Many Christians believe those who are saved will have eternal life in heaven, beginning right after death. But that is not what is promised in the Bible. In fact, we are promised a much more useful and meaningful future than some sort of eternal vacation off in heaven!
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Are you going to go to heaven for eternity? Many churches teach that. But there's not even one verse in the Bible that says Christians go to heaven for eternity. Yes, a reward is stored for us in heaven as Jesus stated in Matthew 5:12:
"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (Matthew 5:12)
But that does not mean we go to heaven to get the reward. Jesus will bring the reward to us when He returns:
"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." (Revelation 22:12)
So where will we be after Jesus returns? We'll be with Him. Jesus will resurrect the "dead in Christ" with eternal life when He returns. Those (in Christ) who "are alive and remain" will also receive eternal life. Then, together, they will rise to meet Him "in the air" - not in heaven:
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; also 1 Corinthians 15:50-54)
When Jesus returns He will resurrect and reward the "just":
"But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just." (Luke 14:13,14)
And where will Jesus be after that? Right here on Earth:
"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." (Isaiah 2:4)
Those who met Jesus at His return will be here on Earth with Him, ruling with Him:
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:6)
Jesus told His disciples exactly what they would be doing in His kingdom here on Earth:
"Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.
And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Luke 22:28-30)
Christians are promised a much more useful and meaningful future than some sort of eternal vacation off in heaven!
What happens after the 1000 years? There is a resurrection of the rest of the dead, for judgment:
"But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished . . . " (Revelation 20:5)
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." (Revelation 20:12)
Then all who have eternal life will inherit a new, re-created earth. God will dwell with them:
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:1-4)
"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." (Jesus, in Matthew 5:5)
"But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." (Psalm 37:11)