The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil: The Danger of Living your Life at the Tree of Knowledge of What is Right and Wrong

The Danger of Living your Life at the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Right and Wrong)

Proverbs 14:12 (NKJV) There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

One day while I was on a mission outreach trip to the frontier region of the Guatemala/Mexico Border in a small village named El Cielo, I went with another missionary to help build a cement patio for a Pastor.  He was opening up a laundry business to help support his poor church.  I mixed cement the old-fashion way with a hoe and shovel all day on a 95 degree, scorching hot day.  We worked until 5 pm and then we ate and got ready for church that night.  I was exhausted, but on the way to the church, the Pastor, who I had worked side by side all day with said “you are preaching tonight!” I was shocked!  I had nothing to talk about, nor had I given it any thought.  I felt panicked and I immediately went to God.  Out of nowhere God gave me this verse.  I do not even know if I had ever read it before!  It was in my head, so with an hour to spare before church I sat outside and searched for this verse and where its location in the Bible.  As I began to meditate on “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death”,  I watched a bunch of young guys on the street playing soccer. I then received this revelation from God.

As I watched these guys playing soccer, I figured out what God was showing me.  There is nothing wrong with playing soccer, it is fun and it is a great way to spend a afternoon.  Then I saw it, though there is nothing what-so-ever wrong with playing soccer, the Lord showed me that while they thought nothing was wrong with playing soccer it would effectually lead some of these men to hell.  Why?  They had nothing to do with God and Jesus.  Even though the saving message of Salvation was being preached, that could save their souls, they were so busy playing soccer and never considering if they died that night what would happen to their souls. So that night I preach this message.

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Last week I shared a message on the “tree of knowledge of good and evil.”  You see most people understand the problems, the dangers and the horrible reality of “evil.” We all watch the evening news with all the murders, rapes, wars and terrible autracidy in the world. We understand people who live that way, only for themselves and hurting anyone who gets in their way, deserves a place in the Lake of Fire

But do people ever consider the exact same problem that exist with living at the tree of knowledge of good?  You see it is the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  One tree with one fruit!  So now let us focus on the dangers of living a “good, clean moral life.” I want to repeat this, we understand evil and it dangers and all its consequences, but do we understand that living a right life or a good life leads to the same place.  Let me explain this verse and the revelation God gave me. 

Remember the young men playing soccer, nothing was wrong with that except they were filling their lives with everything but God.  While the grace message was being preached just a block away, they were too busy playing soccer to hear the message of God. They had no idea if their life was to end that moment, where would they be?

I cannot count, how many people have I talked to since I became a Christian, I would hear them say that I am going to heaven because; “I am a good person,” or I help people,” or “I give to worthy causes, I keep the law and I go to church, I live by the Golden Rule.  How many funerals have I been to and heard people saying ” He is in a better place now, he was a good man, a good father and husband.”

But the Bible says something completely different about these people, and I will get to that in a bit.

The unreached people group in America for Jesus Christ
Many Christians in America today are focused on cultural wars, e.g., dealing with gay marriage in the United States.  I personally believe that one of the largest groups that need to receive Jesus Christ lives in suburbia America.
How many of our next-door neighbors are living good lives?  Going to work, raising their kids, putting them through college and not breaking any laws.  These wonderful people, who are living wonderful lives have no idea what danger awaits them in eternity.  So many have been mislead and do not understand the danger they are in day in and day out.  They are under the assumption that because they are basically good, that when they die they should of course go to heaven or at least have have a good shot at it.  These people are deceived into believing that living a “right life or a good life” wins them a seat in heaven.  They believe going to church, being baptized or being raised in a Christian home automatically makes them a Christian.
Sadly today, many denominational churches have stopped preaching the Gospel and have replaced it with some “feel good messages” on how to live right and be a good person.  Some may say join our church and be baptized, but then never offer a person the Gospel message.  Oh yes they mention Jesus, how we should follow his examples and teaching, but they never explain nor lead their congregation to “repentance and the way of the cross and eternal life.”  So these (poor lost sheep), they sit in church week after week believing that they are good and right Christians.  People believe that because of some works they have done are going to Heaven.
  The Bible shows us a different picture
Roman 3:23; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 

