The Scroll, who owns the earth.
I am currently reading a book by Chuck Smith, titled, What is the World Coming To? It is a commentary and exposition on the book of Revelations. In Revelations 5:2, an angel asks if anyone is worthy to open the scroll God is holding in his hand. The only one worthy is Jesus Christ, the Lion of Judah, the Slain Lamb of God. But what caught my interest, was the question posed by Chuck Smith, what is the scroll? What is its significance? So, I ask, consider the scroll, who owns the earth?
The answer, the scroll, is the title deed of the earth.
Point 1: Man forfeited ownership of the earth to Satan.
In short, at creation, God gave the earth to Adam and Eve and in Genesis 1:28, he told them to take care of it. But Adam and Eve were deceived by the Serpent, that is Satan, and believed what he told them. They ate the fruit of the tree, and God banished them from the Garden of Eden. The significant part of their action, second to doubt what God said, was that they “forfeited their right earth to Satan, who had deceived and tempted them”(1).
Adam and Eve’s disobedience removed them from fellowship with God and into submission to Satan. So, the title deed of the earth passed over to Satan. The end result is that the earth is Satan’s. He is the prince of this world.
Point 2: Jesus Christ redeemed both mankind and the earth.
Jesus died to purchase back the earth… to redeem it. It was God’s to begin with because He created it. Then He gave it to man, who in turn forfeited it to Satan. From that time forward, Satan has been the ruler of this world. When Satan offered to give the world to Jesus, if only He would bow down and worship him, he was offering something he owned, and Jesus did not dispute the ownership. Jesus refused. So, Satan is in control of all that happens on earth… the famines and starvation, wars and crimes, etc.
Instead, Jesus not only redeemed the planet God created, but he also redeemed all of mankind.
“Jesus came to redeem the world back to God. He paid the price of redemption when He died for us upon the cross… paying the price with his precious blood(1), (1 Peter 1:18-19). Although Jesus has paid the price, he has not, as yet, taken possession of the earth. But, he will do so soon.
Point 3: Jewish Law of Redeeming
A Jewish Law governs the law of the forfeiture of property. Under this law, should someone forfeit property (like the earth), the property was under the governance of the new owner (Satan), for a specified period of time, which was 7 years at the time of Christ. As part of the forfeiture, the deed stipulated the ground rules, or the cost, of purchasing the property back by the original owner, or a family member. If in the last specified year, at term end, the previous owner or a relative could fulfill the requirements that were written when the deal was sealed, the property was returned. But it could not be purchased back, or redeemed, until the end of the specified time.
So, although Jesus Christ has paid the full price for the redemption of the earth, the time has not yet come to claim it back. That is to come in the future, a time no one but God knows. Jesus is our Kinsmen Redeemer. A time will come when he will rightfully claim ownership of the earth, and us (those who profess faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.) with it.
That will happen at the End of Time. If you are interested at a fictional perspective related to the End of Time, check out my series called The Children of Light.
(1) Smith, Chuck. What is the World Coming to. Kindle Edition; click the Amazon Link