What do Christians believe about Heaven, Earth and the better RESURRECTION?

by jwfacts 13 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • jwfacts

    The bible speaks of several resurrections and several places. How are these reconciled by Christians?

    Will people continue to live on earth, and if so will there still be death?

    (Isaiah 25:8) makes it sound like earthly death will cease.

    He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces. . . .

    (Isaiah 65:17-20) shows that there will still be death in the new earth.

    17 “For here I am creating new heavens and a new earth; and the former things will not be called to mind, neither will they come up into the heart. 18 But exult, YOU people, and be joyful forever in what I am creating. For here I am creating Jerusalem a cause for joyfulness and her people a cause for exultation. 19 And I will be joyful in Jerusalem and exult in my people; and no more will there be heard in her the sound of weeping or the sound of a plaintive cry.” 20 “No more will there come to be a suckling a few days old from that place, neither an old man that does not fulfill his days; for one will die as a mere boy, although a hundred years of age; and as for the sinner, although a hundred years of age he will have evil called down upon him.

    Do people prior to Jesus go to heaven?

    (Luke 7:28) Makes it seem that John does not go to heaven.

    I tell YOU, Among those born of women there is none greater than John; but a person that is a lesser one in the kingdom of God is greater than he is. . .

    What is the better resurrection?

    (Hebrews 11:32-35) indicates the men of old expected a heavenly resurrection.

    32 And what more shall I say? For the time will fail me if I go on to relate about Gid´e•on, Ba´rak, Samson, Jeph´thah, David as well as Samuel and the [other] prophets, 33 who through faith defeated kingdoms in conflict, effected righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 stayed the force of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from a weak state were made powerful, became valiant in war, routed the armies of foreigners. 35 Women received their dead by resurrection; but other [men] were tortured because they would not accept release by some ransom, in order that they might attain a better resurrection.

    What is the earlier resurrection?

    (Philippians 3:8-11) . . .On account of him I have taken the loss of all things and I consider them as a lot of refuse, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in union with him, having, not my own righteousness, which results from law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness that issues from God on the basis of faith, 10 so as to know him and the power of his resurrection and a sharing in his sufferings, submitting myself to a death like his, 11 [to see] if I may by any means attain to the earlier resurrection from the dead.

    It seems that at some future point in time, the last day every one will get a resurrection to heaven. So what is the point of the new earth?

  • ozziepost

    G'day mate,

    There's a lot of dubdom to be clered out of the way!

    (Luke 7:28) Makes it seem that John does not go to heaven.I tell YOU, Among those born of women there is none greater than John; but a person that is a lesser one in the kingdom of God is greater than he is. . .

    How does it?

    Christians believe in the resurrection. Their habitation is with the Lord. Peter writes of a new heavens and a new earth and then John's Revelation speaks of New Jerusalem coming down to earth, so basically it seems there will be life on a new earth, but since the Bible doesn't go into details, neither do christians.

    In truth, dubs have leanrned a distorted view of what christians believe. Think of all the talks we heard and the magazines we read from the WTS; were they telling us the truth? No way, why, it wasn't in their interest to tell the real story. More than that, they are the inheritors of the teachings of that prize bigot, Joe Ratherflawed.

    Your best bet is to find some good books on these questions - try Koorong, it's a mine of information. You don't even have to buy the books, just read and study there. Mrs Ozzie and I visit their West Ryde store.

    Cheers, Ozzie

  • jwfacts

    Hi Ozzie, It'll be a late one tonight, Brazil and the Socceroos.

    I am trying to get my head around all the resurrection scriptures to make a good explanation for my family. Like most JWs their response always is "so what if JWs make mistakes, they are the only ones that know their bible" I need to have a good understanding of what the bible really says to show Christians do have as much basis for their faith.

  • ozziepost


    Yep, I'm watching the Japan/Croatia game - it's half-time so I've come back to the board!!

    Then we'll have the main game with the Socceroos, eh?

    Re xtian belief, honestly, there are some brilliant books - or even try an NIV Study Bible and check its footnotes. What you find is that xtian belief isn't nearly so definite on some of these issues as the dubs make out - if the bible specifically says it, well fine, but if it doesn't then it's down to different views.

    I forgot to mention or emphasis before that xtians resurrection belief centres on being with the Lord, rather than a place. Where isn't nearly so important as with whom. Apostle Paul wrote of his yearning to be with the Lord, yet accepting his work as an apostle until he enjoyed a resurrection.

    Think too that the God of the Bible is a creator god who made time and space and so he's not bound by it. again, the where, as in place, isn't that important as is the presence of God.

    Oh, I see you quoted:

    (Hebrews 11:32-35) indicates the men of old expected a heavenly resurrection.

    Again, why not? Christians have one hope, it's the Dubs who have the two hopes. Again we say, the Bible speaks only of one hope.

