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Why does Jesus say in Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”? What does the meek shall inherit the earth mean? Richard Ames answers these questions from the Bible in this Tomorrow’s World.
[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]
Millions of professing Christians believe they will go to heaven when they die and experience eternal retirement. And yet, the Savior of the world stated a very different future for faithful Christians in His Sermon on the Mount. He stated in Matthew 5:5, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Will you go to Heaven, or will you inherit the Earth? On today’s program, we’ll discuss that vital question, and the answer from your Bible will surprise you.
The question of life after death is one of the most controversial questions in the world. But your Bible gives plain answers to those questions. There is really good news for the future of faithful Christians, and great hope for those considered spiritually lost. You need to know the truth from your own Bible. You need to know your potential future, and where it will be: In Heaven, Hell, or on a glorious and restored earth?
One of the most fundamental questions of life is: “What happens when you die?” Will you go to Heaven? Or will you go to Hell? Or, will you simply remain dead in the grave until the Resurrection?
Pew Research surveyed Americans on their belief in heaven or hell. “Nearly three-quarters of U.S. adults say they believe in heaven…. Roughly a quarter of all U.S. adults (26%) say that they do not believe in heaven or hell, including 7% who say they do believe in some kind of afterlife and 17% who do not believe in any afterlife at all” (“Few Americans Blame God or Say Faith Has Been Shaken Amid Pandemic, Other Tragedies,” PEWResearch.org, November 23, 2021).
My friends, what is the truth? Your Bible gives solid answers to the questions of life and death. What does the Bible say about the afterlife? How does it answer the question “Will you go to Heaven or will you inherit the Earth?”
Jesus taught us to pray, “Your Kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10). My friends, WHY do we pray every day, “Your Kingdom come?” Because the world is suffering from the sins of mankind. In the 20th century, we experienced World War I and World War II. Millions also suffered from wars in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Middle East, and other regions around the world. Right now, in the 21st century, according to the Council on Foreign Relations conflict tracker, more than two dozen civil-war-type conflicts are raging around the world, on five of the seven continents. Modern warfare, from the two Gulf wars in the Middle East to the recent clashes in Ukraine, uses the latest military technology with smart bombs, guided missiles, and space communications.
Jesus said that there would be Great Tribulation. And He said, “… unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved.” That’s in Matthew 24:22. But Christ will intervene at His Second Coming. We pray for God’s Kingdom to come, to stop mankind’s war-like nature. Current military trends, unless God intervenes, will eventually lead to total annihilation, or cosmocide. Thankfully, God has a plan to save mankind.
That plan includes an awesome future for faithful Christians! And WHERE will that future take place? WHERE will faithful Christians be? In Heaven? Or on Earth? Turn in your Bible to Revelation 5:10, “And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign [WHERE?] ON THE EARTH.” What an awe-inspiring verse. Notice two points. One: faithful Christians are called to become kings and priests! They will assist the King OF kings in ushering in lasting peace. And WHERE WILL THEY REIGN? IN HEAVEN? No, on earth. “We shall reign on the earth!” Yes, my friends, the MEEK shall inherit the EARTH. The Kingdom OF Heaven, or the Kingdom of God, will reign on earth! That’s why we pray, “Your Kingdom come.”
If you have your Bible, turn to one of the most basic scriptures in the New Testament, Matthew 5, what is often called “The Sermon on the Mount.” Be sure to carefully read all three chapters: Matthew 5, 6, and 7. Let’s read Matthew 5:1:
And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:1–5).
Notice: Did Jesus say the poor in spirit would go to heaven for eternity, while the meek would inherit the earth? No. What Jesus DID SAY, was that the poor in spirit would be blessed with the Kingdom OF heaven. Let’s understand, my friends, the Kingdom OF Heaven is coming TO earth when Christ returns! THAT is when the saved inherit the Kingdom. That’s the time when Christ will tell His faithful servants, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” That’s in Matthew 25:34.
The King of kings will rule planet Earth, and all nations will come up to Jerusalem to learn the way to peace. Notice this inspiring prophecy in ZECHARIAH 14. The whole earth will learn to observe the same biblical festivals that Jesus and the Apostles observed. ZECHARIAH 14:16,
And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
Yes, my friends, every nation on earth will worship the King. And when will that take place? And when will faithful dead Christians inherit the Kingdom? The great resurrection of faithful Christians takes place at Christ’s return as it tells us in 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17. My friends, I hope most of you will desire to seek THAT promise of life after death. The greatest goal of a Christian is to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness as Jesus stated in Matthew 6:33. Yes, there is life after death, but NOT until you are resurrected. Ecclesiastes 9:5,
For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing….”
