The Earth Restored
Lesson 11

Many have a very indistinct view of the reward that awaits those who prove themselves faithful in this life. They hold an imaginary picture of imaginary spirits who have harps and exist among the clouds in what can best be described as a sterile atmosphere of inactivity. For many, it is desirable primarily because it is the more desirable of two alternatives—as opposed to an eternally burning death, it has a distinct advantage. With such a picture, is it any wonder there is so little eager anticipation to experience it? Is this type of future existence all that was purchased at Calvary?

1. Do we have any clear idea of what the future life will be like?

1 Corinthians 2:9
1 Corinthians 2:9

Note: While we may not be able to know in great detail all that awaits those who are saved, God has not left us without any idea of what to expect. The prophet declares that not since the beginning of the world have men seen or perceived God’s plan for man. Implied is the thought that men once did see, hear, and know of the wonderful things God had prepared for His people, and that time was at the beginning of the world.

2. What was God’s assessment of His handiwork at the close of Creation?

Genesis 1:31
Genesis 1:31

Note: The earth as it came from the hand of its Creator was glorious to behold. As they looked upon it, angels shouted for joy. See Job 38:1–7. With its teaming animal and vegetable life, it was a testimony to the wonderful love of the Creator for all His creatures.

3. Who was man made to resemble?

Genesis 1:26
Genesis 1:26

Note: This likeness is not so much in appearance, as in character. Man was to be a reflection of the character of his Maker.

4. What does Paul tell us was God’s original plan for man to reveal?

Ephesians 3:8–11
Ephesians 3:8–11

Note: God’s goodness and wisdom had first been questioned in the courts of heaven by Lucifer. The charges made were difficult to answer; for while the leader in rebellion could resort to artifice and deceit, God could only respond in a straightforward manner. In creating man it was God’s purpose that man would answer these allegations, revealing His goodness and wisdom to the universe. Verse 10 makes it clear that the demonstration is primarily for the benefit of beings in the heavenly realms.

5. What did God place under man’s authority and control?

Genesis 1:26
Genesis 1:26

6. In choosing to rebel against their Creator, what did man gain?

Romans 5:12
Romans 5:12

Note: Death to the transgressor was not an arbitrary decision, but the result of choosing to be out of harmony with, and at enmity with the Source of life.

7. Who replaced man as the prince, or ruling authority in this world?

John 12:31(1 John 3:8)
John 12:31(1 John 3:8)

Note: Though man chose to become a servant of the great rebel, joining him in rebellion against the Creator, the authority that Satan gained over the earth was not absolute. Man had never held absolute authority, but reigned subject to his Creator, and Satan could gain only that which man had originally held in trust.

8. In addition to man’s redemption, what was to be gained by Christ’s sacrifice?

Hebrews 2:14
Hebrews 2:14

9. What was Christ’s crucifixion to accomplish among men?

John 12:32
John 12:32

Note: Satan was able to bring about alienation between man and his Creator by leading Adam and Eve to doubt God’s love for them. It is the revelation of an incomprehensible love that leads men to end their rebellion against their God and His authority, and again become loyal subjects. Only by thus aligning themselves with the Source of life, is it possible for them to be the recipients of the gift of life.

10. Christ came to bring what to men?

John 10:10
John 10:10

11. When will we experience the reality of this life?

1 Corinthians 15:51–54
1 Corinthians 15:51–54

Note: By an acceptance of Jesus we may, even now, enter into the promise of eternal life, but the reality of the promise comes at the return of Jesus.

12. What will our new bodies be like?

Philippians 3:20–21
Philippians 3:20–21

13. What besides man was affected by the curse of sin?

Genesis 3:17–18
Genesis 3:17–18

Note: The tide of woe that flowed from our first parents’ transgression was reflected not only in a change in men, but it affected all creation. The apostle Paul pictures all creation as groaning under the burden of sin, awaiting the promised redemption. See Romans 8:22. All nature was distorted from the original blueprint by the introduction of sin, but the plan of redemption includes its restoration.

14. What was Jesus’ promise to the disciples?

John 14:1–3
John 14:1–3

15. What happens to God’s people at His return?

1 Thessalonians 4:16–17
1 Thessalonians 4:16–17

16. Where will the final home of the redeemed be?

Isaiah 65:17
Isaiah 65:17

17. What must happen to this present earth first?

2 Peter 3:10–12
2 Peter 3:10–12

18. What activities may we look forward to?

Isaiah 65:21
Isaiah 65:21

Note: At Creation, God placed our first parents in a garden-type setting. One of the tasks with which they were to occupy themselves was the tending of that garden. See Genesis 2:9, 15. While Jesus is preparing for us a city as a place to dwell (see Hebrews 11:8–10; John 14:1–3), we are told that we will also have a country home, one of our own design and building, where we will have gardens and vineyards to tend and care for.

19. How will life there differ from that which we know here?

Isaiah 33:24
Isaiah 33:24

In the first three chapters of the Bible we have pictured the original garden home. The story of the temptation of Adam and Eve is recorded there, along with their failure to remain loyal. The majority of the rest of the Bible is the history of God’s love in dealing with His erring children, seeking to draw them back to Himself. When we come to the final chapters of Revelation we have a beautiful pen picture of the earth restored and peopled by a once again loyal race, revealing the triumph of God’s love.

No one needs to miss out on heaven because he is a sinner. Christ came to save sinners. See Romans 5:8. Those who fail of obtaining the reward of the righteous will be those who have rejected the strongest evidence of love that heaven could give, choosing rather to continue their rebellion against God, living in disregard of His revealed will for them.

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