    Incidentally the WTS are on the horns of a dilemma with this two hopes teaching for they also have to say the the NT doesn't apply to the "great crowd", they say the NT was written only to those with a heavenly hope.

    Poor old great crowd! Perhaps this is why they have to be bound by the OT laws and penalties, eh?

  • greendawn

    Though I don't accept the JW view of the resurrection on the other hand the mainstream concept of the issue seems to be somewhat strained and unnatural.

    Someone dies and goes to hell or paradise as a soul and later will be resurrected back on earth regiven their physical body. To what aim, have they not already been judged?

    As for the first resurrection I understand the Catholic/Orthdox believe it is not a literal one but the spiritual resurrection of those believing in Christ.

  • ozziepost

    You will find these texts helpful:

    Jesus: "Whoever lives and believes in me will never die." John 11:26

    Paul: "We are confident, I ay, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord." 2 Corinthians 5:8

    Paul: "I am torn between the two: I desire to deparrt and be with Christ, which is better by far." Philippians 1:23

    Our physical bodies will be raised to immortality (at the 2nd coming) 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

    ....and rejoin our spirits.1 Corinthians 15:51-52 states, "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed."

  • Jerry1

    Jwfacts, have you ever thought about the basic question....what is life? what is the definition? google it....you get answers like "life is what

    seperates organic things from inorganic things" well in other words life is what seperates dead things from live things. Are electrons spinning

    around the nucleus of an atom alive or does it take cells replicating themselves to make life? Awhile back i tried to research exobiology and

    found even the smartest guys cant agree on what life is. I bring this up to just say christians regard God as the source of life and all other

    life is derived, first time, second time, whichever and to be seperated from the source means death. The actual means of transmitting life

    are beyond understanding, whether by the first Adam or the second Adam. To be plugged back in to the source means life again and this

    explains all the scriptures concerning being born again. This explains why the old testament people were saved because they already had

    the Spirit of Christ in them see 1 Peter 1:11 just like all saved people see 2 cor 13:5 for the test. Check the interlinear, it just says IN YOU not in union with you. I am the vine you are the branches....does a branch look dead immediately when it is separated from its source?

    What is the better resurrection?
    I think the writer was just on a roll i.e better hope better testament better promises better country better resurrection better things

    than that of Abel

    What is the earlier resurrection? research the greek...exanastasis, just another word for resurrection.

    This is just the kind of conversation that got me nowhere with my JW relative, are you sure this is the way you want to go? jerry

  • jwfacts

    Interesting comments.

    Ozzie, I was going to ask what Jesus meant when he said a person will never die. I assume this is the source of the immortality of the soul doctrine. Does that means that when it says we will not all sleep that only believers have an immortal soul? I will go to Koorong, a few people have mentioned that it is an interesting place to visit.

    Jerry, I don't want to get into any doctrinal discussions, as JWs can not think beyond whatever the WTS tells them. However, I would like to have a clear understanding of others beliefs so as to show that there are other comprehensive ways of viewing things that do make sense.

  • Narkissos


    The book of Isaiah uses a lot of ancient imagery in a new apocalyptical or quasi-apocalyptical construction. Having "death swallowed up," for instance, reverses the Canaanite representation of Mot (the death god) as a devouring monster. But actually nothing is said of individual everlasting life on earth as JWs would have it. Anyway, it is the OT and how Christians interpret it depends on their take on the OT as a whole (prophecies to be fulfilled literally, or spiritually fulfilled "in Christ" for instance?).

    In Hebrews 11:35, I think the "better" is sufficiently explained by the immediate context: there is a shift from "faith that produces immediate, visible blessing" to "faith that produces immediate, visible woe in view of something better" and the shift occurs on the topic of resurrection (past "temporary" resurrections like those worked out by Elijah or Elisha, vs. martyrdom and eternal resurrection):

    And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets-- who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented-- of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
    Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect.

    As regards Philippians, the NWT as often over/mistranslates. There is strictly no direct temporal indication in tèn exanastasis tèn ek nekrôn. If anything the addition of the prefix ex to the usual anastasis emphasises the "from," i.e. "resurrection from (among) the dead". "Earlier" comes only by possible implication: not a resurrection of (all) the dead, but of some among them => the other dead remain dead => they might be resurrected later, but the text doesn't say. Of course the general apocalyptic scenario (1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thessalonians 4, Revelation 20) assume they will and the specific "Christian first resurrection" is indeed "earlier". But this is much more than this text actually says.

  • jwfacts

    From what i can tell, there is no scripture that says mankind will be resurrected to earth.

    There is also no scripture that says mankind will never die.

    Ps37:29 comes closest when it says

    (Psalm 37:29) 29

    The righteous themselves will possess the earth, And they will reside forever upon it. . .

    But this just says there will always be righteous people, not that they will not die.

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