I know that God had a plan for Adam and Eve provided they resisted the temptation from the serpent. God knew the consequences of both sides of the choice he presented them with . Since God didn't intend for them to sin as this came directly from a being that naturally opposes God, what was God's plan for Adam and Eve on the event that they remained faithful and didn't conspire to eat the forbidden fruit?

Was continual access to the tree of life a consequence of obedience since it was revoked when they disobeyed? Was it God's plan for them to live forever ? If this is so , then would the world have run out of space from the procreation of eternal beings?


The word of God says that He has good plans for us, plans of prosperity and not plans of destruction.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

This means that God had good plans for Adam and Eve, his plan was not to see them fall so harm would come to them but had a plan of prosperity where they would prevail against the serpent but had to let them make a choice.

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    When an omniscient God creates a plan, how can there be a plan B? Like, what "original" plan are you talking about, there is exactly one plan.
    – kutschkem
    Commented Jun 14 at 6:34
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    @SoFewAgainstSoMany Well at least in my world view God's plans account for what is actually going to be chosen by people. So yes, God intends for people to be righteous but the plan accounts for the fact not all will be righteous. Judas is rightly punished for betraying Jesus, but that was always accounted for. It makes little sense to ask what the plan B was if Judas didn't betray Jesus. Or to ask what would have been the plan if Jesus wasn't crucified.
    – kutschkem
    Commented Jun 14 at 6:44
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    @SoFewAgainstSoMany That's not what I said, I said that God intended that when (not if) they fall, to cast them out of Eden and provide Jesus as savior. There simply is no If in God's plans, he already knows the outcome.
    – kutschkem
    Commented Jun 14 at 6:53
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    @kutschkem, then if it was not his intention for them to fall then he intended for them to prevail, this plan is what am asking about Commented Jun 14 at 6:59
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    @SoFewAgainstSoMany I think the word "plan" is a bit confusing here, as it conflates two or three distinct ideas: 1) what God knew was going to happen, 2) what God was going to do after (1) happened, 3) what God intended. I think especially the lack of distinction between what God knew would happen and what God intended to happen causes confusion. But these are complicated theological and philosophical topics, which some experts disagree on.
    – LarsH
    Commented Jun 14 at 15:43

5 Answers 5


I think the premise in your first sentence may be in error. Consider just a couple texts:

Ephesians 1:4-5 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world [...] Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself...

We were predestined to adoption through Jesus Christ before creation.

1 Peter 1:19-20 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world...

Christ's blood being shed as a sacrifice was foreordained before creation. There are other relevant texts I could cite, but I think these already prove the point. Christ's sacrifice and our salvation through it was not "Plan B" after Adam messed everything up, God's plan always included the fall and salvation from even before creation. As a result, all "what if" questions become irrelevant. The question of immortal overpopulation was never going to arise, because God knew before that we would die.

(Added in response to question) Does this mean that God wanted Adam and Eve to sin?

When we talk about God's will, we need to understand that it's used in at least a couple different meanings. I've heard the terms "revealed will" and "sovereign will", though I don't know how widespread they are. The first refers to His standard of good and evil while the second refers to His plan for creation. God does not like sin and does not cause people to sin, but at the same time He is aware of sin and makes use of it to fulfill His sovereign will. One example - God has very clearly revealed that it's wrong to kill an innocent person. Murder is sin and goes against His revealed will. At the same time, God's plan of salvation involved us killing the one Person who was absolutely innocent. God was not guilty of murder, but knowing how we would receive His Son, used our sin of murder to fulfill His sovereign plan.

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    So God who is light and in whom there is no darkness or deceit created Adam and Eve so they would sin and fall, God is always opposes to sin since the beginning, how do you reconcile this? Commented Jun 14 at 6:51
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    @SoFewAgainstSoMany I think you're confusing different meanings of "God's will" (I've heard the terms "sovereign will" and "revealed will"). God does not cause people to sin, but He is aware of our sin and includes it in His sovereign plan. One example - God's has very clearly revealed that it's wrong to kill an innocent person. Murder goes against His revealed will. At the same time, His plan of salvation involved us killing the one Person who was absolutely innocent. God's sovereign will made use of our sin of murder. There is no contradiction and nothing to reconcile.
    – user111403
    Commented Jun 14 at 6:57
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    @SoFewAgainstSoMany And again, it's not me saying it, it's the Apostles Peter and Paul.
    – user111403
    Commented Jun 14 at 7:00
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    – agarza
    Commented Jun 14 at 13:56
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    Up-voted +1. I was going to submit an answer but I have simply voted yours and not contributed. Yours is an excellent response. Very few understand that Adam was 'a figure of Him that was to come'. That One was ever in view, as you say, 'foreordained before the foundation of the world'.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jun 15 at 10:09

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a different perspective and as no denomination was specified in the question here is their perspective.

