Q. I was reading an answer from a reader about where the Jews and other believers would be. I understood you to say, the Jews would be in Israel and the rest in the New Jerusalem. I think I’m confused about New Jerusalem and Heaven. Are they the same? If there is a separation, why, since the Jews have accepted Jesus as their messiah.
A. During the Millennium and beyond, Jews will live in Israel on Earth. The Church will live in the New Jerusalem. Gentile believers in Jesus who miss the rapture but survive the Great Tribulation will live on Earth during the Millennium and re-populate the nations. The Bible doesn’t say what happens to them after that.
Many Christians are really talking about the New Jerusalem with its mansions and its streets paved with gold when they make reference to Heaven. Heaven is the location of God’s throne where the spirits of dead believers go to await the resurrection.
Old Testament Jews, along with Jews who come to faith after the rapture, remain Jews in God’s view. Jews who come to faith in Jesus during the Church age become part of the Church. God no longer thinks of them as Jews, just as He no longer thinks of Gentile believers as Gentiles. Both groups have become part of the Church (Galatians 3:26-29)