In just the last few weeks, we’ve had a series of disasters strike our world. Earthquakes, floods, oil spills and attempted terrorist attacks, just to name a few. Put on top of that the condition of our economy, the two wars we are waging in the middle east, and the national debt… things look pretty bleak. For everyone, there is much to be concerned about.
In spite of all these adversities, we can have the hope of a wonderful future. Creed is one of many popular groups that, throughout the years, have performed songs about this future. In their song “Higher”, they speak of a land where “blind men see”, and that possess “streets of pure gold” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt39Ni-R5Vw&feature=fvw). What city are they talking about? And more importantly, how can I get there? Our amazing Lord has answered both these questions for us in His Word. Let’s see what God says about this wonderful future ahead of us….
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
Hebrews chapter 11, is filled with accounts of noble men (Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham etc.) who were willing to make great sacrifices for God. You can read a summary of all they did for their Lord in Hebrews 11:1-12.
Beginning in verse 13, we are clearly told that these men, in spite of their faithfulness, died. These men didn’t receive all that God had in store for them during their life on earth. They had been promised that they would have a great future coming from God Himself. This promise was fulfilled after their death.
Note our verses again, through faith in their Lord’s word, they believed that God would fulfill His promises of a great future for them… they saw the promises’ fulfillments “afar off, were persuaded of them, and embraced them”. Although these men died… their life did not end there… God began to fulfill His promises to them by giving them eternal life.
God continued to fulfill His promises to them by giving them a miraculous future. What was this future God had in store for them? The latter part of our verses gives us an explanation. This future is described as a better country, a heavenly country, and a city prepared by God for them. These men would dwell in a country and city made by God Himself. What a wonderful blessing awaited them in this city…. No more sickness, no more death, no more sorrow, no more pain; and, most importantly, never ending fellowship with their God. (Rev 21:3-4)
This is the city where “blind men see”, this is where “streets of pure gold” exist. This is the country that all men desire to enter. This is the land we call heaven.
Now onto our second question … “How can I get to heaven?” The Lord makes it plain, access to heaven is given to those who have placed their belief in Christ, His words and His work on the cross. Trusting that through His death, our sin debt is paid and forgiveness from God is attained. Belief in Him as Lord and Savior, is the key to a heavenly entrance. (You can read more about this in John 14:1-7)
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:
The promise of a heavenly home awaiting us should be a tremendous motivating force in our lives. For those of us who are saved, it inspires us to continue to serve the Lord even during the difficult times of our lives. It gives us the strength to continue on, in spite of the condition of the world around us. It makes living a life for Him worth it all.
For those of us who are not saved, the promise of eternal life and an eternal dwelling place should persuade us to trust in Christ. When the waves of a troubled life roll, He will fulfill our need of both an anchor and harbor. When we are saved we become a member of His family… giving us security and hope in the midst of the storm.
During these disastrous times of life, we should be reminded that this world, and all it offers, can slip away in a heartbeat. Our only security in this life is found in becoming a faithful follower of Christ, and an heir of the promises He has so graciously given to us.
May the Lord bless your study of His Word.
Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”