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The article below considers the premise that the God who gave us our brain and power of reason is Himself also intelligent and reasonable.
Picture this--You own a set of condos on prime ocean-front property in Maui. Recently one of the tenants has stopped paying rent & the other good tenants are complaining that the bad one is littering the grounds & harassing them. You've taken all preliminary steps to correct the situation but you are left with no alternative, drastic action is required.
Which of these seems most reasonable to you?
1. You evict the bad tenant in order to restore peace in your condo community.
2. You evict all tenants, then burn down all your condos & get bulldozers to level the land.
3. You move the remaining good tenants to another location and leave the bad tenant where he is.
Which did you choose? All property owners I know would choose the first option. But why would I even suggest the other two options? They are so completely absurd that no one in his right mind would even think of such a thing. And you know what, you'd be right. But as absurd as it sounds, the last two are what some religions teach God will do concerning this earth.
Yes, concerning the 2nd choice, evicting everyone & burning it all down, some religions teach God intends to destroy the earth & everything on it at Armageddon. Never mind the time and investment God put into this planet. Never mind that God looked down and saw that everything he made was good. Never mind that even to this day scientists cannot find another planet like it. They want to believe God will destroy this gem of a planet. Yet at Isa.45:18 we read that God did not form earth for nothing and Ps.37:29 says it will be inhabited forever by mankind.
What about the 3rd option, moving the good tenants elsewhere & leaving the bad tenant behind? One version of the rapture teaches just that. All good people will go to heaven but the bad ones will be left on earth, implying that earth is a punishment. They don't bother to think that if God wanted everyone in heaven, he would just have put them there in the first place--just like he did with the angels. It just doesn't make sense and is completely opposite of the clear and simple declaration at Proverbs 2:21-22, which reads: "For the upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it. As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it."
So the wicked are the ones leaving the earth, not the righteous. But the wicked aren't going to heaven. They are being cut-off, put to death, "That's all folks," ding, ding, game over; the wicked just got k.o.'d. Yes, just as our first option indicated, the wicked are evicted not just to remove the wicked influence but because God wants to bless those who are loyal to him. Again, notice Proverbs 2:21.
But what does it take to be considered an upright one? While Jesus was still walking the earth, he was approached by what appeared to be a sincerely honest young man. He indicated he was following the spirit of the Mosaic Law and asked what more he should do. When Jesus recommended that he demonstrate his full and complete reliance on God by divesting himself of his material wealth, the young man went away dejected because he didn't have that strong a faith. Similarly, when one of the congregations that Jesus counseled in Revelation had become complacent, lukewarm in their service, Jesus said he would vomit them out of his mouth. Truly, indecisiveness and halfhearted devotion are unacceptable.
So let’s review. We know the earth we live on is not the target of God's anger, nor is all human life threatened with extinction, just the incorrigibly wicked that refuse to humbly submit to God's rule. Also, we learned that the destruction at Armageddon is not the end but only a means to an end--that of returning the earth to God's original purpose. Armageddon is not an act of hate by an angry God, but an act of love in behalf of his loyal ones--to bless them with a peaceful life. (Revelation 11:18)
Do you want to be a tenant in God's paradise earth? Then seek righteousness, seek meekness, probably you will be concealed in the day of Jehovah's anger.
(Psalm 37:29) The righteous themselves will possess the earth, And they will reside forever upon it.
(Psalm 37:34) Hope in Jehovah and keep his way, And he will exalt you to take possession of the earth. When the wicked ones are cut off, you will see [it].
(Proverbs 2:21-22) For the upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it. 22 As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it.
(Isaiah 45:18)For this is what Jehovah has said, the Creator of the heavens, He the [true] God, the Former of the earth and the Maker of it, He the One who firmly established it, who did not create it simply for nothing, who formed it even to be inhabited: “I am Jehovah, and there is no one else.
(Revelation 11:18) But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time for the dead to be judged, and to give [their] reward to your slaves the prophets and to the holy ones and to those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.”