Earth: Heaven’s first colony

“Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven,” the old King James Version says for Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 6, because that was God’s purpose for this planet, to bring heaven to earth and make it heaven’s first colony.

He created God-like creatures to rule it too: “Let us make man in our likeness” to “RULE over all the earth” (Genesis 1: 26). The earth was only a minor planet in a medium-sized galaxy, but under human rulership it would become a little bit of heaven itself.

The humans needed training, of course, which began in the Garden of Eden with God instructing Adam and Eve to “work the ground” (2:4), because under human care this little planet would flourish. Energy for the job came from the Garden’s trees, all of which were “pleasing to the eye and good for food,” including the tree of life and the tree of knowledge (2:9).

The rest of the story tells us what happened when Adam and Eve ate off the wrong tree. But what if they’d followed God’s instructions, and then eaten off the tree of life instead? God would have made them immortal (Genesis 3:22). They would have lived on in the Garden, doing a grand job of caring for it, then onto the rest of the planet, and then – assuming their now immortal bodies were capable of ascending into the heavens just as Jesus’ resurrected human body was – it would be onto the rest of the universe next, spreading heaven everywhere humans went.

And all they had to do to get that ball rolling was follow God’s instructions not to eat off the tree of knowledge (2:16-17). There was no explanation given for why God had made the fruit good for food when it would also end in death for them if they ate it, but God wasn’t into explanations at that point. He was only into giving instructions and a warning of what would happen if they didn’t follow them. For the plan to succeed, the message was simple and clear: “THY will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”

But the only human who ever did that was Jesus. He was the only one who understood that following his Father’s instructions was the key. And in doing that he got us all back into the Garden of Eden, free of death and free of the serpent, making it possible for us, this time, to eat freely off the tree of life and fill up on the-life-giving fruits of the Holy Spirit, because God has never given up on setting up earth as heaven’s first colony, with his beloved humans ruling it.

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