You Were Meant to Live in Paradise
OUR loving Creator wants you to enjoy a Paradise of pleasure. He created such a home for our first parents. The Bible says: “God planted a garden in Eden, toward the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. Thus Jehovah God made to grow out of the ground every tree desirable to one’s sight and good for food.”—Genesis 2:8, 9, 15.
That original home was truly a Paradise, the word “paradise” meaning “garden.” It was a “Paradise of Pleasure,” which is another name for “garden of Eden.” How do you visualize such a home? Does your mind’s eye see multicolored flowers, shrubs, fruit trees, lovely landscapes, fountains and calm, clear pools? Do you also envision lush green meadows bordered by towering trees, and sweet air filled with the fragrance of deep woods and the songs of birds?
“That and more,” you may answer. “Peace and security would exist too.” And they did exist in the garden of Eden! Even the animals were at peace with one another and with our original parents. “To everything moving upon the earth in which there is life as a soul I have given all green vegetation for food,” God said. “And [God] began bringing [the animals] to the man to see what he would call each one . . . So the man was calling the names of all the domestic animals and of the flying creatures of the heavens and of every wild beast of the field.”—Genesis 1:30; 2:19, 20.
What a delightful home! And with man and animals at peace with one another and with their heavenly Creator, it was perfect. Surely you would delight to live in such a Paradise of pleasure!
Where was that original Paradise? The Bible says it was on earth, even naming four of its rivers, including the Euphrates that is still in existence today. But one religious encyclopedia speaks of a recent suggestion “that the original Eden was in heaven.” Such a view, however, is in conflict not only with the Bible record but with Jesus Christ’s statement that by their union the first man and woman in Eden became “one flesh.”—Matthew 19:4-6; Genesis 2:21-24; 1 Corinthians 15:50.
Although God created humans to live in an earthly Paradise, most church people today believe that the only paradise that can be enjoyed will be in heaven. Yet, interestingly, a Bible encyclopedia says about this: “Man, indeed, usually conceives the joys of heaven to be the same as, or at least to resemble, the pleasures of this world; and each one hopes to obtain with certainty, and to enjoy in full measure beyond the grave, that which he holds most dear upon earth.”
Humans think of Paradise in physical terms because God created man to live upon the earth and to enjoy earthly things. (Psalm 115:16) This raises questions. For example, when Jesus promised the evildoer who died alongside him, “You will be with me in Paradise,” where will that Paradise be?—Luke 23:43.