Roman 3:10-12  As it is written:There is none righteous, no, not oneThere is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.  They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”

In the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 10; A rich, religious young man came to Jesus for eternal life.  He believed his religious, good up bringing could win him a place in heaven.  But he was taught a hard lesson by Jesus:

Mark10:17-22:   Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”   So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’”  And he answered and said to Him,  “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”   Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”  But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

So many have missed the point of this story.  They have believed that in order to go to heaven, you must sell all you have and be poor!  That was not the point Jesus was conveying to this young man.  The young man told Jesus that he had kept the law since his youth.  However, when Jesus told him to sell all, his inner heart’s desire was revealed, for he was in reality violating the Second commandment: Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

His money and possessions were a “god” to him.  His possessions owned him.  They meant more to him than his eternal life.  If he truly had followed the law to perfection, selling his goods would not have been a issue, but it was.  Jesus simply revealed this mans heart for him to see.  Jesus did not do this for sake of condemnation but to show this young man what he was lacking and how he needed God.

So the Bible explains that none of us are good and righteous people, none of us can live by the law and pass God’s judgement.  We all have messed up and fallen short.  But this is good news not bad news! 

I want you to understand this; You can live a good life, be a good spouse, good parent and a great worker and do all the right things like pay your bills, pay your taxes and be a model person and citizen: only to end up in HELL!


Matthew 19 25-26: When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Jesus tell us, “with men this is impossible.”  Man can not save himself, he can not do right and be good enough.  He can not live under the law and make it.  The bible says: If you fail at one point of the law you are guilty of breaking them all!  One mess up, one little lie and your finished, but once again this is not bad news but great news.  It is great news because Jesus finishes this verse with: “but with God all things are possible”

All we have to do is stop trying on our own to get it right” and acknowledge we have failed.  We have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.  Then, after acknowledging this we can allow God to pay our way.  God has already paid for our sins.  God paid it all.  So we do not have to strive to be righteous, because being righteous is a “Gift of God” not a work. God did this to saved His Children. To say you!
 The best “buts” in the bible?
The first great “but” in the bible was the verse we just read.  Matthew 19:26:
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, BUT with God all things are possible.”
The second “but” is found in Romans 6:23:
For the wages of sin is death, BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Remember earlier when I quoted Roman 3:23: for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 
We all have sinned and the bible makes it clear that the wage of that sin is death!  Your paycheck for sinning is death.  We do not have to debate this one.  We all know that one day we will have an appointment with “Death.”  No one escapes this reality.  And for most this is a fearful and horrible day.  We try to put it out of our mind and try hard not to think about it.
Salvation, eternal life is a gift from God, it is not earned or worked for,  because if it was, none of us would have any hope. None us all can be good enough or even rich enough to buy it, it can not be earned or bought!   But God became man and His name was Jesus.  Jesus went to the tree (cross) and died for all our mistakes (sins).   All of the things we did not do and all of the things we should have done but failed to do (sins of omission).  The death of Jesus on the cross covered all man’s sins and errors.  That is why Jesus told his panicked Disciples, “what is impossible for man is possible for God.”  So today we can eat from the Tree of Life” because for all who accept Jesus’s death on the cross as the total payment for their sins has eternal life.   It is all for the asking. No one who calls on His name is turned away. Just receive it by asking Jesus for it:
Jesus I realize I am a sinner and not a good or right person.  I have failed and have come short of the Glory of God.  I now confess with my mouth and my heart that “Jesus died and paid all my sins at the cross ” and through His resurrection I now have eternal life because of what Jesus has done.  I now repent from all my sins and dead religious works and accept what Jesus has done at the cross. Amen
If you said this prayer let me know.  Let me know if I can do anything to help you start this new life.

Written by Dennis Stauffer

Edited by Gary Green (Omega House)


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