In common with most writers, God causes his prophets to use figures of speech.
Heaven and earth are used as metaphors for the rulers and the ruled; and by extension, for the system of organization that exists among men.
Deuteronomy 32:1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
Here ‘heavens and earth’ are metaphors for the whole of Israel that Moses is speaking to.
Isaiah 1:2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
Here ‘heavens and earth’ are metaphors for Israel, both rulers and ruled.
Jeremiah 2:12 Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 6:19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.
Here the prophecy is to all classes of people who will be warned and take example from the fall of Israel.
2 Peter 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
It was not the world that perished in the flood, but the people upon the earth. It is not the literal heavens and earth that will face judgment but the people, both rulers and ruled. God has appointed both the day and the man to carry out the judgment.
Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
Paul is speaking of the establishment of the kingdom of God upon earth at the return of Christ.
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
‘The earth... and the works that are therein shall be burned up’ refers to the end of criminal behaviour among men, under the hand of the judge who can see into men’s hearts.
Christ is to restore the kingdom of David rule the world from Jerusalem.
Luke 1:32,33 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Psalm 2 is a prophecy of the time to come.
Psalms 2:1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. 6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. 10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
Isaiah prophesies of the same time.
Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
The earth was created by God to be inhabited and filled with his glory in the form of men and women raised to the divine nature,
Isaiah 45:18 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: I am the LORD; and there is none else.
Numbers 14:21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.
At the present time all die, but the earth remains.
Ecclesiastes 1:4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
The earth is the promised inheritance for those who attain to eternal life at the resurrection of the dead.
Psalms 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
Psalms 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Psalms 37:22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Paul explains what is going to happen:
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
The reign of Christ with those who are raised to immortality is to last one thousand years.
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
During this reign the mortal population will have health and longevity.
Isaiah 65:20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.
At the end of this time there will be a final judgment and sin and death will be abolished. All who live on will have the divine nature and God will dwell in them.
1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
This is the kingdom of God (or kingdom of heaven) about which the gospel (good news) is written down in the Bible.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (condemned to eternal death).
Eternal life in the kingdom of God is freely available for all those who believe and obey the gospel.
I hope you have found this helpful.
May God bless you,