Decades ago, a very popular song of the time included the refrain "What a wonderful world!". It was and still is in many ways a wonderful world - sunsets, mountains, rivers, and shining seas. It is part of God's creation. After creating it, He states that it was "very good!" But, of course, it has changed. It did not change on its own. Mankind changed in its midst, when it truly was a wonderful world. It is no longer as beautiful as it was to Adam and Eve, or even when it was considered by many to still be "a wonderful world"
When mankind changed, the world changed.
A few weeks ago, we examined the eventual destiny of the world (“Our Evolving World -see Achieves}, the world that in some ways is still wonderful. But the time is coming when no one can call it wonderful. That is the bad news.
But there is good news - very good news for the world, after a tremendous crisis. The word "gospel" can literally mean simply "good news". It is that good news that Jesus brought to the world. But the world then refused, mostly, to understand or believe it. That good news is, when understood, is a new world coming - beyond the wildest imagination. Our world is now, and has been, cascading downward toward utter chaos and destruction since the events in the Garden. It has been increasing at an increasing rate century after century. It will continue to do so until Jesus the Christ steps in and saves mankind from complete oblivion (Matthew 24:29-31).
What is this new world? What will it be like? Who will be there? How long will it last - will it go on forever? Will it ever change again? Will there ever be permanence for the earth?
In this article we will attempt to cover some of these issues and events in very general fashion to get an overview at the expense of detail. Much will be known progressively as time goes by. But this progression has been progressing since the beginning - there will just be more and more progression of understanding as events unfold. The Bible tells us enough for now - enough to inspire and instill hope, and give us faith and assurance.O
The previous article (“Our Evolving World” - see Achieve) emphasized the danger of going to sleep spiritually near the time of the end of our world as we know it. This proclivity to “sleep” through events and conditions is a danger in any time, but especially as the end of “this present evil world ”(Galatians 1:4) draws near. To counter this, and to set the evil up for judgment, God will raise up “two witnesses” (Revelation 11 - all) , possibly out of Israel of that time, to perform miracles with the weather and elements and other miracles of different types to counter the activities of the false world religious leader who is given the power to make fire come down out of the sky, etc. (Revelation 19:20). These are the antitypes of Moses and Aaron who countered the miracles performed by the priests of Pharaoh prior to Israel deliverance from Egypt (Exodus 7).Eventually, when their work is completed, God allows the Beast (world dictator) to kill the two witnesses because of which there is worldwide rejoicing. Then the two witness are resurrected after 3 and a half days, and drawn up alive into heaven in a cloud.
There is the blast of a heavenly trumpet (Revelation 11:15:19)) which apparently announces the imminent return of Jesus Christ, following which the dead are resurrected, and judgment is set for all humankind. In the following chapters of Revelation, many more details of events and signs escalate in intensity followed by a time for allowing mankind to repent, then followed with more plagues and judgments, terrible to contemplate. When the chaos has reached the apex, at the last moment before all humankind and the face of the earth would be destroyed, there is the blast of the “last trumpet” - Jesus Christ returns in power and splendor to judge all the earth, and to reward His servants (Revelation 19:11-21).
Then begins what has been called “The Millennium” - a thousand-years of peace under Christ, with the saints ruling with Him. There then follows a time of reforming the earth - not in shape, but in orientation. Christ will restore all things. The curse of Genesis on the land and earth beneath our feet will be removed. There will be perfect weather for all events, seasons, and occasions. All wars will cease, the weapons of the nations will be melted and turned into instruments for producing crops. There will be reforestation, the deserts will bloom, cities will be built and rebuilt. All this will be done without the influence and manipulation of Satan. He is restrained for the entire one thousand years - no longer roaming about “seeking whom he may devour" (Revelation 20:2; 1 Peter 5:8)
These events covered by the book of Revelation are actually a summation and condensation of what has been predicted throughout the Old Testament prophets long ago. Perhaps the most condensed and concise description of this coming wonderful world is related in Isaiah:
“In the future the mountain of the Lord’s temple will endure as the most important of mountains, and will the most prominent of hills All the nations will stream to it, many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the Lord’s mountain, to the temple of the God of Jacob, so he can teach us his requirements and we can follow his standards.” For Zion will be the center for moral instruction the Lord will issue edicts from Jerusalem. He will judge disputes between nations; he will settle cases for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations will not take up the sword against other nations, and they will no longer train for war. O descendants of Jacob, come, let us walk in the Lord’s guiding light”.
This also indicates the Israel’s coming preeminence and restoration prophesied throughout the Bible, after the “times of the Gentiles” have been completed (Luke 21:24). Christ will rule from Jerusalem, which is the geographical center of the world.
A slightly different reference is made of the coming new world in Psalm 46:6-11: “The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he has made in the earth. He makes wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and cuts the spear in sunder; he burns the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah“.
In these two passages along with the most striking one in Isaiah (below), one can see in capsule form the whole future of our new world under the rulership of Christ and the saints. More details are alluded to in other passages not within the scope of this article.
However, as truly wonderful as this coming world will be for one thousand years, it will not last forever. There is yet another “world” coming. If you can imagine another more wonderful world, try to imagine it being a thousand times more wonderful. For it will be...
“And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea“. - Isaiah 11:1-9
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