The text in Gospel of Mathew 5:5 relates to one of the ”blessings”, namely: ”Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.” Jehovah’s witnesses say that the Paradise will be on this Earth on which actually the sin reigns. As evangelicals, we know that the earth will be destroyed. What does this ”blessing” refer to? Thank you and may God bless you!
The blessings are for the Church
The blessings are a part from the well-known ”Sermon on the Mount” which Jesus preached at the beginning of His mission when He went through every city and called people to repent, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). In this context, chapter 5 says that the Lord Jesus, when He saw the crowds who were from the people of God and were in the covenant with God, and who had to be the ”kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6), i.e. ”the salt of earth and the light of the world”, He spoke to them about how they can enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20). In other words, the Lord Jesus showed them who can enter the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3-19) and what should be the behavior of those who enters in the Kingdom of heaven (5:21-7:27). Actually, in the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord Jesus presents the attitudes which a man should have being a born again person and how a born again person has to live.
The earth will be destroyed after the Kingdom of a thousand years
It is true that the current earth and heaven will perish, as it is written in Holy Scriptures:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea (Revelation 21:1).
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up (2 Peter 3:10).
This will happen after the Kingdom of a thousand years, a Kingdom which will be on earth.
The Kingdom of a thousand years will be established after the second coming of the Lord Jesus
The Kingdom of a thousand years will be established after the second coming of the Lord Jesus, but the Jehovah’s witnesses teach that the Lord Jesus has already come to earth invisibly in 1914 and respectively we live in the kingdom of a thousand years. Besides, their teaching is very controversial and it is always changing, and it seems that it is also very different on this subject.
The Church will reign on earth a thousand years
It is written about the Church that we will reign together with Jesus Christ on earth:
When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” (Revelation 5:8-10)
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
The Kingdom of God begins on earth
The Kingdom of God begins on this earth with the Kingdom of a thousand years and will continue for eternity on the new earth, where the Church (the New Jerusalem) will continue to reign forever:
There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever. And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. (Revelation 22:3-6)
Therefore, the Church or the blessed will inherit this earth reigning on it a thousand years, but then will reign forever on the new earth. May the Lord help us to receive tenderly all the things as given by His hands (because that means to be gentle), before His coming to inherit this earth and the new earth!
I recommend you to study the Inductive Bible course “The Sermon on the Mount” as well as Revelation in four parts, which you can buy at the Christian Library “Învățătură din Cuvânt”.
Translated by Marcela Tasca