God’s Covenant with Abraham and his Descendants, Israel
This offers every individual a perfect destiny, a heavenly Paradise with their Creator. But, as in the earthly Edenic Paradise, mankind still has free-will. Each individual can accept the offer, or reject it!
The Fall of Man resulted in mankind’s exclusion from an earthly Paradise (Adam and Eve were cast out of The Garden of Eden). This resulted in man’s mortality (unlike Adam’s implied immortality at his Creation) and physical death became inevitable (Genesis 3:19).
Man also became spiritually dead since he had lost that peaceful harmony and fellowship with his Creator. The New Testament puts it like this:
And you [He made alive when you] were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of your transgressions and sins (Ephesians 2:1, AMP)
So how does man recover that perfect destiny – life with his Creator in Paradise?
The Abrahamic Covenant
It may seem strange, but the answer is found in the Abrahamic Covenant. According to this Covenant, Abraham and his descendants were to become a blessing to all nations – and that blessing can lead an individual to the heavenly Paradise (again, as in Eden, man has a choice). God said to Abraham:
I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed … I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant … Also I will give to you and your descendants … all the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:3, 17:7-8, emphasis added)
Note that here the Hebrew word “berith” is translated “covenant”, not “contract”. In law, a contract is invalid when one of the parties breaks the agreement, but a covenant remains in tact even of one of the parties breaks it. In the Abrahamic Covenant, God is the covenantor and Abraham is the covenantee. The term covenant is important because Bible history shows that Israel broke God’s commandments and went to pagan gods. They also broke the numerous laws of the Mosaic Covenant. Nevertheless, God’s Covenant still stands and is everlasting.
The key point here is in Genesis 12:3: In what sense would all the families of the earth be blessed?
History shows that this blessing came through the tribes of Israel, specifically from the tribe of Judah. The genealogy in the gospel of Matthew traces Christ’s descent from the tribe of Judah and so He was a Jew (see defining a Jew).
So here is the promised blessing to all mankind. As John 4:22 puts it, “salvation [for all] is of the Jews”.
Salvation offers the road to Paradise
Man’s perfect destiny is now offered through belief in the saving work of Jesus Christ. He suffered, died and rose again to offer all believers in Him eternal life. And that means a perfect destiny in Paradise. Jesus said:
For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Saviour] shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16, AMP)
This promise of great blessing is given to both Jew and Gentile, today and in the future. But as with Adam, each individual has to use their free-will to make the right choice: to follow Christ, or to reject Christ!
But where is man’s perfect destiny? There is no longer any earthly Paradise, so where is Paradise now?
Addendum: Paradise for the Jews
Today we see the return of the Jews back to their God-given homeland (Canaan). We see the establishment of the State of Israel. We see a nation turning to the statutes God laid down under Moses (a majority of the nation now follows God’s Holy Feasts and keeps the Jewish Sabbath).
As a result, the nation of Israel is once more being blessed in the country (abundant agriculture), blessed in the city (technological innovation) and blessed in the sea (discovery of large natural resources). We also see God’s amazing protection (as in the 6-day war), and God building a numerous people as in the birth of numerous sons and daughters.
In the foreseeable future, the God of Israel will speak to the Jews and show Himself as their true Messiah:
And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and of pleading, so that they will look at Me whom they pierced; and they will mourn for Him (Zechariah 12:10)
At that time many Jews will accept Christ and His promise of a perfect destiny in Paradise.