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Hebrews 9:27 teaches that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Matthew 25:46 shows that, at this judgment, righteous people will go into eternal life. Clearly then, there is an eternal reward for righteous people after this life is over. What will this reward be like? Will we “go to Heaven”, or will we live in glory on this earth?
In Matthew 5:10-12 Jesus pronounced a blessing on those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, because great is their reward in heaven. Is this promise directed to all righteous people, or to just a certain class of righteous people? 2 Timothy 3:12 says: “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Since all godly people will be persecuted, and since Jesus promised that all who are persecuted for righteousness will be rewarded in Heaven, we conclude that Heaven is the reward of all righteous, godly people.
Again, 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says that those who are in Christ will be with Him forever. Then in the next chapter, all those who obtain salvation through Jesus are assured that we will live together with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:9,10). Since Jesus will live forever in Heaven, we must understand that all saved people will live forever with Jesus in Heaven.
The Bible describes this reward as being “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” – 1 Peter 1:4. Will this be the destiny you receive at the judgment?
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2018
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.