God had a plan for Adam and Eve provided they resisted the temptation from the serpent

This aspect of the plan was they (only Adam and Eve, no children) would continue to live in the Garden of Eden forever. Remember they could feel no pain before the Fall (SO question, tldr: it's not explicit but there is strong implication of this), which would discount childbirth.

Was continual access to the tree of life a consequence of obedience since it was revoked when they disobeyed?


Was it God's plan for them to live forever?

Sort of, the plan was to show that we (man) had agency and would choose to follow Him even when away from Him. There are consequences of actions, and if Adam and Eve chose to resist temptation the consequence would be to live forever. We don't know how long Adam and Eve stayed in the Garden before they partook of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

2 Nephi 2:22

22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

As such the Fall was necessary for the rest of us to come to earth to experience mortality.

If this is so , then would the world have run out of space from the procreation of eternal beings?

No, as Adam and Eve couldn't have children until they left the garden of Eden.

2 Nephi 2:23-25

23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.

25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

Fall of Adam and Eve

The Fall of Adam and Eve was not a surprise to Heavenly Father. The Fall is a necessary part of God’s plan for the salvation and exaltation of His children. After the Fall occurred, Adam and Eve became mortal and gained the ability to have children, but they also became subject to sin and death.

Because of the Fall, all living things are subject to hardships, sickness, and death. This opposition is part of God’s plan for us, and it contributes to our learning, growth, and ability to experience joy. To redeem us from the effects of the Fall, Heavenly Father provided a Savior—Jesus Christ. Christ has the power to redeem the world and everyone in it from the effects of the Fall.

Remaining in the Garden of Eden being with out sin and procreating is not part of the plan of God. First if we all lived forever there would be no returning to God as there is no death (physical death is necessary). Second by having no opposition in a perfect Garden we would have had no choice/agency (see 2 Ne 2:11). Both of these would have eliminated the need for a Savior and his Atonement. This theory hints at Satan's plan from the pre-existence which is opposition to God's plan.

From The Great Plan of Happiness, Elder Dallin H Oaks

Our understanding of life begins with a council in heaven. There the spirit children of God were taught his eternal plan for their destiny. We had progressed as far as we could without a physical body and an experience in mortality. To realize a fulness of joy, we had to prove our willingness to keep the commandments of God in a circumstance where we had no memory of what preceded our mortal birth.

In the course of mortality, we would become subject to death, and we would be soiled by sin. To reclaim us from death and sin, our Heavenly Father’s plan provided us a Savior, whose atonement would redeem all from death and pay the price necessary for all to be cleansed from sin on the conditions he prescribed (see 2 Ne. 9:19–24).

Satan had his own plan. He proposed to save all the spirit children of God, assuring that result by removing their power to choose and thus eliminating the possibility of sin.

See also

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    taking away the gift of choice from a creature would eliminate the possibility of sin as Satan suggested but then we would be no different than bots scripted to be good or evil, that is the exact reason why God let Adam and Eve decide but on each choice there is a consequence Commented Jun 13 at 12:08

Yes, God's plan for humanity is stated in the opening chapters of Genesis. He was created in the image and likeness of God, who provided absolutely everything needed for perfect life in the garden of Eden. The man, Adam, was placed in that garden and told to cultivate (horticulture), and to name the animals God brought before him (zoology). A woman was created for him as companion and helper, and the couple were told to multiply, to fill (not over-fill) the earth (procreation) and to subdue it, having all the other creatures God had created in dominion (responsibility).

Details then emerge when God told them of having provided (in the midst of the garden) - the Tree of Life. This need not be taken a a literal tree, with literal edible fruit, for no literal tree or its fruit can impart that particular life God was indicating - life that would never end. This becomes clear as the account unfolds with another symbolic tree - the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It, likewise, cannot be taken as a literal tree with literal fruit, as no tree can give any knowledge, let alone that particular knowledge.

This was when God warned of not partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. (Why do most people abbreviate that to merely 'the Tree of Knowledge'?) To do that would result in death, God warned.

So, there we have God's original purpose, with only one, single, stipulation as to what not to do with one particular matter. To obey would ensure life everlasting (at what point we are not told - clearly, to disobey on that matter would be to forfeit eternal life in that paradise.) The fact that, once the first couple had disobeyed, they had to be cast out of the garden into a hostile world beyond, to die, and God placed cherubim at the east of Eden, to prevent the couple getting back in to partake of the Tree of Life, shows that humanity had wrecked matters. And not only for themselves and all humanity that would be born from them, but all the animal and earthly creation would consequently suffer too.

