World Without End
God's Eternal Redemption Plan for His People
Chapter 1

A Perfect World Gone Awry

by Diane Jurino

Living Water at the Oasis
Living Water at the Oasis

World Without End
God's Eternal Redemption Plan for His People
Chapter 1 - A Perfect World Gone Awry
by Diane Jurino

Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

Almighty God had a comprehensive plan from the very beginning of time. He created the entire universe from His awesome imagination to fill the darkness and void that existed. His sole intention was to propagate life in an infinite variety of forms, so that He would no longer be alone. Everything that He made had its own special purpose; both heaven and earth were fashioned according to His express will.

The Lord is a perfectionist and nothing that He did was by accident. He desired to surround Himself with beauty and excellence and was eminently successful. In so doing, He created an elaborate network of interdependent organisms that interact and rely on one another. From the birds of the air, to the trees in the field and the fish in the sea, everything was perfectly designed according to His vision of it.

All of creation is exquisitely formed according to the fathomless wisdom of God Himself. He is the ultimate source of all life and the limitless power behind it. He has direct involvement in everything that was made, and makes certain that nothing runs amiss. His workmanship is incomparable, and He can orchestrate the dynamics of a thunderstorm or paint the skies with vibrant color in a breathtaking sunset.

Our God placed the earth in a universe that is both complex and beautiful. Celestial bodies of infinite form and number are the backdrops for His canvas. The sun, moon and stars all have their own unique role in breaking up the darkness and providing light and energy to the atmosphere that surrounds our planet. They were meant to function in total precision, so that there is order and stability in all of creation.

Genesis 1:31 "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, [it was] very good..."

It required nothing short of engineering genius to construct the heavens and the earth. It is vital that we realize that there were no blueprints. Everything that was made was manifested into reality strictly from the infinite wisdom and creativity of God Himself. Each component has its own specific purpose. The heavens were established as His abode to share with the angels.

But the earth He intended to be the dwelling place of His masterpiece. He had a vision of a being that was like Himself in every way. The Lord longed for fellowship with a creature that had attributes like His very own. His plan was to traverse between heaven and earth and commune with His offspring on a regular basis, so that there would never be any separation between them.

It was His heart's desire to nurture and protect what He created. God never intended that the universe be destroyed or detrimentally altered in any way. His purpose was pure and unselfish; He simply wanted to develop a perfect environment for the continuation of life in unending variety. It was His distinct pleasure to have all things be both simultaneously beautiful and beneficial.

The Lord looked at what He had created, and was immensely pleased with His efforts. Everything that was made was designed to His exact specifications. He fine-tuned His work, so that life on this planet would be self-perpetuating, peaceful and orderly. He intended that the entire earth would last for all of time and be the perfect habitat for all His many creatures, including mankind.

Isaiah 45:18 "For 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."

Almighty God is the only true source of all life. He is the original prime mover. The creation was no physical byproduct of planetary bodies and asteroids colliding somewhere deep in the cosmos surrounding our earth. It was no serendipitous accident of fate that caused atoms and molecules to combine with one another to initiate various organisms. There was no evolution of life forms involved.

Everything was planned with an eternal purpose in mind. It had its own specific identity from the very beginning of time. All creatures are both beautiful and functional in their own regard, but also precisely interconnected. They are tightly interwoven and dependent upon one another. No part of the creation could have been different and produced the same perfect results for the entire whole.

Our Creator outdid Himself in every way. He established a universe where order and stability are major features. He spawned something so awesome and wonderful that no other deity that has ever been named could possibly compete. He is the only true God and man is the highlight of His ingenious design. We were created to be a unique and fitting tribute to His all encompassing love and glory.

The earth was created to be our perpetual dwelling place. It was meant to be a paradise for us for all of eternity. Although much has gone wrong, the Lord will sovereignly intervene and set matters straight. He will not permit this world to ever be destroyed. He will correct the imbalance that currently exists and restore, renew and renovate the entire planet until it lines up with His perfect plan for us.

What is Man?

Genesis 1:26-28 "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

The Lord formed man in His very own image and likeness to be in intimate fellowship with Him forever. We are the epitome of His design genius. Our spirits are like His very own in every way. Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made to sustain life under even the most adverse of circumstances. Our souls – our minds, wills and emotions – are all unique, versatile and able to develop to their maximum potential.

We are indeed the masterpiece of God's creation, intended to be like Him in all respects. We have been endowed with total freedom to choose good or evil. We have inherent talents and capabilities in our genetic makeup that rival even the most powerful forces in the universe. We can become all that the Lord intended for us to be, but we must never sever our divine connection to Him as our Creator and Provider.

In Him we have our very being and all that we need to be in dominion over all of creation itself. But we can never forget who is the source of all our power, the very lifeblood of our existence. The Lord intended us to be perfect in every way, whole and lacking nothing. But we are not totally independent of His benevolence. We require His active involvement in our lives if we are to be all that we are destined to be.

When we forget that He is in charge and take matters into our own hands, we make horrible mistakes. We injure others and ourselves. We destroy the earth and create chaos and confusion. We need God's wisdom and revelation, guidance and direction to establish peace, order and stability in our lives. Apart from Him, we can do nothing that has lasting value. But with Him in charge, we can accomplish even the impossible.

