Increasingly many brothers and sisters have accepted their sonship with God among Jehovah’s Witnesses and have become members of the body of Christ and recipients of the heavenly invitation. They have transitioned from the manmade doctrine of eternal life on a paradise earth where one is simply a friend of God to the well-defined teachings of Jesus’ promise to prepare a place for them in heaven as sons of God. However, not nearly enough of our brothers and sisters have developed the spiritual insight to free themselves from the bondage of slaves of God to the “freedom of the sons of God” with a heavenly future.
Recently a faith son asked me where in the Bible does it clearly reveal a resurrection to eternal life on a paradise earth? As I sat momentarily scanning my memory of all the places in scripture that describe paradise-like conditions on earth, not a single one of them spoke of a person being resurrected from death to eternal life on earth! Notwithstanding that I have accepted my own sonship and eagerly look forward to a resurrection to heavenly life, this exercise astounded me. So I took out the book “Insight on the Scriptures” published by the Watchtower Society and read the exhaustive section titled “Resurrection,” along with the scriptures in support of the statements made therein. The subsection titled “Earthly Resurrection” makes a number of assumptions regarding resurrection. What one will discover from reading that subsection is that the assumptions are bereft of solid scriptural support. I did not find one scripture that directly spoke of a person being resurrected to eternal life on a paradise earth. Not one! Examine it for yourself.
If Jesus Christ had not come to earth to personally provide for us an expanded revelation of God’s eternal purpose for mankind, a person might be justified in making assumptions regarding a resurrection to everlasting life on earth. But with such clear unambiguous statements of the Master about heaven and the reward his faithful followers would receive by inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven, there simply is no reason to be guided by assumptions regarding our eternal future.
Unlike the difficulty of being able to find an explicit text that discusses a resurrection to eternal life on a paradise earth, the scriptures are replete with clear unambiguous statements regarding individuals being resurrected to heaven. Here are just a few:
- (Matthew 11:12) “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of the heavens is the goal toward which men press, and those pressing forward are seizing it.”
- (John 14:1-4) “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Exercise faith in God; exercise faith also in me. In the house of my Father are many dwelling places. Otherwise, I would have told you, for I am going my way to prepare a place for you. Also, if I go my way and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will receive you home to myself, so that where I am you also may be. And where I am going, you know the way.”
- (Matthew 5:10) “Happy are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake, since the Kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.”
- (Matthew 5:20) For I say to you that if your righteousness does not surpass that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will by no means enter into the Kingdom of the heavens.
- (Matthew 25:34) “Then the King will say to those on his right: ‘Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world.”
- (Ephesians 1:3-6) “Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in union with Christ, as he chose us to be in union with him before the founding of the world, that we should be holy and unblemished before him in love. For he foreordained us to be adopted as his own sons through Jesus Christ, according to his good pleasure and will, in praise of his glorious undeserved kindness that he kindly bestowed on us by means of his beloved one.”
- (Philippians 3:14, 15) “I am pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God by means of Christ Jesus. Therefore, let those of us who are mature be of this mental attitude, and if you are mentally inclined otherwise in any respect, God will reveal the above attitude to you. . .”
- (Hebrews 11:13-16) “In faith all of these died, although they did not receive the fulfillment of the promises; but they saw them from a distance and welcomed them and publicly declared that they were strangers and temporary residents in the land. For those who speak in such a way make it evident that they are earnestly seeking a place of their own. And yet, if they had kept remembering the place from which they had departed, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they are reaching out for a better place, that is, one belonging to heaven…”
- (Revelation 2:7) “Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations: ‘To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’”
Many more scriptures could have been included, but the foregoing illustrates the point that the Bible explicitly talks about a resurrection to heavenly life, but is silent on the idea of a resurrection to eternal life on a paradise earth.
This knowledge is what non-witness Christians have captured and understood correctly over the past centuries. If what the Watchtower Society says is true, that these millions of Christians over the past two thousand years who clung to these words of Jesus, and punctuated by the apostle Paul, were nothing more than self-delusions, then what a horrible deception both Christ Jesus and Jehovah God would have perpetrated on the human family! If indeed this doctrine of only 144,000 persons in all human history are invited to be with Christ and our heavenly Father, of which only a few thousand remain among those associated with the Watchtower organization, then, in fact, the Father has handed his sons “a serpent instead of a fish” and “instead of an egg has handed him a scorpion.” (Luke 11:10-13) Of course, such an idea is wholly appalling to any God-conscious Christian!
All of us who are faith sons of God and brothers of Christ, who know the truth about the future destiny all faithful ones, must do all we can to correct and readjust our brothers who have lost sight of Jesus message and failed to capture the real good news of the Kingdom. May the Spirit of Truth be with you.
Associated Writer of AnointedJW.Org
For a further discussion see: The Cherished Earthly Hope, The Destiny of Man and The Promised Resurrection.