Topic: Better life
Text: Hebrews 11
Key verse: Women received their loved ones back again from death.
But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection verse 35
There is a huge difference between the 1 good life and the better life. People often believe life is good when you have all you want materially and the people in your life are also doing well and your life seems to run stress free. Some of our worthy ambassadors didn\’t seem to think too much about the good life. Some like Abraham had it , but were still looking for something better. What could be better?
Abraham seemed to be looking for something more permanent while some others were looking for a place not of earthly origin that holds a promise of that life that is better than what they had seen. He had to leave behind his home and earthly family in search of a land of promise.
But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11: 16
In our pursuit of a better life in a better place there are always tough choices to make. The certainty of the familiar will always try to keep you from pressing into new seasons and places. But the man of faith will have to decide what price he is willing to pay in search of what is of greater value and meaning.Some people were offered the choice to have the good life at the expense of their faith but they chose to go for the better life, which though still in the future and yet unseen ,was a thing most valuable.
The cost of keeping faith with God often comes with a huge price, Joseph had to end up in the pit for speaking out his faith, he eventually landed in prison for choosing to fear God and stand up for his faith. How many times have you been faced with such a choice, how did you fare? Jesus prepared his disciples to know that living by faith will cause pain to your physical bodies but that pain is not comparable to the pain of a life of separation from God or the consequences of compromise in eternity.
Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
Satan seeks to destroy every soul but in his subtlety, will threaten your body first and out of a lust for comfort or pride you may succumb to the deception without realizing that you have actually made a choice for the good life in exchange for a better life in God.
But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free
In more places in the world today, people are being tortured to deny the Christian faith, beginning here in Nigeria, believers in Jesus are denied admission into university to read certain courses, young women are pressured to renounce their faith in the exchange of marriage to nonbelievers and a life of material comfort. Some have been kidnapped and held in captivity for months, others maimed or killed while worshipping in church. These and more are happening in our times, maybe yours has been the pressure to live in compromise, tell lies to make more money, engage in immoral activities to get access to the power brokers, whatever it is you are offered in exchange for your undiluted obedience to the word of God, is a choice between the good and better life.
The better life is eternal with God in the heavens, it is not reserved for all, it is intended for all, you have to choose to go there. The new birth is the beginning of the race to that place, but making it, in the end, is a function of your choices and preferences. These people died in faith, not willing to exchange anything God had promised with what was being temporarily offered.
In the days ahead, not long from now, as iniquity abounds as prophesied, the test of our faith will become stiffer. Money, marriage, children, promotion, prosperity as we know it will be mild alternatives. You will have to join the Antichrist and its world-system or resist him at the risk of your life. The apostles who died after Jesus’ resurrection, history tells us of the gruesome death some of them faced, even the missionaries that brought the gospel to Africa did not have it easier.
Living by faith will cost you something, what price are you willing to pay?
All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. verse 13
Not every one of them received miraculous healings or deliverances, not every one of them had financial breakthroughs, but they all died in faith because they had a mindset that they were strangers here, secondly, they believed the material goods here are nothing compared to what Jesus promised in John 14, and what was revealed to John on the isle of Patmos.
All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised verse 39
Spend time today to review what God has promised you in the scriptures, a life of Joy, and peace in a place where there is no night or weeping. Prepare your heart to choose right before the time comes. Even now, don’t choose freedom that is temporal in exchange for a life of eternal separation from God.