Many have been wondering about the future inasmuch as the present can be very exasperating. What do we have to look forward to? So we’ll take a break from the political unrest and sink our teeth into the future for several weeks. For those who choose not to believe the Bible, this may not be of interest because this series will be entirely Biblically based.
All mankind has an eternal future. Presently in the world, there are numerous classifications of people. There are men and women, ethnic origins, religious classifications, ideological orientations, etc. etc. The Bible, however, is very clear, i.e. there are just two classifications of people; those who will spend eternity with God and those who choose to spend eternity apart from God. All other barriers and differences are irrelevant. The major point is that all people will live forever in the place of their choosing.
“In the beginning God created the heaven(s) and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
We’ve previously seen that God was well pleased with His creation. Heaven(s) in this verse is translated from a Hebrew word that is used in several contexts, i.e. either the atmosphere above the surface of the earth, as in:
“Then God said… ‘and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.’” Genesis 1:20
“The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s; But the earth He has given to the children of men.” Psalms 115:16
The word ‘earth’ in Genesis 1:1 means the physical planet and is mentioned 21 times in just the first chapter of Genesis. It must be very significant. Recall that man was created in God’s image and was given the charge to multiply, subdue and have dominion over the earth. We’ll see in fact that the earth is integral in man’s eternal future for those who choose it to be.
“Who is the man that fears the LORD? …He himself…and his descendants shall inherit the earth.” Psalms 25:12-13
“For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”
“But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, but those cursed by Him shall be cut off.” Psalms 37:9, 11, 22
These passages reveal and confirm the two basic classifications of mankind. Those who fear the LORD i.e. takes Him at His word will inherit the earth while all others will be cut off, or will not live on the renewed earth.
That must mean the earth has an eternal future. Such is the case as confirmed by Solomon.
“One generation passes away, and another generation comes; but the earth abides forever.” Ecclesiastes 1:4
The earth to be inherited by those who fear the LORD will be the same physical planet, but only after being completely renewed. All signs and affects of sin and its subsequent curse must be removed before it is fit for redeemed man and God to dwell.
As the earth was judged by water in the days of Noah, it is being prepared for future judgment by fire prior to its renewal.
“But the heavens and the earth…are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Peter 3:6
“But the day of the Lord will come…in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and works that are in it will be burned up…Nevertheless we according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” 2 Peter 3:10, 13
The referenced promise was given over 2½ millennia ago.
“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.” Isaiah 65:17
That promise will be fulfilled after the final defeat of Satan, i.e. the one who caused the curse in the beginning of man’s odyssey.
“Now I (John) saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…” Revelation 21:1
To be continued…