The short answer is no. The long answer follows:
Way back in the garden we humans made a bad culinary choice. We decided that the knowledge of good and evil produce was better than a total dependence on God. I believe Adam and Eve thought they were helping out. They thought they could be better for God if they knew what good really was. I believe they thought being like God we be a way to “help Him out.” The deception became reality. That wrong fruit consumption changed our “thinkers” in such a way that we still wrestle with all the by-products of judgment processing. It leads to selectivity and exclusion. It produces shame and condemnation. It replaces divine love with human justice. It makes us disciples of economics instead of followers of Jesus. Jesus is the truth we are looking for. Jesus is the life we crave. Jesus is the way we have missed and instead fallen for fallen-thinking. We have declared God as the angry godfather of wrath instead of the perfect Father of love that casts out fear.
I actually do know what the Bible says and spend a lot of time reading and studying. I don’t have it memorized but I do know what it says about God in the Old Testament. The reason Jesus came was to show us what those ancient Peoples didn’t know. They didn’t have a Jesus revelation of God. We do. They didn’t have a personal relationship with God. We do. They didn’t have God living inside of them. We do. I would expect nothing less than a radical departure from what a fallen Adam might think about God. As an observer to the garden I see Adam hiding for no good reason. It has to be because something happened in his brain (mind) to change what he “saw.” This is why we need Jesus desperately! Without Him we are lost. Without Him we are dead. Without Him we are trying to get life from death, from self, from sin, from deception, from Hell itself. Abraham is amazing. David is charismatic and poetic. Jacob is persistent. Moses is patient. I love them all, but they didn’t have what we have. We have the mind of Christ:
1 Cor 2:16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (ESV)
Paul is quoting from this passage in Isaiah where he is challenging our understanding of the things of God:
Isaiah 40:12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? 13 Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows him his counsel? 14 Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? (ESV)
We are encouraged to use our “mind of Christ” to “see” like Jesus “sees” His Father. That should encourage you.
Want to stretch that mind of yours? How about this passage:
1Co 3:11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw — 13 each one ‘s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’ s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. (ESVST)
Before you read any further, what do you know about Jesus? Is He cruel or offensive or angry or judgmental or condemning or waiting to pounce on us with the full “wrath” of an angry God who needs to consume the entire slimy, awful, poop-pile we call Earth? Woah, Nellie….got a little out of hand there… NO HE ISN”T. So what is going on?
In the presence of perfect love, when all is revealed and there is no more darkness, some things will be exposed as “of God” and others will exposed as “not of God.” The list will probably surprise you. It isn’t a list of perfect behavior based on cosmic justice of good and evil. It is a list of “eternal” versus “temporal.” It is a condition of the heart that comes from a relationship with a God who is love. In our fallen nature even our “good stuff” could be the very thing that does not belong in the light. If it leads to violence or wrath or anger or forgiveness or exclusion or division or back biting or rejection or condemnation or guilt or shame or ridicule or gossip or judgment it is not on the list. If it is attached to our hearts like a demon with talons buried deep in our flesh, then it will take surgery to remove it. If it has hardened our hearts like a clay pot that has dried and can’t be shaped by the potter it needs to be broken. If It is like chaff amongst the kernels of wheat then it needs to be burned off. The refiners fire, the consuming fire of God, the fiery love of our Father at full intensity will consume the “not of God” and purify the “of God.”
This is what Jesus is talking about here:
Matt 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (ESV)
It will be permanent. It will be forever. It will eternal.
In the meantime we have the “fire of God” in our hearts. We have the Holy Spirit saving us from the inside out. God is removing all the junk and “burning it up” now. That is a good thing. We learn to love. We become love. We leave our judger at home and embrace the love of Jesus. We become like Jesus. That is why John says this:
Matt 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (ESV)
We get to “repent” by changing our minds about God. We need to “see” God as He is so we can be a willing participant. We need to stop blaming God but instead recognize we are “in judgment” when we don’t let Jesus save us:
John 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (ESV)
Darkness is Hell. God doesn’t need to put us there. We chose to be there. Jesus saves us from being there. Don’t forget the verses just before these:
John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (ESV)
God is on a rescue mission and it never ends until the end. He is refining us and purifying us all the way. He is doing it with love not wrath. We chose wrath and anger and vengeance. He choses love and kindness and salvation. He doesn’t hold a grudge. He doesn’t give up. He never stops. All we need to to is let Him.
So our fallen fruit experience is not permanent. Quite the contrary. Jesus came to deliver us from all that junk. We just need to surrender to His saving work. We get to step out of Hell and into the Kingdom of Heaven.
One thought on “Can the wrong fruit lead to permanent damage?”
“The reason Jesus came was to show us what those ancient Peoples didn’t know.” Amen. As Bill Johnson would say, “Jesus Christ is perfect theology.” Anything that doesn’t look like Jesus is not the Father’s heart either. Good stuff!
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