What We Learn From Jesus
About Mankind’s Future
Did Jesus promise life in heaven?
Yes, he did! Jesus himself was resurrected, and he ascended to heaven to be with his Father. But before his death and resurrection, he told his 11 faithful apostles: “In the house of my Father there are many abodes. . . . I am going my way to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2) However, those who would receive this privilege would be few. Jesus made this fact plain when he said to his disciples: “Have no fear, little flock, because your Father has approved of giving you the kingdom.”—Luke 12:32.
What will the “little flock” do in heaven?
The Father wants this small group to be part of a government in heaven with Jesus. How do we know? After he was resurrected, Jesus revealed to the apostle John that some faithful ones would “rule as kings over the earth.” (Revelation 1:1; 5:9, 10) This is good news. One of mankind’s greatest needs is good government. What will this government ruled by Jesus achieve? Jesus said: “In the re-creation, when the Son of man sits down upon his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also yourselves sit upon twelve thrones.” (Matthew 19:28) The rule by Jesus and his followers will result in “the re-creation,” or renewal, of the perfect conditions that the first human couple enjoyed on earth before they sinned.
What hope did Jesus offer the rest of mankind?
Mankind was created for life on earth, in contrast with Jesus, who was created for life in heaven. (Psalm 115:16) Thus, Jesus said: “You are from the realms below; I am from the realms above.” (John 8:23) Jesus spoke of a wonderful future for mankind on earth. Once, he said: “Happy are the mild-tempered ones, since they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) He was alluding to the inspired psalm that says: “The meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace. The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.”—Psalm 37:11, 29.
So the “little flock,” who go to heaven, are not the only ones to receive everlasting life. Jesus also spoke of a hope that is open to the whole world of millions of mankind. He said: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”—John 3:16.
How will God relieve mankind of suffering?
Jesus spoke of relief from two sources of oppression when he said: “Now there is a judging of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” (John 12:31) First, ungodly men who cause suffering will be judged and destroyed. Second, Satan will be cast out and will no longer mislead mankind.
What about those throughout history who lived and died without having a chance to learn about God and Christ and exercise faith in them? Jesus told an evildoer who suffered death at His side: “You will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) That person, along with millions of others, will have an opportunity to learn about God when Jesus raises him from the dead in a paradise on earth. He will then have the chance to be among the meek and righteous ones who receive everlasting life on earth.—Acts 24:15.
Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
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“The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.”—Psalm 37:29