The Future of our Planet
Many people today wonder what the future of our planet is. There is widespread anxiety about the financial situation, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, the environment, social disorder, and violence. Any number of world situations could suddenly tip us over into a frightening new crisis which either creates chaos and anarchy or a dictatorial government with huge technical resources at its disposal to control the population.
Today we see events shaping up for the time of great trouble prophesied by the Lord for the last days of this age:
This crisis will come to an end with the return of Jesus the Messiah. This event will not be the end of the world, but the end of this age and the beginning of God’s New Age. (Note the Authorised Version of the Bible translates the question the disciples ask about Jesus’ second coming as
However, the word translated ‘world’ here is ‘aeon’ which can also be translated ‘age’ as it is generally done in modern versions. I believe the words that follow are Jesus’ description of what will happen at the end of this age, not the end of the world.)
When Jesus returns, He will take control of the world and rule it directly from the restored temple in Jerusalem (Revelation 20, Ezekiel 40-48). The devil who is responsible for all the sin and misery of this age will be cast into the abyss from where he will be unable to continue to deceive the nations (Revelation 20.1-3). According to Revelation this rule of the Messiah on earth will last 1000 years (note ‘Millennium’ means 1000 years):
This corresponds to the words in the Hebrew Prophets concerning the Messianic kingdom age. One of the best known passages on this subject is Isaiah 2.1-4:
This is one of many passages in the Hebrew prophets which speak of a time of peace and justice on earth and the world rule of the Messiah. It corresponds to passages in the New Testament which speak of the Second Coming of Jesus. If you take a literal view of the Bible, there must be such a time on the earth following the physical return of the Lord Jesus to the earth.
What Biblical Prophesy tells us
Jesus’ first coming
According to the book of Revelation this present age will end with a time of great trouble on the earth and the final battle at Armageddon. Then Jesus will return with all the power of God at His disposal. This coming will be entirely different from His first coming when He came to fulfil the prophecies of the suffering servant Messiah by laying down his life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. The best known passage on this subject is Isaiah 53 which prophesies the sufferings of the Messiah:
Jesus fulfilled this prophecy and many others at His first coming. For details on this go to our article https://messiahfactor.com/messianic-prophecies/ or send for the article in print form. He came to be born as child, a Son descended from King David, to live a perfect life without sin, and to demonstrate His divine power through His miracles. He was rejected and put to death on the cross where he took the sins of the world upon himself. He rose again from the dead and sent out his disciples to preach the message of the Gospel, that sins are forgiven through repentance and faith in his death on the cross. Those who accept this salvation are born again and will be resurrected to eternal life and saved from hell.
He promised that He would come a second time in an event which will demonstrate the supernatural power of God and bring a total change to the earth. In Acts 1.11 the angel told the disciples:
Jesus’ second coming
Jesus ascended in the ‘clouds of heaven’ (the glory of God) so He will return in the clouds of heaven (Daniel 7.13). He ascended from the Mount of Olives on the east side of Jerusalem, so He will return to the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14.3-4). He will come as the Reigning King Messiah of Hebrew prophecy. ‘The government will be upon His shoulder’ and He will reign as ‘the mighty God’ upon the throne of David (Isaiah 9.6-7).
At his first coming, He submitted to the unjust rule of wicked men who put Him to death by crucifixion. At His second coming the wicked will submit to His judgement (Revelation 6.15-16).
He will make war with the armies gathered by the beast (Antichrist) and false prophet in the final battle and defeat them, throwing the beast and the false prophet straight into hell (Revelation 19.19-21). The survivors of the tribulation period will be gathered before Him for the judgement of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25). Israel too will be judged in like manner as prophesied in Ezekiel 20.33-44. At this time, the wicked will be cast off the earth into the place of punishment. The righteous will enter into the kingdom (Matthew 25.31-46) and repopulate the world, having children in the normal way (Isaiah 11.6-8, 65.20, Zechariah 8.4-5). The devil will be bound
The saints in Christ Jesus
When Jesus returns, the saints will be with Him (in New Testament terms ‘saints’ simply means those who are redeemed). In Zechariah 14.5 we read,
Jude 1.14 says,
In Revelation 19, John sees Jesus coming as ‘KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS’.
‘And the armies in heaven clothed in fine linen white and clean followed him.’ Revelation 19.14.
Those clothed in fine linen white and clean have already been identified in the chapter as ‘saints’ (Revelation 19.8).
So those who have been redeemed through the blood of Jesus in the present age will come back with the Lord in glorified bodies and reign with Him in the renewed earth of the Millennial period. The people who will take part in this glorious event are those who have been taken to be with the Lord at their death or at the Rapture of the Church:
They will have new eternal bodies (1 Corinthians 15.53-54) not subject to death or decay.
