For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14).
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:14)
itg3712The verses you have quoted from Habakkuk and Isaiah show clearly that God has planned another age after this one.In this age, Christ is taking out His church by the preaching of the gospel. But the new testament throughout make it clear that salvation for this age of the church is for those who believe, not for everyone.And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:15-16 (KJV)God is visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.If God is to fulfill Habakkuk's and Isaiah's prophesy, He will do, for the earth a far more wonderful thing than we see now. God made this promise originally to Moses:But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. Num 14:21 (KJV)The present age is not an age where the earth is filled with His glory, quite the opposite; the church of believers are citizens of heaven. Romans 8 says of the creation that it groans in pain together, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God v19, and that the creature shall also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorous liberty of the children of God v21 This is speaking about another age to come for the earth, when ALL will know Him from the least to the greatest.Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen. Psalms 72:18-19 (KJV)David
I believe David gave a pretty good explanation of the verses in Isaiah and Habakkuk. I would add that estimates of the people groups that have been reached and remain unreached show that we are rapidly approaching the time when all the nations have heard the gospel. I found various estimates from 60% to 80% that have already heard the gospel. It depends much upon how you count people. The word "nations" is the Greek ethnos. It is where we derive our word "ethnic". It is not talking about every person individually nor does it necessarily refer to nations by geopolitical boundaries. It is literally talking of people groups or ethnic groups. This is one criteria that must occur before Christ returns. Another is the salvation of the full number of Gentiles ordained by God. See Rom. 11:24-26. However scripture indicates that we can hasten the day of the coming of the Lord which would seem to indicate that it is somewhat dependent on world events rather than being a "set date on God's calender."I believe it will be in the thousand year reign of Christ on this earth that the whole earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord. We who are alive now and are following Christ will reign and rule with Him in this period of time. Rev. says He will rule with a rod of iron. Not all will welcome this rule, but all will be subject to it.
davidc / twayneb,Thank you for your responses. A millennium with Christ's kingdom expressed more fully upon earth and the earth full of the knowledge of the Lord would be very different from the present. Thank you.