I have a question. I might make you a little uncomfortable. Have you ever attended a funeral or memorial service where the deceased is “not” in a better place? I know I haven’t. Do we take the Grace of God for granted? Do we believe in a heaven AND a hell? The Bible says both exist and there are some key verses we should consider before we assume our loved ones will go to a better place.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." — Matthew 7:13-14
Lets take a look at these two verses in Matthew. Notice the contrast Jesus points out.
- Wide gate and narrow gate
- Wide road and narrow road
- Easy way and difficult way
- Many go and few go
I suspect many of you have read this and continued on without noticing the stark difference in destinations. One is Heaven, the other is hell and eternal separation from God. How can it be then, that over a coarse of a lifetime, we can find ourselves never attending a funeral or memorial service of someone who choose the wide road, with the easy way, through the wide gate? Let that thought sink in while I take you to Revelations.
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." — Revelation 20:11-15
In Verse 12a we read;
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened
In Verse 12b we read;
another book was opened, which is the book of life
It is no accident that it takes books, many books, to contain the names of the dead, or unbelievers while it only takes a book to contain those who put their faith in Christ. Remember the wide easy road with the wide gate that leads to destruction? Remember how many will enter therein?
In contrast the narrow, difficult road with the narrow gate had few enter therein. You should be, as I am, greatly concerned with the eternal state of our loved ones. We should never assume they are going to heaven while they are alive, and likewise, we should never assume they are in a better place when they die if they never put their faith in Christ as their savior.
I will leave you with this:
God loves you just the way you are. He loves you so much, He can’t leave you the way you are.
Written By: ricky jimenez
Men’s Leader; Calvary Chapel San Bernardino
Broadcast Engineer & Webmaster
Primary Blog and Devotion Author Cure for the Common Man
Married 20 years, father of 4