Yet the last book of the Bible, Revelation, presents us with the Tree of Life again. It remains in God's control and, at the right time, will be experienced. Inbetween the 'bookends' of Genesis and Revelation, we learn of God's continued dealings with disobedient humanity, how he deals with them in righteousness, justice and mercy, so that all things will yet be brought back to God's initial plan of perfection and peace. So - there is hope! And that hope is realised in how Jesus fulfills the promise of God in Genesis 3:15. Too much to go into here, but it's all there, starting with Genesis, and going through to "a new heaven and the new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." Revelation 21:1. Awesome, is it not?

Just to add (responding to a secondary question), that it is not humanity's obedience that secures any of us access to the Tree of Life, as if we had any right to it in the first place. Humanity is disobedient - every first and last one of us - and our iniquities (unrighteousness) can only incur the righteous wrath of God (read the first eight chapters of Romans for that, please.) Only what the Son of God did in fulfilling the plan of redemption first set out in Genesis 3:15 secured that for those who put total faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.

This is an answer from one who may be categorised as a Bible-believing, God and Christ-honouring, Protestant Christian. (In case the question needs to be directed to any particular group.)

  • Thanks for the answer, envisage the scenario where Adam have a family and they are all eternal , eating from the tree of life means even Adam cannot die which means he can continue to procreate with Eve forever, wouldn't the earth have run out of space due to this procreation? Commented Jun 13 at 8:02
  • @SoFewAgainstSoMany There are so many unknowns regarding "what if" outcomes, but given the simple command of God to "fill the earth" and not to "over-fill it", we may be confident God would have been in control of procreation, I suggest. Could we be adversely affected in our thinking on such matters by seeing global, rampant lust, which would surely never have prevailed in a sinless world? Just a question (which I cannot answer, but I do wonder.)
    – Anne
    Commented Jun 13 at 8:09
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    God's command was for Adam and Eve to "fill the earth" - I would guess that God would have stopped the procreation process, once that command got fulfilled. It is speculative, but being on earth filled with perfect humans, imagine the power of innovation coming from that? Maybe God would have given the opportunity to "subdue" other planets and continue pro-creation there... we might know when God's purpose with the earth will be finally fulfilled in the future.
    – Js Witness
    Commented Jun 13 at 9:58
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    It seems obvious that procreating would stop for earths inhabitants once the creator deemed the planet full.
    – Kristopher
    Commented Jun 13 at 13:43
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    @Anne, the tree of knowledge of good and evil had to be literal because we are told she looked at the tree with her eyes and desired it, in order for you to be able to see something then it has to be physical and not symbolic. After she beheld the tree with her eyes she took of the fruit and ate it , and then took some to her husband who also ate it . If the tree is symbolic then it wouldn't have been visible to Eve Commented Jun 13 at 19:31

Others have said that as God is all-knowing, he would know what people would do, and so he didn't need a "plan A" and a "plan B". True enough, but I think it's fair to discuss what God's plan would have been if people had not sinned.

The only way to really know is for God to tell us -- how else could we know anyone's plans if those plans were never put into effect? -- and the Bible doesn't spell it out.

CS Lewis once wrote -- and sorry, I can't find the reference so I'm just paraphrasing from memory -- that people often describe the Second Coming as the "end of the world". But the Bible never calls it "the end of the world". It calls it "the end of the age". So Lewis said, "If a man sets out on a journey, and on his first step he stumbles and falls, when he gets back up again, do we say that his journey is over? Of course not. It is just beginning." The point, of course, is that at the Second Coming things will be put right and we will back, more or less, on the path that God originally intended. Then the history of the universe can really begin.

The Bible does tell us several things about life after the Second Coming that I think would surprise many people.

  1. We will not be "spirits" in the sense of having no body. Quite the contrary, when describing the resurrection body, 1 Corinthians 15:35-49, Paul says the resurrection body will be like a "house" while our present body is like a "tent". He doesn't say our present body is like a house and the resurrection body will be like a cloud. The new body will be MORE solid than our present body, not less.

Micah 4:3 includes the well known verse, "they shall beat their swords into plowshares". But why would people in Eternity need plows, unless they will be doing work that requires farm tools. Likewise Micah 4:4 says that "everyone will sit under his own vine and his own fig tree". So we will still have private property.

