By Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry Jr
Furthermore, eventually all men will enter the spiritual world, the eternal realm (either heaven or hell; 2Co 5:8; Php 1:23; Lk 16:22–23). But again, prior to our entering the eternal state, all men live before God in the material world (2Ch 16:9; Ps 33:13–15; Pr 15:3; Ac 17:28; Heb 4:13), which he creates for His own glory and as our place of habitation (Ps 24:1; 115:16; Pr 15:3; Da 5:23; Ac 25:24–31; Rev 4:11). We may, therefore, expect his covenant sanctions (blessings for the righteous; curses for the unrighteous) in history.
In Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26 we see the objectivity of covenantal blessing, which undergirds the postmillennial eschatology. When God’s covenant people are faithful to his Law-word, he will bless them in all areas of life (t 28:1–14; Lev 26:3–20, 40–46. Cf. Ps 37:25; 112:1–3; Pr 13:22). When they fail him, his curses will pursue them to overtake them (Dt 28:15–68; Lev 26:21–39).
A number of biblical references allude to God’s objective blessings. Among these blessings are: reduced disease (Ex 15:26; 23:25; Dt 7:15; Ps 103:3), abundant food (Ex 23:24–25; Dt 8:7–9; Ps 67:6), lengthened life spans (Dt 4:40; 5:33; 32:46, 47; Isa 65:20; Zec 8:4), fruitful offspring (Dt 5:29; 7:13), economic prosperity (Dt 7:12–16; 8:18; 28:1–15; Ps 112:3), cultural stability, and social peace (Jos 1:5; Isa 2:4; Mic 4:3; Isa 11:6–9). In fact, such passages provide the biblical basis for historical progress: not just linear movement, but upwardly linear progress.
We must keep life’s material blessings in perspective. Nevertheless, Christ promises them for his people: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Mt. 6:33). He even promises His people that if they leave all for him, they will receive many times more in this life: “Then Peter said, ‘See, we have left all and followed You.’ So he said to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come everlasting life’” (Lk 18:28–30).