It is said in Proverbs that “where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepth the law, happy is he.” [Proverbs 29:18]. As Job explained, our life in this world is short and full of trouble. We are encompassed about with trials and tribulations of every kind. If our vision is not upon God, it is easy to fall in to despair. For what is the purpose of life? A man might build a successful career, have a family, create an elegant home, and be surrounded with friends and money. But one day, we all shall die. Solomon, perhaps the richest man of his day, said, “And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my portion of all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” [Ecclesiastes 2:10-11].
Nevertheless, because of Jesus Christ we know that “though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.” [Job 19:26-27]. Therefore, if we will have God to be our vision so that we might keep His law with a joyful heart and so endure the crosses of the world. Then we have the blessed promise that we will receive eternal life, which is not a delineation of time but a state of living. For all will be raised from the dead to be judged according to their works, both the just and the unjust. [John 5:24-29, Hebrews 9:27, Romans 14:10-12, 2 Corinthians 5:10, Romans 2:1-11, Revelation 20:12-14]. In other words, our reward will depend on the condition of our heart. How did we receive the ministry of Christ once we heard the Gospel message? [Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23].
Upon knowing this, how then can there be only two eternal resting places, heaven or hell? Is everyone worthy of heaven? Is everyone worthy of hell? Will the individual who has never heard of Jesus and yet has been a good man be condemned to hell? Likewise, will that individual inherit heaven with the righteous? Paul explains that there are four eternal resting places, those being Celestial Glory, Terrestrial Glory, Telestial Glory, and No Glory. For as a seed of grain is planted in the earth, it dies and brings forth a new body, some wheat and to another barely. So too are we planted on the earth and following our death we will be resurrected a new body, some to one glory and some to another depending on our faithfulness to the commandments of God and the condition of our heart. As the angel of God testified to John, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” [Revelation 22:11-12]
While it is difficult to imagine the blessedness of an eternal life with God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, we know that it will be fixed with a new heaven and a new earth. “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.” [Revelation 21:3-5].
Scriptures to Consider
Job 14:1-2, 10, 14 (KJV)
14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. 14:2 He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. 14:10 But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? 14:14 If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.
Job 19:23-27 (KJV)
19:23 Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! 19:24 That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! 19:25 For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 19:27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 (KJV)
12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
John 17:3 (KJV)
17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23 (KJV)
13:3 And He spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 13:4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 13:5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 13:6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 13:7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 13:8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 13:9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
13:18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. 13:20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
1 Corinthians 15:12-28, 35-58 (KJV)
15:12 Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15:15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming.
15:24 Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 15:25 For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 15:27 For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 15:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 15:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him, and to every seed his own body.
15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 15:41 There is one glory of the sun [Celestial], and another glory of the moon [Terrestrial], and another glory of the stars [Telestial]: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed [quickened], 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law [the law of Moses]. 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Revelation 22:11-17 (KJV)
22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
22:14 Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Revelation 21:1-8 (KJV)
21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea [meaning divisions of people]. 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
21:5 And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 21:6 And He said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Isaiah 65:17 (KJV)
65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.