Bible Prophecy and You: A Glimpse Into Your Eternal Future

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Bible Prophecy and You

A Glimpse Into Your Eternal Future

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Bible Prophecy and You: A Glimpse Into Your Eternal Future

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Welcome to the last lesson in the “Bible Prophecy and You” series, in which we peer even further into eternity!

In previous lessons we covered the Millennium, which begins at the second coming of Christ. During that 1,000 years of peace and prosperity, humanity, under the leadership of Jesus Christ and the spirit family of God, will make thorough preparations for the second resurrection.

We then explored how the many billions of people who have never received the knowledge of salvation will be raised in the second resurrection to live through the Great White Throne Judgment period, during which time they will have their opportunity to repent and be converted and accept the gift of eternal life.

In this lesson, we pick up the story from there.

What will take place after the Great White Throne Judgment? As Peter said, we “look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:13 2 Peter 3:13Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.
American King James Version×
). What will this be like? The Bible does indeed give us glimpses into our glorious eternal future!

Let’s compare our spiritual journey to the story of Abraham. The patriarch Abraham and his wife Sarah are role models of faith and long-range vision—vision of the next life in a city prepared for them by God (Hebrews 11:10 Hebrews 11:10For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
American King James Version×
).

Abram (whose name was changed to Abraham) grew up in a pagan culture. It seems he was wealthy and had a comfortable life (Genesis 11:31 Genesis 11:31And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son's son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram's wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran, and dwelled there.
American King James Version×
). But he came to understand there is only one God, the Creator, and God gave him a very special calling. God told him to leave his comfortable life behind and become a nomad. Abraham responded with living faith—faith that is demonstrated by obedience to God—and thus became “the friend of God” (James 2:20-24 James 2:20-24 [20] But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? [21] Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son on the altar? [22] See you how faith worked with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? [23] And the scripture was fulfilled which said, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. [24] You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
American King James Version×
).

“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:8-10 Hebrews 11:8-10 [8] By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he went. [9] By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: [10] For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
American King James Version×
).

All the great examples of faith “died in faith, not having [yet] received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland” (Hebrews 11:13-14 Hebrews 11:13-14 [13] These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. [14] For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
American King James Version×
).

Abraham’s story has many important lessons for all of us. Above all, our short, temporary human life should be used as a preparation time for the next life. Godly people should think of themselves as foreigners in this evil world, who by faith “seek a homeland”—eternal life in the Kingdom of God!

Someday, the suffering of this life will seem a very small sacrifice!

Someday—after living for thousands or millions of years—we will look back at all human suffering as what the apostle Paul called “our light affliction” that was “but for a moment” and “working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17 2 Corinthians 4:17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
American King James Version×
, emphasis added throughout).

We may think of it as the dark of night just before the dawn of a new day. In fact, speaking of the returning Jesus Christ, the prophet Malachi was inspired to write, “The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings” (Malachi 4:2 Malachi 4:2But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
American King James Version×
).

And the Bible several times compares the birth or deliverance of a nation following suffering to the joy of childbirth after the labor pains leading up to it (Micah 4:9-10 Micah 4:9-10 [9] Now why do you cry out aloud? is there no king in you? is your counselor perished? for pangs have taken you as a woman in travail. [10] Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shall you go forth out of the city, and you shall dwell in the field, and you shall go even to Babylon; there shall you be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem you from the hand of your enemies.
American King James Version×
). Compare that with the trials of our physical lives being followed by the greatest joy of all: receiving ultimate new life—a glorious and eternal spirit life—in the family and Kingdom of God!

In parallel, consider these words Jesus spoke to His disciples before His crucifixion, which would be followed by His resurrection: “You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you” (John 16:20-22 John 16:20-22 [20] Truly, truly, I say to you, That you shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. [21] A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. [22] And you now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man takes from you.
American King James Version×
).

Regarding the life to come, Paul further said, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 Romans 8:18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
American King James Version×
; see also Romans 8:19-23 Romans 8:19-23 [19] For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. [20] For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope, [21] Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. [22] For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now. [23] And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
American King James Version×
).

Will those who faithfully trust and obey God and Jesus Christ be rewarded in the coming Kingdom?

“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10 Revelation 2:10Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days: be you faithful to death, and I will give you a crown of life.
American King James Version×
).

“‘And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:12-14 Revelation 22:12-14 [12] And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. [13] I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. [14] Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
American King James Version×
).

“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6 Revelation 20:6Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
American King James Version×
).

“Then came the first [servant in one of Christ's parables], saying, ‘Master, your mina [an amount of money] has earned ten minas.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities’” (Luke 19:16-19 Luke 19:16-19 [16] Then came the first, saying, Lord, your pound has gained ten pounds. [17] And he said to him, Well, you good servant: because you have been faithful in a very little, have you authority over ten cities. [18] And the second came, saying, Lord, your pound has gained five pounds. [19] And he said likewise to him, Be you also over five cities.
American King James Version×
).

As we learned in previous lessons, everyone whose sins are forgiven, who then lives a life of obedience and service, and who remains “faithful until death” will receive “the crown of life”—eternal life (Revelation 2:10 Revelation 2:10Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days: be you faithful to death, and I will give you a crown of life.
American King James Version×
).