Revelation 21 describes a great city, "New Jerusalem", that we will live in. So the Garden of Eden was not intended to be a permanent state of affairs. In the future we will live in a city. And, Revelation 21:26, "they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it". So there will still be nations. This might mean that they will bring the finest products of each nation to NJ, so there will still be economic activity.

So in general, I theorize that life will be just like it is today, except with no sin. But that's a huge "except". It's like saying just like fire except it's not hot. Sin so fills our lives that we have to really think to imagine a world with no sin. Like personally, every time I leave my house, I turn around and lock the door. Why? So thieves won't enter my house and steal. I have a password to this web site, so that an obnoxious person can't pretend to be me and embarrass me. Etc.

In a world without sin, presumably there would be no armies. No one would create an army to attack his neighbors to rob and enslave them, because that would be sin. And so no one would need an army to defend themselves from such people.

Likewise, police forces would not exist, at least not in their present form. We might still have police to direct traffic and that sort of thing. Perhaps there will still be accidents so we'd need police to clean up the mess. But pretty obviously we wouldn't need police to arrest criminals, because there wouldn't be any criminals.

Well, etc.

  • I think God wanted them to dominate the universe , habitate other planets and the whole universe with his image, which was man, this is because God is naturally opposed to sin Commented Jun 16 at 13:31
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    @SoFewAgainstSoMany Oh, I basically agree. Why would God have created such a big universe unless he expected people to colonize it eventually? I've heard Christians explain why we will never travel to the stars, but I'm unconvinced. Usually comes down to, a trip to another star would take too long. But so what if you're going to live forever? A trip of 100 years would be no big deal. Perhaps the meek will quite literally inherit the Earth, because the bold will leave and let them have it.
    – Jay
    Commented Jun 16 at 16:23
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    @user111403 I've heard the argument that God created the universe to show us his power and glory, and not for us to use. I find this unconvincing, but I can't prove it wrong from scripture or anything other than my own intuition. So ... maybe.
    – Jay
    Commented Jun 17 at 7:13
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    @user111403 Where does the Bible say that the purpose of the stars and planets is to "show us His power and glory", and for no other purpose? I could probably find verses saying that mountains and oceans display God's power and glory, but that doesn't mean they're not useful for mining, fishing, etc. I agree that one could make a case for no significant space colonies, as prophecies about the Second Coming appear to be exclusively about events on Earth. The idea that a moon base with 100 people might be not mentioned as irrelevant is plausible, but if people had an interstellar empire ...
    – Jay
    Commented Jun 17 at 8:24
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    ... spanning dozens of planets, one would think that would have to affect prophecy. Maybe first century writers wouldn't have the words to say "an interstellar colony on Tau Ceti III", but I'm sure God could have come up with some words to express the idea.
    – Jay
    Commented Jun 17 at 8:26

God's plan was detailed clearly:

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. ” Genesis 1:28 KJV

“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. ” Isaiah 45:18 KJV

And God's plan was for man to live forever by continual access to the tree of life had there been no sin. Evidently, only the advent of sin restricted the access to the tree of life.

Overpopulation? I don't think that would have been an issue for the following reasons:

  1. Man was unselfish and intelligent before sin. So he would have exercised caution with regards to overpopulation
  2. There are so many planets all around earth. If sinful, mortal, weakly intelligent humans can make plans to terraform moon, mars etc.... think about what super strong, super intelligent and immortal man could do! Besides space travel was not a pipe dream before sin - in the book of Job we see the sons of God traveling to heaven to meet with God and Satan arrived there as a representative of Earth. Had there been no fall, Adam would have been there instead. So man was capable of space travel!
  3. God could very well have created new planet to continue the expansion
  4. The land to sea ratio would have been much different before the flood. Genesis says that God separated and placed a good amount of water above the earth which drained back into the earth during the flood. I do not reckon it was in the form of clouds - for had there been clouds, there would have been rain and therefore heavy rain and some sort of storm as well. But Bible affirms that Noah, through faith believed on "things not yet seen" (Heb 11:7). So water was trapped in some other form - which would mean that there was much greater land mass then as compared to now.
  • Well answered , Satan is the default representative of earth in the council of heaven? Jesus took that from him Teo thousand years ago Commented Jun 15 at 3:36
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    Yes. On the cross Jesus defeated Satan and then said "All power is given unto me under heaven".
    – One Face
    Commented Jun 15 at 5:11
  • man was ... intelligent before sin can you provide a scriptural basis of this. I'm not saying they weren't intelligent, but you make it sound like they became less after sinning? How do you know they would've exercised caution when we know they chose to sin?
    – depperm
    Commented Jun 16 at 0:01

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