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.
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.
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.