Earth: Man’s Wonderful, Everlasting Home

God himself formed the earth to be inhabited by all the children of men who have ever lived on this planet. —Isaiah 45:18; Psalm 115:16; Acts 24:15

ONE of the basic truths clearly set forth in the Bible is that God created the earth to be man’s everlasting home. The Prophet Isaiah wrote, “Thus saith the Lord that created the heavens: God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord: and there is none else.”—Isa. 45:18

God prepared a garden “eastward in Eden” as a home for our first parents. In this garden was every tree which was pleasant to the eye, and good for food. (Gen. 2:8,9) God commanded our first parents to multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it. (Gen. 1:28) As the family of Adam and Eve increased they would need to extend the borders of Eden, and this would have continued until the entire earth should be populated and subdued, or brought under cultivation.

But there came the fall into sin and death. Man was driven out of his Edenic home, into the unfinished earth to die. Human tradition picked up the theme from there, and distorted it. First there came the widespread acceptance of Satan’s lie, “Ye shall not surely die.” (Gen. 3:4) God had made it plain that death would be the penalty for sin, and that the sinner would return to the dust from which he was taken. (Gen. 2:7; 3:19) Contrary to this statement by the Creator, tradition insists that there is no death.

All sorts of distorted theories developed in the wake of this error, most of them following the line of thinking that life on earth was but a temporary experience for man, that when he seems to die he is whisked off to another place of abode. The Catholic church teaches that the vast majority go to purgatory, where, by means of excruciating pain through long centuries of time, they are purged of their sins and thus made ready for eternity in heaven as saints. The wholly willful sinners, Catholicism teaches, suffer the tortures of hell forever.

The Fundamentalist Protestant churches teach that all who, at death, are not ready, through belief in Christ, to enter heaven, go to a place of eternal torture. Unlike the Catholic church, the Protestant churches make no provision at all for repentance and purification after death. It is another terrible distortion which, even as Satan designed, blasphemes the name of our loving Heavenly Father.

Among so-called Protestants today there is an increasing number who are not too sure just where the dead go. Being more kindly in their thinking, they have rejected the torture dogma, and they are not too sure that there is a literal heaven to which earthly beings migrate when they “seem” to die. They cling to Satan’s lie that there is no death, and vaguely speak of going to the “beautiful isle of somewhere.”

In the heathen world also, there is an almost total rejection of the truth that death is a reality. Here too, various places and conditions have been imagined into which the dead go. Thus in one way or another all mankind fails to realize that the earth was created as a home for humans, and that it is the purpose of the Creator that the earth shall be man’s everlasting home.

And now that we have entered the so-called space age, we hear much talk of breaking through the barrier that holds humans on the earth, and of exploring the possibilities of at least some of the human race transferring to other planets. While it is an established fact that man can land on the moon, the Apostle Paul seems to reject the possibility of any large scale migration of humans to other planets when, in speaking to the Athenians on Mars’ Hill, he said that the Lord “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.”—Acts 17:26


It is a mistake to suppose that original sin led to the necessity of transferring Adam and his children to another place of abode, in heaven, hell or purgatory. Nothing was said to our first parents about the possibility of going to heaven. They were not threatened with the tortures of hell. They were simply told that disobedience to divine law would lead to death, the loss of life with all its joys and blessings in that beautiful garden home which had been prepared for them eastward in Eden.

However, the disobedience of Adam did not destroy the divine purpose with respect to man and his earthly home, for the Bible reveals a plan of redemption and restoration through Christ. There are many details to the divine plan of salvation, but basically, and because Jesus gave his life to redeem Adam and his children, it means that ultimately that which would have been is yet to be. The human race is to be restored to life, and given an opportunity to accept God’s grace through Christ, obey the laws of God then in force, and live forever right here on earth, just as Adam and Eve would have done had they been obedient to their Creator.—John 11:23,24; Acts 24:14,15

It was at Jesus’ first advent that he died to redeem fallen man from death. It is during his second presence, or visit to earth, that the work of restoring the race will be accomplished. Peter described that period in the divine plan as “times of restitution of all things,” and explained that it had been foretold by the mouth of all God’s holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:19-21) The word resurrection is also used in the New Testament with respect to this work of restoration.

