Christian’s Eternal Location


The Bible is very clear about what happens after death, but living in heaven for eternity is not in it.

Instead it provides three distinct locations Christians will reside after their mortal bodies die. The first place is in heaven with Jesus.  Paul makes this clear in Philippians 1:23.

“But I am hard pressed between the two. My yearning desire is to depart; to be free of the world and be with Christ, for that is far, far better …”

Christians will remain with Him until the end of the Church age. However, at the end of the Church Age, all Christians will obtain a “glorified” body (1 Corinthians 15: 52, 53).

“… in a moment , in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will be raised imperishable and we shall be changed, for this perishable part of us must put on the imperishable and the mortal part of us must put on immortality.”

When this happens, all Christians will be with Christ in heaven. But not for eternity … only for seven more years.  God tells Daniel (Daniel 9:24) the Age of Israel will last four hundred and ninety years.

“Seventy weeks of years (490 years) are decreed upon your people and upon your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.”

Daniel is clearly told Christ comes after 69 weeks of years in Daniel 9:25.

“Know and understand this; from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the coming of the anointed one, a prince, shall be seven weeks of years and sixty-two weeks of years.”

However, 62 weeks of years plus 7 weeks of years equals 69 weeks of years. The Israel Age is one week of years short of being complete.  It was interrupted by Jesus’ resurrection which was the beginning of the Church Age at Pentecost.  When the Church Age ends (at the Rapture), the last 7 years of the Israel Age restarts.  These last seven years are called “The Tribulation” period because of horrific things that happen during it.

Christians remain in heaven during those seven years in their glorified bodies. At the end of those 7 years, Jesus returns to the earth with all Christians (Rev 19:14).

And the troops of heaven, clothed in fine linen, dazzling and clean, followed Him on white horses.”

The return of Christians with Jesus begins the second location; they will inhabit the earth to rule with Christ for a thousand years (Rev 20:4).

“Then I saw thrones, and sitting on them were those to whom authority to act as judges and pass sentence was entrusted … and ruled with Christ, the Messiah, a thousand years.”

Paul put it this way (1 Corinthians 6: 2):

“Do you not know that the saints will one day judge the world? …”

So there will be no sitting on clouds playing harps. Christians will have valuable work to do for a thousand years, but eventually it will end. Then a new chapter for Christians will occur.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former earth had passed away and there no longer existed any sea. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, all arrayed like a bride beautified and adorned for her husband.” (Rev 21: 1, 2)

The Church, the bride of Christ, will spend eternity in the New Jerusalem on the new earth. Just in case you might think it will be crowded, the Bible states (Rev 21:16) the city will be 1500 miles by 1500 miles square and 1500 miles high.

To grasp the size of this city, the distance from New York to Denver is a little over 1500 miles. The international space station is 254 miles high. The New Jerusalem will be six times higher.

I have lived on 100+ acres for 15 years. That is a large area for one person.  Suppose God assigns 100 acres to each Christian with about a half mile of height in the New Jerusalem.  That would result in enough room for 68 billion Christians.  Since scientists estimate that only 100 billion people have ever lived, 68% could be Christian and have a .5 by .5 by .5 mile cube in the New Jerusalem.

The bottom line … Christians will spend eternity in the New Jerusalem located on the new earth.