Reverend Steve's Christian Website

Where is Heaven? 

Jesus’ Followers Will Join Him On Earth

Jesus did not tell His disciples they should expect to dwell in heaven. He spoke instead of a kingdom belonging to God in heaven that is to be established on the earth at Christ’s second coming. Notice Jesus’ explanation that He would come to join His followers on earth at His return rather than have them come to live with Him in heaven where He currently resides.

After Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, He spent 40 days teaching His disciples, instructing them about the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). After this He joined His Father in heaven. Notice the instruction His disciples received after He rose into the sky:

“Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into  heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven’” (Acts 1:9-11).

Jesus speaks repeatedly of His return to establish the Kingdom of God on earth (Matthew 25:31-34; Luke 21:27-31). He will return to earth and establish His Kingdom here - not in heaven. In what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer, He instructs His followers to pray to their heavenly Father,“Your kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2). That kingdom is the true goal of every Christian (Matthew 6:33); we are to pray for its arrival.

In Luke 19:12 Jesus speaks of Himself in a parable, comparing Himself  to “a certain nobleman [who] went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.” The “far country” is His Father’s dwelling place, which is in heaven. Jesus will bring the Kingdom of God to earth at His return.

Our Eternal Abode Is To Be Here

One Old Testament prophecy is so specific about Jesus’ return that it tells us exactly where He will arrive back on earth to establish His Kingdom: “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olivers, which faces Jerusalem on the east . . . And the Lord shall be King over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:4, 9).

The incident we read about in the book of Acts that describes Jesus’ ascension tells us that it was on the Mount of Olives that He last talked with His disciples, and it was from the same mountain that He rose into the clouds before their eyes. He will return to the same mountain to begin His reign in the Kingdom of God.

Recall again that in Matthew 5:3 Jesus said the poor in spirit, the humble, would inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. Then consider that just two verses later, in verse 5, Jesus states, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  How do we reconcile these statements? By understanding that the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of God, will be established on the earth. This verse and many others describe the saints ruling on earth in God’s Kingdom. For example, Revelation 5:10, speaking of the resurrected saints, says: “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (NIV).

Even beyond that, Revelation 21 and 22 state that ultimately God the Father and the heavenly city of God, the New Jerusalem, will descend to the earth, then renewed. The earth, then, will be the place of God’s throne. And the repentant of mankind, then glorified, will dwell with Him forever.

Yet we will not then be confined to the earth but will inherit the entire vast universe and spirit realm as coheirs with Jesus.

The reward of the saints is eternal life in the Kingdom of God. This will be given when Christ returns, but, as we have seen, Jesus will reign with His faithful followers on the earth rather than in heaven. And in the end, even God the Father will dwell with the saved here. The glorious future God has planned for us is far beyond any human dreams of life in heaven!