Quite often when people die, you hear their loved ones say, “He (or she) is in a better place.” This is a comforting thought, and I am sure everybody wants to assume that about their deceased loved one. However, before we go any further, we need to ask ourselves, “Where is this better place, and how do people get there?”
The Bible, the Word of God, talks about eternity (time without end) as being either in heaven or in hell. There is no neutral or in-between place, so when people talk about a better place, they are referring to heaven, since hell is not a desirable place. Heaven, however, is not an automatic destination for the deceased.
When people die, their living loved ones can comfort themselves any way they want, but that does not guarantee their deceased loved ones are in heaven. The biblical truth is this: only those who believe on the name of Jesus (see Romans 3:22) -- whose names are written in the Lamb’s (Jesus) book of life (see Revelation 21:27) -- will go to heaven. People who do not believe on the name of Jesus Christ before they die cannot be wished or prayed into heaven by loved ones: not even by the church.
Eligibility for heaven is not based on gender, age, or social or political standing, nor does it depend on good works or anything else people do. It is based solely on the sacrifice Christ made by dying on the cross (see Ephesians 2:5). By that act, He made Himself the bridge between God and man. Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty for sin, making Him the only way for sinners to come to God by faith in Jesus (see John 14:6).
This is your opportunity. Ask Jesus to forgive your sins now. He will forgive you, taking away the guilt of your sins, filling you with His Spirit as the deposit that guarantees your future with Him (see 2 Corinthians 1:22) and writing your name in His book of life.. Don’t count on your loved ones or your priests to wish or pray you into heaven after your death. It just doesn’t work that way.
If you refuse Christ’s offer for salvation, you have automatically and personally chosen to go to hell after you die. Remember: if you die without making this decision, you’ve missed the opportunity to go to heaven for good!
So, while you still live, I encourage you to make the decision that guarantees you will spend eternity in heaven. Your loved ones will then be able to confidently say without hesitation, at your passing, “He (or she) is in a better place.” Please make this decision soon: hopefully today, because eternity is around the corner!