Monday, April 14, 2014

A Desire For Heaven

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. 5:7).         
      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, “ 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” (Rom. 10:1-2).
     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:

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