Will There Be Room?

Almost invariably, when the plan of God for the restoration of the human race to life on earth is presented, some will raise the objection that the earth is not large enough to hold and provide for all the living and the dead. This objection has seemingly gained some weight in recent years as a result of what is sometimes described as earth’s exploding population. In this connection, world economists are frankly concerned over what the situation will be twenty-five or fifty years from now. For example, it is expected that by the year 2000 the United States will have a population of about 270,000,000. Europe and Asia are already overcrowded.

What, then, would be the situation over the earth if in the not-too-distant future divine power would begin to restore the dead to life? This is a question which immediately captures the imagination. The first thought of many is that it would result in human beings being stacked up many tiers deep—not a pleasant prospect. But is this really so?

We are here, of course, considering the plan of God for mankind as it is revealed in the Bible. Thus we must take the biblical figures as to how long man has lived on the earth, and the Bible reveals that by the year 2000 this will be 6,125 years since the fall of man. Counting 365¼ days to the year, this would mean there would be 2,237,156 days from the fall to the year 2000. The present death rate per day is about 150,000. Multiply this by the number of days from the fall of man to the year 2000 and we get the grand total of 335,573,400,000. It is estimated by demographers that by the year 2000 the population of the earth will be approximately 7,000,000,000. If we add this to the above figure it will be seen that twice this grand total of humans could be buried in the State of Alaska, whose land surface is 586,412 square miles, while allowing about twenty-five square feet to each one.

It will be recognized at once that this method of estimating the number of people who have lived on the earth is most extravagant. It could easily reflect ten or more times the actual number. The death rate prior to the Flood was very low. The Flood reduced the population to eight persons, which again would cut down the general average. No, it will not be necessary for humans to stand on each other’s heads when they are raised from the dead!

Figures have a striking way of emphasizing facts when they are properly used. With the present size of earth’s population, which is rapidly increasing, the earth soon would be overpopulated even without the resurrection of the dead. The illustration of germs in a bowl helps in this connection. Two germs are placed in a bowl. Assume that they reproduce and double their number every second. At the end of one hour the bowl is filled with germs. At what point in the hour is it half full? It is at the beginning of the last second of the sixtieth minute in the hour. Figuratively speaking, the human race is now approaching that last “second.”

Very soon enough people will have been born to properly fill the earth, in keeping with the divine purpose from the beginning. Through the centuries they have fallen asleep in death, but meantime have been redeemed by the blood of Christ and will be restored to life during the thousand years of his kingdom reign. Then the whole earth will be subdued, as God commanded Adam. There will be room for all, and abundant provision for all.

Nor should it be overlooked that God’s command to our first parents to multiply was limited to filling the earth. In God’s own due time and way this function of humans will cease. Whether or not the Lord will permit his human creatures to cooperate in bringing about this transition, the Scriptures do not reveal. In any case, we can safely leave it in the hands of the Lord, knowing that he is abundantly able to bring it about in his own due time and way.

The Earth’s Increase

When God sentenced our first parents to death he drove them out of that beautiful and productive garden which he had specially prepared for them, into the unfinished earth to die. They were warned of the thorns and thistles with which they would have to contend. And despite the pests and other handicaps with which man had to battle, he managed to keep himself alive, at least long enough to continue the process of reproduction.

