Building on my post, Limits of Knowledge, I am reconsidering some of my assumptions of the New Creation, to put it on a more Biblical perspective.
Numbers of Redeemed People: Rather Large…
The Bible clearly states that there will be no marriage or new human children in the New Creation. I don’t know about animals: plants will have new fruits, and so will apparently continue to increase.
Now, I don’t know how many years there are until the Second Coming: but lets assume thousands of generations (as suggested by Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10, 7:9; I Chronicles 16:15, and Psalm 105:8). With a generation being 40 years, and a thousand generations being 40,000, that implies human history will continue for at least ~80,000 years, and more likely hundreds of thousands, even millions, of years.
Sure, if you take a linear population growth model, this simply won’t happen: we would have filled up the universe long before then. Seeing how easy it will be for any mildly educated man to build a proper plague or a lethal weapon in the coming years – as well as the rapidly declining fertility of the human race – I have serious doubts on the linear population growth model.
Now, there is a good post-millennial case stating that people will be less obviously and moronically destructive and murderous over time. After all, the possibility of Germany or France or Great Britain or even the United States going off again on some conquest’n’murder spree is declining sharply. Even all the Jihadi, added together, make up less than 100,000 in total: and their continued existence is directly tied to Saudi oil revenue.
But even in the optimistic scenario, birthrates are gong to fall, as everyone becomes as wealthy as Sweden, say, the number of children being born is going to fall accordingly. This will even be more true as genetically argumented humanity (with those multi-century lifetimes) replaces baseline humanity.
I doubt that humanity will eventually die off in sterility. The universe is so constructed that those who hate God will die off, while those who love God will multiply in obedience, and eventually inherit the earth.
A sinful – but increasingly redeemed – humanity lasting for 200,000 years, say, will easily mean hundreds of billions, even trillions, of redeemed souls, before the Second Coming.
…But Not Large Enough to Meaningfully Fill the Universe
A total population of a trillion redeemed souls is a lot of people. But put up against a universe of hundreds of billions of galaxies, each with millions or even hundreds of millions of stars, and a trillion adopted Children of God running the universe is… not easy. Especially if you assume that there is no FTL (as FTL violates casualty/the arrow of time.)
In contrast, Earth can hold a trillion people right now – even before the oceans are restructured away into the atmosphere and underground seas (to gain more useful surface area), and the mountains levelled. If you assume that 1% of the Redeemed are too footloose to remain on an earthly paradise, terraforming Mars and Venus can easily consume the attentions of ten billion sinless immortals (assuming Divine permission is given.) But those worlds, however wondrous, may never be as comfortable as Earth.
And… that’s why we may well have dominion only on just one world, Earth. God may grant us more worlds, but that is not promised to us in the Bible.
Then again, the Bible never even hinted that Man would ever set foot on the Moon, or fly across the sky, or rewrite our genetic code, or communicate instantaneously across continents.
So, we’ll see what the future holds.