By Wayne Coats
It is the truth that no
normal person can live in heaven without having a strong
desire to enter therein. It is said of the ancient Hebrews
that, “Now they desire a better country...” (Heb. 11:16).
The country in which we live is indeed a sorry place from
several viewpoints. The law of Jehovah is spurned, rejected,
denied and often laughed at. The morals of the country are
scarcely above that of rats and rabbits. Political chicanery
and dishonesty runs rampant. Faithful children of God often
despair and long for better days. It matters not how wicked
this old world gets, the Christian must continue to live and
walk by faith (2 Cor.
We can have many desires but
none can equal the desire for a better country. We can
follow the example of these ancient Hebrews who desired a
better country. Those faithful people were busy seeking a
better country (Heb. 11:14). Almighty God does not force His
abode on careless people.
Hebrews chapter 11 presents a
portrait of those who offered unto God a more excellent
sacrifice. Consider the great effort which the people
expended. It was by faith that “the elders obtained a good
report” (Heb. 11:2). God rewards those who, “diligently seek
him” (v.6). Abraham desired the city which had foundations
whose builder and maker is God (v.10). The walls of Jericho
fell down after they were compassed about seven days (v.30).
God hath prepared for His
people a city which should be desired above all else. The
city of God is a heavenly place. It is the “habitation of
God.” “The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the
sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh
upon all the inhabitants of the earth” (Psa. 33:13-14). God
has provided some better thing for us (Heb. 11:40). Why will
people refuse to live and walk by faith, rejecting the
better things of God?
The provision of God holds in
store a better resurrection (Heb. 11:35). Such will be a
better place. There will be no pain nor sickness in
that better place. Can we not think what it will be, and
thus desire to live in heaven?
The peerless apostle not only
wanted to be saved, but he wanted others to reap the reward.
He declared, “...my heart’s desire and prayer to God for
Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record
that they have a zeal of God, but not according to
knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness,
and going about to establish their own righteousness, have
not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God”
The apostle wrote, “For in this we
groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house
which is from heaven. If so be that being clothed we shall
not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do
groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed,
but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of
life” (2 Cor. 5:2-4). We sincerely trust that each reader
will earnestly desire to inherit life eternal with the
Savior. Think of the alternative.
The apostle worked and prayed that
others might be saved. He declared, “And we desire that
every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full
assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but
followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the
promises” (Heb. 6:11-12).
- via the Nile Street Notes, the weekly bulletin of the Anna
Church of Christ in Anna, IL; R. W. McAlister preaches for
the congregation and may be contacted through the
congregation's website: http://www.annachurchofchrist.com/