The truth is, we “are NOT all made for heaven,” nor did God put us in this cruel world to suffer. When God first created man, He “made him for Paradise on earth.” It was NOT a cruel world, nor was there any suffering. Let’s refresh our memories by reading some passages that confirm this truth.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth…So God created man in His own image…male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:26-28…NKJV). This passage clearly teaches us that God made man to live on the earth and to have dominion over ever creature in the sea, the air, and on the earth. We read later in Genesis 2:8-9, “The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” God blessed man by placing them in a garden Paradise where every need was met and there was no such thing as suffering.

But God did test man by giving them one prohibition which is stated in Genesis 2:16-17, “And the LORD God commanded man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” We know that Adam and Eve eventually disobeyed that commandment, for we read in Genesis 3:6, “She took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” We call this “the fall of man” for it surely was! They FELL INTO SIN that fateful day and they plunged the whole human race into sin and all of its terrible consequences, including sickness, sorrow, suffering, and death. I realize that is what we would call “elementary truth,” but we need to remind ourselves that it was NOT God’s intention for “man to suffer in a cruel world.” Man CHOSE to disobey God and they are responsible for the world in which we live and for the sufferings that we experience.

We saw that originally God “made man to live on earth.” Had they not sinned I have no doubt that they would have lived forever in Paradise on earth. But God knew they would sin and He devised a plan to send His Son to this earth to redeem men from sin (see John 3:16; 1st John 4:9-10, and Galatians 4:4-5). In this plan He also determined that some who believed on Christ as their Savior would “live on earth” and others would “live in heaven.” Space forbids us from going into detail, but I would like to quote a few passages in closing that confirm the truth that there will be a “heavenly family” of believers and an “earthly family” of believers. Both families will live forever in a virtual Paradise (in heaven or on earth) that will be free from suffering of any kind.

*Colossians 1:20, “By Him (Christ) to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things ON EARTH or things IN HEAVEN, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

*Ephesians 1:10, “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are IN HEAVEN and which are ON EARTH in Him.”

*Ephesians 3:14-15, “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father, from whom EVERY FAMILY IN HEAVEN and ON EARTH derives its name” (NASB).

*Philippians 2:10, “So that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those who are IN HEAVEN and ON EARTH.” (291.3) (DO)