Where Will Everyone Live?
"For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited." (Isaiah 45:18)
After Jesus’ return, all the dead (except those who receive heavenly life) will eventually return to human life on earth in the Millennial Kingdom plus the then‑living generation already on earth.
Where will all these people live, and grow food?
This is often the first objection raised when one hears about the Millennial Kingdom and the resurrection of the dead. A little calculation may serve to ease some minds on this matter.
The "World Almanac" gives these figures for the state of Texas (USA):‑
Size ‑ 268,581 square miles (including water areas)
One square mile (5,280 feet on each side) contains 27,878,400 square feet (ft2). Multiply this by the land area of Texas and you get 7,298,481,484,800 ft2.
Then we ask, "How many people have lived on earth since Adam and Eve including the current 7 billion?" Well, no one knows for certain, but estimates range from 35‑50 billion. The population was apparently small until about 1,000 A.D., and since then it has grown rapidly, even exponentially. The plagues, including the Black Death etc.., famines, and the various wars, have hardly made a dent in this increase. At some point population growth must cease.
So, let us assume 50 billion humans for the total population that has ever lived.
Dividing the land area of Texas (7,298,481,484,800 ft2) by 50 billion gives us 145.97 ft2 for each person, or a space of about 12 feet x 12 feet for each. Of course, no one could live on such a small space, but it shows how much of earth’s surface is theoretically available for all the people to live on, and to grow their food.
There are many inspiring prophecies in God’s Word that foretell of the restoration of the earth to its Edenic condition during the times of restoration. (Acts 3:21)
Most likely, humans will again eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, grains, etc., as originally intended (Genesis 1:29‑30; 2:16), and not animal meats; only after the Flood was consumption of animal meat allowed. (Gen.9:2‑3)
For those who might still like a juicy steak or burger, in 2020 there are being produced, but not yet available for sale, "lab‑grown" or "cultured" meats where no animals need be slaughtered. This is real meat, grown from a sample of muscle tissue! Note this, from "Scientific American" magazine in the Sept.14.2018 issue:
"Imagine biting into a juicy burger that was produced without killing animals. Meat grown in a laboratory from cultured cells is turning that vision into a reality. Several start‑ups are developing lab‑grown beef, pork, poultry and seafood…"
And there are plant‑based substitutes for meat that are currently more‑or‑less satisfactory.
Thus, large grasslands and pasture‑lands may be available for other uses. The land will no longer be polluted or depleted of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals; the water will be pure; the people will not need to eat as much food to get all the nutrition they need. And, as people progress towards perfection, they will digest and assimilate foods more efficiently, and with less waste.
Climate extremes will be moderated; patterns of rainfall will possibly change; extreme storms, earthquakes, floods, etc., will be minimized or eliminated. These favorable conditions will tend toward larger, more dependable, crops.
"Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us." (Psalm 67:6)
Eventually, there will be no more weeds, plant diseases, or destructive insects. All creatures need to eat but perhaps birds and animals will have their instincts, or DNA, changed to eat only grasses and seeds. Gen.1:30 seems to indicate it was originally so designed, or perhaps to eat only in certain areas, to eat efficiently and not to cause so much needless destruction and waste. The dental structures and digestive systems will apparently be changed for those that were once carnivores merely by a change in the DNA of mature animals, and their offspring (to the surprise of their parents!) will eat plants, as originally designed in Eden. For "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox..." (Isa.65:25; 11:7)
But what if humans still need more space?
Humans now live on only a portion of the earth, mostly because of extreme climates and lack of water. If that could be remedied (and it will be), there would be plenty of room for people. Land that is useless now, such as salt flats, open‑pit mines, contaminated dump sites, garbage landfills, paved‑over areas, etc…, will be reclaimed and made productive. Mountainous areas not suitable for dwellings can be terraced and many useful plants grown such as grapes, olives, tea, coffee and berries. The earth will become like the "Garden of Eden."
We should note that there is much empty space just in the western U.S.A. a staggering 47% of the country remains unoccupied. There are also many lightly‑populated lands in other areas, such as Canada and Russia, the deserts (Sahara, Gobi, Australian Outback, and others) cover about 33% of earth’s surface. Then there are tropical forests such as the Amazon as well as those in Africa.
Or more islands could arise from the ocean. Or the shallow continental shelf around most land‑masses could be exposed. The continental shelf is geologically part of the continental crust, but now covered by water and continental shelves make up about 8 percent of the entire area covered by oceans.
If still more land is needed, the ice covering Antarctica could be melted and an entirely new continent would be available—in size roughly comparable to the USA and Mexico combined, nearly the size of Europe, and nearly twice the size of Australia.
"Once before, the land under the ice caps was suitable for vegetation. Why not again? Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, the explorer, brought back from the South Pole region samples of tropical plants found under the ice. And we know that the same warm climate which could grow such tropical flora in the Antarctic also was present in the Arctic circle.
"There have been found in Siberia complete mastodons embedded in ice, and, in the same general area, were discovered tons of elephant tusks. Although differing somewhat from our present‑day elephant, these extinct mastodons, in order to live, required the same warm climate and lush vegetable growth. And, of great interest, is the fact that these animals, found embedded in ice, had undigested food (such as buttercups) in their stomachs and un‑masticated grass in their mouths. This shows that the change of temperature at the poles was virtually instantaneous, causing the beasts to be overtaken in a crushing fall of snow while feeding."
"Dawn" magazine, April 1952
Coal, from once‑abundant plants, has also been found in Antarctica.
Many Scriptures reassure us that all will be well in the Kingdom, under the beneficent rule of Jesus Messiah and his Bride:
"The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose." (Isa.35:1 NKJV)
"The tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them." (Ezekiel 34:27)
God the Almighty, and His Son Jesus Messiah, are fully capable of meeting every need of humanity, now, and forever.
"Oh the depth of the wealth both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable His judgements, how trackless His footsteps! ‘Who has known the mind of the LORD, or shared his counsels?’ Who has first given God anything, and thus earned a recompense? For all proceeds from Him, and exists by Him and for Him. To Him be glory for ever!" (Romans 11:33‑36 Weymouth)
"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease." (Gen.8:22 NKJV)