Genesis 2:7-8 "And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed."

The Lord created man from the dust of the earth and breathed His life-giving Spirit into him. He formed woman to be his mate. Our creation was no accident; nor were our ancestors apes. We were specifically designed to fellowship with almighty God Himself and to be His beloved offspring for all of eternity. There was never meant to be a separation between us.

The first man and woman were placed in a totally perfect environment fashioned just for their pleasure. The Lord established the Garden of Eden as a safe haven for mankind for all time. However, Satan, a fallen angel of the highest order, became jealous of man and vowed to disgrace and displace him. He tempted him to rebel against God and estrange himself.

There was a tree in the center of the garden that the Lord told Adam to avoid – the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He and his mate were instructed not to eat of its fruit or they would surely die. The Lord wanted to test their obedience and their trust in Him. However, Adam and Eve both failed that test and they were severely punished for their transgression.

They felt shame and remorse, but it was too late to turn back and undo their sin. The Lord was true to His word and they spiritually died. He barred access to the Garden of Eden and sentenced Adam and Eve to toil upon the earth for their daily bread. They struggled to survive, and were it not for the grace of God Himself, they would have been immediately destroyed.

Genesis 3:19 "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return."

Adam's disobedience had lasting consequences. He was spiritually separated from God and surrendered all his authority over the earth to the devil that had outwitted him. The Lord was compelled to banish man from a virtual paradise and relegate him to a lifetime of subsistence in the world. He was forced to till the ground and raise livestock for his food and clothing.

He was dominated by his environment, rather than in dominion of it. He needed shelter from the elements and was prone to bodily ailments, pain and suffering. He was also subject to the penalty of physical death for his sin and he eventually died. But throughout his experience on the earth, Adam never totally lost communication with God; he simply lost his birthright.

The Lord has a deep and abiding love for mankind and He simply could not abandon His creation so easily. Their relationship was strained at best, and it is certain that Adam was remorseful for all that he forfeited. However, subsequent generations of man were particularly evil, and the Lord turned His back on them. He cannot abide with anything wicked and defiling at all.

Genesis 6:5-7 "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them."

Our Creator was sadly disappointed with the human race. Although we had been endowed with many of His very own attributes and characteristics, there was a schism between us. Men tended only towards evil and rebellion and forgot that God was in charge. They rebelled against Him at every turn and engaged in idolatry and every other imaginable, wicked abomination.

The Lord eventually repented that He had ever made man and was ultimately compelled to destroy him off the face of the earth. The flood of Noah's day was no myth or fable. It did indeed occur and was very effective in cleansing the world of its iniquity. Only Noah was found righteous, and the Lord protected and sustained him and his family until the floodwaters receded.

The entire earth and everything in it was purified. Mankind was given a fresh start and a new beginning. However, it was only a matter of time before we sinned again and transgressed God's laws. He is always patient with us and infinitely merciful and compassionate, but it must have seemed as if we would never repent and be restored to right relationship with our Creator.

Hebrews 2:9-10 "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings."

Man still was not fully reconciled to God after the flood. It took one perfect man to set things straight once again. His name was Jesus Christ, the Son of almighty God Himself. He was divine in every respect, yet He came to this earth in human form to teach us His ways and to save us from our sins once and for all. Jesus laid down His life for us, so that we could be set free.

The Lord ministered unselfishly to others in genuine love. He preached the good news of the Kingdom of God, cast out devils, healed the sick and even raised the dead back to life again. He forgave men their sins, and gave them hope for their future. Although He was totally innocent of all wrongdoing Himself, He suffered humiliation and an agonizing death for our benefit.

He took on all our iniquity, as if it were His very own. He removed death as the penalty for our sins. He served as our Redeemer, Teacher and Mediator with almighty God. Through His efforts we were restored to right standing with the Father and we inherited great and precious promises for righteousness. Plus, our dominion over the earth was returned to us once and for all.

Christ was our role model for righteousness and obedience. He taught us that we must have deference and respect for God, and genuine love and affection for one another. He released men from their bondage to sin and evil and taught us to obey all of the commandments. He did not come to this earth to condemn us, but to provide us with the gift of eternal life and all its blessings.

A Brilliant Rescue Plan

Isaiah 56:1 "Thus saith the LORD, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation [is] near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed."

Our Creator has a master plan in place for us, despite the fact that our perfect world has gone awry. He is making redemption available to all of mankind. If we will turn towards Him, repent of all our wickedness and determine to set our lives straight, He will show Himself strong on our behalf. We will not be relegated to total destruction for our mistakes; the Lord will have mercy and compassion on His people.

We must choose to believe the truth and make a mid-course correction. God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to redeem us from our sins once and for all time. Christ did not come to condemn us; He came to teach us God's ways and to take on our sin debt as if it were His very own. He laid down His life, so that we could be set free and receive eternal life instead of the punishment that we deserve.

