One turns a blind eye to the primary teachings of Jesus found, three times over, in Matthew, Mark and Luke. This exercise is a form of self-deception, in the interests of maintaining views which have not been learned from the Bible. Jesus declared the Christian destiny when he pronounced this beautiful and simple blessing on the meek (his true followers): "They are going to have the earth as their inheritance" (Matt. 5:5). As if this crystal clear promise were not enough (the same promise for the faithful is presented often in the Old Testament, five times in Ps. 37), Jesus repeated his teaching about our future in Revelation 5:10. The faithful of all the nations (the international "Israel of God," Gal. 6:16) are going to "rule on the earth." All the popular language about "going to heaven" either at death or at a pre-tribulation rapture or later, falsifies the straightforward teaching of Jesus. It also denies Jesus his own Second Coming.
Yes, Jesus is going to return to this earth and live here! That is the whole point of the Second Coming, which is not a "drive-by" event. The Second Coming of Jesus is denied if one believes that Jesus is going to "visit" and then go back to heaven! It is equally denied by so-called Preterism which claims that Jesus returned in AD 70. It is part of the unreformed legacy of the Reformation to ignore the teachings of Jesus as laid out in Matthew, Mark and Luke. This threefold repetition is there for a purpose. God knew that professed believers would risk ignoring His Son, and his words, of whom He said, "This is My Son…listen to him" (Matt. 17:5; Luke 9:35). That admonition is forgotten when Matthew 5:5 and Revelation 5:10 are disregarded in the interests of a cherished doctrine about "heaven."
Jesus said nothing about heaven in connection with the Christian future. Jesus will descend from heaven and meet the saints in the air (1 Thess. 4:13-18). The saints will escort Jesus to the earth, his own destination. Jesus is now in heaven preparing our future places in the Kingdom of God on earth (John 14:2-3). He will then return to the earth in a single Second Coming (there is no PRE-tribulation rapture in the Bible), and the faithful believers of all the ages will rule with him "on the earth." The meek are not going to heaven; they are going to inherit the earth. If you want to be in heaven at the second coming, you will not find Jesus there! Jehovah’s witnesses, for all their talk of the Kingdom, still do not understand that immortal saints are going to be with Jesus on the renewed earth. If one is going to argue for the truth of Jesus, start by making your point from the recorded teachings of Jesus in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Then support them also from John and the rest of the Bible. On no account ignore Jesus by ignoring his words! There is no more effective way of deceiving oneself. Of course, one may have to swim against the tide of "popular" tradition, but obeying and believing Jesus and his teachings is always the first priority (Heb. 5:9; John 3:36; 1 Tim. 6:3; 2 John 9). Some readers are still having difficulty with Psalm 110:1. Jesus loved that verse and so should we. There is no reason for any confusion. The verse reads, "The LORD said to my lord." "The LORD" is the Hebrew "Yahweh" and the second lord (my lord) is adoni (pronounced "adonee"). Note carefully that that second lord in the Hebrew is the word ADONI. It is not, repeat not, the word Adonai. Adonai is another title for Yahweh. If the second lord were ADONAI, then Yahweh would be speaking to ADONAI. This would present a horrifying error: conversation between God and God! [i.e. 2 Gods!?!] There is really no excuse for not knowing that the second lord in Psalm 110:1 is not ADONAI (Lord God). At least if one cannot read Hebrew it is presumptuous to repeat, as some correspondents persist in doing, the popular error that YHVH was speaking to ADONAI! He was not. The Hebrew text does not read ADONAI in Psalm 110:1. Readers surely know that there is only one God in the Bible, not two. YHVH is the One God and He speaks in prophecy in Psalm 110:1 to the Lord Messiah, adoni, "my lord." Adoni in all of its 195 occurrences never means GOD. It always designates a person who is not God. If you cannot read the Hebrew for yourself, consult a rabbi or other good source. ... Adoni is never a title for God. ...
October, 2009 edition of Focus on the Kingdom magazine