The future of the earth and mankind has already been determined and documented.
Inasmuch as man was created in God’s own image man will live eternally. There are two basic divisions of all mankind, i.e. those in the majority who have disobeyed God and refused redemption, and those in the minority who have disobeyed God but accepted His gracious gift of redemption. There is no such thing as cessation of being for any man.
Likewise the earth will also endure forever; however, the earth will be redeemed and renewed from the consequences of the fall in the Garden of Eden and the subsequent curse.
“One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth abides forever.” Ecclesiastes 1:4
“You who laid the foundations of the earth, so that it should not be moved forever…” Psalm 104:5
“The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s; but the earth He has given to the children of men.” Psalm 115:16
When God prepared the earth for man, He appointed him to have dominion over all other living creatures.
“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’. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” Genesis 1:28, 31a
Such was the beginning of an endless odyssey that was pre-planned before it began in perfect detail including exact timing of events.
An excellent example of precise prophecy is found when John describes the release of the four angels bound at the Euphrates River at the exact time in the future.
“Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet; ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates’. So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.” Revelation 9:13-15
After the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, God in mercy and longsuffering began to implement His plan of redemption foreordained before the foundation of the world. He would insure that man would fulfill the purpose for which he was created and nothing could thwart that plan.
History has confirmed time and again that God’s redemptive plan is right on schedule.
The Kingdom of God is presently invisible in the midst of the highly visible and physical kingdoms of the world.
Future steps in God’s plan include Christ removing the ‘church’ so God can deal with national Israel and the rest of unrepentant mankind during the seven year tribulation period.
At the end of the tribulation Christ will return to earth, separate the goats from the sheep and the invisible Kingdom of God will become totally visible as Christ will rule the nations for 1000 years from His throne in earthly Jerusalem. The goats will be banished to eternal punishment while the sheep will be ushered into the kingdom prepared for them ‘from the foundation of the world’.
The timing of Christ’s return has also been precisely planned.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Mark 13:32
The 1000 year kingdom is a major milestone towards the eternal new heaven and new earth. All forms of human government will have failed including democracy as well as capitalism. Only the saved will enter the kingdom. All others have been banished and Israel’s enemies will have been destroyed.
But God’s testing of man isn’t complete until the end of the 1000 year kingdom when Satan is released from the bottomless pit to tempt all who were born in the flesh during the millennium.
“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth…to gather them together to battle…” Revelation 20:7-8
To be completed next week.