In the previous post “What is a Christians Hope? Heaven or Earth” I made the case that the only hope for Christians was the heavenly one. The post also explained why it is reasonable to place the great crowd in heaven. This post will continue the topic of our hope.

As Christians we all have “one hope” (Ephesians 4:4). Col. 1:5 lets us know that hope is in heaven – “5 because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You have already heard about [this hope] in the message of truth, the gospel.”

This is the hope of the gospel. I believe there is no other. We will find that the Christian writers of the Greek Scriptures offer no other hope for Christians. Let us see in the bible the many times this “one hope” is mentioned.

1 Cor. 15:49-53 (Holman Christian Standard Bible) “49 And just as we have borne the image of the man made of dust, we will also bear the image of the heavenly man. 50 Brothers, I tell you this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and corruption cannot inherit incorruption. 51 Listen! I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. 53 Because this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality.”

Those who go to heaven “inherit the kingdom of God”. The sheep of Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats are said to “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Yes, the sheep are faithful Christians all of whom will inherit the kingdom by being resurrected to a heavenly life. Paul also warns for example in Gal. 5:19-21 that those who habitually practice certain works of the flesh “will not inherit the kingdom of God”. In other words they will not be resurrected to a heavenly life. Notice what Jesus says in his parable of the wheat and the weeds what reward will be given to the wheat-like Christians in Matt. 13:43  (HCSB) – ” 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s kingdom. Anyone who has ears should listen!”

1 John 3:2 (HCSB) – ” 2 Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him as He is.” All of God’s children will be made to have a body like our Savior, Jesus. Phil. 3:20,21 also agrees with this ” 20 but our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself.”

2 Cor. 5:1,2 (HCSB) – ” 1 For we know that if our earthly house, a tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 And, in fact, we groan in this one, longing to put on our house from heaven,”

2 Tim. 4:8 (HCSB) – ” 8 In the future, there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved His appearing.” Paul here mentions a “crown of righteousness” that he along with all Christians waiting eagerly for the Master’s arrival will receive when Jesus returns. The most logical understanding of this “crown” would be the crown that faithful Christians receive upon being resurrected in heaven to be kings and priests. Notice how other texts mention a crown given to faithful Christians. 1 Cor 9:25 – ” 25 Now everyone who competes exercises self-control in everything. However, they do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.”

1 Peter 5:4 (HCSB) – ” 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”

James 1:12 (HCSB) – ” 12 Blessed is a man who endures trials, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that He has promised to those who love Him.”

Revelation 2:10, 11 (NWT) – ” 10 Do not be afraid of the things you are about to suffer. Look! The Devil will keep on throwing some of YOU into prison that YOU may be fully put to the test, and that YOU may have tribulation ten days. Prove yourself faithful even to death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations. He that conquers will by no means be harmed by the second death.’”

Revelation 3:11,12 (NWT)- ” 11 I am coming quickly. Keep on holding fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 “‘The one that conquers—I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will by no means go out [from it] anymore, and I will write upon him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which descends out of heaven from my God, and that new name of mine.”

Revelation 3:21 (NWT) – ” 21 To the one that conquers I will grant to sit down with me on my throne, even as I conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.”

Revelation 3: 4,5 (NWT) – ” 4 “‘Nevertheless, you do have a few names in Sar´dis that did not defile their outer garments, and they shall walk with me in white ones, because they are worthy. 5He that conquers will thus be arrayed in white outer garments (kind of like the garments that the great crowd will have, see Rev 7:13); and I will by no means blot out his name from the book of life, but I will make acknowledgment of his name before my Father and before his angels.”

Who are these ones that “conquer” and receive a crown and sit down with Jesus on his throne? Let us allow 1 John 5:3-5 (NWT) to answer ” 3 For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments; and yet his commandments are not burdensome, 4 because everything that has been born from God conquers the world. And this is the conquest that has conquered the world, our faith. 5 Who is the one that conquers the world but he who has faith that Jesus is the Son of God?

All Christians who “conquer” the world by their faith will sit with Jesus on His throne. The bible does not seem to indicate that some who conquer will receive a throne and others who conquer will be given life on earth. Remember we all only have the “one hope”. Let’s consider just a few more texts.

Hebrews 3:1 (NWT)- “Consequently, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest whom we confess—Jesus.”

