Summary: How’s this life going for you? Is it “all good”? Probably not, if you’re like 99% or more of the rest of us. Life on earth for most is a mixed bag of joy and sorrow, easy times and troubles. We can’t guarantee the present or the days just ahead. But we absolutely can determine our eternal future. And you can be assured, there is one choice that will guarantee your future beyond this life to be “better by far” than anything you’ll experience here on earth.
For the committed believer in Jesus Christ, “to die is gain.” For the unbeliever, to die is eternally catastrophic! The born-again believer in Jesus has numerous Bible promises, like the one above, of going directly to the Lord’s heavenly presence at the time of death.
Paul wrote elsewhere (2 Corinthians 5:8) that for the saved, the born-again Christian, “to be absent from the body [is] to be present with the Lord.” By contrast, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ vividly portrays in cataclysmic moments of time the fiery eternal torment awaiting those who in their lives reject Jesus Christ — [Jesus shall return to earth, vs. 10] “…in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:8,10, KJV).
Now look once again at our opening verse above. The apostle Paul had earlier been granted a visionary visit to heaven (“caught up to paradise” - 2 Corinthians 12:2-4, KJV). There he saw and heard amazing things. Looking back on his heavenly visit, the apostle was eminently qualified to tell all the Lord’s faithful that, in comparison to earth, heaven is “better by far”! With that clearly in mind, let’s look at some more Scriptures that should greatly stir your heart to look forward excitedly to the heavenly future that awaits all who come to the Lord in “repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21, KJV).
This verse speaks of the state of all “the redeemed in heaven.” They have come into the indescribably glorious presence of God the Father and of His Son Jesus their Savior. They, along with all others who have died in faith, are there with the Father and the Son and “countless happy angels” (vs. 22).
Having left behind their deceased mortal bodies and the imperfections of human life on earth, they are now spoken of as “the spirits of the redeemed in heaven, already made
Paul himself had received a revelation of heaven, and he spoke of it as “better by far.” And the writer of Hebrews reveals to us that we believers who are desiring, but falling short of, perfection on earth will achieve that by the Lord’s power in His heavenly presence.
“Then I shall know fully.” When will that be? When we see the Lord “face to face.” That will certainly occur for those believers on earth at the time of the Lord’s glorious second coming. But this coming to fullness (here, fullness of knowledge) seems also to happen before that time for all those who die in faith in the Lord. The writer to the Hebrews by the Holy Spirit spoke of the redeemed in heaven as being in the Father’s and Jesus the Son’s presence. They were the “spirits of the redeemed … already made perfect.” And that would include perfection of knowledge as they see the Lord “face to face” — “then shall I know fully, even as I am fully known.”
Do you have questions about the meaning of certain Bible verses? Then in the Lord’s presence you will know the answers. Have you wondered about the mystery of the glorious doctrine of the Trinity — that there is one God, eternally existing in three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? That will become fully known and understood to you as you behold the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit directly. Have you wondered about the existence of evil in the world and the seeming absence of punishment for much of it? These and many other questions will be answered and understood in heaven, when “face to face” with Deity, as our knowledge goes from “in part” to “then shall [we] know fully.” I can hardly wait. I have lots of questions!
That’s a great example of Paul’s “better by far”! Do we have troubles here on earth? Sure. We are wrong, and we do people a disservice, to suggest that they just get saved and their troubles are over. Jesus said the exact opposite: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b).
Will the Christian experience trouble in this world? Yes, said the Lord. Can we survive those troubles in victory? Again, yes! Jesus said in that context: “Take heart! I have overcome the world.”
And a further benefit is that our living victoriously in the midst of trials and troubles on earth “…worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17, KJV) [NIV: "an eternal glory that far outweighs them all"]. Christ suffered for us on earth to take our sins upon Himself and thereby to provide us with access back to God. As we share in His sufferings by living victoriously for Him on earth, even in the midst of trials, troubles, and even persecution for our faith, there is an undefined but “eternal weight of glory” that awaits us when our Lord and Master one day greets the born-again believer with His praise: “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21,23).
We could write pages more about the “better by far” splendors of what awaits the believer in Christ in the hereafter. But let’s finish by listing a few more of the glories of heaven that the apostle John saw in his remarkable heavenly visions in the Book of Revelation.
You’ll see what the apostle John saw in heaven. There is a throne, and God Almighty sits on it. We are told elsewhere in Scripture that the risen, ascended, glorified Son of God Jesus sits at His right hand.
You’ll see — and this is remarkable — a full-circle rainbow “round about” the throne. I can hardly imagine its splendor. And there is a message hidden in there. Recall that on earth the rainbow is always at most a half circle. In heaven, in the immediate presence of God Almighty, the rainbow is a full circle. Everything is brought to magnificent fullness in the presence of God.
John saw the magnificent scene of the loosing of the seven seals, which initiated the revelation of end-time events all the way through to the final, glorious “new heaven and new earth” (Rev. 21:1), where it says of the redeemed believers that “the Lord God giveth them light; and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 22:5) in the triune God’s majestic presence.
In John’s vision of the seven seals, he saw them opened by Him (Jesus) who was seen both as the sacrificed Lamb (“Christ our Passover” - 1 Corin. 5:7) and as the kingly, victorious, powerful “Lion of the tribe of Judah (also Jesus). The redeemed too in heaven will see Jesus in His magnificent, omnipotent fullness, the sacrificed and resurrected Lamb of God who reigns in heaven alongside the Father as “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16).
Oh, so much more could be written from The Revelation of the heavenly scenes we will experience. But let’s close with one final scene that is believed to have inspired Handel’s magnificent Messiah, and most notably its famous Hallelujah Chorus (Rev. 19:6 and more). I heartily encourage you to take the next few minutes and have your soul and spirit lifted mightily by the soul-stirring biblical message of Handel’s great Hallelujah Chorus.
Back to the title of this article: “Your Future Can Be ‘Better by Far!’ It’s Your Choice.” Eternal life in the Lord’s presence is most definitely better by far. Certainly better than even the best of this life on earth. And far, far better than the eternal, hell-fire torment awaiting those who reject God’s forgiveness and free offer of salvation through and only through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now that you’ve heard, it’s your choice. Why reject Jesus Christ and go on to eternal damnation, when you can accept Him and enter eternal life and go on to heavenly promises far beyond the best you can imagine in your mind and heart? If God has spoken to you today, and you know that you haven’t yet come to Jesus in faith and repentance, make that choice now! Thousands of our website readers — perhaps even your friends or family — have already done that and would be calling out to you now, “Yes! Come to Jesus! He loves you. He died for you so that you don’t have to die in your sins. He paid the price for you. Come to Him. Believe in Him. Accept Him and receive Him as your Lord and Savior. You’ll be eternally glad that you did.”
If that’s you, and you wish to come to Jesus, I can think of no better way than to refer you to the greatly respected, late evangelist Billy Graham. He has left on his website some brief encouragement and a prayer for you to pray to enter into God’s salvation and eternal life with Him. Please click now on Billy Graham’s Peace with God - the Secret of Happiness. You'll be eternally glad that you did.
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©2022, James H. Feeney.
and Bible Studies by
Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.