In the preceding book in this series, The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist, we followed the rise of the Antichrist to world power and his eventual doom and destruction at the Battle of Armageddon. This has now brought us to the end of Hell on Earth and to the topic of this book, Heaven on Earth.
Glimpses into this wonderful future are found throughout the Bible as the prophets and other Bible writers recorded the things that were revealed to them. Some passages deal solely with this time period, whereas many other references appear interspersed with prophecies concerning other times. This sometimes-confusing phenomenon can be explained by using the analogy of looking at the physical horizon. In the distance there may appear to be a mountain range, and if you were asked to describe what you see you would say just that, that there is a range of mountains ahead. However, as you travel toward them, it becomes clearer that there is not just one mountain range, but several. From a distance the ranges appeared to be blended into one, but they become distinctly separate, sometimes by vast distances, upon closer view. So it was with the prophets of old as they peered into the future. What to them from a distance seemed like events that were contemporaneous are separated by wide intervals of time, and we can see this as we approach the time for their fulfillment.
An example of this can be found in the following prophetic verses penned by the prophet Zechariah 500 years before Jesus’ first coming:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion. Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem. Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; the battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be “from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the Earth.”
These are two consecutive verses about Jesus. The first talks about His first coming and specifically His entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey on Palm Sunday. The second has to do with His second coming, when His dominion will be “to the ends of the Earth.” To Zechariah the two events appeared to have been happening at the same time, or the second soon after the first, but as history has borne out, they are separated by thousands of years.
The events that we will cover in this book begin with the end of the Battle of Armageddon and continue through Jesus’ 1000-year reign on Earth—which is commonly called the Millennium—to a rebellion and war that the book of Revelation calls the Battle of Gog and Magog, the destruction of the Earth’s atmosphere and surface, which paves the way for the re-creation of a new paradisiacal surface on the Earth, and, finally, the descent to this re-created Earth of the amazing Heavenly City known in the Bible as “New Jerusalem.”
The Bible tells us quite a lot about all of these events, and from the relevant passages we get many mouth-watering snapshots of the fantastic future our wonderful God has in store.
After the Battle of Armageddon, at which time the Antichrist’s reign on Earth is ended and Satan’s power is broken, begins the task of establishing “Thy [God’s] Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on the Earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:9–13; “The Lord’s Prayer,” also called the “Our Father”). It won’t be an overnight process, but from that time forward the Earth will get better and better. And if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, this is your future too! And it is one glorious future! You had better not plan on retiring once you leave this world, because there will be lots of challenging work to do both in Heaven and back here on Earth. All the experience and wisdom you have gained in this life is going to be put to good use in the world to come. God needs you to help Him establish Heaven on Earth!