A New Beginning
When the kingdom of God is restored to Israel, Jesus the Christ will reign as the king on the throne of David. This begins a new age that will last forever (1) (Luke 1:32-33).
The kingdom of God in Israel will permanently replace all the kingdoms and governments on the earth today (2) (Revelation 11:15). The government of Christ will increase and will bring about peace (Isaiah 9:7). The city of Jerusalem will be the administrative capital (3) (Isaiah 2:3) and will be a city of truth (4) Zechariah 8:3.
In the Old Testament, this kingdom is described symbolically as “a new heavens and a new earth” (5) (Isaiah 65:17). The prophet Isaiah describes the kingdom as a time much better than today:
the Jews and the city of Jerusalem will be a joy
mortal men and women will have long lifespans, since a child will die at 100 years old
the earth will bear much fruit
animals will co-exist peacefully, because the wolf and the lamb will feed together (6) (Isaiah 65:18-25)
nations will no longer fight wars, and they will transform their weapons into agricultural tools (7) (Micah 4:3)
In his second letter, the apostle Peter uses the same language as Isaiah to describe “a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (8) (2 Peter 3:13).
Before this time of peace and righteousness, Jesus will return to the earth and destroy the current system of world governments ). (9) 2 Peter 3:10) describes this destruction and cleansing as the heavens and earth dissolving and burning (10) (2 Peter 3:10-12), an outcome of the ungodliness of the societies on the earth when Christ returns (11) (2 Peter 3:7).
The Bible contrasts what will happen to the ungodly people on earth with what will happen to those found trying to honour God. Many of these people who have honoured God with their lives are asleep in the ground and await the resurrection, as discussed in the previous section.
Christ will judge the baptized believers, dead and living, when he returns to set up his kingdom (12) (2 Timothy 4:1). Through God’s grace, Christ will commend those who are deemed worthy. These faithful men and women produced fruit in their lives and overcame sin by seeking God’s will and sacrificing their own will (13) (John 15:2; 5-8; James 2:20-24). They prayed through Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins (14) (1 John 1:9).
These godly believers followed Jesus’s command to produce good works in their lives. Jesus will say to them, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (15) (Matthew 25:34-36).
“The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people” (16) (Matthew 25:34-36).