The children in Ruth’s junior bible study class were all excited about the events of the previous week.
She began, “As you all know, after traveling many years, our astronauts have landed on the earth. It is a planet much like ours where, thousands of years ago, people like us lived there. In the years before it was destroyed, our scientists were able to learn much about it from their radio transmissions.”
A hand rose. “Yes, John,” Ruth acknowledged.
“Why did God destroy the earth?” he asked.
“That is exactly the subject of our lesson today,” Ruth replied. “Earth was the first planet where God created man in his own image. It was a very beautiful place at that time, much like our own planet. The people living there had everything they needed. However, as we read in the early scriptures, Satan, who was jealous of God’s glory from this new creation, found a way to challenge God by seducing the people on the earth into sin. This angered God so much, that he considered destroying the earth and humanity at that time. However, because of God’s love for man, he backed off from doing that. Instead he sent the prophets, like Moses and Elijah, to teach the people how to resist Satan’s evil. After that failed, he sent his own son, Jesus, to confront Satan directly. He provided a way for people on earth to be saved when he died on the cross. We can read all about that in the New Testament.”
She continued, “As it is written in the later scriptures, Jesus returned to earth to defeat Satan and put him away forever. That is why we are not under Satan’s power, as the people on earth were. We all live in peace and have all our needs taken care of.”
“We can read about how people on earth lived at the time of Jesus’ return. There were wars, famine and disease that we don’t experience here. We live in peace now all because of what Jesus did on earth. We don’t experience death as they did. Instead, when our responsibilities end here, we are transformed to be in Heaven with God, Jesus and the people who lived on earth.”
Another hand rose. “Have the astronauts found the place where Jesus died, and where he returned?” asked Rachel.
The teacher replied, “From what I have read, they are getting close. There is going to be much more to learn as they continue their exploration.”
Still another hand rose. “Why go to the trouble to travel all the way to earth? Aren’t there enough things to do here at home?” asked Thomas.
The teacher replied, “We were created to explore and to learn. It is part of our own mission. There are other worlds beyond ours, and some of these haven’t received the gospel yet. Although Satan has been put away, there is still work to do.”
She continued, “When we read about and think about life on earth, what else is there to do but to give glory to God. That is the reason we are here. In the New Testament, in the gospel of John, it is written: ‘and other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.’ Back in those days, sheep were kept in a pen during the night. The sheep in the pen are a fold. During the day, sheep from several pens were led out into the pasture to graze in the fields. The sheep in the fields are the flock. In the same way, each planet, with its limitations, is a fold. The time is coming when the people of our fold will be removed from this planet to join other folds in Heaven to form the flock, which will serve for eternity praising God.”
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