The ‘future’ in the present title begins with the return of the redeemed with Christ after the tribulation period which marks the beginning of Christ’s millennial reign in Jerusalem.
One thing is certain, redeemed man in the future will not be idle. Many New Testament teachings describe ‘on the job training’ for the future.
There is little question that we presently live in a litigious society. Everyone is passionate about preserving his/her rights. Paul teaches that those chosen for the kingdom (Biblical saints) should be able to settle differences between themselves during the present age without resorting to the legal system for adjudication.
“Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? I Corinthians 6:1-3
The Bible also teaches that Jesus’ disciples would participate in the administration of Israel in the future.
“So Jesus said to them, ‘Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.’” Matthew 19:28
Paul summarized the concept of shared reign with Christ:
“If we endure, we shall also reign with him, if we deny Him, He also will deny us.” 2 Timothy 2:12
Another significant aspect of the future is that there will be no marriage relationships.
“Jesus…said to them, ‘The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore…’” Luke 20:34-36
Earlier in man’s odyssey God sanctioned marriage for several specific purposes including populating the earth and exercising dominion over it.
“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…every living thing that moves on the earth.’” Genesis 1:27-28
In the renewed earth and New Jerusalem there will be a fixed number of occupants determined from the foundation of the world who will live forever so there will be no need for marriage and procreation.
During the millennial period there will be ample opportunities for those who enjoying fishing.
“…there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple… (Initially) the water came up to my ankles… (then) the water came up to my knees…(then) the water came up to my waist…(then) it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep…there will be a great multitude of fish…it shall be that fishermen will stand by it…they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many.” Ezekiel 47:1-10
The above scripture passages do not mean that there will be more fishermen in the millennial kingdom than lawyers. They do indicate, however, that there will be more opportunities for fishing than the need for legal services.
God never intended man to be idle either in this life or in the future. God created man to be productive. Such was true in the Garden of Eden before sin and there is no indication that redeemed man will be idle in the ages to come. Adam was very productive in the original Garden.
“Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend (cultivate) and keep it.” Genesis 2:15
The Hebrew ‘tend’ is synonymous with ‘dress’ meaning to serve, till, and/or plow while the Hebrew ‘keep’ likewise means to work or toil.
We’ll conclude this mini series of ‘the future’ next week by looking at what is meant by the words in the final chapter of the Bible, i.e. “…there shall be no more curse…”