When we are born again in our spirit man, we actually become new creatures in Christ. Our minds are renewed in the truth and our behavior is totally transformed, so that we eventually become more like Him in every way. We develop a close, personal relationship with our God, and we can communicate with Him on an intimate basis. We worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth and adopt His values as our very own.

In Christ we have our redemption and the promise of a bright and hopeful future. We can look forward to spending all of eternity in His awesome presence. All we must do is believe on His name and walk in love and righteousness, as He taught us. If we are diligent to follow all the commandments and serve the Lord, as we should, we will receive many blessings and generous rewards in the everlasting Kingdom of God.

Romans 13:11-14 "And that, knowing the time, that now [it is] high time to awake out of sleep: for now [is] our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to [fulfil] the lusts [thereof]."

If we will believe in our heart that Christ is indeed the Son of God who died for us and rose again from the dead, we will be saved. We must confess Him as Lord and Savior and repent of all wrongdoing. We should then be baptized with water as a sign of our new lives. We can also ask the Lord for the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and His very own Spirit will permeate our entire being, so that we are forever changed.

We are cleansed by the Blood of Christ. We become dead to sin and all its shame, guilt and condemnation. We can approach the Lord from a very favorable basis. We are seated at the right hand of God Himself, and He will answer all of our prayers for ourselves and for others. There is no good thing that He will withhold from His people. He will meet all our needs now and in the Kingdom to come, for all eternity.

Sanctification from all worldly lusts and selfish ambitions of the soul should be our constant aim. We can never take our righteousness for granted. We must be diligent to follow all of the Lord's commandments and walk in the light, just as Jesus did. Our regeneration is progressive until we attain full spiritual maturity, holiness and perfection. We will enter into the Kingdom of God and enjoy all its many benefits.

One day soon, our redemption will be complete. Our mortal bodies will be changed into new, glorious, resurrections forms and we will live forever in the very presence of almighty God Himself. Jesus Christ will take vengeance on all our enemies and vindicate us before both men and angels. He will blot out all pain and suffering from our memories, and recompense us for all that we have lost or had stolen from us.

Life in the Kingdom of God will be a veritable paradise for all of God's people. We will no longer struggle in a world that is set on destruction. The Lord will protect us from all evil and banish all wrongdoers to the eternal lake of fire. Satan will be bound in the bottomless pit, so that he can no longer torment us or hold us in bondage of any kind. The entire earth will be cleansed of all evil; nothing will defile us in any way.

Titus 2:13-14 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."

Very soon now, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will return to us to judge all of mankind and even angels. We should be anxious for His return and zealous to do all that He has asked of us. He has given us a divine commission to preach the Gospel and make the free gift of eternal life available to all men, women and children throughout the entire world. We must imitate His laid down life and make certain that we are totally righteous in all that we think, say and do.

If the earth is to survive, then human beings must change. We have to develop new mindsets and habits that promote freedom and justice for all. We can no longer be selfish and greedy, or focused on our own needs. We are not alone in this world; men everywhere have the privilege of life and liberty. We must follow all of the commandments and develop a genuine love for God and for others. We should think like God thinks, and implement His will for our lives.

He may have us share what we have with others, so we eradicate all poverty and lack. He might ask us to heal the sick and cast out demons, so that men will know the truth and be set free, as we are. Perhaps we will challenge all world governments and eliminate social injustice. We have to abolish wars, violence and conflict, and correct the inequity that exists between the nations. We must be other-directed, so that the basic needs of all mankind are completely satisfied.

God's Relationship With Man

Psalm 24:1 "The earth [is] the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein."

Man owes God everything that we are and everything that we have. He created each and every one of us to be His intimate companion. As if that weren't enough, He placed us in paradise on the earth. When we messed that up, He developed a perfect plan to redeem us and restore us to right standing with Him, so that He could bless our lives, as He always intended to do. We have been given every conceivable opportunity to get it right, yet we still continue to make mistakes.

When that occurs we have God's gift of grace. He shows us unconditional love, mercy and compassion and permits us to repent from our sins and turn towards Him once again. If we are sincere, He even blots our transgression from His memory and reinstates all of our blessings, as if we had never fallen short of His glory. The Lord does everything in His power to foster His relationship with us. Man is the one who is rebellious and careless about his fellowship with God.

Many of us shut Him out of our lives and act as if we will never see reprisals for our misbehavior. Our personal integrity is lacking and we have no clear-cut moral or spiritual guidelines that motivate us. We follow the ways of the world and our fleshly appetites often overpower us. We worship material things instead of our Creator, and spend little, if any time at all, contemplating our fate for all eternity. However, there is a day of reckoning to come on the entire earth.

It will one day be too late to repent of all our unrighteousness. The Lord will be forced to abandon us to our own devices, if we continue to be deliberately rebellious and evil. He will have no choice but to permit us to be condemned to eternal punishment. Sin is sin, and it requires a payback. If we refuse to believe in Christ and repent of all our wrongdoing, we will share our fate with all sinners in the lake of fire. There will be no more second chances given to men or angels.

Amos 5:14 "Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken."