2 Peter 1:10,11 (NWT) – “10 For this reason, brothers, all the more do YOUR utmost to make the calling and choosing of YOU sure for yourselves; for if YOU keep on doing these things YOU will by no means ever fail. 11 In fact, thus there will be richly supplied to YOU the entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Luke 20:34-36 (NWT) “34 Jesus said to them: “The children of this system of things marry and are given in marriage, 35 but those who have been counted worthy of gaining that system of things and the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.36 In fact, neither can they die anymore, for they are like the angels, and they are God’s children by being children of the resurrection.” God’s sons and daughters will be resurrected as immortal spirit creatures.

1 Cor. 6:2 – (HCSB) “2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?…” The saints apart from being kings and priests will also judge the world.

The first century Christians certainly had no other hope to strive for other than the heavenly hope. When John wrote his letters which only mention the heavenly hope it was near the close of the first century. By that time it has been conservatively estimated that there were already more than 144000 Christians, many of whom gave up their life for their faith. Receiving a heavenly resurrection is not only for the “best of the best” Christians. It is for all Christians who have God’s favor. The organization creates the feeling in the mind of the publishers that only the most worthy and the most spiritual have this hope. A person could read the publications for a thousand years and never have the heavenly hope well up within them. However if you read the Greek Scriptures over and over and pray for God’s spirit, it is my belief that you will begin to have that hope born within you. Some fight with feelings of low self-esteem thinking that they could never be worthy of being with Jesus in heaven. The first century Christians were the same as us. Read over the letters to the Corithians and you will notice that those brothers were very far from being perfect.

Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard lets us know all the Master’s workers will receive the same wage. (Matt. 20:1-16) Some may have labored longer or born the brunt of the heat of persecution yet all are faithful and receive the same wage. If this post is correct that wage will be a heavenly resurrection.

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12 Comments on Our Wonderful Hope

  1. JJ says:

    Andrew interesting and well thought out post. I wonder though about some of the scriptures and reasoning we have all learned through the Watchtower such as:

    What about the earthly hope? What about the # 144k? What about Rev 5:9,10- we can’t all be kings an priests, aka all chiefs and no Indians…

    Could you perhaps follow this up with another post addressing these things? It’s confusing sometimes when you try and reconcile all these scriptures… We used to know everything and know we are coming to realize we don’t know as much as we thought. I speak for many of us that are just realizing that we as JWs don’t have all the answers and not everything we have been taught is correct.


  2. Jon says:

    Are you saying that there is no earthly hope, that we will all die and go to heaven???


    • andrew says:

      I believe heaven is the clear hope for all faithful Christians. It would seem the earth will be populated during the 1000 yr. reign by non-christian people who survive armageddon and perhaps those who were nominally christian at Jesus’ return but didn’t prove faithful to their hope and so were not raptured and any children of these survivors.


  3. bruceguth says:

    People from “the nations” will be left over in it. Re 20:3, 21:24

    And it may be that those observing the two witnesses standing back up will include these; the ones who become “frightened and give glory to the God of heaven.

    One important thing to remember here is that Jehovah provides direction for His people in the very best way. Remember that it took 40 years to go from Egypt to the land of promise. We must draw close to Him, and listen for direction from His Messiah.

    We can tell from all of the shake-up around that some things are yet to take place and then become better understood. 1 Pe 4:7


  4. andrew says:

    Thanks for your comments.
    It must be admitted we still are very far from understanding everything about our hope. As 1 John 3:2 quoted above admits there are things that have not been revealed.
    The bible says that the saints will be “kings and priests” exactly how they will serve in this capacity remains to be seen. It would appear that there will be many survivors of armageddon (Zechariah 14:16-21).
    It would not appear that 99.9% of the earth’s population will be slaughtered as the JWs teach. It could be billions survive. This of course is a speculation but armageddon would appear to be against only the gathered armies not every man woman and child. These survivors would live during the 1000 yr. reign along with their children under Christ’s reign and that of the saints.

    We can’t however say if this is how the saints will be kings and priests or if they will rule in some other capacity. All we can say is the bible indicates quite clearly what a Christian’s hope is. It would also appear God has a purpose for the earth, atleast through the 1000 yr. reign. Whatever God’s complete purpose is, we can be assured it is wonderful.


  5. bruceguth says:

    Yes Andrew. We have been spared much confusion by escaping the man-domination. Jehovah has sent His Helper. The apostles knew that such things were being experienced throughout the whole congregation back then. I appreciate Paul’s discussion to Corinthians at 1Co,chp.4, on how it was as though some had begun ruling already. We could go that way if we found a scripture to covet like say, over the “little flock”; then we could surmise that the “other sheep” could do the work for our little flock, and since “this is so”, and that “is likely”, and we know this and that, we most certainly have an abundance of new light! So we can just sit down ruling and keep our nest “protected” at the expense of ill-defined, “apostate” opposers.

