I find the view of different destinations to be
a total contradiction to Jesus words, the destination according to Matthew 22:30-32 is only one. The Christian is given a glorified
body and this seems to apply to all not just some as Christ did not give any
indication that two different destinations were predicted for those
resurrected. Jesus speaks of only one hope, only one destination.
Peter wrote that
Christians have a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from
the dead, "to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you." 1 Peter 1:3-4.
I guess Peter lied to most of those that read that letter, since according to you their hope was not heavenly.
A: In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told the crowd: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." (Matt. 5:5; ESV) Jesus was quoting from the Psalms, where it reads: "But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." (Psalms 37:11; KJV) I guess Jesus lied to most of those that listened to him, since according to you there is "only one hope, only one destination," and it's not on earth.
You are not alone in believing that all good people go to heaven. The vast majority of religions teach the same in one form or another. They often point to the fact that the Christian Greek Scriptures have so much to say about the heavenly hope, and yet next to nothing about everlasting life on earth. For that reason, like in your own case, they conclude that there can only be one destination, namely, everyone goes to heaven upon death. But the Greek Scriptures (New Testament, as they are commonly known) have not replaced the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), nor have made them obsolete. All of God's promises recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures about a future paradise earth are still valid. (Psalms 37:29; Isa. 11:1-10; 33:24; 65:17-25; 2 Peter 3:5-7, 13; Rev. 21:2-4)
Rather than nullify God's promises recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Greek Scriptures provide the evidence of the means by which God fulfills his promises―that is, by means of the promised Seed, the Messiah, and the holy ones who will rule with him in God's heavenly kingdom for the blessing of mankind. (2 Cor. 1:20; Gal. 3:16; 1 John 3:8; Dan. 7:18, 27)
The Hebrew Scriptures contain more than 300 Messianic prophecies that were fulfilled in Jesus. Please consider: Can a person arbitrarily apply any Messianic Scripture to himself? Can you know which Scriptures apply to Jesus, and not to you personally or someone else? Since all the Scriptures regarding Jesus are recorded in the one Bible, should that be a cause for confusion? Of course, there are many who apply to themselves such prophecies, but Jesus warned us against these ones when he said: "For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray." (Matt. 24:5, 24-25; ESV)
Similarly, there are many who falsely apply to themselves scriptures that God has addressed to his "chosen ones". That shouldn't surprise us, seeing that in the first century some disciples falsely claimed to be apostles. In his letter to the congregation in Ephesus, Jesus wrote: "I know how many good things you are doing. I have watched your hard work and your patience; I know you don’t tolerate sin among your members, and you have carefully examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but aren’t. You have found out how they lie." (Rev. 2:2, TLB; Compare 2 Cor. 11:12-15)
In his inspired Word of Truth, God has included much information regarding the "holy ones" who will share with "the Son of man" in the rulership of God's kingdom. (Dan. 7:13-14, 18, 21-22, 27; Luke 12:32; Rev. 5:9-10; 20:4, 6) Seeing that God "foreordained" the number of this group "before the founding of the world," wasn't it also necessary for God to provide information about these holy ones―not only for them and their benefit, but also for all of us―although not applying to everyone? (Eph. 1:4-5; 2 Thess. 2:13-14) Although Daniel wrote of them, he did not understand these things, for God kept this a "sacred secret" until the actual time of its fulfillment. (Dan. 12:9-10; 1 Cor. 2:7) That time arrived when Jesus began to select from among the "great crowd of his disciples" the twelve apostles; and the choosing of these "holy ones" would continue right up until the conclusion of the system of things, when just prior to the great tribulation the full number of the 144,000 will be completed. (Luke 6:12-17; Eph. 2:20; 3:5; Rev. 7:1-4; 14:1-3)
Not everyone of Jesus' disciples was an apostle, was he? There were only twelve of them chosen. The selection of the twelve by Jesus caused some of the other disciples to become envious, as already mentioned. Likewise, not everyone of Jesus' followers is among the 144,000 chosen by God; and these are seen standing upon the Mount Zion with the Lamb, "having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads"? (2 Tim. 1:9; Rev. 14:1-4)
And further, you contradict Jesus when you say that every Christian is given a glorified body. Jesus said: "Don’t be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God’s Son, and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment." (John 5:28-29; NLT) Do you believe that "those who have continued in evil" are resurrected to heaven, in a glorified body? Or, does Jesus say that those who have done good will be resurrected in an immortal glorified body? Does he not say that they will experience "eternal life." There is a difference, for not even the angels possess immortality, and yet they are not subject to death. (1 Tim. 6:16; Heb. 1:5-6, 13-14; Rev. 20:10, 14-15) The holy ones, who will rule with Christ, these ones will receive immortal glorified bodies, like that of Jesus himself, when they share in the first or earlier resurrection. (1 Cor. 15:42-44, 53,54; Phil. 3:11; Rev. 20:6)
Jesus reasoned with the Sadducees―who did not believe in a resurrection―that faithful men of old such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, will return to life in the resurrection. (Luke 20:37-38; Dan. 12:2) How do we know that they will live on earth? Because Jesus had said earlier, on another occasion, that "among those born of women there has not been raised up a greater than John the Baptist; but a person that is a lesser one in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than he is." (Matt. 11:11-12)
Please reason on this: If a lesser person in the kingdom of the heavens is greater than John the Baptist, yet John is the greatest among those born of women, then what exactly is John the Baptist's destination―if, indeed, there is only the one destination as you claim? It is, as Jesus said, only since "the days of John the Baptist" that people have been able to press forward and seize the kingdom of the heavens, because prior to Jesus' arrival this hope did not exist.
