God’s Word Is Alive
Do All Good Persons Go to Heaven?
. . . OR WILL MOST LIVE ON A PARADISE EARTH?
PERHAPS most persons believe that they do. But is that what the Bible teaches?
Shortly after Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, the apostle Peter told a crowd of Jews: “The family head David . . . both deceased and was buried and his tomb is among us to this day. Actually David did not ascend to the heavens.”—Acts 2:29, 34.
Did the good man Job go to heaven when he died? While suffering, Job prayed to God: “O that in Sheol [the grave] you would conceal me, that you would keep me secret until your anger turns back, that you would set a time limit for me and remember me!”—Job 14:13.
When he died, Job expected to be unconscious in the grave. But he had hope, as he explained: “If an able-bodied man dies can he live again? All the days of my compulsory service [appointed time in the grave] I shall wait, until my relief comes. You will call, and I myself shall answer you.”—Job 14:14, 15.
John the Baptizer was indeed a good man. Yet Jesus said: “A person that is a lesser one in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he is.” (Matt. 11:11) This is so because John the Baptizer will not go to heaven. He will be resurrected to life on earth. David, Job, John the Baptizer and all other faithful men and women who died before Christ did will receive a resurrection to life on earth. They will be earthly subjects of God’s kingdom.
Jesus Christ will rule as king in heaven. His apostles and other spirit-begotten Christians will go to heaven to rule with him, as the Bible says: “They are to rule as kings over the earth.” (Rev. 5:10) The Bible shows that only a limited number of persons, a “little flock,” will go to heaven to be those kings. The Bible gives their total number as 144,000. The rest of faithful humankind will live on earth under these rulers.—Luke 12:32; Rev. 14:1, 3.
What will it be like on earth when God’s kingdom rules? The earth will become a paradise earth wide, even as God originally purposed it to be when he put Adam and Eve in the paradise of Eden. Then the Bible promise will be fulfilled: “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.”—Ps. 37:29.
[Pictures on page 12]
King David—in heaven or where?
Was it Job’s hope to go to heaven?
Did John the Baptizer go to heaven?