My dad, Dr. Lloyd W. Martin, PhD, was a college professor and research scientist. He spent a lifetime teaching and assisting farmers to grow more and better crops by researching herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, and he specialized in the genetic engineering of small fruit crops such as strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
When I was twelve years old, I became an employee of Oregon State University. My dad employed me and my brothers to help harvest the experimental crops on the University’s farm. One summer, dad had a big crop of a newly-developed variety of strawberries, code-named OSU-2785. The next year, that variety of strawberry was released to Oregon’s berry producers as the Benton Strawberry, named by my dad for the county that is home to the OSU campus. Dr. Martin had spent years cross-breeding varieties, and his efforts produced the Benton. During the next few years, I ate a ton of those beautiful Benton Strawberries, big, sweet, juicy and delicious.
Dad actually created nothing new. He took God’s creation and worked with it to cross pollinate varieties that produced fruit that was deeper red, bigger and sweeter, that lasted longer on supermarket shelves.
God created strawberries. In fact, the Bible tells us that God created everything from nothing, and it took Him just six days. (Someone might rightly ask, why did it take Him so long?) At the end of six days, “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31, ESV).
On the final day of creation, God created man. He was God’s masterpiece. He was perfect. Indeed, he was created in the image and likeness of the Creator (Genesis 1:26-27).
In the Garden of Eden, there was no sickness. Age was irrelevant. There was no sin, no crime, no pain, no hate, no hurt, no death. Crystal flowing rivers provided water. Trees were weighted down with every conceivable fruit, always ripe and ready. Animals knew no fear, nor did man fear any beast. The lamb and the lion frolicked together in the vast meadows.
Man lived with God in the midst of this exquisite creation. Our first ancestors walked with God and talked with God in intimate union as friends or family. It was perfect! Indeed, perfection was God’s plan.
Heaven will be much like Eden. There, age will be irrelevant. There will be no sickness, no sin, no crime, no pain, no hate, no hurt, no death. There, we will live in perfect harmony with one another and with our Triune God. It’s God’s plan. It will be perfect.
A concise and simple Gospel presentation begins with God’s ultimate plan and purpose: Creation. God created mankind to live in loving relationship with each other, and with Himself. Tomorrow we’ll look at the second part of our four-word Gospel summary. (Remember: Creation, Fall, Recuse, and Life.) But for today, be reminded of God’s abundant love for you. He created you, He loves you, and He rejoices in knowing that you will spend eternity in His flawless and faultless home in Heaven.
South Georgia Baptist Church
Mike Martin, Pastor