In 2016, Channel 4 ran a 'reality TV' survival series called 'Eden' which saw 23 men and women placed into a remote area of the Highlands in Scotland. In the words of Channel 4 they were there to "try to build a new life and new society from scratch, isolated from the rest of the world."
The series was anything but 'Eden' as 13 of the 23 contestants walked out on the show due to various issues around social breakdown and people falling out, being bullied, hunger and other tensions. The Scottish Highlands proved a tough place to spend a year in the wild.
Channel 4 link - http://www.channel4.com/programmes/eden-paradise-lost
Garden Of Eden
Back in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, the actual Eden was very different. It was a lot better than this image that's for sure! In fact everything was perfect. Can you imagine what the world would be like to be perfect?
Unlike the TV series, what God did wasn't a social experiment to make good TV viewing! God isn't like you may see God shown in movies like 'Bruce Almighty', 'Evan Almighty' or an even older movie 'The Truman Show' where the creator of a TV series locks Truman in a dome surrounded by actors, unknown to him. God's not into Reality TV - but his reality!
When God made the world, he saw that it was good. When God does a thing, he does it well. And only God can build a new life and society from scratch. In fact, we can read about it in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.
Unlike many people who hate God, the truth is that God created us and this world. He made everything amazing until man and woman messed up and rejected God. Then God did thing after thing to help people come back to know him. One day Jesus will return and the heavens and the earth will be made new. It will be perfect - just as it was in the beginning.
The Bible: Genesis 1.31 - Genesis 2.1-3
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good... Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work...
Bruce Almighty Meets God
Youtube link - https://youtu.be/cU5WOO7JeJ0
End of The Truman Show movie
Youtube link - https://youtu.be/7R2IJFCUBFs
In a set of programmes designed to look back at what happened to the 'Eden' series and what went wrong, Channel 4 did another set of shows called 'Eden: Paradise Lost.'
Although some contestants claimed that much of the TV series was a bit faked, the truth is that things went wrong and relationships broke down.
This is similar to what happened in Genesis 3. Today we live in a messed up world where the Paradise of Eden has been lost. But it doesn't have to be that way for you. And it won't stay that way.
In Genesis 3, man and woman turned against God (God calls this sin) and things broke down. What was once a perfect world was cursed because of their sin. It wasn't God who messed up or broke the rules, it was mankind. Man and woman broke the relationship with God.
This world today is in a big mess because we have turned our backs on God. God didn't create a set of rules that we have to follow because he's power-mad or unable to cope with people having their own mind. It was God who allowed us freedom of choice - he actually lets us choose to reject him or say no to him, even though he knows that we will only end up messing things up without him.
Instead, what God offers is to make things right again - to make things work the best they can in this imperfect world. God offers everyone the chance to start over, to be changed form the inside to the outside and has a good plan for your life. This comes from saying yes to God and restoring that broken relationship that was once perfect. If you fall out with a friend or family member, it feels so much better when you get that sorted out, right? It is the same with God but on a much bigger scale.
In an area of physics called thermodynamics, it's considered to be generally true that things in the world generally go from a state of being new to decay. If you don't clean your teeth, good teeth go bad. If you don't look after a garden, the weeds and plants grow everywhere. As a human we go from generally being healthy to frail and less well in old age. This is because of sin.
One day Jesus will come back to the world (Jesus is God in the form of a human). The last book in the Bible is called Revelation and it says some pretty amazing things.
Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
Jesus will make the world right, but he will also judge us on the basis of whether we have said yes to God and believed in God or not. You see, the only way to get right with God is through Jesus because only Jesus did what was necessary to make things right with God. It's like he's the door, the key, the way.
What God offers is eternal life that starts now and carries on into the future without end. This is something incredible and good that is beyond anything you can even imagine. But the alternative is to be away from God in a place that is only evil and worse than anything you can imagine. The Bible calls this hell and it is a very real place. Around us in the world we see things falling apart and we see evil things that are so disturbing that they scare us. So don't think that hell is not real or that evil isn't real.
But there is an answer in Jesus. He transfers us from death and evil to life and goodness. All we have to do is believe in him and give our whole lives to him!
So the best thing in life that you can do is to ask God to forgive you, come into your life and help you live for him. If you already believe in Jesus, the best thing you can do is to ask God to be the boss of all you do.
Prayer - this just means talking to God
God, I want you in my life. Be the boss. Be in charge. Jesus change my heart to be like you. I turn away from all the old rubbish and ask you to make me new. Fill me up with your Holy Spirit who is the presence and life of God alive in me. I say yes to you. Amen!
Now tell someone you've prayed that prayer and get along to a good church!