As we consider an historic overview of man’s journey on earth, we note that there are many paths we could take. Science tells us that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. So we will take the shortest path – a direct line leading to truth as embodied in Jesus of Nazareth
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
– John 14:6
It would seem natural to begin in the book of Genesis with the account of Adam and Eve and their activities in the Garden of Eden. However, the Bible takes us back a bit further, before Adam and Eve ever arrived on earth.
By way of revelation from Jesus to the Apostle Paul, we learn that God’s purpose for mankind ‘before the founding of the world’ – that is, before Adam and Eve – was that mankind was to be adopted into the heavens as God’s sons.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
– Ephesians 1:3-5
This is the purpose God had, and continues to have, for his earth children. Yes, from the very beginning, Jesus Christ was to be the one through whom this adoption would take place. Without there ever being evil or rebellion in our world, Jesus was destined to come and to show us the way into heaven.
“So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:45-49
From this we learn that man has a two-fold development. The first Adam was the one through whom we would acquire physical bodies. But when the last Adam arrived – Jesus Christ – he would complete our development and give us the means to acquire heavenly bodies! No, it was not God’s purpose that man continue in the earth bodies forever!