We saw that the Kingdom of God, also called the Kingdom OF Heaven, will come to earth when the Savior, Jesus Christ returns. Yes, the meek shall inherit the earth as He said. Jesus Christ will rule all nations as King of kings and Lord of lords. Faithful Christians will assist Him in ruling over the nations. My friends, God is calling many individuals to serve Him and His Work, to prepare to serve in His coming Kingdom as kings and priests. Let’s read that in Revelation 20:6,
Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
There are many scriptures in your Bible describing Christ’s world-ruling kingdom. Turn to Daniel 7. The setting here in Daniel 7 is end-time prophecy;
But the SAINTS of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever (v. 18).
Yes, the saints, all faithful Christians, will rule with Jesus Christ when He returns.
A Kingdom can be described with four basic elements—a kingdom has a ruler, territory, subjects, and laws. The ruler of the Kingdom of God on earth will be Jesus Christ as King of Kings. And the glorified saints of God will assist Him as kings and priests. But what territory will the kingdom rule over? The territory of the Kingdom will be planet earth! We’ve already seen that the saints will rule on the earth (Revelation 5:10) and that all nations will go up to Jerusalem to worship the King and to observe the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16). But WHERE will the King of kings rule? Where will He dwell? Turn in your Bible to Zechariah 8:
Thus says the LORD: “I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the LORD of hosts, the Holy Mountain.”
Jesus Christ will dwell in Jerusalem. He says, “I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.” In fact, the city will have another name. The very last verse in the book of Ezekiel, Ezekiel 48:35, states, “the name of the city from that day shall be: The LORD Is There.” The name of the city in Hebrew is Yahweh Shama. The TERRITORY of God’s Kingdom when Christ returns will be planet earth. And who will be the SUBJECTS of that Kingdom? All the nations of planet earth will be subjects in that kingdom. As it tells us in Zechariah 14:9,
And the LORD shall be King over all the earth.
The SUBJECTS living under the rulership of Christ will be physical human beings—the nations of planet earth. Again, consider that a kingdom has four basic elements: A kingdom has a ruler, territory, subjects, and laws. Now, what laws will govern in the Kingdom? The prophet Isaiah gives us an inspiring vision of Tomorrow’s World. Isaiah 2:2,
“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.”
Yes, the Kingdom of God will rule over ALL NATIONS. Isaiah 2:3,
Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
Yes, GOD’S laws will be taught and administered from Jerusalem. Not man’s often contradictory and unjust laws. Jesus taught us to keep the Ten Commandments. Remember Matthew 19:17. Jesus said,
But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.
Jesus then stated several of the Ten Commandments. He also magnified the commandments in the Sermon on the Mount. He actually made them more binding. We need to observe them in the spirit, not just in the letter! And what will God’s government produce? Isaiah 2:4,
He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
My friends, that is the “gospel,” the good news of the Kingdom of God. Yet, how many professing Christians really understand?
When you read the history of the true Christian Church, what do you find? You see a major emphasis on seeking a resurrection from the dead! One example is the Apostle Paul’s passionate desire of a future resurrection from the dead. Turn to Acts 23 in your Bible. The Apostle Paul was confronted by the Jerusalem Sanhedrin. What did he say? Acts 23:6,
But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the HOPE and RESURRECTION of the dead I am BEING judged!”
Paul was being judged. He did not YET have immortal life! Let’s understand. We do NOT already have immortality! It is a gift from God! Read Romans 6:23,
For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (King James Version).
Notice that the scripture does NOT state, “The wages of sin is immortal life in hell-fire.” The wages of sin is NOT immortal LIFE, but DEATH, the absence of life. If you already have an immortal soul, if you already have eternal life, you don’t need it as a GIFT from God. My friends, a soul can DIE! The prophet Ezekiel tells us in Ezekiel 18:4, “The SOUL WHO SINS SHALL DIE!” The Hebrew word for Soul is “nephesh” which means physical or natural life. And the same word “nephesh” also refers to ANIMAL LIFE in Genesis 1:21.
Now, what does the New Testament tell us about souls? Turn in your Bible to Matthew 10:28 where Jesus is speaking. Matthew 10:28,
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both SOUL and body in hell [or Gehenna fire].
Do you believe your Bible? Do you believe what Jesus said? God is ABLE to DESTROY—yes, DESTROY—both soul and body in Gehenna. Now, the Bible does teach that there is a human spirit, the spirit in man mentioned in 1 Corinthians 2:11, for example. But it is NOT an immortal soul. There are many other scriptures to demonstrate that one does NOT have an immortal soul. As God inspired the prophet Ezekiel to state, “The SOUL WHO SINS SHALL DIE.”
