This Is Paradise?

February 29, 2024
Volume 28, Number 6

Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a vacation destination. In fact, it’s listed as one of the top ten destinations in the entire U.S. It is completely surrounded by the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, the most-visited National Park in the U.S. Gatlinburg, about two hours from where I live, is where my wife and I honeymooned many years ago, and it holds cherished memories for many.

Now Gatlinburg has another reason for many to visit: the “Eggo House of Pancakes”, a chalet made to appear like a stack of pancakes drizzled with syrup. The manufacturers of Eggo Waffles (and now pancakes, too) have designed and furnished this house, and those lucky ones who are chosen will “be transported into a pancake paradise from the moment they step inside.”

If you’ve been to Gatlinburg, you know there are an abundance of pancake houses. I suppose there’s something in the mountain air that stirs one’s appetite for a plate of flapjacks. Eggo is using that fact to promote their product. For pancake lovers this may be regarded as “paradise”.

“Paradise” is a familiar word to most of us; it refers to something wonderful, an object of our dreams. We have different ideas of what paradise might be: some might envision a mountain retreat, while others prefer an oceanfront scene. Still others think of a golf course, or maybe an English garden.

In Genesis 2:8-10 we get our first glimpse of paradise: “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden …” “Garden” is paradeison in the Greek translation of that passage, and that’s where our first ideas of paradise originate. People can design lovely gardens, but could anything come close to this?

Jesus told the penitent thief that “today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). Though we aren’t given details of what that place was like, we easily imagine that it was a place of comfort and rest (based on information Jesus gave in Luke 16:19-25). In 2 Corinthians 12:1-4 Paul wrote about a visit to “the third heaven”, or “Paradise”. Again, details are lacking, but Paul made it clear it was a place of bliss and peace.

So, what will God’s Paradise be like? We don’t know about the presence of syrupy pancakes, but here’s what we do know from John 14:1-3: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Note these two facts about the true Paradise: (1) It’s where God and Christ dwell, and (2) it has been “prepared” for us. Isn’t that enough for us to know? If the Lord is there and if He has prepared it for us, then absolutely, count me in! He wants me to come home and has made it possible for me to come. This is Paradise in its fullest and most glorious manifestation!

Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2024, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

Permission to reproduce and/or use the messages for noncommercial purposes is freely granted provided the messages are not altered.