Can Man Be Replaced?

How important is mankind? How important are you? Can you be replaced?

Mankind is simply amazing. Human beings have designed buildings that are over a hundred stories tall, conquered the seas through enormous ships, learned to fly and even figured out how to defy the gravitational pull of the earth to travel to space and the moon!

Yet, as amazing as mankind is, many experts tell us that our reign on this earth will not last forever. Some believe an apocalypse (either through warfare or a natural disaster) will destroy mankind. After whatever apocalypse occurs, what will rule the earth and take over man’s position at the top of the food chain?

Theories range from cockroaches to chimpanzees to robots. Yet perhaps the better question isn’t what will replace mankind, but can mankind be replaced?

Replacing mankind

Many believe the hypothesis that mankind rose to supremacy on earth after billions of years of evolution, but that’s a still unproven theory that requires greater faith to believe than belief in the Creator. However, the Bible—the book authored by our Creator—reveals the answers to our origins and purpose. In Genesis 1:26 God says, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Mankind isn’t simply just another creation that somehow managed to reach the top of the food chain through mutations and natural selection. We were created in the image of God and given “dominion” over all lower life-forms that God created. God went out of His way to set man apart for something much greater than roaches and chimps.

The purpose for mankind being set apart is revealed in Romans 8:16-17: “The Spirit … bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.”

God designed us specifically to be His children in His family. There is no other creature in this universe that has such a distinction. Yet we are created to be more than children of God—we are called to be heirs of God. The beginning of God’s plan is for those called now to help Jesus Christ bring this knowledge of life to the rest of mankind.

What separates man

How exactly did God set us apart? What, besides our appearance, separates us from the animals around us? What allows mankind to rule the entire world? Logically, it shouldn’t happen. A quick look at the animal world shows that man shouldn’t be at the top of the food chain. Many animals are larger, stronger and more physically dangerous than human beings. A lion has sharp teeth and claws and has far more muscular strength then a person. Man has no claws or fangs—we have fingernails and tiny teeth! Sharks have razor-sharp teeth and special gills that allow them to breathe underwater. Man has an extremely limited lung capacity, and no human—not even Michael Phelps—could outswim a shark.

Yet one thing has allowed the physically inferior humankind to rule over all of animal kind—the ability to think. Our minds have allowed us to invent weaponry that allows us to control animals. If a lion charges us, we can easily incapacitate or kill it with a gun. We master the waters that the sharks rule with our boats and submarines. We design solid structures that allow us to keep almost all dangerous animals out.

What gives man this ability to think and create? Romans 8:16 reveals that “the Spirit … bears witness with our spirit.” Mankind has a spirit. Job 32:8 tells us, “But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.” We have a spirit inside us that gives us the ability to think, reason, design and create. God has given us this spirit so that we could not only survive, but exercise the “dominion” He gave us.

The Bible reveals that the greatest threat to that dominion is ourselves. There is a time coming when mankind will bring itself to the brink of destruction through war (Matthew 24:22) but will be saved from total destruction by the returning Jesus Christ (verse 30).

What about you?

What about you? Can you be replaced? Mankind might be irreplaceable, but where do you fit in the grand scheme of things?

In 2 Peter 3:9 we are told that “the Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Yes, you do matter in the grand scheme of things. God wants each and every individual on this planet (that includes you!) to be in His Kingdom. That is not a small thing. If God is calling you now, before Christ returns, you are being given the chance to rule the earth with Jesus Christ!

No, mankind—and you—cannot be replaced. God has made us as His special creation to rule with Him in the near future. There will be no cockroaches, chimpanzees or machines taking our place!

To learn more about the incredible purpose for human beings, read What is a Human Being?

About the Author

Joshua Travers

Joshua Travers

Joshua Travers grew up and lives in Athens, Ohio. He graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in social studies and Spanish education from Ohio University. He also studied theology at Foundation Institute, Center for Biblical Education, in Allen, Texas and graduated with a certificate in biblical studies in May 2017.

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