Evangelist Gerald Weston explains the pagan origin of the immortal soul doctrine in his telecast, “Do You Have an Immortal Soul?” Just access his inspiring program on our Web site at TomorrowsWorld.org.
My friends, your Bible reveals three general resurrections from the dead, of thousands, millions, and billions of people. The first resurrection is described in your Bible primarily in two chapters: 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4. Who will be in the first resurrection? Those who are faithful Christians. The Apostle John describes their future: “And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years…. This is the first resurrection.” That’s in Revelation 20:4–5.
The FIRST RESURRECTION from the dead is to IMMORTAL LIFE. This is the resurrection that takes place when Christ returns. God will give faithful Christians the awesome gift of eternal, immortal life at that time.
Faithful saints and Christians who died are WAITING IN THEIR GRAVES for the First Resurrection. But, what will happen to the billions of humans who have died but never accepted Christianity? Are they burning in hell right now? No! Your Bible teaches that everyone who has died, with the exception of Jesus Christ, is still dead. Those people who never had their minds opened to true Christianity will be in the White Throne Judgment! They will be in the SECOND RESURRECTION.
This is a resurrection to a lifetime of judgment, and it’s a resurrection to physical life. When will this Second Resurrection take place? Revelation 19 describes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. He will not be alone when He comes back to this earth. Revelation 20:4,
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
Then we read a parenthetical statement: “But the rest of the dead [listen to this] did not live again until the thousand years were finished.” If they did not live again for a thousand years, they remained dead all that time! Who are the “rest of the dead”? People still in their graves who are not in the First Resurrection. And WHEN does this Second Resurrection take place? When the thousand years are finished, as we read in Revelation 20:5.
Now turn to Revelation 20:11;
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the DEAD, small and great, STANDING before God [This is the SECOND resurrection, a resurrection to physical life, NOT immortal life], and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books (Revelation 20:11–12).
The Greek word for “books” is “biblia.” The good news is that the books, or the Bible, will be opened to the understanding of the masses for the first time. The Book of Life is finally opened to those resurrected in the White Throne Judgment, as we see in Revelation 20:12. This will be their FIRST opportunity to properly learn the truth. This is NOT a SECOND chance as some may like to call it. All human beings will be held accountable for their actions and thoughts. [SLOW] But this will be the first time for many to SEE their sins. They’ll have the opportunity to REPENT of their sins, and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
In the White Throne Judgment, billions will be resurrected to physical life, [and] for the first time will have their minds opened to the Bible and the awesome reality of God’s truth. After all who’ve lived have received their opportunity for salvation, the unrepentant will be burned up forever, extinguished in the Lake of Fire.
God has an awesome plan for faithful Christians, and He also has a future resurrection for all who never had an opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. My friends, you should look forward to inheriting the earth, to inheriting salvation as it states in Hebrews 1:14, to inheriting eternal life as it states in Matthew 19:29, and to inherit “all things” as it states in Revelation 21:7.
We’ve also seen on today’s program, no one is now suffering in a mythical ever-burning hellfire. Everyone who has ever lived and died is still dead. They are totally unconscious and feel no passing of time. All who are dead will be resurrected to one of the three resurrections. My friends, as we’ve seen, the first resurrection takes place at Christ’s Second Coming. That hasn’t happened yet! Will you be in that resurrection? If you GENUINELY belong to Jesus Christ at that time, you will be in the FIRST RESURRECTION. It is called a “better resurrection” in Hebrews 11:35. WHY? Because it’s a resurrection to ETERNAL LIFE and IMMORTALITY.
Those who are in the first resurrection will become the Bride of Christ. The parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25 warns all of us to be ready for Christ’s return and the marriage of the Lamb. Revelation 19:7 shows that the true Church of God, the wife of Christ indeed has been faithful in her preparation for the coming Kingdom of God. “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”
We asked at the beginning of the program, will you go to heaven? The Bible makes it very plain, as we have seen, that our eternal reward will be here on earth. But as shocking as it may be to some of you, when Christ returns to meet genuine Christians rising up to the clouds in the first resurrection, He takes them to the great wedding before the throne of God in heaven (Revelation 15:1–2).
They are there for a short period of time when the seven last plagues are poured out and return with Him on white horses to conquer the nations and inherit the earth.
My friends, Your Father in heaven loves you and wants you to be part of His Family. He will raise the dead in Christ to glory and immortality. And He plans for billions of spiritually blinded human beings to learn His way in the White Throne Judgment.
Thank you for watching!
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Is death the end of human existence? Will you be reincarnated? Will you “roll around heaven all day” with nothing to do for eternity? The amazing, encouraging truth of the matter is unknown to most people, yet it is found in the pages of your Bible! God has a plan for all of humanity—and a very special reward in store for today’s true Christians! What happens when we die, according to the Bible?