    I shouldn’t rant on much though, because I’ve seen enough of that myself in this world. But a close friend who was used extensively by them tells me now that he had kept hoping that they could be restored and salvaged, but has finally accepted that it apparently won’t happen. I must agree, with all of the Prophetic Words now matching up. And we will escape her (unlawful religion’s) punishment if we proceed “cautious as serpents, and innocent as doves”.

    There are so many wondrous words of encouragement within the pages of God’s Word for refreshment, to help through the struggle.

    That is another subject.

    Be happy!


  6. Amos says:

    The following verses from Ephesians Ch 2, may be helpfull to consider.
    1 “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the bodya and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (ESV)

    Please note particularly vs. 5-6, which refer to the saints as; 5 “even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

    A little further in Ephesians Paul speaks of the “old man (fleshly) & the new man (spiritual)” in Ch 4:17-32;
    17 “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

    25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (ESV)

    Notice that Paul was stating that even now while we are still in the flesh, we are made new, spiritual, AND while IN THE FLESH, ARE SEATED IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST!….NOW!

    Any thoughts?

    Also, while we have answered the “Heavenly call”, is this a “call TO heaven” OR “a call FROM heaven?”



    • bruceguth says:

      Hi again Amos. I enjoyed these thoughts you bring and some interesting verses.

      You present: “Also, while we have answered the “Heavenly call”, is this a “call TO heaven” OR “a call FROM heaven?””

      What I have experienced is actually the heavenly call in both directions. Interesting you should bring this up. In fact my early experiences in life were much like the especially close spiritual bond nowadays. Then over 30 years ago, as I was praying to Jehovah about the desire in me, things were evidenced beyond all question, and it was beyond anything earthly. Since then, there is continual confirmation in this supreme communion; I draw close, they draw close. I refuse to become too “individual”. I know I falter, but they are always faithful and watching over me. It is the 3 of us, as with Jesus’ request, “for those putting faith in me through their word; in order that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in union with me and I am in union with you, that they also may be in union with us, in order that the world may believe that you sent me forth.” John 17: 20-26.

      And this is also why when 2 or more of us are gathered together, there Jesus is in our midst.
      Now if the trinity-minded folks would stop and think that if John 1:1 is saying that the 2 of them are more than God and representation of God, but exactly the same person, then they should have to read into John 17 that we are also the exact same person. They have trouble with their idea since they can’t be clear supporting a lie from Babylon.

      This is going on to other things I know.

      I love reading Hebrews from it’s beginning too, on this oneness.


      Here is a link that I found very well done on a few of Jesus’ illustrative parables. I thought all would enjoy it at this site. They make a common point.



  7. Jon says:

    If i thought this was true, or if I ever find it is, I will end it all for myself. Just cant take it anymore.


    • andrew says:

      My brother Jon
      My sincere hope is that you haven’t been stumbled by anything said in this post. What is it exactly that you are having problems with?


  8. Jon says:

    No I have not been made to stumble. It made me happy knowing that there may be a better place afterall.


  9. Bro. Ed says:

    Andrew, the spirit in me says Amen!! There is one race we are to run, and those that are faithful and true will win that race and receive the reward God has promised (1 Corinthians 9:24, Hebrews 12:1).

    As a Jehovah’s Witness I was presented with a different race to participate in, one that gave fleshly rewards for service to Jehovah. I was taught to hope in a lesser reward and yet Colossians 3:23 states, “Whatever YOU are doing, work at it whole-souled as to Jehovah, and not to men, 24 for YOU know that it is from Jehovah YOU will receive the due reward of the inheritance. SLAVE for the Master, Christ.” (NWT) Think of that, our reward is the inheritance! And having left the organisation, I am now running in the only race that matters and boy do I want to be counted as worthy of the inheritance.

    Yet some may ask, “Well then, what will you be doing in Heaven? What about your family? Won’t you miss all the wonderful things you can have on earth?” Now if I were to answer these questions as a fleshly man, I’d probably reply using the flesh as my guide. I’d say, “I don’t know what I’ll be doing in Heaven. Of course I’ll miss my wife and children. You’re not wrong, I couldn’t live without all the wonderful things life on earth has to offer.” But if I were to answer these questions using the Spirit as my guide, I would only need to repeat the words of our brother Paul, “20 As for us, our citizenship exists in the heavens, from which place also we are eagerly waiting for a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will refashion our humiliated body to be conformed to his glorious body according to the operation of the power that he has, even to subject all things to himself.” (Philippians 3: 20-21 NWT)

    Your brother in Christ


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