The “tree of life” also symbolizes eternal life. Each one will be rewarded with a level of responsibility according to the spiritual fruit of his or her life. Jesus illustrated this with His parable in Luke 19 in which each faithful servant is rewarded with rulership over a corresponding number of cities.

What will be the end of those who after they have received their opportunity for salvation still refuse to trust and obey God and Jesus Christ?

“Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14-15 Revelation 20:14-15 [14] And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. [15] And whoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
American King James Version×
).

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8 Revelation 21:8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
American King James Version×
).

“But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell [gehenna]; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:5 Luke 12:5But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: Fear him, which after he has killed has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, Fear him.
American King James Version×
).

Those who knowingly reject God’s loving offer of forgive-ness and eternal life will experience the “second death”—the permanent death. They will be burned up in “the lake of fire.”

The lake of fire is also referred to several times in the New Testament, such as in Luke 12:5 Luke 12:5But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: Fear him, which after he has killed has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, Fear him.
American King James Version×
, by the Greek word gehenna, which is from the Hebrew Gai Hinnom, the Valley of Hinnom outside Jerusalem where refuse was cast and burned up. Various Bible versions translate gehenna as “hell,” but this confuses matters, especially as some translations, like the original King James Version, also use the word “hell” in rendering the Greek word hades (which the KJV once correctly translates as “the grave”).

In the long run, rebellion against God the Father and Jesus Christ brings great unhappiness. The Bible teaches that those who remain obstinately rebellious will experience the second death—the permanent death from which there is no resurrection—rather than being allowed to live forever in misery.

What is God’s ultimate goal?

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13 John 1:12-13 [12] But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: [13] Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
American King James Version×
).

“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Hebrews 2:10 Hebrews 2:10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
American King James Version×
).

“And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people . . . I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18 2 Corinthians 6:16-18 [16] And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [17] Why come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. [18] And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty.
American King James Version×
).

The Kingdom of God is also the family of God! God the Father and God the Son have planned for a very long time to expand the God family with many “children.” In essence, God is in the process of spiritually reproducing Himself by “bringing many sons to glory.” God, with His infinite love and power, desires to save everyone by seeing them repent so they can receive eternal life in the Kingdom of God (2 Peter 3:9 2 Peter 3:9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
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)!

How many “sons and daughters” will that be? Evidently many, many billions. It’s hard for us to imagine such a large family, but we will eventually get to know and love all of our brothers and sisters!

Why does God plan for “new heavens and a new earth”?

“But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

“Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Peter 3:7-14 2 Peter 3:7-14 [7] But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved to fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. [8] But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. [10] But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. [11] Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness, [12] Looking for and hastening to the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? [13] Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness. [14] Why, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
American King James Version×
).

God designed this planet to be perfect for human habitation and enjoyment. But after the Great White Throne Judgment period (explained in the previous lesson), the vast majority of those who have ever lived will have been transformed into divine spirit beings in the Kingdom of God, while the rest (we hope a relatively few) will no longer exist because they will then be burned up.

Peter uses this prophecy to remind us of some spiritual lessons, asking, “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness . . . ?” He gives several answers in the rest of the chapter, including that we should “be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (2 Peter 3:11-14 2 Peter 3:11-14 [11] Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness, [12] Looking for and hastening to the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? [13] Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness. [14] Why, beloved, seeing that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
American King James Version×
).

What will the new heavens and new earth be like?

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

“‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful’” (Revelation 21:1-5 Revelation 21:1-5 [1] And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. [2] And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. [3] And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. [4] And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. [5] And he that sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said to me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
American King James Version×
).

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying” (Isaiah 65:17-19 Isaiah 65:17-19 [17] For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. [18] But be you glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. [19] And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.
American King James Version×
).

Revelation 21 and 22 describe many exciting things John saw in vision about the new heaven and new earth. He wrote that “the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” and also that “there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4 Revelation 21:1-4 [1] And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. [2] And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. [3] And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. [4] And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
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). The Bible gives us ample evidence that eternal life in the Kingdom of God will be paradise!

Will Christ move back to heaven and take His spiritual family with Him?

“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal . . . But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.

“And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:10-11 Revelation 21:10-11 [10] And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, [11] Having the glory of God: and her light was like to a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
American King James Version×
; Revelation 21:22-27 Revelation 21:22-27 [22] And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. [23] And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. [24] And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. [25] And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. [26] And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. [27] And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defiles, neither whatever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
American King James Version×
).

Instead of the family of God being taken to heaven in the end, God the Father is coming to earth! As we quoted in response to the last question: “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God . . . ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men [all remaining having been transformed into divine glory], and He will dwell with them’” (Revelation 21:2-3 Revelation 21:2-3 [2] And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. [3] And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
American King James Version×
). Later John saw another vision of “the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God” (Revelation 21:10 Revelation 21:10And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
American King James Version×
). Then the rest of the chapter is a description of the New Jerusalem.