We have been given every possible advantage in our relationship with almighty God. He has endowed us with divine characteristics and attributes, so that we can become more like Him in every way. We have all the vast resources of the universe at our disposal, and all that we must do is ask the Lord for His help and all of our needs will be met in abundance. He takes particular delight in our relationship with Him, and yet we often turn our backs on our Creator, as if He did not even exist.

We walk a thin line between blessings and curses. If we continue to refuse God's input in our lives, we will eventually self-destruct. The Lord will never impose Himself on us. He has given us free will and He will never override that. He loves us enough to permit us to be eternally punished, if that is what we choose. He cannot abide with evil and He will sadly, but surely, banish us from His presence if we fail to repent of sin and change our ways. The choice is entirely up to us.

We are without excuse. We know what the Lord expects of us. He wants us to communicate with Him and adopt His way of doing things as our own. He is consummate love and He desires that we love Him and love others, as we do ourselves. He wants us to be humble and sincere in our walk with Him and righteous in all we think, say and do. We can never disobey His commandments and hope to be acceptable in His eyes. He expects us to be obedient and to cooperate with His plans.

We are created in God's very own image and likeness, but we cannot be proud and arrogant about our relationship with Him. We should never try to take advantage of our position and deliberately transgress His laws. He insists that we remember that He alone reserves the right to determine who is righteous and who is not. The Lord will judge each of us with fairness and justice one day very soon. None of us will escape His scrutiny, nor persuade Him to lower His perfect standards.

Psalm 33:8-12 "Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was [done]; he commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed [is] the nation whose God [is] the LORD; [and] the people [whom] he hath chosen for his own inheritance."

God loves us with a deep, abiding love, but He never sets Himself up to be our "buddy." We should have a reverential fear of Him at all times, and accord Him all the deference and respect that He deserves. He is our Creator and the source of all good things in our lives, but He is not foolish. He will not be mocked; He can spot a phony very readily. The Lord abhors hypocrites. We cannot talk the talk, but refuse to walk in His ways. He alone sees the inner man of the heart and can determine who is sincere.

If we fail to repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be eternally punished. There is no other way that we can be reconciled with God, except through a sincere faith in His Son and all that He did for us. We must appropriate the righteousness of Christ and be baptized in His name. When we do this, our minds are renewed in the truth and our behavior is transformed. We become diligent to obey all the Lord's commandments and walk in love, as He intends us to do.

The Lord can overlook human frailty and a natural tendency to temptation and sin. If we repent of our weakness, He is quick to forgive us. But He will never close His eyes to deliberate disobedience and open rebellion. He insists on peace and stability in our affairs. He established His laws, so that there would be order in our relationships with Him and with others. His commandments are not burdensome; they were intended for our own good. He will not tolerate violation of any of His moral absolutes.

Total disorder and depravity result from men who ignore God's laws. He has all the details of our lives planned out to perfection. If we consult Him, we will make fewer mistakes with lasting repercussions. If we take the time to talk to Him and listen to His guidance and direction, we will never fail. He is always approachable and takes pleasure in the fact that we want and need His advice. The Lord will never let us down. He has promised to be with us in all that we do; He will never leave or forsake us.

What Does God Expect of Us?

1Corinthians 3:18-19 "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness."

The world is in chaos and confusion, darkness and deception right now, because man has set himself up as God. We have misused our power and authority for evil and engineered our own fate. We fail to remember that we are not the creators of the universe. We need God's perfect standards to keep us on an even keel, so we do not hurt others or ourselves. We need His active assistance in guiding our lives, so that we remain in right relationship with one another and avoid destruction of the human race.

Men must also learn to be good stewards of the earth and all of its many resources. We cannot greedily consume its beauty and bounty and expect it to remain in total balance. We dare not violate natural laws and hope to stay in dominion over our environment. Our perfect world has gone awry, because we have tampered with the creation and exceeded our own authority. We need the Lord to teach us how to set things right once again, or our planet will be stripped of its assets and left totally devastated.

We cannot be wise in our own eyes. The wisdom of the world is foolishness with God. He is not the least impressed with our education, intelligence or human reasoning. We are all too often in error and we make horrible mistakes that jeopardize His people and the earth itself. He has no patience for those who operate in worldly ways. Their knowledge is incomplete and faulty at best. We desperately need to know God's input for every area of our lives or we will suffer dire consequences that affect all mankind.

Micah 6:8 "He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"

The Lord speaks to each and every one of us, but we often fail to listen to Him. We inherently know the truth and what He expects of us. He wants us to be fair and just in our dealings with others and to demonstrate spiritual maturity and moral integrity in all that we do. He wants us to be at peace with all men and to forgive and forget all wrongs done to us. God expects us to walk in uncompromising love and righteousness at all times, and to show mercy and compassion to one another, as He does with us.

If we keep all of His commandments, we can be assured that we are on the right track. If we violate any of His moral absolutes, that would be a transgression that requires our repentance and His forgiveness. We cannot ever deliberately break God's law and remain innocent in His eyes. We must repent from the heart, renounce all our sins, and correct our behavior or face permanent separation from Him. The Lord cannot abide with evil, and the man that is purposely rebellious will always be cursed instead of blessed.

