The Lord God, Yahweh, our creator, long ago purposed a family of beings to be taken from among mankind. These saints would be tested, proven, faithful, and ultimately be rewarded with His own divine nature, immortality. This family of immortal beings would be His agents in restoring mankind and the earth to perfection. And in future ages they will assist in fulfilling God’s plan for future creations in this vast universe.
The character of our Creator is absolutely just, all-wise, all-powerful, and all-loving. “…God is love”, 1 John 4:8. His great loving nature desired to express that love by creating intelligent life, both spiritual and earthly.
Mankind was created perfect in the image of God. Adam was endowed with reasoning ability and innate moral righteousness. Had our first parents, Adam and Eve, remained obedient and not eaten of the forbidden fruit, they could have lived forever. They could have born perfect children. However, the wages of disobedience, sin, is death. (Genesis 2:17)
Yet our loving Heavenly Father knows all things from the beginning. Before man’s creation, He had planned for our redemption. 1 Peter 1:18-20 (ESV), “…you were ransomed …with the precious blood of Christ…He was foreknown before the foundation of the world…”
God promised the patriarch Abraham that through his descendants “all families of the earth would be blessed,” (Genesis 22:17). But what about those already dead? This promise can only be affected by the resurrection of the dead. The only begotten Son of God, the Logos, willingly left his heavenly home to be born as a perfect, sinless human being. The man Christ Jesus voluntarily laid down his human life to redeem Adam from the grave. The redemption price was a perfect man (Jesus) for a perfect man (Adam). “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive”, I Corinthians 15:22. God rewarded Jesus with immortality, the divine nature, at his resurrection.
During Jesus’s ministry, he called disciples to follow him in a life of sacrifice (John 1:12-13). If they were faithful unto death, they too would receive the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). They would reign with him to restore mankind and the earth to perfection. (Matthew 6:10)
During Christ’s thousand-year kingdom on earth, all who are in their graves will be resurrected to a period of righteous judgment. (John 5:28) At the end of this period, the loyalty of all humanity will be tested. Those faithful to the Lord and principles of righteousness will step forth with joy into the ages of eternity. (Revelation 22:17)