“There’s a land that is fairer than day, and by faith we can see it a-far.”  This is the first line of a hymn titled “Sweet By and By”.  There are many such Christian songs and poems written by men and women of faith to encourage fellow believers to keep their eyes focused on the “New Heaven” and the “New Earth” that God has promised throughout the Scriptures. During the loss of a loved one, a somewhat comforting phrase is offered: “Well, they have gone to a better place.” A question often arises: “How do you know?” and various answers are often given.

The Bible teaches me that as sure as I am standing here I can be just as certain that there is a place called Heaven where God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit will dwell for all eternity. All those who have repented to God for their sinful lifestyle and have placed their complete trust in Jesus Christ will be there with God. Jesus dwelt among us over 2000 years ago and suffered and died to make atonement for our sins. On the third day He rose again and is now seated at His Father’s right hand, presently making intercession for His elect.

The Bible teaches that there is a day coming when punishment for unbelievers and blessings for believers will be realized. On one occasion, persecuted believers were addressed: And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven (Judgment Day) with His mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)

The place of eternity for God’s people was revealed to the Apostle Paul and referred to as “Paradise” or “The Third Heaven”. “I knew a man in Christ (united to Christ by faith, a believer) above 14 years ago (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell; God knows) such a person caught up to the Third Heaven. And I knew such a man (Paul Himself)(whether in the body or out of the body, I cannot tell; God knows), how that he was caught up into Paradise and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to speak.” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4)

Besides faith and love, hope (as a fruit of the Spirit) is given to each born-again believer. Yes, there is a better place that is offered freely to all, by faith!!


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