During my brother Ruben’s funeral services last week, I was reminded of the many times we all hear the customary phrase “He’s (she) in a better place.” However, that can only truly apply to those who belong to Christ. For them, the day of their death is their awaited prize, hope, and graduation day. When God’s people sense that their time on earth is coming to a close, almost all of them excitedly anticipate their welcome into their new world. Sadly, many who use the phrase to comfort a grieving friend or family member only do so because they feel it is the proper thing to do, not because they actually believe it.
Let me be clear on this: Anyone who does not really believe this promise will very likely miss out on Heaven altogether because of their doubt and unbelief. A clear example of this truth is found in the account of the time when God’s people marched toward Canaan, their promise land. (Numbers, Chapters 13-14) At God’s command, Moses sent out 12 men, one leader from every tribe, to spy out the land they would soon possess. He instructed them to be courageous, perhaps assuming they would all remember the glorious and miraculous manner in which the Lord had brought them out of their slavery in Egypt. They did not! Ten of them came back moaning that they could not defeat the giants that lived there. It is very apparent they did not believe God’s promise that He would give them this land. As if that were not enough, they spread their message of fear and doubt throughout the community, discouraging the people as well. Angered by their unbelief, the Lord swore they would not enter the promise land. In my assigned bible reading this past Saturday, I came across the verse showing the fulfillment of that promise. Joshua 5:6 reads: The Israelites had traveled in the wilderness for forty years until all the men who were old enough to fight in battle when they left Egypt had died. For they had disobeyed the Lord, and the Lord vowed he would not let them enter the land he had sworn to give us. God kept his promise. Those who did not believe then did not enter the promised land, and those who don’t believe God’s promise today, won’t enter Heaven. God has not changed! Believing God is essential and it renders great and eternal benefits. Believe God!
Memory Verse for the week: (1 John 2:25) And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.