Q. Please help me to understand the following. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they legally gave the earth over to Satan, right? So, all throughout the years until the Lord gave Himself on the cross and rose from the dead, was Satan the real owner of planet earth, instead of God? How could God not own the earth? It seems incredible. It seems King Jesus bought the earth back somehow, with His blood, but Satan is still ruling it or something. Is there any more about this you think I should know?
A. That’s a pretty good summary. Exactly how Satan came into possession of earth is not made clear in the Bible. But here’s what we do know.
In Luke 4:5-7 Satan promised all authority and splendor of the kingdoms of the world to Jesus in exchange for His worship. He said, “It has been given to me and I can give it to anyone I want to.” Jesus declined Satan’s offer but did not dispute his claim.
In John 12:31, 14:30, & 16:11 Jesus referred to Satan as the prince (ruler) of this world.
In 2 Cor. 4:4 Paul called him the god of this age
In 1 John 5:19 John said the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
In Acts 3:21 Peter said that Jesus must remain in Heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything.
In Romans 8:19-22 Paul wrote that the creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed so it can be liberated from its bondage to decay.
Put it all together and I believe it tells us that Adam lost dominion over planet Earth to Satan when he fell into sin. Jesus purchased its redemption along with ours on the cross, but the creation won’t be restored to its original ownership, control and condition until the time of the 2nd Coming when He returns to take possession of it and the final phase of the first resurrection takes place. On that day, He will be king of the whole earth, there will be only one Lord and His name will be the only name (Zechariah 14:9).