4-7 The Place of
Reward - Heaven or Earth?
Apart from the above reasons, any who still feel that heaven rather than
earth will be the location of God’s Kingdom, i.e. the promised reward by
grace, need to also explain away the following points:
- The ‘Lord’s
Prayer’ asks for God’s Kingdom to come (i.e. praying for the return of
Christ), whereby God’s desires will be done on earth as they are now done in
heaven (Mt. 6:10). We are therefore praying for God’s Kingdom to come on the
earth. It is a tragedy that thousands of people thoughtlessly pray these
words each day whilst still believing that God’s Kingdom is now already
fully established in heaven, and that the earth will be destroyed.
- “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Mt. 5:5) - not
‘...for their souls shall go to heaven’. This is alluding to Ps. 37, the
whole of which emphasises that the final reward of the righteous will be
upon the earth. In the very same location that the wicked had enjoyed their
temporary supremacy, the righteous will be recompensed with eternal life,
and possess this same earth that the wicked once dominated (Ps. 37:34,35).
“The meek shall inherit the earth...those who are blessed by him shall
inherit the earth...The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it
for ever” (Ps. 37:11,22,29).
- “David...is both dead and buried...David
did not ascend into the heavens” (Acts 2:29,34). Instead, Peter explained
that his hope was the resurrection from the dead at Christ’s return (Acts
- Earth is the arena of God’s operations with mankind: “Heaven,
even the heavens, are the Lord’s, but the earth He has given to the children
of men” (Ps. 115:16).
- Rev. 5:9,10 relates a vision of what the
righteous will say when they are accepted at the judgment seat: (Christ) has
“made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth”.
This picture of ruling in God’s Kingdom on earth is quite removed from the
vague conception that we will enjoy ‘bliss’ somewhere in heaven.
prophecies of Daniel chapters 2 and 7 outline a succession of political
powers, which would finally be superseded by the Kingdom of God at Christ’s
return. The dominion of this Kingdom would be “under the whole heaven”, and
would fill “the whole earth” (Dan. 7:27; 2:35 cf. v. 44). This everlasting
Kingdom “shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High” (Dan.
7:27); their reward is therefore eternal life in this Kingdom which is to be
located on earth, under the heavens.