Our God hates pride and arrogance. We can never ever take advantage of our relationship with Him. He will exalt the humble, but debase those who are haughty in spirit. He prefers those who are pure in heart, contrite and sincere. He will glorify those who remember that He alone is God, and maintain deference and respect for Him. He is not impressed by pretended piety, religious activities or ceremonial rites and rituals. He is only interested in the inner man of the heart, who seeks to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

Isaiah 57:15 "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones."

It is comparatively easy to have a strong, positive relationship with our God. All we must do is show Him the respect that He deserves; genuinely love Him and one another; and keep all of His commandments. When we do make a mistake, we should repent from the heart, and He will be quick to forgive and restore us to our right standing with Him just as before.

We can walk in all of His blessings, if we maintain close fellowship with the Lord. He is not distant or unapproachable, as some may think. He is ever ready to hear from us and satisfy all of our needs – both spiritual and temporal. The Lord takes particular delight in providing for His people. He has a Father's heart, and will withhold no good thing from us.

Our God has promised never to leave us or forsake us regardless of what happens. He is interested in even the most minute details of our lives. He stands ready to hear from us, and He will give us all that we require to be healthy, happy and successful in this life and in the Kingdom to come. We are the children of God Himself, His very own sons and daughters.

He is our life source and our total provision. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. We need almighty God to teach us His ways and empower us to fulfill our divine destinies. He will spare us from the wrath to come and gather us to Himself for all of eternity. The entire earth belongs to us and we will learn to take proper dominion over it, as we are ordained to do.

Psalm 115:16 "The heaven, [even] the heavens, [are] the LORD'S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men."

This world that we live in was specifically designed to meet all of our needs and give us pleasure. But much has gone wrong; we see darkness and destruction waiting to overtake us if we are not vigilant. The Lord has a perfect plan in mind for the future of all mankind. He will soon restore all that has been taken from us and set things right once again. He has given dominion over creation to men, and He needs us to do our part in correcting the current imbalance that exists.

We have to adopt God's ways as our very own and there will be order and stability in this world, as He always intended. We must actively work to correct the social injustice that exists and promote peace with all men wherever possible. We have to be better stewards of our environment. We cannot keep depleting our natural resources and contaminating our home with man-made wastes. We have to be more careful and conservative in the use of the earth's beauty and bounty.

If we fail to embrace better mindsets and change our behavior, we will ultimately self-destruct. We cannot purposely ignore God's laws and hope to be rescued from the consequences of our bad decisions. He will not ever intervene on this planet unless we ask Him. The heavens are His, but the earth He has given to mankind. We have the ultimate responsibility to correct our mistakes. We cannot continue as we have been, or there will be serious repercussions for our actions.

Consequences for Rebellion

Isaiah 1:2 "Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me."

We should never forget that the Lord was compelled to remove man totally off the face of the entire earth in times past. The flood of Noah's day is no myth or fable. Almighty God will put up with just so much rebellion on the part of mankind, and then He will sovereignly move to correct the situation. He is not mocked; He will not tolerate evil to exist indefinitely. He will always respond to it.

Fortunately for us, the Lord vowed to Noah that He would never again punish mankind by floodwaters. However, He did not say that He would sit back and let all hell break loose on the earth either. He will not permit His creation to be destroyed by man; He will take measures to correct the imbalance that currently exists. There are a people after the Lord's own heart who will operate in His stead.

They are literally His very own sons and daughters, who will take back the earth and everything in it for the everlasting Kingdom of God. No wickedness will be permitted to overcome the world and its inhabitants. The Lord will move through His people who are called by His name to set matters straight. So too, His Son, Jesus Christ, will soon return to rectify the situation and utterly abolish all evil.

No one who deliberately defiles this world or harms God's people will be tolerated. The Lord will punish all wrongdoers in the eternal lake of fire. He will rescue those who are humble, contrite and sincere and gather them to Himself for all of eternity. The Kingdom of God is reserved for His saints who are loving and righteous, diligent to follow all of His commandments and fulfill His express will.

Galatians 6:7-9 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

There are serious consequences for deliberate wickedness and disobedience. We place ourselves under a self-imposed curse. God is not obligated to provide blessings for those who are lawless and evil in all their ways. He will, rather, permit them to go their own way and ultimately destroy themselves. He loves us enough to permit us to make our own choices, whether they be good or bad ones.

Our free will is inviolate. The Lord created us with the capability of choosing how we would conduct ourselves in this life. We are all subject to a test. If we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit, we will reap blessings now and in the Kingdom to come. However, if we choose to be selfish and shortsighted, we will be found lacking, and the Lord will be compelled to reject us for unrighteousness.

All of us will soon face a fair and equitable judgment, to determine if we will receive eternal rewards or lasting punishment. If we choose to walk in God's ways and obey all of His commandments, we will be found righteous and inherit many blessings, now and in the Kingdom to come. But if we purposely choose evil, we will reap what we sow, and be banished to the lake of fire for all eternity.

We are without excuse. We have had every opportunity to turn towards God, repent of our unrighteousness and appropriate the blessings for our faith in His beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Yet many of us still go it alone and refuse to do things God's way. We are destined to eternal condemnation for our very ignorance and rebellion. The Lord will have no alternative but to abandon us to our own devices.