But now that we are approaching the new age of the kingdom, when much more abundant food supplies will be needed, both for the living generation and for those who will be awakened from the sleep of death, God is permitting men to discover ways and means of securing much food from the land. The average yield of corn per acre is increasing. Through scientific methods the improvement of cattle herds is being greatly accelerated. Air-conditioned barns cause cows to give more milk, and conditioned poultry houses lead to a much larger yield of eggs. These are but isolated examples of what is being accomplished by the food producers of the world. The symbolic thorns and thistles are being brought under control in what seem to be natural ways. The earth, as never before, is beginning to yield her increase, and the possibilities of continuing that increase seem almost limitless.

Then there are those promises of the Bible which assure us that the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. (Isa. 35:1,2) The deserts today comprise a considerable portion of the land surface of the earth. There are large areas of desert land in the Middle East, and even larger areas on the continent of Africa. And then we have the great American deserts. Think of the countless millions who can be fed from these lands, when, in the Lord’s providence, they cease to be deserts and become productive!

It is almost as though some unseen influence were saying that now speed is of the essence; that there will be even greater need for food than world economists now estimate, for their figures do not take into consideration the awakening of the dead.

Thus, while the exploding population of the earth today is causing concern among world economists, when viewed from the Bible’s standpoint we see that there is really no cause for alarm. God created the earth to be man’s home, and he created man to enjoy this home forever. (Ps. 115:16) Surely the great Creator, with his infinite wisdom, would not make the mistake of creating the earth too small. Nor would he fail to make provision for halting the propagation of the race as soon as sufficient numbers had been born to properly fill the earth.

And what a wonderful place the earth will be when fully subdued! How happy restored mankind will be with all eternity before them to explore the beauties and marvels of the home the Creator has provided for them! They shall build houses, and inhabit them, wrote the Prophet Isaiah, and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.—Isa. 65:21,22

No longer will it be necessary to contend with thorns and thistles. (Gen. 3:18) The tilling of the soil will not then be wearisome toil, but a pleasure. We cannot, of course, envision the myriad changes which will take place for the well-being and happiness of man, but we do know that the whole earth will be as the Garden of Eden in which God placed every tree that was pleasant to the eye and good for food.—Gen. 2:9

The lot of restored man will be just as God wants it, and we know that what he designs is just right. There will then be so many wonders for man to explore within the confines of his perfect earthly home that we doubt if there will be much interest in establishing dwelling places on other planets or in outer space.

How Soon This Glorious Prospect?

When will this wonderful new world of peace and perfect life be established in the earth for restored mankind’s everlasting enjoyment? We believe that the very population explosion that so troubles world leaders today itself suggests an answer. The illustration given earlier of the speed with which the bowl suddenly becomes filled with germs may not be without its counterpart in human history.

Estimated World PopulationIt will be observed from the accompanying chart that world population in the year A.D. 1650 is estimated to have been about one-half billion, it having required more than fifty-seven hundred years of human existence to attain that figure. Surprisingly, it took only about 180 additional years to double that number to one billion people by the year 1830. It then required but one hundred years more to double again to an estimated world population in 1980 of about four billions! And now there are those who estimate that the number of people who will be dwelling on this planet Earth will again double to some eight billions by approximately the year 2010.

Were this rate of progression to continue unchecked, with world population doubling and redoubling in shorter and ever shorter spans of time, it is obvious that the number of people thus produced would ere long exceed human comprehension and ingenuity to provide for and manage. In conjunction with other scriptural signs that this present evil world, or social arrangement, is presently coming to an end, it suggests that the time for the great Creator to intervene in the affairs of men and to establish his long-promised kingdom for the blessing of all the families of the earth cannot be far distant.—Gal. 1:4; II Pet. 3:7-13; Rev. 21:1-5; 22:17

It further suggests that the time allotted for the calling out from the world and the perfecting of the little flock who will be associated with their Lord Jesus as kings and priests in the glorious kingdom for blessing resurrected mankind is also drawing to a close. For these our Lord had comforting words. He said, “When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. … Likewise … know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” To this the Apostle Paul adds his own encouragement: “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”—Luke 21:28; Gal. 6:9

Dawn Bible Students Association
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