[forthright] Back to the Beginning

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2011 07:58:55 -0200
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

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Back to the Beginning
  by Michael E. Brooks

   "Therefore the Lord God sent him out of
   the garden of Eden to till the ground from
   which he was taken. So he drove out the
   man; and he placed cherubim at the east of
   the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword
   which turned every way, to guard the way
   to the tree of life" (Genesis 3:23-24

As we drove from Khulna to Dhaka in Bangladesh I
noticed the kilometer markers on the roadside every
few minutes, advising us that it was 150, then 140
kilometers to the city of our destination.

I asked my Bangla companion, "From what point in the
city is that distance measured, the outer city limits,
the center, or elsewhere?"

He replied, "There is a kilometer marker -- called the
zero point -- in each city; they measure from there.
In Dhaka it is in the downtown business district."

Since that conversation I have made a point of looking
for the zero point in every city to which I travel,
mostly out of curiosity. As well, I do so with the
knowledge that I frequently am not necessarily going
to that particular point, but can deduce my actual
mileage by knowing the relationship between the zero
point and my destination.

I also take advantage of the fact that distance
measures the same in both directions. The distance to
a particular place is identical to one's distance from
that place. That seems simplistic and unnecessary to
state, but is an obvious and vital truth. I sometimes
kiddingly tell those who ask me to come and see them,
"It is just as close from your place to mine, as it is
from mine to yours." In other words, you can come to
me as easily as I can come to you.

Spiritually it is extremely important that we remember
that same truth. We often preach about the need to
come back to God. Many respond, "I have sinned too
much, it is impossible for God to accept me." We are
assured of God's love and mercy. He will forgive us,
if we trust him and obey him (1 John 1:8-10). The real
question is, "Am I willing to make the effort to
travel the distance I must go to be reunited with God?"

As this question is considered, it may be important to
remember that we have already traveled that exact
distance in the wrong direction. We have no further to
go than we have already come. When Adam and Eve were
created they were clean and innocent, without sin and
without shame. They were in Eden, a form of Paradise,
and in total fellowship with God. Because of their sin
they lost their place and began to journey away from
their origin. 

Since then, whenever humans sin, they lose their
innocence and their fellowship. They lose Paradise.

When Jesus died on the cross for our sins he provided
the means by which every sinner may turn back and
regain the fellowship with God which was lost through
sin (Ephesians 2:13, 16).

That is our zero point, the place from which we began
this life. Any sinner may return to Paradise (Romans
10:13) by trusting in Jesus, turning from sin, and
obeying the Gospel (Romans 6:16).

The modern proverb claims, "You cannot go home again."
 The love and grace of God refute this. Because of
Jesus Christ, each of us can return to the throne of
Grace and receive the mercy and help which we so
desperately need (Hebrews 4:16).

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