One of the greatest mysteries in the Bible is the fate of the planet earth as an object after the final judgment. Many people hold the view that God will annihilate it and create another one. This view comes from such a place as Revelation 21, which shows a new heaven and earth after the judgment. The book of Luke, chapter 17:33, also states that the heavens and earth will pass away but the word will not. This article explains that, in fact, God will redeem the planet and restore it to the condition that it was in prior to the fall.
Fall and Degradation
God gave this planet to humans as an inheritance in Genesis 1:26-28. Every creature on the globe and the world itself came under the dominion of man. However, for this dominion to continue, Adam and his race had to observe God’s laws regarding the tree of knowledge of good and evil in Genesis chapter two verses 16 and 17.
The fall of Adam and Eve owing to disobedience brought ruin and death to all terrestrial creation. Deserts, adverse weather conditions, and all manner of rot struck the world. Adam and his race could not remedy the situation since they were already under the fall.
God’s Principle of Salvation
One of the most amazing Bible truths is the principle that God applies to save his fallen people. The Lord uses three steps to save: the first step is justification by faith (Romans 5:1), then sanctification by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 13:12), and finally the baptism of fire in Spirit (Matthew 3:11; Acts 2:4) to restore individuals.
The first epistle of John, chapter 5:8, records that there are three witnesses, namely, the Spirit, the water and the blood. An individual who is undergoing salvation comes through water (justification by faith), blood (sanctification), and Spirit (baptism of Holy Spirit and fire. A candidate for salvation believes and undergoes baptism by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ according to Acts 2:38. The next step is sanctification by the blood while sitting under pure Bible teaching. Finally, the person gets the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire, which is the new birth.
When a person has gone through the three steps, they become a new creature, as second Corinthians 5:17 states. In this case, “new” does not mean the person’s annihilation; rather it means the individual’s regeneration such that sin (the old nature) is dead in their life. As a result, the thinking and manner of life change to be an expression of righteousness. Thus, salvation is restoration, not replacement. God uses this principle of salvation consistently.
Restoration of the Earth
God uses the same principle to redeem the earth as he does humanity. In Malachi 3:6, the word declares that God does not change. The world itself was an attribute in God’s thoughts, and he meant to restore it since it is man’s dwelling place.
In Leviticus 25, which talks about the year of jubilee, we see a good example of restoration of man and land. A person who was in slavery went free as soon as the priest blew the trumpet. Likewise, possessions went back to their original owners. God uses three steps to salvage the earth, same as he does for humans.
In the time of Noah, our planet underwent baptism in the flood-waters. The world lay in water for several months. Before the flood, the world had been full of wickedness, and God decided to make an end of men. The book of first Peter 3:20-21 likens the universal flood to an individual’s baptism upon repentance.
The next step, and which is still on, is the sanctifying process. Jesus shed his blood, which not only redeems people but the world as an object too. The blood dripped and went into the ground to claim it for restoration.
Second Peter 3:10-11, tells us about the final step before the world is restored to before fall status. The evil atmosphere surrounding will be annihilated, but not the object itself. A fiery baptism will burn all perversion that the devil has produced through time. God does not replace his creation; instead, he restores it. The renewed world will be the eternal abode of renewed human beings.
The mystery of the redemption of the earth lies in the Bible. God will not annihilate the planet, but he will restore it to be the permanent dwelling place for the saved. The Lord saves both man and man’s estate in his work of restoration. Just us he saves man through a three-fold process, so does he save the world.