Psalm 82:5 "They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course."

Our sin is finally catching up with us. We have to wake up before it is too late. We cannot close our eyes to what is happening all around us and continue to make excuses for the evil that we see. There is war and conflict running rampant on the earth. Poverty and lack are causing problems for much of the world's population. We are sick and dying and there seems to be no end to the misery we see all around us.

We hate one another without cause and envy those who have more than we do. We lie, cheat and steal and have no moral guidelines that we follow. We have substituted dead religion for a personal relationship with the one, true, living God. We make excuses for our evil thoughts and bad behavior, claiming ignorance. We blame almighty God, the devil, and one another for all that is happening on the earth.

If we continue as we have been and steadfastly refuse God's way of doing things, we will be doomed to total disaster. We cannot even comprehend a world without His benevolent intervention on our behalf. However, He is not obligated to reward sin with blessings. If He lifts His mighty hand off of our lives, we will be utterly destroyed. We dare not tempt God to sovereignly act at this point in time, or He will!

Satan's Influence on the Earth

1Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"

The devil is a real adversary; his name now is Satan. He is a fallen angel of the highest order, an archangel who rebelled against God and was consequently cast out of heaven. He hates mankind with a vengeance, because we are created in God's very own image and likeness to have an intimate relationship with Him for all of eternity. The devil tempted Adam and Eve to sin in the Garden of Eden and stole their dominion over the earth. He influenced them to disobey God and forfeit all their rights and privileges.

It took the Son of God, Jesus Christ, to destroy the works of the devil and totally defeat him for all time. Christ made an open show of him when He went to the cross, died and rose again from the dead. He willingly laid down His life, so that all men could be set free and inherit eternal life. Satan would never have permitted Jesus to be crucified if he would have known of the lasting repercussions. Christ took back all power on the earth and gave it to His followers, so that we could overcome the devil.

We who believe in Christ are more than conquerors. We are victorious over all evil, and we will assist Him in taking back the entire world for the Kingdom of God. Satan is already a defeated foe. All we must do is reinforce what Jesus did at Calvary. We must appropriate our divine power and authority that was given to us by God Himself when He created man, and seize our dominion on the earth once again. Our enemy no longer has permission to wreak havoc in our lives unless we give him access by sinning.

James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

We open the door to the devil and all his misery when we deliberately sin and transgress God's laws. We give him a legal right of entry to our lives when we rebel in any way. If we are disobedient to the Lord or step out of love, Satan can and will come at us with a vengeance. We must remember that his goal is to steal, kill and destroy us, because God loves us.

The enemy comes at our minds, wills and emotions. He attempts to bring pain and suffering on us through sickness and disease. He plants doubt in our minds and often blinds us to the truth, even when we know better. He causes strife and division among men, and knows that if he can separate us from God and from one another then he can be victorious in our lives.

But the devil's power over us is only an illusion. Christ defeated him for all time. His influence is not that strong that we cannot avoid his temptation to sin. We know the truth. If we submit ourselves to God and walk in His ways, we will be spared from harm. The Lord will deliver us from all evil and gather us to Himself in His everlasting Kingdom on this earth.

If we fight back against the devil, he will flee from us. He knows the source of our power and authority. He has total respect for God and will not cross the line. He has already been vanquished from heaven and he knows that his days here are also numbered. It is only a matter of time until the Lord, Jesus Christ, casts him and all of his minions into the bottomless pit.

Ephesians 6:12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]."

We should not be in conflict with one another; our real enemy is not flesh and blood. It is the devil who is out to steal, kill and destroy us. We are not wrestling with man, but with a high-powered spirit being that hates us with a passion because God loves us. The best Satan can do is tempt and oppress us. He blinds our minds to sin and interferes in our relationships with God and others. However, he is a defeated foe.

Man has a continuous challenge in this life. Will we choose good or evil? Both decisions have lasting consequences that impact all of eternity. We cannot be on the fence in any way. The days are short. We are rapidly approaching the consummation of all things and we will all face judgment for our acts in the flesh. If we have been obedient and kept God's commandments, we will spend all of eternity with Him.

Conversely, if we have transgressed His laws, been selfish, stubborn and rebellious, we will perish. If we continuously fail to repent and renounce our sin, we will be expelled from the Lord's presence and denied entry into His everlasting Kingdom of God on the earth. We will have our share in the lake of fire with all other wrongdoers. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth by all those who are eternally punished.

1Kings 5:4 "But now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side, [so that there is] neither adversary nor evil occurrent."

If we are committed to righteousness and love in our walk with God, then we will be protected from all evil. Our adversary, the devil, cannot touch us unless we give him legal entry to our lives by sinning. If we renounce all sin and keep all of the commandments, we are assured of favor with God. He provides for and protects His children at all costs. No evil will dare to come near us or risk His wrath.

We have grace with God; He is ever merciful and compassionate to the struggles we face in our spirits, souls and bodies. He will not permit us to be tempted beyond our ability to escape. He assigns legions of ministering angels to assist us in our spiritual battles against the enemy. So too, He expects us to rise up in His divine power and authority and take dominion over Satan and all works of darkness.

