Jesus gave his sermon on the mount to announce the good news of the coming kingdom of heaven upon the earth. In this sermon, he gave eight blessings, known as the beatitudes:
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
- Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
He summed it up by saying “Blessed are you when men revile you, persecute you, and make all manner of evil and false accusations against you for believing in me. Rejoice and be glad, because your reward in heaven will be great. Remember that the prophets were persecuted before you. ”
This is a stunning vision of the future. Today, with unlimited fusion power and intelligent machines to help us, and with our population beginning to stabilize, such a utopian paradise seems possible, perhaps even in this century. Let’s examine what Jesus had to say about this future world:
Who are the “poor in spirit”? Someone who is in poor spirits is someone who is sad. The poor in spirit are none other than those suffering from depression. They will be cured of their condition in the coming world.
Those who mourn will be comforted. When heaven on earth comes, it will be possible to restore the dead to life, possibly as artificially intelligent simulacra or stored personalities. Those who mourn for loved ones will be able to be with them.
In the world of the future, there will be ample resources for everyone, and no need for tribal conflicts, or even nations. The meek truly will inherit the earth.
Those who are righteous, forgiving, pure hearted, and pacifistic will thrive in the future. In a world of plenty, there will be no need for greed, ill will toward others, and war. Those who don’t wish to live in harmony with others will leave of their own accord, and make homes for themselves and like minded folk in other places.
Persecution of those who uphold the rights of all to freedom and safety will end. No one will feel threatened, and there will be enough to share with all who need it. Those who were persecuted for their belief in the possibility of a better world will be rewarded with a place in it when it arrives.
Image by Fra Carnevale – 8wFKYPd4faLPlw at Google Cultural Institute, zoom level maximum, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24099953