The Bible says in Gen. 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” When He finished creating all things, “God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen. 2:31).
The devil did not create the earth, nor was matter created evil, as the ancient Greeks believed. They thought that matter was evil and that only spirit was good. But God created the heavens and earth and pronounced both of them “very good.”
Adam and Eve later sinned, and this is the root of all the evil that has occurred in the world since that time. But God was not taken by surprise, because He knew the end from the beginning. In His wisdom He had already devised a plan that would give Him success, so that His purpose for creation would be fulfilled.
God’s Covenant with the Whole Earth
After Adam’s sin, he and his descendants were mortal, and this mortality was a disease that caused them to sin more and more. After 1,656 years God brought judgment upon the earth by a great flood. But after the flood, God made a covenant with the whole earth, vowing never again to destroy it.
Gen. 9:11, 12 says,
“And I establish My covenant with you, and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations.”
He then put a rainbow in the sky as the sign of this covenant.
“I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.”
This covenant was a one-sided promise that God made with the entire earth. He alone is responsible to keep that promise, and so its fulfillment does not depend upon the will of man.
Once again, as men began to increase on the earth, they went their own way and forgot God and His laws. God then chose one man (Abraham) and made a promise that He would work through him and his descendants to implement the promise that He had made with the whole earth.
God’s Covenant with Abraham
God told Abraham in Gen. 22:18, “in your seed [offspring] all the nations of the earth will be blessed.”
How were these nations to be blessed?
The answer is given later in Acts 3:25, 26, which says,
“It is to you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, “And in your seed all the families of the earth will be blessed.” For you first, God raised up his Servant [Jesus], and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”
God sent Jesus to bless everyone by turning them from their wicked ways. Because the promise was given to the entire earth, this means God has promised to turn all men from their wicked ways and make them righteous.
Is God really able to do this? Is God’s will stronger than man’s will? It seems impossible, because much of humanity has lived and died without turning from their wicked ways. Yet if the promises of God are true, then their hearts must be turned at a future time, even after they have died. Is this possible?
God’s Covenant Through Moses
A few hundred years after the time of Abraham, God made two covenants through Moses. The first was at Mount Horeb in Arabia, where the Israelites vowed to be obedient to God, saying in Exodus 19:8, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”
God told them that if they obeyed Him, then He would be their God and they would be His people. However, they were unable to obey His law, so that covenant was broken and could not accomplish its purpose. A different covenant was needed, one where God Himself would make the promise, for He was the only One who could keep His promise.
So 40 years later, Moses tells us in Deut. 29:1,
“These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the sons of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He had made with them at Horeb.”
God told Moses to gather all of the people—men, women, children, and even the foreigners among them—to hear God’s promise to them. Deut. 29:12, 13 gives its purpose:
“that you may enter into the covenant with the Lord your God, and into HIS OATH which the Lord your God is making with you today, in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God.”
This covenant was unlike the first one, because it was now God’s oath to man, not just man’s oath to God. This means God alone is responsible to make them His people and to be their God. But to do this would require God to turn all of them from their wicked ways so that they could indeed be His people. Once again, God was making a promise to bless all nations of the earth by turning them away from their wicked ways.
The scope of God’s oath in the land of Moab is seen in the next verses. Deut. 29:14, 15 says,
“Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here today.”
If God made an oath to all who were present and all those who were not present at the time, we see that it was a universal covenant that God was making. He left out no one. This was not just an oath to TRY to make this happen, nor was it an oath just to make it POSSIBLE for men to turn to God. God did not leave the results in the hands of men, for then it surely would have failed. It was an oath to actually succeed in turning all men from their wicked ways so that they could become His people.
King David Understood This
King David understood this promise many years ago when he wrote in Psalm 66:4,
“All the earth will worship Thee and will sing praises to Thee; they will sing praises to Thy name.”
Again, Psalm 67:4, 7 says,
“Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the nations on the earth… God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.”
The Hebrew word translated “fear” does not mean that men will be frightened by God. It means that all men will acknowledge His sovereignty and respect His right to rule the earth.
Psalm 68:18 says,
“You have ascended on high; You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men, even the rebellious also, that the Lord God may dwell there.”
Psalm 86:9, 10 says,
“All nations whom You have made will come and worship before You, O Lord; and they will glorify Your name. For You are great and do wondrous things; You alone are God.”
Years later, John refers to this verse in Rev. 15:3, 4, saying,
“Great and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the Nations. Who will not fear [respect], O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For You alone are holy; for all the nations will come and worship before You; for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”
We see, then, that all nations will worship God, sing praises to Him, and will acknowledge His right to rule the earth. The day will come when they will all understand the truth and will come to recognize the righteousness of His laws and His ways. When God turns their hearts and wins their love and praise, then His oath will be fulfilled.
The prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 45:23,
“I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. They will say of me, ‘Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength.’ And all who were angry at Him shall be put to shame.”
The Apostle Paul quoted Isaiah with comments in Phil. 2:9-11,
“Therefore also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
When Jesus returns the second time to rule the earth, the purpose of His reign is to subdue all of His enemies by the power of His love. So Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 15:25-28,
“For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet… And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all.”
At the present time, of course, God is not yet “all in all.”. However, if we believe that He is able to fulfill His promises, then we are confident that He will succeed before the end of time. Heb. 2:8, 9 says,
“‘You have put all things under His [Jesus’] feet.’ For in subjecting all things to Him, He left nothing that is not subject to Him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to Him. But we see Him … crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.”
The Apostle Paul again writes in Col. 1:16-20,
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth… all things have been created by Him and for Him… For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
So first Paul informs us that all things were created by Him, whether they were in heaven or on earth. All was “created by Him and for Him.” Later, because of sin, Jesus was sent to die for the sin of the world in order “to reconcile all things to Himself… whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
The purpose for Creation will be fulfilled, and this includes all of mankind. All nations will turn to Him in the end. No one will be left out, for Paul says again in 1 Tim. 4:9-11,
“It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. Prescribe and teach these things.”
The Apostle John saw a vision of the end of history. Seeing Jesus as the Lamb of God who gave Himself as the Sacrifice for the sin of the world, he wrote in Rev. 5:11-13,
“And I looked and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.’ And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
If you believe that God is able to bring all of humanity to the place where they all praise Him and serve Him, then God says you are among the righteous ones along with Abraham himself. Paul says of him in Rom. 4:21 that he was “fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able also to perform.” Our faith is not in men but in God’s ability to keep His promises.