Part of any Hollywood blockbuster movie are dramatic shifts in the storyline, like a roller coaster with unexpected twists and turns. Viewers are immediately grabbed, their attention is gained and locked in until this two-hour ride ends. Due to original sin, the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, breaking God’s only rule, the Lord’s initial plan of living forever on earth is derailed. The apostle Paul writes about God’s backup plan in Romans 5:12-21, sending a second Adam to restore that which was lost.
And the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and blessing and calamity you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die, Genesis 2:15-17.
Life expectancy went from 800-900 years all the way down to 120 following the flood. Christian Scientists point to the Open Canopy Theory, an atmosphere without rain which sheltered human beings from direct sunlight thereby slowing down the aging process. This is the most practical way to explain the steep decline in life expectancy. Meanwhile, the curse bestowed by God upon future men and women in Genesis 3:16-24 also points to the gradual decay of the earth as well.
When men began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, 2 The sons of God saw that the daughters of men were fair, and they took wives of all they desired and chose. 3 Then the Lord said, My Spirit shall not forever dwell and strive with man, for he also is flesh; but his days shall yet be 120 years, Genesis 6:1-3.
According to the Old Testament, Enoch was the only believer to not experience death on earth, Hebrews 11:5. The key to Enoch’s success and ascension into heaven was due to a consistent relationship with God, Genesis 5:22. From time to time, God will extend someone’s life like Hezekiah. This form of a blessing is addressed by Moses in Deuteronomy 28:1-14, with a simple equation: obedience to God results in blessings.
I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Omnipotent [Himself] and the Lamb [Himself] are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of the sun nor of the moon to give light to it, for the splendor and radiance (glory) of God illuminate it, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations shall walk by its light and the rulers and leaders of the earth shall bring into it their glory. 25 And its gates shall never be closed by day, and there shall be no night there, Revelation 21:22-25.
When you read the final chapter of the Bible, living forever takes on a new shape and form. Take 1 caused life to end before 1000 years. Take 2 allowed Jesus to restore that which was lost, Luke 19:10, to redeem all who have sinned and fallen short of God’s given. Take 3 begins with the creation of a new Jerusalem. When this city of gold is placed upon the new earth, heaven will be limited to this holy city. All of those in the Book of Life will live forever on earth residing in the New Jerusalem.
by Jay Mankus