All of God's faithful men and women who lived prior to John's time (and that includes John himself), had the hope of returning in the resurrection to life here on earth. (Isa. 26:19; Heb. 11:13, 17-19) Since the heavenly destination was unknown, it needed to be explained, first by Jesus; and after Pentecost by his disciples who hoped to be with Jesus in his kingdom. It was not until they had received the holy spirit that the disciples came to understand their new destination, "a new birth to a living hope,' reserved in the heavens for them. (John 14:1-5; Acts 1:6; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
Jesus taught us to pray for God's kingdom to come, and for God's will to be done, "as in heaven, also upon earth". (Matt. 6:9,10) It is by means of his heavenly kingdom that God will answer that prayer and bring blessings and everlasting life to obedient mankind. (John 3:16) Not being among the ones God has chosen to rule with Christ Jesus in his kingdom is no reason for anyone to feel inferior, left out, demeaned, neglected, or overlooked; because everlasting life on earth in peace and happiness was God's purpose in creating man in the first place. Surely you must know that had Adam remained obedient to Jehovah, he would not have died. That obviously means he would still be alive today; and sin and death would not have existed for all his offspring, namely us. (Gen. 2:16-17; Rom. 5:8-9, 18-19; 1 Cor. 15:21-26) Who does not thank Jehovah, and praise him, for the wonderful prospect of living forever?
Isaiah the prophet foretold the many blessings under God's future Messianic kingdom. Would the Jews, to whom it was addressed, have understood this to describe life in heaven, or upon the earth? Isaiah wrote:
royal line of David is like a tree that has been cut down; but just as new
branches sprout from a stump, so a new king will arise from among David's
The spirit of the
will give him wisdom
and the knowledge and skill to rule his people. He will know the Lord's will and honor him, 3 and find pleasure in obeying him. He will not judge by appearance or hearsay; 4 he will judge the poor fairly and defend the rights of the helpless. At his command the people will be punished, and evil persons will die. 5 He will rule his people with justice and integrity.
6 Wolves and sheep will live together in peace, and leopards will lie down with young goats. Calves and lion cubs will feed together, and little children will take care of them. 7 Cows and bears will eat together, and their calves and cubs will lie down in peace. Lions will eat straw as cattle do. 8 Even a baby will not be harmed if it plays near a poisonous snake. 9 On Zion, God's sacred hill, there will be nothing harmful or evil. The land will be as full of knowledge of the Lord as the seas are full of water." (Isaiah 11:1-10; Good News Translation)
Isaiah is describing life on a new earth, under God's kingdom, the new heavens. (Matt. 6:9-10; 1 Cor. 15:20-28; 2 Peter 3:13)
“Look! I am creating new
heavens and a new earth,,,,,, and no one will even think about
the old ones anymore.
18 Be glad;
rejoice forever in my creation! And look! I will create Jerusalem as a
place of happiness. Her people will be a source of joy.
19 I will rejoice
over Jerusalem and delight in my people. And the sound of weeping and
crying will be heard in it no more.
20 "No longer will babies die when only a few days old. No longer will adults die before they have lived a full life. No longer will people be considered old at one hundred! Only the cursed will die that young! 21 In those days people will live in the houses they build and eat the fruit of their own vineyards. 22 Unlike the past, invaders will not take their houses and confiscate their vineyards.
For my people will live as long as trees, and my chosen ones will have time to enjoy their hard-won gains. 23 They will not work in vain, and their children will not be doomed to misfortune. For they are people blessed by the Lord, and their children, too, will be blessed. 24 I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! 25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. But the snakes will eat dust. In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Isaiah 65:17-25; NLT; Rev. 21:2-5)
"And Jehovah of armies will certainly make for all the peoples, in this mountain, a banquet of well-oiled dishes, a banquet of [wine kept on] the dregs, of well-oiled dishes filled with marrow, of [wine kept on] the dregs, filtered. 7 And in this mountain he will certainly swallow up the face of the envelopment that is enveloping over all the peoples, and the woven work that is interwoven upon all the nations. 8 He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces. And the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for Jehovah himself has spoken [it].
9 And in that day one will certainly say: 'Look! This is our God. We have hoped in him, and he will save us. This is Jehovah. We have hoped in him. Let us be joyful and rejoice in the salvation by him.'” (Isaiah 25:6-9; NWT)
These are just a few of the Scriptures that Jesus had in mind when he said that the meek shall "inherit the earth." Of course, after all has been said, it doesn't matter what a person believes his destiny is. It is only what God himself decides regarding anyone that matters. Jesus simply tells us: “It is not everyone who keeps saying to me ‘Lord, Lord’ who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the man who actually does my Heavenly Father’s will. In ‘that day’ many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we preach in your name, didn’t we cast out devils in your name, and do many great things in your name?’ Then I shall tell them plainly, ‘I have never known you. Go away from me, you have worked on the side of evil!’” ―Matthew 7:21-23.