18. The People of God Have a Secure Future
In a world full of lies and uncertainty, it is wonderful to be able to have full assurance for the future. A Christian does not have to be unsure about his eternal future, because God gives full assurance in the Bible.
Eternity is Sure
God reveals some facts about the life after death in the Bible.
Read Luke 16:19-31.
There are only two destinies for every man and woman: heaven or hell.
Heaven is to be in the presence of God. It is also called the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-22:6), Paradise (Luke 23:43), being with Christ (Philippians 1:23; Acts 7:55-60) or Abraham's side (Luke 16:22). It is a place of joy and comfort (Revelation 21:3-4).
On the other hand, hell is described in terms of eternal fire and punishment (Revelation 20:10; 21:8; Matthew 25:41, 46; 13:42, 50), sorrow and darkness (Matthew 25:30); shut out from the presence of the Lord and from his glorious might (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
Judgement is Sure
There is a great Judgement Day coming for every person who ever lived on earth. This will happen when Jesus Christ comes again in glory. As Jesus said,
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31-46).
Read Romans 14:10-12
The apostle John was given a very vivid vision of that day:
Read Revelation 20:11-15.
Those whose names are written in the book of life (Revelation 21:27), are those who were pardoned because Jesus took the punishment for their sins on Himself on the cross and because they accepted this fact gratefully by faith (John 3:18; 5:24; Romans 8:1). Without this faith all the good works, self-denial and prayers count for nothing.
God has given us eternal life,
and this life is in His Son.
He who has the Son has life;
He who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12).
Salvation is Sure!
When a Christian speaks about “salvation,” he means being safe on the Day of Judgement, because all his sins have been completely forgiven. He does not fear death, because it is but a door to eternal life. With Paul, he says, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (Philippians 1:23).
If you have to deserve to go to heaven, you can never be sure. As a matter of fact, if you have one unforgiven sin, you do not qualify for heaven (Revelation 21:27).
But now Jesus has opened the way to complete forgiveness, because He bore the punishment for all our sins in His body on the cross (1 Peter 2:24; Isaiah 53:5-6).
“He (Jesus) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have gained access by faith into His grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through Him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received reconciliation” (Romans 4:25; 5:1-2, 9-11).
A Christian's assurance of eternal life in heaven does not depend on his character or quality of life, but on God's promises, which he received by faith. His trust is in Jesus Christ, who said,
“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:27-28).
This assurance comes from the Word of God, the Bible.
Read 1 John 5:13
In humble gratitude towards such a great and loving God we may say: “We know that we are children of God” (1 John 5:19-20).
Test Yourself no. 18
Write behind each statement whether it is true or false. The correct answers are found here.
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