The length, breadth and height of New Jerusalem will be “twelve thousand furlongs” (Revelation 21:16 Revelation 21:16And the city lies foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.
American King James Version×
), which is about 1,500 miles. (For comparison, that’s about the distance from Los Angeles to Minneapolis.) The city could be a giant cube or perhaps a giant pyramid or a mountain within a square area—in any case as tall as it is wide.

The area covered is hard to imagine, the square stretching east to west about as far as from Kuwait City, Kuwait, to Athens, Greece, and from south to north about as far as from Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to the north coast of Turkey on the Black Sea. And the height is even more difficult to imagine, as it will be that same distance straight up. The tallest building on earth is just over half a mile high. Mt. Everest is only about 5½ miles high (from sea level). The earth’s atmosphere now tops out at 300 miles. New Jerusalem will be a big city!

Will the dominion of the God family be limited to earth?

“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:7 Revelation 21:7He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
American King James Version×
).

“For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testified in a certain place, saying: ‘What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’ For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him” (Hebrews 2:5-8 Hebrews 2:5-8 [5] For to the angels has he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. [6] But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that you are mindful of him? or the son of man that you visit him? [7] You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, and did set him over the works of your hands: [8] You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
American King James Version×
).

Even though the new earth with the New Jerusalem will be the permanent home and headquarters of God and His Kingdom, the God family will rule over and enjoy the entire universe! “He who overcomes shall inherit all things” (Revelation 21:7 Revelation 21:7He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
American King James Version×
).

Speaking of mankind, the book of Hebrews states, “You have put all things . . . under his feet,” and then says, “Now we do not yet see all things put under him” (Hebrews 2:8 Hebrews 2:8You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.
American King James Version×
).

This passage is quoting from Psalm 8, where the context mentions “Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars” (Psalms 8:3 Psalms 8:3When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained;
American King James Version×
). Since “new heavens” are foretold, perhaps the stars and planets will be much more beautiful than they are now!

Given the vastness of the universe, it seems logical that the God family will be responsible for ongoing development of the awesome creation God has laid out before us. It’s really exciting to imagine the infinite possibilities!

Why doesn’t God reveal even more about our long-term future?

“Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33 Romans 11:33O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
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).

“But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 [9] But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. [10] But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
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).

“And he [an angel relaying prophecy to Daniel] said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand’” (Daniel 12:9-10 Daniel 12:9-10 [9] And he said, Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. [10] Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
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).

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
American King James Version×
).

“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:35-36 Hebrews 10:35-36 [35] Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward. [36] For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.
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).

God has far more in store for us than we could ever comprehend in this life—yet He gives us glimpses through His Word and Spirit. It’s amazing—and a priceless blessing—that God has revealed what He has about the future! And God told Daniel that in “the time of the end . . . the wise shall understand [much more about what is to come]” (Daniel 12:9-10 Daniel 12:9-10 [9] And he said, Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. [10] Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
American King James Version×
). “The wise” are God’s servants who trust, obey and serve Him.

Each time a prophecy is fulfilled, we have another proof of God. God has given us mountains of proof “that He is [exists], and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
American King James Version×
). We don’t need to know every detail of our future, since we have God to lead us every step of the way. God has revealed all we need to know about how to live our lives now. Bible prophecy should greatly motivate us to avoid the prophesied consequences of disobedience and to seek the prophesied rewards of obedience!

With all this insight into the future, what should we do?

“But Jesus answered him, saying, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God”’” (Luke 4:4 Luke 4:4And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
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).

“Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’ So He said to him, ‘. . . If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments’” (Matthew 19:16-17 Matthew 19:16-17 [16] And, behold, one came and said to him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? [17] And he said to him, Why call you me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.
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).

“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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).

There are many parts to the answer—many more than can be cited here. Jesus said we should live “by every word of God” (Luke 4:4 Luke 4:4And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
American King James Version×
). He also said, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17 Matthew 19:17And he said to him, Why call you me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.
American King James Version×
). Peter said, “Repent, and . . . be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38 Acts 2:38Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
American King James Version×
).

In addition, reading and meditating on 1 Thessalonians 5 is recommended as a worthwhile personal Bible study and an excellent conclusion for this “Bible Prophecy and You” series.

We in the United Church of God, which produces the Beyond Today magazine and TV program, strongly encourage you to continue your study of the Bible. Stay informed about world events and trends and try to understand them in the light of Bible prophecy. Reading Beyond Today magazine and our study guides on prophecy will be especially helpful in that regard.

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You’ll find it interesting to compare the description of the Garden of Eden in Genesis 2:8-17 Genesis 2:8-17 [8] And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. [9] And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the middle of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. [10] And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it was parted, and became into four heads. [11] The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasses the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; [12] And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. [13] And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasses the whole land of Ethiopia. [14] And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goes toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates. [15] And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. [16] And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: [17] But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.
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with the beautiful garden-like description of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 22:1-5 Revelation 22:1-5 [1] And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. [2] In the middle of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bore twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. [3] And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: [4] And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. [5] And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
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. Take some time to think about this inspiring vision and write down the things you are most looking forward to in God’s eternal Kingdom.

And to learn more about the astounding future God has planned for you and your loved ones, be sure to download or request our eye-opening free study guide Why Were You Born?

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