What is God's purpose for the Earth

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by antony73, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. antony73

    antony73
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    I was raised one of Jehovah's Witnesses, I left this faith in 2009 because I no longer believed everything I was supposed to or everything that I myself was teaching.

    The JWs believe that God created mankind to live upon the Earth, the Angels to live in Heaven. After Adam's sin, it became God's purpose that only 144,000 from among manking will be taken up to Heaven to rule with Christ, the remainder (the other sheep/great crowd) will remain on Earth. Righteous ones will survive God's war of Armageddon, spend 1,000 years transforming the Earth back into a Paradise (like the Garden of Eden) during which time the dead will rise. The righteous resurrected to everlasting life, those who had not had chance to learn about God given an opportunity to do so. At the end of the 1,000 years (Millenium), mankind will have reached perfection, Satan will be released, given one more opportunity to turn mankind away from God. Those who follow Satan are destroyed by God (hurled into the Lake of Fire - Death with no hope of a resurrection) those who chose God's side will now not only be physicaly perfect but spiritualy perfect and live the life Adam and Eve should have had, eternal live upon the Earth.

    This is the Doctrine I have been raised to believe. One of the reason I left JWs was that the evidence for a future Paradise Earth was very slim in the Bible.

    Can some one please explain, what is the Bapists teaching on God's plan for the Earth, it's future. I am very interested to find out what others believe regarding not only the Earth, but God's whole purpose, His grand Time Table.

    I would really appretiate your kind help - Thank You
     
  2. minnesota slim

    minnesota slim
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    Since the Bible says there will be a new heavens and a new earth, and we will have new resurrection bodies, I assume we will inhabit the new earth with our new bodies.

    For an overview of eschatology from an Amillennial persepective (which I believe to be correct) I recommend reading this:
    http://www.monergismbooks.com/The-Bible-and-the-Future-p-16972.html

    I'm sure other brethren here with differing eschatological views can recommend something of their own.
     
    #2 minnesota slim, Feb 16, 2011
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  3. BobinKy

    BobinKy
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    Here is a discussion on eschatology with some Southern Baptist heavy weights (1994).

    Paige Patterson, President of Southeastern Seminary [now president of Southwestern Seminary].
    David Dockery, Dean of Theology at Southern Seminary [now president of Union University]
    Millard Erickson, Research Professor of Theology at Southwestern. [Now at Western Seminary in Portland]​

    . . .

    Here the four main interpretations of The Millennium are summarized:

    Postmillennialism
    Amillennialism
    Dispensational Premillennialism
    Historical Premillinnialism ​

    . . .

    My personal view agrees with the Amillennialism interpretation. I also believe we do best to not concern ourselves with last things, but concern ourselves with our relationship with Jesus Christ and sharing the gospel with those around us. In short, I trust God to provide our needs for today and in the future.

    . . .

    My guess is most Baptist today agree with one of the two Premillennialism interpretations.


    ...Bob
     
    #3 BobinKy, Feb 16, 2011
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  4. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    I am not sure that "Baptists" have a particular teaching on this. The reason is that the bible does not exactly spell out step by step and make it all one nice little package.
    That being said it does give us some understanding directly from scripture and also through systematic theology.
    To give you a brief explanation I would tell you that God intended man to rule the earth originally. Gen. 1:26-30.
    Jumping forward now we are waiting on what I believe is the next major thing to happen and that is the church leaving this world (the rapture). Then 7 years of tribulation with the return of Christ at the end of the 7 years to set up His earthly kingdom and rule with His saints for 1000 years.
    At the end of that Satan again is let lose on the earth tempting man to go against the Lord and the Lord puts them down with destruction of all the universe.
    If you have the time and want an in-depth study Go here.
    http://www.gty.org/Resources/Bible+Book+Studies
    Click on the book of Revelation and either listen or download it and listen later.

     
  5. glfredrick

    glfredrick
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    Oddly, in some senses, the JW have "some" of the new heaven and new earth stuff figured out fairly well from the Scriptures. They miss the boat widely with their interpretation of Christ, and the fact that He is God and Savior, and also with the 144,000 thing, and also with the idea that we humans will rebuild the earth into a utopian paradise. That is completely God's work and something only He can (and will) do. I cannot find a hint in Scripture that we humans will be involved with the re-building (actually re-creating) phase in any sense. I do expect that we will see God do what He did in the original Creation -- very quickly produce a mature world -- and He will tie heaven to the new earth in some sense that will make sense once we experience that eventuality (but that we cannot fathom now, being separated from God by the curse of the Fall).

    The parts they get right are the fact that we will re-inhabit a new earth, where life will go on, albeit as God originally designed instead of in the sin-cursed ways that we see now. We will work, there will be roads, rivers, commerce, kings, etc. All these things are indeed portrayed in Scripture. We will not do so in the way they suggest, and they really twist things like the 1000 years, etc. but a real earth is part of God's plan as far as I can discern from Scripture.

    The BIG THING to get right in coming out of the Watchtower Society, is the critical nature of Jesus Christ. I've worked with several people who have come out over my years in ministry and they all seem to struggle with the concept of a fully human Christ who is also and at the same time Very God of Very God, and who atoned for the sins of the elect.

    The other thing to get right is understanding that God is at work in any number of people, some of whom have different "shingles" hanging over the front door of their churches. We are called to unity by Christ, Himself, and we might break that unity only under circumstances that lead to the most extreme of doctrinal errors. Many get that part wrong and assume that their separatist nature is God-ordained. They are in for a huge shock when they find people of every stripe entering eternity with them (assuming that their beliefs are not a false gospel and that they have not been mislead and never came to know the true Christ!).
     
  6. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Antony, here is what two prominent signers of the 1689 London Baptist Confession taught:

    Benjamin Keach was sent to the pillory for publishing a catechism for children.
    One excerpt this Baptist pastor's Protestant persecutors found so offensive was:


    Keach's fellow Baptist pastor Hanserd Knollys taught (from his book The World that Now is; and the World that is to Come):

     
  7. Jerome

    Jerome
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    Early Welsh Baptist Morgan Edwards, who became a prominent pastor in America's Philadelphia Baptist Association, wrote this in the 1740s:

     
  8. Aaron

    Aaron
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    The Scriptures say that all things were created by Christ and for Him, Col. 1:16-20. The world was created to bring about God's work of Redemption, 1 Pet. 1:18-21.

    Noncalvinists, save your anti-Gospel cavils for another thread.
     
  9. Aaron

    Aaron
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    Oops!

    Should read: Noncalvinists, save your anti-Gospel cavils in response to my post for another thread.

    :type:
     
  10. Osage Bluestem

    Osage Bluestem
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    The purpose of creation is to glorify God.
     
  11. antony73

    antony73
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    A big thank you to everyone that replied. I've had a lot of reading to do, not 100% clear, but I have enough to be satisfied for now.

    The problem with coming from a Jehovah's Witness perspective is that the JWs focus on a Paradise Earth, an Earthly Hope for Humankind (I would say a "what's in it for us" approach), and not so much on Christ, the Forgiveness of Sins and the Eternal Glory of God. So I've had a lot of mental, and more importantly, spiritual adjustments to make.

    If anything, this has been a lesson on focusing on what should be truly important to a Christian.
     
  12. webdog

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    I would recommend Heaven by Randy Alcorn as a good start for you in understanding the Earth's role in God's plan.
     
  13. webdog

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    This has nothing to do with calvinism. As usual the troll appears out of the clear blue...
     

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