the epic picture He has been painting on the canvas of the earth.

I am looking at Jesus humbling himself to be born in Bethlehem. He could have been born in a palace with thousands of angels guarding him. But he chose a different route. He is 100% man and 100% God. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 53:6). I do not know how yet, but the Holy Spirit testifies to us that He will be despised and rejected by men, being acquainted with suffering. He will bear our grieves. Past, present, and future. I should pay harshly for my mistakes, but Jesus is taking my place.

As I continue to watch this epic story that God has had rolling since the beginning of time, there is no doubt that I will continue to be in awe. Let the earthly rivers and trees clap their hands. Let the grassy fields exult and the mountains sing with joy. The people of the present age and the people in the future are so utterly blessed. They have the Kingdom of God in the midst of them now. The beginning of the restoration of what was broken, initially by me, is there in the flesh. They get something that Moses, Isaiah, Abraham, and millions of other people just hoped for. They longed for this promise. But the people on earth get to know it and walk with it and see Him. It is not hope alone for them, but it is a concrete reality.

I ask that they celebrate this day for many centuries to come. Just as the angels and the rest of us in heaven are celebrating. May they never forget what this day truly means. May they run with perseverance the race set before them… throwing away the sin and weight that clings to them. I cannot wait until the time comes when we will give them a rich welcome into this eternal kingdom. I was once Your enemy, now I am seated at the table. Jesus, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Some other verses used: Psalm 51:4, Romans 5:12, Jeremiah 2, Isaiah 55:12, Psalm 98:8, Colossians 2:9, Hebrews 11, 12:1)

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Hmmm, where the heck was God’s “soverignty” during crazy events like the African Slave Trade???

A very lovable friend of mine has recently said that he’s having serious doubts about the existence of God. It is to the point where he does not believe anymore. His reason:

“If there is a God, then why would he allow so much destruction and violence to take place in this world?”

The_Earth_seen_from_Apollo_17It’s a great question. My favorite atheist by far is Christopher Hitchens and, sadly, that’s one of his main points. However, an opposing question that’s rarely ever asked is:

“If there is a God, what is the deeper meaning of what he is doing in allowing some tremendously bad things to take place in this world?”

9-11-firefighters-flagI’m not saying that God directly causes cancer in people. I’m not saying he flew a plane on 9/11 into the twin towers or that he directly ordered the numerous genocides in Africa. But he most definitely could have stopped all those things from happening. There are numerous places in the Bible where he outright stops sin from taking place. The concept of God ordaining and being in control of everything is one of the toughest, most complex and controversial concepts of The Bible.  But it is true and is very real. At the end of the day, he is trustworthy and has a much different perspective than you and I. {And lets remember that people are the ones fighting the wars and causing destruction. If there is no God and people are sooo awesome, then why is there so much destruction and violence in the world?}

One thing I am constantly learning about God is that he is more for my joy than I am. He loves me more than I do and knows me better than I know myself. I graduated college in August and it took 4 months to find a job. Whereas if I were to write my own life-script, I would’ve gotten a job within 2 weeks after graduation.

To my constant surprise, during those sometimes boring, sometimes lonely, sometimes stressful 4 months God did an overwhelming amount of beautiful things that, in the end, were for my good and for His ultimate glory. I am so thankful for it all and would not write the script differently.

Now let’s go bigger. Let’s go global. The African Slave trade, for one example, was a tragic time in world history. We look back at the degradation and consumerism of those innocent human lives with shame.

If there was a God, why would he allow the African Slave Trade to take place?? What happened to God disciplining those who murder and steal?? Is this Almighty God not sovereign anymore? Ummm, if there was a God that hated sin, was he asleep during all of this????

slave-ship01sNo one in their right mind would argue that the African Slave trade was evil and filled with wrong intentions. But throughout the sinfulness of man during that era, God continued to do what he always does; reconciling all things to himself.

Here’s a fact. In the 1800s, there were less than 9 million believers in Africa. Today there are 516 million believers there. The most dramatic advance in all of Christian history. #MindBlown

Before explaining God’s sovereignty over Africa, it’s best if we can first see a quick biblical example.

The Old Testament repeatedly pointed towards a Kingdom of God coming to to the earth. When Jesus was on Earth he would constantly talk about the Kingdom of God. He describes the kingdom as a tiny seed that is planted, sprouts up, and grows. Right before he ascends into heaven he says to 500 believers, “go into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, & to the ends of the earth.”  The church start doing big things baby. They grew to about 3000 people….but they still remained within Jerusalem, even after Jesus specifically told them other locations. So God, in his sovereign power, basically allows/destines Stephen to be stoned to death. After this happens, a large persecution takes place against the Church by the Sanhedrin and the Christians are forced into Judea, Samaria. (Mark 4:26, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:41, Acts 7) Coincidence?

So while Stephen and other people get persecuted….God’s plan is spreading out further and further, like he inteded. Christians are now preaching the Gospel in Judea and Samaria. And we can go on and on to Rome, European history, the Americas, yadda yadda yadda. Sometimes God ordains tremendously beautiful movements of revivals or just natural church growth that spur on Christianity to the ends of the earth. But sometimes he uses the not-so beautiful. Either way, God wins. There are times in scripture where sorrow, pain, and frustration are given to men as a gift by God to save them (other times it is a result of our sin or dark spiritual warfare). Sometimes a loving grandmother suddenly passes away, but then her wayward children and their families find the Lord because of it.

an-african-churchFrom the time of Acts until the early 1800s, Christianity never really takes off in Africa at all. The Catholic Church was the only form of Christianity there but it had no lasting results. The Catholic Church, missionaries, and anything else was outdone by the overbearing Islamic presence there. But things changed when the African Slave trade arrived. Two British-Protestant Christians who loved the Lord, took part in the largest influence in the history of Africa. Thomas Fowell Buxton sought to put an end to the slave trade by encouraging local commercial and agricultural initiatives in its place. Henry Venn was responsible for laying down the principles of more “temporary” missionaries to Africa. This also led to better schools and education, principles that gave Africa a foundation that they never had. Over the next 200 years, the Gospel spread within their culture and language, becoming the largest Christian population on the planet. 380 million believers.

And we don’t even have to go to the Bible for reflection, we can just look at history….what the heck would the world look like in the African Slave trade never happened? 180 degrees of difference.

The Kingdom of God is a seed that is planted. It sprouts and it continually grows. This is unlike any fairy tale or theory, but it is happening right now before our very eyes. united-church-of-god-celebrate-feast-of-tabernacles-kingdom-of-god.jpg.crop_display

If we have the end in mind, patience increases and anger decreases.

The things of this world occur so that men would seek him, even though God is not far from each of us. He is intimately aware of each of us, and does whatever he pleases in order that he is glorified and that we may have full and eternal joy in Him (Acts 17:24-27, Psalm 115:3, Psalm 139:13-16, Daniel 4:35). Those are very “unpolitically correct” and unpopular verses; but when they are dwelt on properly a huge weight is taken off our shoulders and we love him even more dearly with more joy to live with.