All of the wonderful Jehovah’s Witnesses that have come to my door have expressed no desire for a heavenly hope. Their desire is to be on Paradise Earth forever. And what could be wrong with good food, a nice house, domesticated wild animals and beautiful scenery?
The problem is the difficulty in making a scriptural case for an earthly hope. Yes the Bible clearly teaches about the earthly kingdom, but for the Christian, the Bible only speaks of a heavenly hope as in the scriptures that follow:
Colossians 1:5 (NWT) “the hope that is being reserved for YOU in the heavens.
Matthew 5:12 (NWT) “Rejoice and leap for joy, since YOUR reward is great in the heavens; for in that way they persecuted the prophets prior to YOU.”
Luke 6:22-23 (NKJV) “22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven…”
2 Corinthians 5:1-2 (NWT) “1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, should be dissolved, we are to have a building from God, a house not made with hands, everlasting in the heavens. 2 For in this dwelling house we do indeed groan, earnestly desiring to put on the one for us from heaven,”
Hebrews 6:19-20 (NASV) “19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
1 Corinthians 15:42-45 (KJV) “So also is the resurrection of the dead… It is sown a natural body [death]; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [Jesus] was made a quickening spirit.”
1 Corinthians 15:49 (NASV) “Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.”
John 14:2-3 (NWT) “2 In the house of my Father there are many abodes. Otherwise, I would have told YOU, because I am going my way to prepare a place for YOU. 3 Also, if I go my way and prepare a place for YOU, I am coming again and will receive YOU home to myself, that where I am YOU also may be.”
1 John 3:2 (NKJV) “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”
Philippians 3:14 (NKJV) “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward <Strong’s 507> call of God in Christ Jesus.”
[Upward Call is to HEAVEN. Compare Colossians 3:1 (NKJV) If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above <507>, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.” Also compare: John 8:23 (NKJV) “And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above <507>. You are of this world; I am not of this world.”
Daniel 12:3 (NASV) “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
None of these scriptures indicate any other hope for the Christian than the heavenly hope. As a matter of fact, Eph 4:4 says, “One body there is, and one spirit, even as YOU were called in the one hope to which YOU were called” (Eph 4:4 NWT). So for the Christian there is only one hope; the heavenly hope. Throughout the book of Acts, whenever anyone is baptized, nobody is ever given the option of whether they want to choose an earthly or a heavenly reward.
Even the Great Crowd are said to be in Heaven in Rev 19:1 which says, “After these things I heard what was as a loud voice of a great crowd in heaven.” (NWT) The Greek words translated great crowd is exactly the same as in Rev 7:9. See more on the Great Crowd in the next questions.