Secular scientists would have us believe that human beings in their current biological form have been on earth for hundreds of thousands of years, living as uncivilized brutes for most of that time. But the Bible paints a much different picture. According to Scripture, men didn't evolve from primates (though we sometimes behave as if we did), but rather burst onto the scene in a moment, at the culmination of period of divine creation of God-only-knows what length, after all of the other creatures had been crafted. And our collective story is not yet very long. The Bible teaches that human history is unfolding along a timeline of only 7,000 years, with the last thousand years comprising the Messianic kingdom to be installed upon Messiah's return.
Although many Christians today are totally ignorant of this timeline, the 7,000-year plan of God is a doctrine which was widely accepted by the early church. The fulcrum of the doctrine is one verse in a psalm of Moses, which states that “a thousand years in [God's] sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night” (Psa. 90:4, ESV). The apostle Peter reiterated this concept in his second epistle, warning us not to ignore the fact that “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (3:8, ESV). Many Christian leaders have glossed over this, teaching their flocks that these verses merely indicate that God views time differently than we do. True as that may be, it doesn't address the specificity of the verses. How many of us have taken Peter's warning seriously and used it as a key to understanding God's eschatological plans?
Evidently early disciples did heed his words, but we've since lost that wisdom.