In the days to come, the people of God will overcome all evil with good. We will walk just as Jesus Christ did on the earth and cast out demons that tempt men to sin. There will be no more oppression of mankind. We will be delivered from all bondage to evil and defeat the devil for all time. Satan's days on the earth are now numbered and he will soon be cast into the bottomless pit with all of his cohorts.

1John 3:10 "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother."

We must face facts. There are children of God and children of the devil. They are easily distinguished from one another. Those who are righteous and walk in God's ways are His very own sons and daughters. However, those who are deliberately rebellious and committed to evil are children of Satan himself. As the Day of the Lord approaches, it will become increasingly easier to see the difference between the two. The righteous always shine with the light of God's glory.

Those who walk in love and keep all of the commandments are dedicated to the living God. The evil one does not touch them. They are fully protected from all harm by the Lord Himself. Those who are evil are open prey for the enemy. He is not concerned for their welfare. He is out to steal, kill and totally destroy the human race off the face of the earth. He rejoices when men sin, so they follow him to perdition. He wants us all estranged from our God, if at all possible.

There is an ongoing battle between good and evil that cannot be disregarded. We must know who we are and whom we serve at all times. We cannot have it both ways. We either serve God or Satan, one or the other. Our thoughts, words and actions tell the truth about us. We are known by our fruit. If we walk in love and righteousness, our future is guaranteed to be a bright one. But if we deliberately choose evil, then we are doomed to eternal punishment in the lake of fire.

The Lord's Response to Evil

Psalm 34:16 "The face of the LORD [is] against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth."

It may seem a paradox to some that God loves us so much, but would allow us to be destroyed for our wickedness. Unfortunately, we tie His hands. Our rebellion builds walls between us that He cannot and will not penetrate. He has given man free will and will not impose Himself on us or violate our freedom in any way. He will, instead, permit us to choose our own future – with or without Him in it.

The Lord is the source of all good; He cannot abide wickedness of any kind. He is holy and perfect and just in all His ways. Contact with evil would only defile Him. He will not compel us to repent and change the direction of our lives. That is totally up to us. If we want a relationship with Him, with all its attending benefits, then we must purposely choose to walk in His ways and keep His commandments.

This is an "all or nothing" proposition. We cannot have it both ways. We cannot choose worldliness over godliness, and hope to prosper and be blessed. The two are exclusive of one another. We must make the life-changing decision to forego all of our carnal desires and selfishness of the soul and adopt God's ways as our own. It is definitely possible to restore our relationship with Him before it is too late.

Isaiah 8:22 "And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and [they shall be] driven to darkness."

If we fail to correct our mistakes or are unwilling to be obedient to the Lord, we will be driven into total darkness. The Lord will be unable to rescue us from our plight. That would violate His own standards of justice. Sin is sin and it requires payback. The penalty for sin is death. There is nothing that we can do in our own strength to prevent the inevitable. If we forsake our God, He will abandon us to our own devices and we will suffer dire consequences for our actions.

He will be greatly saddened for the loss of His children, but He cannot and will not alter His decision. He will allow us to go to perdition and be totally destroyed for our sinfulness. One day very soon, it will be too late to change our fate. The Lord is not obligated to put up with evil for any longer than He chooses. As it is, He is infinitely merciful, compassionate and patient with His creation. It is not His will that any human being perishes for lack of knowledge in the truth.

The Lord will never permit the earth and all of its inhabitants to be extinguished ever again. We live in a world without end, and there will be a remnant of believers who choose to obey the Lord and follow all of His commandments. They will be a people after His own heart, who were called by His name from the foundation of the world. They will walk in His ways and be blessed for all eternity, because they choose to believe the truth and seek His guidance and direction.

Hebrews 12:26-27 "Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this [word], Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain."

Our God has waited for thousands of years for mankind to turn to Him and repent of all evil. He sees all the suffering and pain that we have endured for our sins and He is anxious to set matters straight and redeem us for all time. His earnest desire is to gather us into the everlasting Kingdom of God; provide all of our needs; and be a Father to us, as He always intended to be.

The Lord wants to spare us from the consequences of sin and restore our intimate relationship with Him. But He cannot do that without our total cooperation. He will not force us to love and believe in Him. He will make salvation available to each of us, but our free will is inviolate. He is shaking us up – one at a time – and calling out to us with His love, mercy and compassion.

Some of us will hear His voice and be touched by it, to the point that we make a mid-course correction in our lives and choose to believe the truth. Others will continue as they have been, ignoring God as if He did not even exist. Still others will straddle the fence, with one foot in the world and the other reaching for immortality. Only God knows who will respond and who will not.

There is a full number of souls that must be gathered in before heaven is brought to the earth realm in the Kingdom of God. When the Gospel is finally preached to every man, woman and child in every nation of the world, then it will be time for the Lord to act. He will send His Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth for a second time to destroy all evil and to establish His Kingdom reign.

Psalm 96:10-13 "Say among the heathen [that] the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that [is] therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth."