He will also resurrect those who were martyred for their faith during the tribulation period.
This means that those who came to believe in Jesus during the tribulation after the rapture of the church will also be resurrected, and reign with Jesus in the Messianic kingdom.
The redeemed of Israel / the Old Testament period will also be resurrected:
The millennial Kingdom
Following the return of the Messiah and the judgement of the wicked, the Lord will reign over the earth bringing a period of universal peace and prosperity. In the passage from Isaiah 2 already quoted in this article, the Bible says that the nations will go up to hear the word of the Lord in Zion, streaming to the Lord’s temple rebuilt on Mount Zion which will be lifted up above the other hills around Jerusalem. They will seek the Lord and walk in His ways. This implies a total change from the present world situation in which the overwhelming majority scoff and reject God’s word and walk in their own ways to destruction. There will also be a total change in how they relate to one another. Instead of war and hostility there will a peace settlement between all nations – including the currently intractable Middle East situation.
Isaiah 2.4 tells us there will be an end to all weapons production and military training. All this will happen because the word of the Lord will go out from Zion.
The Lord Himself will be there to judge between the nations and settle their disputes. Psalm 2.9, Isaiah 11.4 and Revelation 19.15 say that He will rule the nations with a ‘rod of iron’ – in other words they won’t be able to vote him out of power or start making weapons of war or doing drugs or pornography or anything else that is evil in the eyes of the Lord. This will be a benevolent rule which will be for the welfare and provision of all the peoples on the earth.
The redeemed of Israel will be gathered to the land of Israel and dwell there in safety.
What changes can we expect?
The Lord will bring about change in the natural world as the desert blossoms (Isaiah 35) and the waters of the Dead Sea are healed and become fresh, teaming with fish (Ezekiel 47). Even the animal kingdom will change as
There will be abundant provision for all:
Do these prophesies make sense?
Such miraculous changes can only come about through the power of God. No great man can accomplish these things, so the Messiah who will do them must be more than a great man. He must be Immanuel / God with us. This conflicts with rabbinic teaching on the Messiah which says that he is a great man who brings Israel to keep the Torah and walk in the ways of God and brings peace to the nations. However, for the kind of changes the Prophets describe taking place in the Messianic Age, the Messiah must be more than a great man, He must be a divine person. A number of prophecies in the Hebrew Bible equate the reigning King Messiah with God.
This raises an issue of God as a plural unity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) as opposed to God as an absolute unity of one. There is evidence in the Hebrew text of the Bible that God is a plural unity so that it is possible for the Father to be reigning in heaven while the Son is reigning on the earth
For more on this see our article ‘Messiah a great man or a divine person’ https://messiahfactor.com/messiah-a-great-man-or-a-divine-person
(Also available in print form on request)
The prophecy of Zechariah 14 speaks of the coming of the Messiah and shows that the One who will reign is the LORD (Adonai / Yahweh). It says,
The word used for LORD here is the Hebrew term Yahweh which is only used of God. So, the LORD will stand with feet on the Mount of Olives (and the rest of a body!) and be king over all the earth. A number of other prophets speak of the Lord being present in the midst of His people.
During this time all idols and false religions will be abolished (Isaiah 2.17) and there will only be one LORD and one way to worship Him (and one universal language – Hebrew).
How can peace be achieved? And what about evil?
As people praise and walk in the ways of the God who made them, they will know peace and harmony and the ‘earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’ (Isaiah 11.9). There will be a good one world government and one world faith in one God.
During this time children will be born in the normal way to the survivors of the tribulation who go into the Millennium. Long life will be the norm, but sin and death will still be a possibility (though not for those who have previously been resurrected and come back with the Lord in glorified bodies):
Because Satan is bound and unable to deceive the nations during the 1000 years and the Lord Jesus is ruling the nations, the ability to sin will be very limited. But at the end of the 1000-year period:
Those who are rebelling against the reign of the Messiah will join Satan in his final rebellion against the LORD at the end of this period. This futile rebellion will end in complete defeat for Satan and all who join with him.
This will be the end of the world as this earth is burned up and God creates a new heaven and new earth in which there will be righteousness. Satan and sinners will have no access (Revelation 21.22-27). All saved believers in the Lord will be taken to this new Jerusalem (Revelation 21-22). All unsaved will be thrown into the lake of fire at the Great White Throne judgement of Revelation 20.11-15. This will lead to the eternal state for believers and unbelievers alike – with only two possible destinies – heaven and hell.
Now is the day of salvation. Yeshua / Jesus the Messiah is coming back soon. Avoid hell by accepting Jesus as Saviour now so that you will have a part to play in His glorious coming Kingdom.