We cannot ignore God's advances or we will be doomed to utter destruction. This is our last chance; the days are short and there is judgment coming on the entire earth. Christ will soon return to scrutinize men and even angels. All of heaven and earth will be united in Him as He sets up His Kingdom on the earth. No one will escape judgment; it will be just, final and permanent.

The Son of God will judge the living and the dead, all the nations of the world, to determine who deserves eternal rewards and who will be punished. Those who have been rebellious will be excluded from His Kingdom and cast into the lake of fire. There will be no second chances given to anyone. It will soon be too late to correct our mistakes and repent of all our transgression.

Our eternal fate lies in the balance. We must decide now whom we will serve. We can follow Satan, the god of this world, or repent of our evil ways and seek the one and only, true God. We cannot have it both ways. There is no such thing as just a little sin; all evil has its lasting penalties. Unless we are totally obedient and walk in love, we are destined for eternal punishment.

Faith in Jesus Christ has its privileges and corresponding responsibilities. We cannot waver in our faith or deviate from the Lord's absolute standards. He will not tolerate compromise in His people. We must adhere to all His commandments; treat one another with dignity and respect; and fulfill His perfectwill for our lives. The future of all mankind is dependent on our cooperation.

The Fate of the World

Psalm 93:1 "The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, [wherewith] he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved."

We live in a world without end; it will not be totally destroyed, as some seem to believe. The Lord's eternal redemption plan has made provision for all contingencies. He will rectify everything that has gone wrong since the original creation and establish mankind on the earth. We will be fully redeemed from all of our iniquity and delivered from our carelessness and bad judgment, so the Lord is glorified in us.

The people of God will take back the entire earth and refurbish it according to the express will of our Creator. We will command plants and animals to be in harmony with one another. The climate itself will be temperate and predictable. We will reverse the effects of all water, air and soil pollution. There will be no more natural catastrophes that cause damage to the planet or threaten our well-being in any way.

If we do our part in all of this, the Lord will do His, as well. He will not destroy mankind ever again. He will remember His covenant of peace with our forefathers and make good on all of His promises to us. He will gather us to Himself in the Kingdom of God and establish righteousness and peace on the earth for all of eternity. He will also restore the entire world and everything in it to its original beauty and balance.

The Lord will actually come and take up residence on the earth, so that we can be together with Him, as He has always desired. He will be a God to us and we will be His people. He will meet all of our needs in abundance, even before we ask Him. He will change our very bodies to be like that of His Son, Jesus Christ, and eliminate all disease and death. He will protect us from all evil and keep us safe and secure.

Psalm 22:27 "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee."

Man will partner with the Lord in the days that lie ahead and take back the entire earth for the Kingdom of God. There will be no more threats of devastation and destruction. The world itself will be rescued from evil and all of its repercussions. Men's hearts will soon be softened, so that they learn to dwell together in love, peace and unity with one another as brothers.

Believers will preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to all the nations of the world, so that men can be set free in the truth. We will baptize all those who are repentant in the name of Jesus Christ, and win many souls in the end-time harvest. We will worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth, and give Him thanks, honor and praise for all that He has done for His people.

There will be no more threats of war, violence, conflict and bloodshed. The entire world will be at peace because all wrong doers will be expelled to the eternal lake of fire. Poverty and lack will be a thing of the past. The people of God will inherit all the wealth of the universe and be quick to share it with others. Mankind will no longer have to struggle to survive.

We will be gathered into the everlasting Kingdom of God for all of eternity. The Lord will boast of us to all creation as His very own sons and daughters. He will provide all our needs in abundance. We will all know the Lord, from the least to the greatest of us. His laws will be written on our minds and in our hearts and we will never be separated from Him ever again.

Jeremiah 51:15 "He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heaven by his understanding."

Our Creator is still in charge of the universe. Although it appears that things are going from bad to worse, there is an awesome deity of infinite wisdom and power that is in control of even the most minute details of our existence. If we acknowledge Him as our God and adopt His ways as our very own, we will see miraculous results throughout the whole world.

Mankind will soon be at peace with God and with one another. There will be no more needless violence or bloodshed. Fairness, equity and justice will prevail. There will be no social injustice. There will be no more poverty and lack, nor pain and suffering of any kind. We will all eventually learn to be righteous and loving or be expelled from the Kingdom of God.

Heaven itself will come to the earth realm and there will never be a separation between God and man ever again. We will all know His laws and worship Him in Spirit and in truth, as He desires. We will keep all of His sabbaths and perpetual feast days and go up to Jerusalem to celebrate. The Lord will boast of us to all of creation as His very own sons and daughters.

The Kingdom of God will be the spectacular culmination of the Lord's eternal redemption plan for His people. It will be an idyllic environment for both God and man. We are going back to the original creation in the Garden of Eden, but there will be no downside whatsoever this time. The Lord will protect us from all evil and gather us to Himself for all of eternity.

Topics for Discussion

1. The Creation
2. A Brilliant Rescue Plan
3. God's Relationship With Man
4. Consequences for Rebellion
5. Satan's Influence on the Earth
6. The Lord's Response to Evil
7. The Fate of the World

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